2011-01-28 Egypt is on fire

It is 8:00pm in Cairo and protesters are still out in the streets defying the curfew that went into effect two hours ago; it bans anyone from the streets until 7 a.m. In Cairo the ruling party headquarters is on fire. Internet, SMS, and cellphone connections are now being interfered with, but earlier we had this from the Guardian's running blog:

4:45pm A downtown police station in Cairo, police cars and gas tanks outside the police station are on fire, which could account for the number of loud explosions being heard, al-Jazeera reports.

It is the fourth day of unprecedented protests by tens of thousands demanding an end to President Mubarak's rule. Mubarak has imposed this curfew in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez, where all day police and demonstrators have been fighting running battles. Security forces fire rubber bullets, teargas, and water cannon at protesters. That won't be enough because by now the struggle has grown from the major cities to towns and villages. Protesters appealed to the police to join them and at the same time worked to outlast and tire the overwhelmed police.

Now Mubarak has put the Army in charge of security because the police have given up and joined the protesters! By 3:00pm Cairo time OllieGarkey, a blogger at the DailyKos was reporting:

Breaking: Police Siding with Protesters in Egypt. Mubarak regime falling.

At 1:33pm Peter Bouckaert from Human Rights Watch Alexandria reported:

The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria.

Similar scenes have reportedly been playing out through out Egypt as the beleaguered police accepted water and vinegar from the protesters because because while it was the police that brought the tear gas, they neglected to bring any gas masks.

So now the army is being sent in as the last support for a crumbling regime. Hundreds have been arrested, dozens have been killed and El Baradei is reported to be under house arrest. As night closes in on this forth and most eventful day of the Egyptian Revolution people are preparing to put an end to Mubarak's rule.

This mornings France24 report on events in Egypt and Tunisia

France24 Interview with Amy Hamzawy of Carnegie Middle East Center

Turning tides?


Hints in stories from all over are that the Egyptian Army is beginning to side with the people. It makes sense in a way. They are about the only intact organization left of the Egyptian government... and they'll be the only intact organization left when the unrest is over. So why wait? Let's hope that's the case and lets hope the Egyptian people ride them, the way the Tunisians are riding there 'leadership', until the people are satisfied.

If you pray...


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