2011-01-26 Week of "rage" in Egypt sees casualties, global support [UPDATE 1]

As we reported on Tuesday, Egyptians and other activists working remotely planned to begin protesting on Tuesday January 25. From the start,

[t]here has been a significant amount of support and planning for the protest online, causing the government and police to promise an equally strong suppression. Over 85,000 people have liked the Facebook page for the protest day, calling for a day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment.

The turnout may have surprised even Egyptian authorities, however, and support is coming in many forms. This Facebook page called for video production and quickly received a link to this piece. Many videos are surfacing on Youtube and elsewhere (see the this collection, for instance).

Anonymous has joined in the protests, recruiting activists and delivering their now well-known wrath in the form of DDoS attacks on Egyptian websites:

Analysis from NetCraft shows server failure for Egypt's Ministry of the Interior (MOI) website, and other reports indicate that the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may also have been targeted.

Attacks from Anonymous were direct results of Egyptian censorship. As of yesterday, access to Twitter has been blocked, while Youtube remains accessible. Vodafone Egypt was quoted as having denied allegations of censorship yesterday, stating: "We didn't block twitter - it's a problem all over Egypt and we are waiting for a solution." Yet Twitter confirmed "Tuesday that Egypt was indeed blocking access to their service. Access to the US-based social network Facebook was also reportedly cut off by early Tuesday."

Various sources have independently reported that Mobinil is also blocking access to Facebook and Twitter, and that residents are being arrested "just for leaving the house." The modus operandi has supposedly become that of "arresting first and asking questions later." There is a general fear of speaking out and being penalized, and apparently, individuals are even being "hunted down" in their own homes.

The BBC reports that approximately "700 people have been arrested throughout Egypt in a crackdown against anti-government protests." Water cannons are being used to silence the protesters, but in many cases, to no avail, as this video shows. Tear gas has also been used, along with guns shooting rubber bullets.

At least 6 people have been killed so far, and many others injured.

Updates will follow as protests persist throughout the night. Thursday promises to be an important day, given mounting tensions and the arrival of reform campaigner el-Baradei, as does Friday, when it is expected that even larger numbers will be gathering after prayer, which ends at 1pm.

Update 1:
The Associated Press reports that Associated Press Television News cameraman, Haridi Hussein Haridi, 54, and his assistant, Haitham Badry, 23, were arrested Wednesday. In addition, an "AP photographer was beaten by a policeman and injured while shooting demonstrations."