North African revolt

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.

2011-01-27 Libya is in revolt as Gaddafi worries

Libya's Moamer Gaddafi may have hailed WikiLeaks for exposing US 'hypocrisy' back in December but since the cablegate exposures helped rally the people to throw out Ben Ali in January, he has been singing a different tune. Yesterday Gaddafi "said he feared that the Tunisian revolution which overthrew president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was being exploited by 'foreign interests'" according to France24. In an interview, he told the private Tunisian Nessma TV station “I fear for the Tunisian revolution."

2011-01-27 Algerians plan big protest rally for February 9

The Algerian opposition is regrouping after thousands of police were deployed on Saturday to suppress several hundred demonstrators. They too are inspired by the Tunisian revolution. With public protests being so strongly suppressed some Algerians have turned to a more drastic demonstration of their opposition to the status quo. At least four people in Algeria have attempted self-immolation, some successfully, since Tunisia freed itself of Ben Ali.

2011-01-27 Tunisia protests continue as a warrant is issued for Ben Ali

In Tunisia, foreign minister Kamel Morjane resigns as demonstrations continued there. Although they forced President Ben Ali to flee on January 14th, the activists are demanding a complete break with the corruption of the past and the removal all officials associated with the ruling RCD party of the ousted president. Political sources say that the interior and defense ministers are also expected to be replaced in the widely expected cabinet shuttle. The industry and international co-operation ministers are expected to remain from the old government but neither was a member of the RCD. Still, it is not clear if even this complete purge of the RCD will satisfy the people's demand for change especially now that it is being reported that Mohammed Ghannouchi will remain prime minister. Protesters, who earlier today stormed police barricades in Tunis, the Tunisian capital are demanding a clean sweep.

Tunisia's powerful labor union did call off the general strike planned for Stax, Tunisia's second largest city, on Friday in a move to ease tensions, but it will not join the new government. However, teachers and doctors have already gone out on strike in the town that started it all, Sidi Bouzid.

2011-01-27 Tens of thousands rally in Yemen, demand change

There were massive anti-government rallies in Yemen today. Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands took to the streets of the country's capital, Sanna to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation.

2011-01-27 Mubarak blinks as Egyptian protests continue for third day

The latest at 6:00pm pst: As protests build and El Baradei returns, Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party [NDP] says it is open to dialogue but continues the brutal suppression of demonstrators. More protests are expected on Friday and the Internet is all a twitter with the news.

As the Egyptian revolt entered it's third day the number of protester continued to grow into the tens of thousands, numbers completely unprecedented for a country in which such mass demonstrations have been illegal for more than 30 years. The activists who began by calling for economic relief and an end to this State of Emergency first established in 1981 are now demanding a complete change in government and the ouster of president for 30 years Hosni Mubarak.

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