News From Egypt


You hear a lot about the people in the Islamic brotherhood as far as the revolution in Egypt is concerned.  An awful lot of it, over 20,000 stories on google that mention them.  Perhaps too many, seeing how the Islamic Brotherhood have only a small presence in Egypt and are something of a fringe group their.  Not that they have no effect, but they were not the ones calling for the protests, they didn’t call for a general strike, and they were not the ones calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. 

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There are a number of groups that have done all of this, the most prominent of them, at least the one that has gotten the most face time is a group called the April 6 movement.  They are the ones that called for the initial protest this January 25th, and they have gotten more people out than other protests that have happened in Egypt under Mubarak.  And they are now calling for another general strike, only this one will last, they say, until President Mubarak resigns. 

The protesters have doubled down, they know they have no other way to go, and are now willing to stand until this is done, no matter how it ends.

Former international atomic energy agency head Mohamad El Baradei initially headed up the protests in the city of Giza, but after Friday headed to Cairo to lead there, and he has called for President Mubarak to step down, and is very much speaking like the man who would be President. He has spoken with force, saying he is the man to lead the nation into Democracy, and is in talks to form an interim government with what is called a shadow parliament.

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There have been many reports of looters running rampant in the streets of Cairo and other cities.  A great many stories are out that have the looters pegged as a combination of interior ministry agents, policemen, and prisoners, who were released with the express mission of causing havoc in the streets with the police and the Interior ministry members, to stir fear in the hearts of the people. 

The people have responded with neighborhood patrols armed with whatever they can get their hands on, knives, clubs, guns if they can get them.  They have improvised defenses against the looters, and communications between neighborhoods, using everything they can, including megaphones that are normally used during prayers.

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The Military seems to have worked peacefully with the protesters, at least so far.  But that doesn’t mean the Military is going to play nice with the protesters.  Word is, that the Military are moving barricades into positions, moving tanks into positions, to try to limit access to the main meeting place in Cairo, Tahrir square, where protesters have been congregating as their central meeting point since the police day protests began last week. 

The police, on the other hand, who were beaten back by the protesters over the last few days, are only now beginning to come back. 

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 Those who want news straight from the source, straight from Egypt, would do well to go to either AlJazeera english, or the website of the Egyptian Newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm

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That’s it from here, America.  I’ll write to you tomorrow

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