Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Hundreds of protesters have been arriving in Tahrir Square since early morning in preparation for mass rallies against President Morsi’s constitutional declaration and the draft constitution. Seventeen marches are expected to begin after Friday prayers from venues around Cairo including Giza, Tahrir Square, Abbaseya and a number of mosques. They will converge on the presidential palace in Heliopolis.
The protest has been variously termed ‘Friday to oust the Brotherhood’s militias’, ‘Red Card Friday’, and ‘Ultimatum Friday’. Around twenty-one groups have announced their participation in the protests.
Hundreds of protesters have been holding a sit-in in Tahrir Square since 22 November when President Morsi’s constitutional declaration rendered his decisions above judicial challenge and made the Islamist-dominated Shura Council and Constituent Assembly immune from dissolution by court order.
Protesters marched around Tahrir Square early Friday chanting, “The people want the downfall of the Brotherhood and Morsi” and “Leave, leave Morsi and Badie,” referring to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — Reports from Egypt reveal that a protester died on Wednesday morning in clashes in Marsa Matruh in northwest Egypt and three more were killed in Cairo, bringing the total death toll from clashes that first broke out Saturday to 35.
Deputy Health Minister Hesham Sheeha said Wednesday that 28 people were killed in Cairo, two in Alexandria, one in Ismailia and one in Marsa Matruh. But the Health Ministry count was later increased to 31 casualties in Cairo.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters attempted to attack Health Minister Amr Helmy while he was touring Tahrir Square this afternoon. His bodyguards shielded him off from the attack and got him into his car, swiftly ending his visit to the square.
In statements to the press, Helmy denied allegations that a nerve agent is being used against the protesters.
Helmy added said he has ordered the formation of a three-member committee to test samples of the gas used on the protesters to verify that it does not contain any banned substances. The gas canisters used to disperse protesters are US-made, but not expired, he added.
“Even if they had expired, that would mean their effective substances have lost effect and are less harmful,” he said.
A public prosecution delegation began visiting Tahrir Wednesday to investigate assaults on protesters and reporters by police forces.The Journalists Syndicate had filed a report on Tuesday accusing Prime Minister
Essam Sharaf and Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy of targeting reporters and killing protesters.
The delegation met with field doctors and protesters to inquire about the nature of the injuries and when they took place. http://www.newscastmedia.com/cairo-egypt.html
Source Al-Masry Al-Youm
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — A week ago, Newscast Media reported that the end game was unfolding and Egypt’s final cut was in motion. Many wondered how an end game could happen since Mubarak was continuing to hold on to power. On Thursday February 10, the military’s supreme council met without Commander-in-Chief Mubarak, and declared on state TV its “support of the legitimate demands of the people.”
Several strategies were employed by the Obama administration to nudge Mubarak out of office after the uprising intensified. None of the strategies worked instead Mubarak seemed to wade his way through the political crisis.
Footage on state TV on Thursday February 10, showed Defense Minster Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi chairing the meeting of two dozen stern-faced top army officers seated around a table. At Tantawi’s right was military chief of staff General Sami Anan. Not present was Mubarak, the commander-in-chief and a former air force head, or his vice president, Omar Suleiman, a former army general and general intelligence chief assigned to his current post after the uprising erupted on January 25.
Prior to that, CIA Director Leon Panetta told the US Congress that there was a strong likelihood that Mubarak would step down on Thursday night.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation. I don’t know the particulars of how this would work but I would assume that he would turn over more of his powers to Suleiman to direct the country and direct the reforms that will hopefully take place,” Panetta said.
Many in the news media wrongly thought Mubarak would announce tonight that he would step down, on state television, he once again asserted that he was staying because he had taken an oath before God to fulfill his duty as president. Mubarak sent condolences to those who have died and their families and has vowed to bring to justice those responsible for their acts. In His speech, Mubarak assured the crowd that the constitution would be amended to accommodate their needs.
“The current moment is not relating to Hosni Mubarak, it is now relating to Egypt. I have been a youth just like you, when I learned the ethics of the military. I went to war, I won victories…” Mubarak said. The crowd then interrupted him chanting: “He must leave!”
Reports on the street say that on Friday Feb 12, a massive demonstration has been arranged to force Mubarak to step down.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — On Day 15 of the uprising, the youth have been re-energized by the release of Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing manager who played an essential part in mobilizing the youth-led demonstrations. Streets around the square were closed and traffic rerouted as hundreds of thousands filled Tahrir square. The youth have asserted that their only demand is that Mubarak step down before any negotiations can begin.
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reports that dozens of protesters prevented media personality Lamis al-Hadidi, who hosts a program on state television, from entering the square, accusing state-run television of misleading the Egyptian public and causing more victims to fall by broadcasting false information about the protests. The protesters in Tahrir Square today are saying that public opinion, which had been divided throughout last week between people supporting the protests and people calling on them to stop, has now united again unanimously calling for Mubarak’s unconditional resignation.
“All those who cried in sympathy for Mubarak after his speech are protesting again today,” said one demonstrator.
The success of this demonstration will largely depend upon non-interference of the West who seem to support the side that appears to have the upper hand. When the youth are perceived as having the upper hand in the protests, leaders in the West declare that they want Mubarak to step down now. When it seems that Mubarak could ride out the storm, the same leaders say they support a “gradual” transition.
Now the youth are even more determined than ever because they can see the hypocrisy of Western governments, and it is evident to the protesters that they are on their own. Protester are also camped outside the Egyptian Parliament with signs that read: “Closed Until Regime Changes.” They are now planning rallies outside the state-owned television building and Interior Ministry.
Because the youth are re-energized and have stocked up on necessities like water, bread, batteries, and dried fruit, today has seen the largest crowd since the protests started on Jan 25. Today’s march has made the White House nervous, that Vice-President Joe Biden was prompted to make a phone call to Egyptian VP Omar Suleiman, demanding the transition produce “immediate, irreversible” progress. The White House’s response has once again been upgraded from “gradual” to an “immediate” transition.
What is different about these new rounds of protests is that they are attracting new faces like Egyptian celebrities who had not participated in the initial ones, but have now joined because they too want to play a role in uprising. http://www.newscastmedia.com/egptyday15.html
Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt –Despite his refusal to step down, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, is fully aware that he no longer is welcome in his own homeland, that’s the reason he shipped his family overseas for the sake of their own safety. The youth-led groups are now organizing what they are referring to as “Friday of Departure” and are calling for all Egyptians to march to Mubarak’s palace in Heliopolis, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday, and have also given the army an ultimatum to make a clear stance as to with whom they stand.
**UPDATE: THE ARMY HAS TAKEN SIDES WITH THE PROTESTERS AND SAID IT WILL STAND DOWN AND ALLOW THEM TO DEMONSTRATE
The statement to the military read: “We the people and the youth of Egypt demand that our brothers in the national armed forces clearly define their stance by either lining up with the real legitimacy provided by millions of Egyptians on strike on the streets, or standing in the camp of the regime that has killed our people, terrorized them and stolen from them.”
The army had until Thursday morning (Feb 3) to respond. Failure to respond would be interpreted by the youth as the army taking sides with Mubarak, and the entire youth-led groups would then descend upon the presidential palace, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday.
Meanwhile, the hackers named “Anonymous” who disrupted several US Web sites after WikiLeak’s Julian Assange’s arrest, have issued a warning to the Egyptian government after they cut off the Internet. Anonymous took down several government Web sites as a result of the Egyptian government not heeding their warning.
The message read: “Anonymous challenges all those who are involved in censorship. Anonymous wants you to offer free access to uncensored media in your entire country. When you ignore this message, not only will we attack your government websites, Anonymous will also make sure the international media sees the horrid reality you impose upon your people.”
Anonymous has called this “Operation Egypt” and can be found here on their own Facebook page.
Egyptians say they are not satisfied with Mubarak’s firing of his entire cabinet, they want him to leave the country himself. One young woman held a sign that read, “It is better to die for something than to live for nothing.” Egyptians understand their reality very well and know that you cannot begin to truly live, until you have found something worth dying for. The underlying motivation for these demonstrations is freedom. Freedom of not just for political and individual expression, but also financial freedom that they can pass down to younger generations to enjoy.
There was a report on Sunday Jan. 30, delivered by Malta News asserting that Mubarak’s generals had asked him to step down. What is suspicious is that the link to that article was broken and within a few hours the Web site itself was down and the page scrubbed permanently. Perhaps they got a call from people who know people, saying that the article would embolden the Egyptian youth and other Arabian and African generals to be confrontational with their leaders. We’ll never know.
If there is any truthfulness to the article, I suspect that Mubarak at this point in the game doesn’t trust any of his generals anymore. The catch is, the Egyptian army is so interconnected with civilians since Egypt has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. It is for this
reason that the military is more embraced by the Egyptians than the police since in one way or another the Egyptians have served side-by-side or have relatives in the army, which has created solidarity among the demonstrators. The police is viewed as Mubarak’s personal security force, therefore it is viewed less favorably amongst Egyptians.
Hopefully, for the sake of ending his closing years in dignity, Mubarak finds a way of dodging the wrath of his people, because I suspect they will not be merciful to him if they are able to locate him. Mubarak has put himself in a very tough spot because Egyptians have rejected him and refuse to make any compromise. In
essence, he has already lost this battle.
Just like the American revolutionary war hero John Adams noted in 1818: “The revolution is won not on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the people.”