BREAKING: Egypt’s ‘Day of Departure’ for Hosni Mubarak (Live blog)

This post will update periodically with breaking tweets, links, and news overnight. Scroll down to the end for Al Jazeera Live feed (embedded within this post for your convenience).

Click Image to go to Al Jazeera Live Blog on Egypt for Feb. 4th

BBC News: Egypt set for ‘Day of Departure’

4 February 2011 Last updated at 00:24 ET

Protesters in the Egyptian capital Cairo are preparing to stage a “Day of Departure” for President Hosni Mubarak.

Photo above: Anti-government protesters in Egypt are staging another mass rally billed as a “day of departure”, as their efforts to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak continue for an 11th day. (AFP)

Al Jazeera Live Blog on Egypt for Feb 4

Latest Updates on Day 11 of Egypt Protests from NYT’s The Lede.

(Photo Credit: Ed Ou for the NYT, via Feb. 3 NYT Lens Photo of the Day.)

February 3rd: pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak clash in Tahrir square (Ed Ou for the NYT via NYT Lens Pictures of the Day, click image for more)

Yesterday Mona Eltahawy tweeted: My heart, my sould, my memories, what most excites me about Egypt, is there at Tahrir. Only thing keeping me optimistic re Egypt is youth” and “am torn between staying here NYC and continuing my media uprising to amplify Egypt voices and returning to Cairo for revolution.”

Mona’s tweets reminded of the title of a Rumi poem. From the Coleman Barks translation:

In Baghdad, Dreaming of Cairo: In Cairo, Dreaming of Baghdad — by Rumi

excerpt: It may be the satisfaction I need
depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone
and come back, I’ll find it at home

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Egyptian people and to all the Egyptians and Arabs watching the revolution from outside the region. Our hearts break with yours as we watch the aftermath of the ugly state crackdown that has taken place over the last two days.

Special Note: Mona Eltahawy will be on Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO, Friday, 10 pm EST).

Click for HQ version. The protesters have been crowding into Cairo's Tahrir Square - the epicentre of the demonstrations. (AFP)

UPDATES

(in reverse chronological order so the latest is first)

Largely Peaceful, with reports of small incidents

around 7:30 am CST (2:30 in the afternoon in Cairo):  Another report that people keep coming in and “the protests are gaining momentum.” I’m hearing mostly peaceful stuff on the AJE feed, but there have been some reports here and there of small confrontations.

Reporter who said that she’s hearing about the upward momentum also says that she hears high profile Egyptians are getting together and trying to plan and structure the voice and face of the movement, but there is no one name or face for a leader of the movement. She says she’s hearing ElBaradei (and another name I didn’t catch) are not acceptable to the protesters.

Egyptians gathered to enter Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday morning. (Hannibal Hanschke/European Pressphoto Agency)

A mood of defiance

7 am CST: Still peaceful.

NYT headline — “Egyptians Defy Crackdown With New Mass Protests.”

Note, at 7:08 am CST– Al Jazeera reporter saying there is a developing situation at the October 6th bridge with a small group of Pro-Mubarak supporters yelling “Where is Al Jazeera now? We’re the real people of Egypt” or something to that effect. Concentration of tanks and riot gear at bridge appears to have been in place in preparation for something like this.

Chants of “peacefully, peacefully”

6 am CST: AJE correspondent says one of the chants that the Day of Departure protesters are saying is “peacefully, peacefully.” Another correspondent checking in to report that the scene is a “mirror image” of the peaceful protests from Tuesday. She also says there are no signs of any of the pro-Mubarak thugs, the streets are quiet, as has been reported by multiple correspondents during the past several hours. Switch to another reporter who says there is a bit of tension outside of the barriers but there is largely a return to the celebratory mood of the protest before the bloodshed on Wednesday and Thursday.

The concerns that things would get violent after Friday prayers have *so far* not been born out. Here is hoping things continue this way.

Yet another reporter describing the crowd as “rejuvenated.”

Interview with al-Ghad party’s Ayman Nour: more than 1 million people. Still concerns about police-instigated violence. Says “president must be removed from political scene.”

“Day of Departure” protesters want Mubarak to leave but do NOT want Suleiman either

around 5 to 5:30 am CST and onward: AJE anchor estimates that there are a million people at Tahrir. Someone at the scene describes a poster from the protests with American presidents (if I heard correctly, from Carter to Obama) on one side and Hosni Mubarak on the other. Protesters want Hosni Mubarak to leave but are chanting against Omar Suleiman as his replacement as well. AJE anchor says reports are coming in that there are *upwards* of one million people in attendance. Correspondent now saying that safety in numbers is the strategy — there is a feeling that perhaps letting the numbers dwindle in the middle of the week made it easier for the crackdown/massacre over the earlier 48 hours. Another correspondent reports “an atmosphere of euphoria,” with people erupting into cheers (I think when news plays on a screen there)…he’s also having the camera feed zoom in to the main entry point (bridge) and pointing out the makeshift barrier that has been made.

Midday prayers over; the “Day of Departure” protests begin

around 4:30 am CST and onward: The protesters are chanting very loudly, among other things, “he must leave, he must leave” and “invalid, invalid” in reference to Hosni Mubarak. I believe someone in the square reporting via phone on AJE just referred to the sound of the chanting there as “deafening.”

The Egyptian National Anthem is now being chanted–more like roared. Wow. This is incredible to watch/listen to via feed, I can only imagine what it’s like to experience this in person in Tahrir square.

Cutaway to Alexandria–the scene there is very much like the scene at Tahrir, with a chanting, roaring crowd. The AJE anchor says things appear to be getting a bit more unruly than the peaceful sense there was in the morning.

“The calm before the storm”

Click for HQ version... Friday prayers were held at the square and speeches and chanting have followed. (AFP)

Screengrab from my AJE feed at 2-4-2011, 3:59 am CST (Midday in Egypt)

Midday in Egypt/4:20 am CST: for the past 20 minutes or so, AJE has been characterizing this as the calm before the storm and there is great concern that abuses will be carried out later in the day. Midday prayers are about to take place. I’ve added a screengrab that I took at the top of the hour. Mablue2 has also embedded some pictures in the Sky Dancing comments: see here.

Some good news if true — seems army is intervening on behalf of the people:

tweeted at about 3 am CST: RT @Anony_Ops: REPORT: army has taken over 6th Oct bridge & issued a warning they’ll shoot if thugs come back. Finally! #Jan25 #Egypt (via @Warchadi)

CNN’s reporting is along similar lines: Troops in riot gear patrol Cairo as demonstrators plan mass protests…Demonstrators have built a barbed-wire barricade and stacked piles of rocks throughout Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where a large number of protesters had already gathered Friday morning to demand President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. Military forces surrounded the square, and anti-government protesters manned their own security checkpoints, which included numerous blockades. ‘We’ve been here for more than 10 days, and change is coming,’ a group of protesters chanted inside the square.

Earlier

AJELive, around 2:10 am CST: “Our producer:All calm in #tahrir after a calm night.MOST hoping today will be a re-run of tues peaceful demos.

http://twitpic.com/3wbnmn: Image grab of Tahrir on AJA, timestamped Feb 4, 2011 at 7:36 am GMT

Recommended Reading and Links

Mubarak’s day of departure?“: Brian Whitaker’s latest take at his personal al-bab blog, with observations on the constitutionality of Suleiman taking over and on the attacks on journalists

Robert Fisk, via Democracy Now: “Obama Administration Has Been Gutless and Cowardly in Dealing with the Mubarak Regime

Killed in Egypt: a user list on google updating with the names, ages, and other info of lives lost in the protests.

From mablue2 —Washington’s hopes for the ‘day of departure’(Mark Mardell’s BBC blog) : “At a prayer breakfast today President Obama said, ‘The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray. Abe Lincoln said, I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’

Mr Mubarak’s defiance may have Mr Obama on his knees in prayer, but certainly not in submission. The White House is preparing, in great detail, for a world after Hosni Mubarak.”

Also from mablue2 — The art of counter-revolution (Arabist.net): “I have not been to Tahrir since the mob attacks on the protesters began. But what I’m seeing and hearing is amazing. People have braved gunfire and molotov cocktails. They have set up makeshift barricades and organized hospitals. Lifelong activists who once dismissed Egyptian youth as flighty and apathetic are coming away from Tahrir with their jaws agape at the persistance and ingenuity of this new generation.

But, when you wander the square or watch the protests on Jazeera, it’s easy to forget that there are still millions of Egyptians who haven’t been among the protesters, who distrust Arab satellite stations, and who derive their political narrative from state TV. Maybe they live in the countryside, and know their local NDP deputy (or NDP ‘independent’) well, and have a well-connected family patriarch to vouch for them before the police.”

Forced confessions and Torture

Bostonboomer heard on Rachel Maddow yesterday that the Egyptian government is airing forced confessions on state tv. She and I both have tried to look for any links on this but haven’t been able to find any yet. We’ll keep looking for information on this, but in the meantime, Bostonboomer did find these articles on the routine use of torture on ordinary Egyptian citizens:

Wael Abbas Documented Abuses on the Web, Now Says He’s on the Run (ABC News)

Egypt violence exposes secret tools of state repression (BBC News)

US embassy cables: Police brutality in Egypt (The Guardian)

A journalist’s account

another from mablue2, Personal account: Attacked by thugs in the streets of Cairo: “As the Cairo mob turns against journalists, Yonathan Kellerman, 32, a Montreal photographer and documentary writer now living in Paris, details how he found himself under attack by thugs.”

For Live Tweets: Blogs of War

For Al Jazeera English LIVE feed:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If the feed above doesn’t work for you or crashes your browser: AJE Live on Youtube

Here is a link I noticed on twitter to a bunch of internet feeds from various news outlets — TVNewsRadio — Egypt: Watch Live Streaming. A partial list from the link:

Egypt Live Streaming Online: Al Jazeera TV | Al Arabiya | Bambuser | BBC Live | CNN Live | Euronews Live | France24 Live | Manar TV Live Lebanon | MSNBC Live | Press TV Iran Live

Social Media: Twitter #Egypt | YouTube Egypt | YouTube – Citizentube


46 Comments on “BREAKING: Egypt’s ‘Day of Departure’ for Hosni Mubarak (Live blog)”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    You are so right about the tweets from Mona sounding like the Rumi poem, that is a wonderful observation. I guess when you have only 140 bits to send as a tweet, if you are any kind of writer you can send out tweets like that.

    Thanks for keeping the flame going on these late night post! Ciao bella.

  2. mablue2 says:

    WTV,

    I have some updates to add.

  3. mablue2 says:

    I think the media just got shut out of Egypt again. The feed of Al Jazeera and of BBC are no longer working.

    I was actually listening to a very contentious interview of Mr Gamal on AJE when it happened.

  4. mablue @ 3:57: I didn’t have BBC on but have had AJE on all night, didn’t notice any interruption. Glad the feeds are back for you over on the other side of the pond.

  5. mablue2 says:

    WTV,
    here are 2 images from the square.

  6. Woman Voter says:

    Bloggers Vs. Floggers: Another Video Exposes Police Brutality in Egypt

    Fighting torture in Egypt through blogging has been somewhat effective. A number of officers who appeared in similar abuse videos in the past are now facing charges.

    It is not, however, an indication that the government is taking the matter seriously. The authorities seem to be putting a lot of effort into fighting the bloggers themselves.

    Today, a 22-year-old blogger has been sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

    Abdel Kareem Soliman had been expelled from the Islamic Al Azhar University last year for strongly criticizing its curriculum and religious extremism on his blog. “It’s terrible that a person’s freedom is taken away because of an opinion or a belief,” said Soliman in one of his previous posts. He is the first Egyptian blogger to have ever been tried for his writings.

    The sentence is a clear message from the government. Amnesty International condemned it in a press release issued today. “This sentence is yet another slap in the face of freedom of expression in Egypt,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Program Director.

    It’s “unjust and cruel but very typical of the Mubarak regime which has spent the past year stifling all form of opposition,” says Mona El Tahawy, Egyptian-born commentator and lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues.
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/02/bloggers_vs_flo.html

    The oppressive Mubarak regime has been in full force and I recalled this case, because we noted the legal precedent it brought up as far as the blogger’s right to post it on youtube because it was a ‘Social Justice’ issue, a ‘Human Rights’ issue and so in 2007 while fighting our case we looked at the Egyptian case closely.

    The Egyptian bloggers noted in this post, have been fighting the good fight for a long time and for the benefit of the world.

    Also, the Apple Leaker case in the US made way for Free Speech Rights that helped to solidify rights that companies were trying to silence.

    So, these bloggers were fighting in an oppressive environment and in many ways we benefited from their courage and never ending will, risking their lives to do it.

  7. Woman Voter says:

    UN United Nations
    ILO chief says rights of Egyptian working people must be foremost among the voices that must now be heard http://bit.ly/fkl9i2

    This is very true, as often times the issues of the working people are not heard, due to the propping up of VIPs.

  8. Woman Voter says:

    There are still more and more people coming to the Freedom/Pro-Democracy Day of Departure of Hosni Mubarak, even though he is still saying he isn’t going.

  9. Woman Voter says:

    mydad4senate mydad4senate
    #US #State #Dept #Egyptian #Translation Satirical look at #Secretary of #State #Clinton Press Conference http://ning.it/fz7MQQ #cairo #msnbc

    Interesting thing is that I don’t see the big speech Obama made where he said the biggest crisis was about women here:

    He should not have mentioned women’s rights at all if he emphasized the right to wear hijab over other rights.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-daou/let-women-wear-the-hijab_b_211226.html

    Yup, I want to see when these guys have the cajones to make a video about that!

    Hillary R. Clinton has been at the forefront in fighting for Universal Human Rights before Obama even joined the Democratic Party.

  10. Thanks for all the links and comments, Woman Voter!

    • Woman Voter says:

      🙂

      I fell asleep, I guess yesterday the information was coming so fast that it was mentally tiring trying to keep up and also, just dulling ones feelings. When you see some of the things that the protesters went through, you just wanted to cry.

      Thanks for doing the Live Blog Sky Dancers…You ROCK!

  11. Woman Voter says:

    amnesty AmnestyInternational
    by taylormarsh
    Still no news on the 2 Amnesty staffers detained in #Egypt yesterday. http://ow.ly/3QeUK

    Yes, there are still many people who have gone missing and we must not forget that, as more go missing, mainly protesters.

  12. Woman Voter says:

    streamsWL Sidhe D’mento
    Al Jazeera site ‘hacked by opponents of pro-democracy movement’ in Egypt http://post.ly/1ZgTa

    Suppression of Information and Al Jazeera has become a target because they are simply reporting the facts. Egypt TV, saying 500 protesters 😯 and reporting all is well with their leader.

  13. Woman Voter says:

    minazekri Mina Zekri
    by EgyptUpdates
    RT @Sandmonkey: Coptic Church officials (Priests and Nuns) are showing up at the Protests. The Spirit of 1919 is upon us. #jan25

    This is just beautiful, the Egyptian people are working with each other as Egyptians for their quest of Freedom and Democracy.

  14. Woman Voter says:

    streamsWL Sidhe D’mento
    Europa & Palestine News: Government Document Captured from Egyptian Thugs http://post.ly/1ZgjK

    Shocking revelations about the violence unleashed on the Egyptian people and it gives a clear clue as to why they have focused the violence on journalists/bloggers, Human Rights Advocates and the Freedom/Pro-Democracy Protesters.

    • Only glanced over your link really quick so have no idea if it’s legit, but if it is…

      12 – Broadcasting rumors through all media about acts of looting and theft; this will be accomplished by placing by our female elements at different locations, near the foreign media, who will cry and tell about strong panic. The rumors spread will be according to the plan of spreading rumors attached to you.

      “Female elements” — WTF and GRR.

  15. mablue2 says:

    This is not good:

    Opposition weakened by divisions

    Egypt’s opposition groups are weak and fractured, offering no clear leader to steer the country during this historic opportunity for democratic change.

  16. Woman Voter says:

    JShahryar Josh Shahryar
    #Egypt: Two RFE/RL Journalists Have Been Arrested in Cairo
    http://tinyurl.com/6egmefh
    #Jan25 #sidibouzid

    More oppression of the press and some protesters are being put into a van at the protests today and the people are very excited and revved up.

  17. AJE’s Nick Spice is saying that the NYT report that Obama is in talks to negotiate Mubarak’s ouster is a TRIAL BALLOON.

    Actual article says other options on the table.

  18. Wounded count since protests began, according to Egypt Ministry of Health:

    5000 (plus?)

    • Woman Voter says:

      Sad, very sad, considering there is ‘Ahmir (sp)’ who is said to be one of the ‘wise men’, that met with the PM and they seem to have agreed on Hosni Mubarak staying as honorary President until elections in September.

      So, all the Youth and the Women were sold out, because they made these tentative agreement but haven’t informed the people.

  19. Woman Voter says:

    #Egypt: 10-Man Wise Men Council Formed — Negotiating with Government http://tinyurl.com/6egmefh #Jan25

    No wise women in Egypt? This is beginning to sound like a good ole boys operation, transfer of power hoo haa. A woman activist was threaten as reported by DU.

  20. Woman Voter says:

    EANewsFeed EA WorldView
    #Egypt: Mubarak Personal Wealth $40-$70 Billion – Most Outside the Country — ABC Newshttp://tinyurl.com/6egmefh #Jan25

    Egyptian Revolution Protesters Demand Change #Jan25 #Egypt

    • Woman Voter says:

      EANewsFeed EA WorldView
      #Egypt: Mubarak Personal Wealth $40-$70 Billion – Most Outside the Country — ABC Newshttp://tinyurl.com/6egmefh #Jan25

      I wonder who of the WAR hawks is receiving gifts and why is the GOP/Republican machine so interested in keeping him in power!

      You can also call or write to the President:

      The White House
      1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
      Washington, DC 20500
      Please include your e-mail address
      Phone Numbers

      Comments: 202-456-1111
      Switchboard: 202-456-1414
      FAX: 202-456-2461
      TTY/TDD

      Comments: 202-456-6213
      Visitors Office: 202-456-2121

      Please call the White House because Hosni Mubarak shouldn’t get any more TAX payer money. ENOUGH is enough!

  21. Woman Voter says:

    JShahryar Josh Shahryar
    #Egypt: Coptic Christian Mass and Prayer Held in Tahrir Square
    http://tinyurl.com/6egmefh
    #Jan25

    Good to see and hopefully this will help in putting the ‘Brotherhood’ meme to rest.

  22. Woman Voter says:

    EANewsFeed EA WorldView
    #Egypt: Ban Ki-moon: Elections in Egypt Immediately – Not in September http://tinyurl.com/6egmefh
    #Jan25

    I think they are finally seeing that Hosni Mubarak is a DICTATOR!

    How does someone get 40 to 70 Billion dollars in Wealth? I want to know why the Republicans are so stead fast in their support for this dictator!

    There must be steam coming out of my ears, because that revelation has me hopping mad, and I already called the White House to say I don’t support DICTATORS, especially when we don’t have a public option.