I know nothing about Egypt. Or Tunisia. Or Sudan. Or Lebanon. Or Albania. Or — there’s a lot of news happening at the moment, isn’t there?
But here are some of the articles I’ve found about Egypt that get beyond “woo! riots!“:
Al-ahram on the significance of the date:
Police Day [Jan 25] is meant to mark the day when the police forces took to the street in Ismailia to fight the British Occupation.
“The decision may be controversial but I think it was a good choice,” says Essam El Erian, the media spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition group. “Six decades ago the police did their patriotic duty and fought the British occupation, now we ask them to also fight against a corrupt government that has rigged the elections.”
Marc Lynch on the Arabic media:
During the key period when the protests were picking up steam, Al Jazeera aired a documentary cultural program on a very nice seeming Egyptian novelist and musical groups, and then to sports. Now (10:30am EST) it is finally covering the protests in depth, but its early lack of coverage may hurt its credibility. I can’t remember another case of Al Jazeera simply punting on a major story in a political space which it has owned.
Simon Tisdall on protest tactics — how this is what happens when you don’t go through the same ritual demonstrations:
Egyptians have been here before. The so-called Cairo spring of 2005 briefly lifted hopes of peaceful reform and open elections
But Tuesday’s large-scale protests were different in significant ways, sending unsettling signals to a regime that has made complacency a way of life. “Day of Rage” demonstrators in Cairo did not merely stand and shout in small groups, as is usual. They did not remain in one place. They joined together – and they marched. And in some cases, the police could not, or would not, stop them.
an ad hoc coalition of students, unemployed youths, industrial workers, intellectuals, football fans and women, connected by social media such as Twitter and Facebook, instigated a series of fast-moving, rapidly shifting demos across half a dozen or more Egyptian cities. The police could not keep up – and predictably, resorted to violence.
And, since they seem to be mentioned almost nowhere else, Global voices lists the demonstrators’ demands
- To raise the minimum wage limit to LE 1200 and to get an unemployment aid.
- To cancel the emergency status in the country , to dismiss Habib El-Adly and to release all detainees without court orders.
- Disbanding the current parliament , to have a new free election and to amend the constitution in order to have two presidential limits only.
Also, Anonymous are in the thick of it. Again. They’ve apparently turned LOIC on Egyptian government websites. This is after Tunisia, where they were about the first outside group to get involved. Meanwhile in Spain, having contributed to the December protests which prevented passage of an anti-download law, they’re back at it as the government takes another shot at it.
It’s like the gang of bored teenagers on the street corner has turned into a politicised mob.