Day By Day

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spreading the Jasmine Revolution

The success of Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution" is inspiring protests throughout the Arab world. Some of them are of great significance. Here's an eyewitness account of the most important of these, in Egypt:

Wednesday, Cairo:

Tonight, protesters have surrounded the parliament building in downtown Cairo. There have been two deaths of protestors in Suez; one policeman has died in Cairo, hit by a rock. The protestors in Tahrir Square have been tear-gassed, and Twitter has been blocked within the borders of Egypt.

But this morning, as the sun burned a smoky haze off the face of this city, the streets were open and clear as I rode downtown at 8 a.m.

There had been tweets that protests would be staged in Tahrir Square and in the downtown neighborhood of Mohandeseen. These tweets were received by Egyptian authorities monitoring the hashtag #jan25, and they deployed a massive security presence to deter any demonstrations. Officers stood in groups of 6 to 8, on nearly every street corner. They blockaded the entrance to the parliament building. The teams stood quietly with folded arms watching the empty streets as the sun rose over the Nile.

Around the block, I exited my taxi and sat down at a nearby hotel for coffee, waiting as the hours passed. I saw six trucks of police pass on the highway, heading south to Mohandeseen. I jumped into a taxi and followed them.
 Read the whole thing here.

In this report CNN notes the similarities between the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, but also notes the significant differences between the two countries.

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