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Monday, January 31, 2011

Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues

It is morning again in Cairo as I post this. The curfew ended at 8:00am and the people of Egypt enter the seventh day of their history making struggle. A famous poem by the early 20th century Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi, "To the Tyrants of the World" [hear it on NPR] has become a rallying cry in both Tunisia and Egypt.

This morning the Egyptian army is erecting barricades in central Cairo as the government vows to enforce the curfew which it has moved forward three hours to 3:00pm today. Today also the unions are calling for a general strike throughout Egypt and on Tuesday the April 6 Youth Movement has called for a demonstration of a million Egyptians in Cairo.

Juju's message to Mubarak


Al Jazeera reports:
Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.

The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.

Mubarak has also ordered Ahmed Shafiq, the new prime minister to preserve subsidies, control inflation and provide more jobs. "I require you to bring back confidence in our economy," Mubarak said in a letter to Shafiq, read on TV on Sunday. This is too little to late. The Egyptian people are no longer demanding that this government hear them. They have had 30 years. They are demanding that this government step down.

Millions of Egyptians were in violation of the government curfew again last night after a sixth day in which people have taken to the the streets to demand regime change. What started with tens of thousand of demonstrators only a few days ago in three major cities has now developed to the point were the majority of the people of Egypt from virtually all walks of life are demanding the removal of Hosni Mubarak and all his cronies from power.

After Friday pray, the police stopped trying to suppress the protests and joined them, then the police were completely withdrawn from most areas and the army was sent in. The army is much loved and supported by the people and so their presents has been welcomed but the army is only protecting government building and important sites like the famous Egyptian Museum which hold thousands of priceless artifacts, including the gold mask of King Tutankhamun. Protesters had organized a human chain around the Museum to protect it from further looting before the army took it over Saturday morning. The museum had also been threaten earlier by the fire that burnt down the NDP party headquarters next door.

The 450,000 strong army has not tried to enforce the curfew and army personnel at many levels have promised they will not fire on the people if ordered. The army has not been patrolling most neighborhoods or most areas of the cities however and with no police this has left a power vacuum. To make matters worst last night there were mass prison outbreaks and whether it was these criminals, NDP party thugs or members of Mubarak's 350,000 strong security forces, there was trouble on the streets last night. Reports of widespread looting and violence have forced the people to organize for their own security. In virtually every neighborhood last night young men organized militias to patrol their streets and stop anyone up to mischief. In at least one neighborhood when they subdued some looters, they were found to have police papers on them. These vigilantes armed themselves with knives, clubs, bats, even machetes. They set up check points on the streets and questioned everyone driving through to determine their intentions. By morning these neighborhood watch groups had ended most of the violence and looting.

Al Jazeera noted:
Naglaa Mahmoud, a Maadi resident, told the Associated Press that thugs were breaking cars and threatening to get into homes. She said even the ambulance service in the neighborhood had abandoned their offices and accused the regime of planning the chaos by pulling out all of its police forces.

"All this seems to be prearranged. They are punishing us for asking for this change," she said.

"What a shame he [Mubarak] doesn't care for the people or anything. This is a corrupt regime."

The military also urged local residents throughout the country to defend themselves from looters.
The standoff between the people and Mubarak remains however as he has refused to step down in the face of this overwhelming opposition. He named Omar Suleiman, his intelligence chief, the first vice-president Egypt has known in 30 years. Earlier he sacked his cabinet and he is now promising a long list or reforms. None of this is likely to quell the protests or satisfy the people who aren't afraid any more and are demanding nothing less than the removal of Mubarak.

Yesterday the government attempted to shutdown all Internet access. Due to the existence of satellite up-links and satellite phones, this can never be completely successful. And while they were able to bring the level of tweets from Egypt down to a trickle, they brought even more people out on to the streets since without Internet, they had nothing to do. Mubarak also ordered cell phone carriers to stop all service and in a very desperate move today he first halted Al Jazeera's live broadcasts from Egypt and then banned the Arab news organization from Egypt.

Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear watchdog, return to Egypt and has joined the protest. He says he is ready to "lead the transition" if asked. While both the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6 Youth Movement have express support for him, many ordinary Egyptians see him as an outsider returning late to the struggle. While they strongly welcome him, they do not see him as the leader of their movement.

Activist responded to the Internet shut down with a fax based information campaign organized by the hacker group Anonymous. Anonymous activists are also working with a French ISP to provide people in Egypt with free dial-up access. Older activists from the '60's and '70's have also come forward to show the young people how it was done before they had Facebook and Twitter.

While the spirit and moral of the people remains high in this unprecedented popular uprising against 30 years of dictatorship, there were some ominous signs of the government's intentions. For most of the day the crowds in Tahrir Square in the middle of Cairo were buzzed by low flying air force jets and helicopters. While most believe that the army will not fire on people, the air force is where Mubarak made his bones as an officer.

Many governments, including the U.S. are recommending that foreign nationals leave Egypt. The U.S. is also preparing to send Marines to Egypt, ostensibly on a rescue mission. WL Central also learned last night of a US army contingent of 1500 at Ft. Benning, GA, USA that are being prepared for duty in Egypt.

According to Military News:'
The unit will provide an on-demand aviation asset to the Multinational Force and Observers commander to support its mission of supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/ Israel Peace Treaty.

Some fear that mission could be extended to protect the status quo. Earlier today US Secretary of State spoke about Mubarak and the situation in Egypt. She told Fox News:
"For 30 years, the United States, Republican and Democratic administrations, have been urging Mubarak to take certain steps. In fact, we have been urging that a vice president be appointed for decades, and that finally has happened, but there's a long way to go."
Yes, at that rate any significant change will take several centuries. The United States government may be willing to wait that long. Clearly the Egyptian people are not.

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
Egypt is on Fire!
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux

A funny thing happened on my way to posting this diary last Sunday. I came in late Saturday night and started it. I did the title and then a bit about the necessity of the Internet and the power of hackers, nothing yet about the HuffPost. I meant to save a draft but apparently I published the diary at almost 3 in the morning and the only mention of HuffPost was in the title.

This meant that few people saw it and those that did said 'huh?' Later on I added the critique of the Huffington Post, but it was too late. It was already off of the front page.

Perhaps that is just as well because it gives me good reason to repeat it and after the heady events of yesterday in Egypt it is a good time to remind people that about a week ago the Huffington Post was featuring such learned opinions about the Jasmine Revolution as:
"What happened in Tunisia most likely will stay in Tunisia"

"Notions of 'spontaneous combustion' -- or "what caught fire here will spread there" -- are, at best, apolitical, ahistorical, naïve fantasies."
Now that those opinions have been ridiculed by the harsh critique of history, we can review what I said of them before all the facts were known.

BTW Shutting down the Internet in times of civil upheaval is a duel edged sword, as I'm sure Mubarak discovered yesterday. He did it to stop activists from communicating and news from getting out but suddenly a whole lot of people couldn't work or use their computers and had nothing better to do than to go out into the streets and join the protests. That goes to the first arguments I made in this post last Sunday about the indispensable nature of the Internet but I won't repeat those arguments now. Instead it's on to how the Huffington Post got it so wrong.
Sun Jan 23, 2011 Even a few months ago, after Anonymous first emerged as a force opposing WikiLeaks censorship, who would have predicted that they would be playing a significant role in a new round of Arab revolts? And who would have predicted the 23 year old rule of Ben Ali was soon to end? Certainly none of these Huffington Post bloggers I am about to critique. We are living in very interesting times.
Tunisia in the movies
Then there is Tunisia. What most Americans know about Tunisia probably comes from the movie Patton. The first scene has the title "Kasserine Pass, Tunisia 1943" but even there, Tunisia was just a place in which western armies fought out their wars. None of the "Tunisians" had speaking roles, if indeed, any real Tunisians were casted in the movie. They just followed the Americans around trying to sell chickens and beg money. They and the buzzards had to be driven off with gun fire.

And none of these so-called foreign policy experts, the ones that are so busy assuring us today that the North African dominoes won't fall, none of them predicted the eminent downfall of Ben Ali.

But that is what happened. So now we have a revolution in Tunisia and revolt in North Africa, and North Africa is the bridge to both the rest of Africa and the rest of the Arab world, two very large populations very badly in need of radical change.

We have this volatile situation and combine it with this Anonymous force of a new type - well that is why I am focused on this like a laser beam - we are watching history being made. We can help to make it!
Now let's take a look at the take that the bloggers highlighted by the Huffington Post have had on this. I'll start with [former] Ambassador Marc Ginsberg. He was U.S. Ambassador to Morocco so we know that he has always been a friend of the people in the region. Frankly I was surprised to see him on the Huffington Post because I usually see him on Fox News. Is this a new 'bipartisanship' at the HuffPost? In his Is Al Jazeera Fueling "Tunisteria"? he accuses Al Jazeera of stirring up all the trouble by "challenging the Arab world's status quo, using events in Tunisia to fuel its favorite political pastime of disgorging its anti-authoritarian editorial bias across all of its media platforms." Oh! The Horror! I think another way of saying "anti-authoritarian" is "pro-democracy" and I thought we supported that. He takes Al Jazeera to task because
baton-swinging policeman clubbing Tunisian demonstrators literally took up the entire first ten minutes of one news broadcast as the emotional reporter cried into his microphone about the unjustness of Arab autocrats.
He prefers the American model were the first 10 minutes can be taken up by Linsey Lohan's latest bust. Note that nowhere in his piece does he discuss the U.S. Media's lack of coverage of events in North Africa. Huffington Post has itself provided little real news about North Africa and I have yet to see a Huffington Post blog that takes the U.S. Media to task for it's lack of coverage.

It sounds to me like Al Jazeera is one of the few news organizations around that still practice the journalist's ethic of "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable." And this week we just lost one of the few American shows that does that.

Let me just say as an aside, with all this going on in North Africa, I haven't had time to do my own KO diary, so let me say something here. I have written a number of diaries critical of KO on Countdown only because I felt he was one of the few worth criticizing. One of the few who might listen. I mean with Fox News why bother? I watched Countdown almost every weekday night and it will be missed. I take KO's dismissal as another sign of big Media consolidation and another reason why defending the Internet is so important now. If you want to download KO's last Countdown, here's a link from MSNBC [213 MB ], normally it is up until they post the next show. In this case I don't know.

Now back to Marc Ginsberg at the HuffPost. He wants assure us that there is really nothing new to see here and even though "few Middle East observers would have bet their mortgage that despotic Tunisian ruler Zine el-Abdine Ben Ali would lose his iron grip on Tunisia in a little under a New York minute."
it is woefully premature to pop the champagne corks extolling the eventual certitude of democratic revolution in the Arab world as if Tunisia were a Hungary, a Poland or a Romania and setting the Arab world dominoes in motion. What happened in Tunisia most likely will stay in Tunisia; it was not a revolution as much as a palace coup.

That last makes me wonder if he knows anything about the Generals talk that Paris Match is claiming the scoop on. The rest reveals much more about what he hopes will happen than it does about what might happen. When he says
the real danger is that the military will step in and then rule by martial law until it is able to put a lid on the violence and thus determine the ultimate fate of Tunisia's revolt -- something akin to the role that Turkey's military played several decades ago.
By "danger" he means "hope." Otherwise why does he try to paint a picture of on going violence in Tunisia? Why does he say "As violence and demonstrations continue unabated"? This was on 20/01/11. In the weeks up to Ben Ali's departure 78 people were shot dead in the streets. Since his departure, zero. And now the police are even joining the demonstrator. How does this add up to "violence and demonstrations continue unabated" unless in his mind violence and demonstrations are really the same thing? [Or unless he is trying to promote the same story as the Tunisian TV station arrested for treason above.]{note - this was written before this weeks violence.}

Marc Ginsburg closes out by saying that "I am just as eager as the next person to see the Arab world's transition to a more just and civil society." sure, just so long as the next guy also works at Fox News. Then he tells us what he really hopes for "Let's hope that Al Jazeera's penchant for regional anarchy is tempered by cooler heads." Does that mean "that the military will step in and then rule by martial law?"

Now it doesn't surprise me that Marc Ginsberg would say these things. I wouldn't bother writing this if we were saying it over at Fox News, but he is saying on the Huffington Post! What gives?

Next we will look at James Zogby's piece in yesterday's Huffington Post.

In Reflections on Tunisia yesterday in the Huffington Post, James Zogby, who is President of the Arab American Institute, places himself squarely outside of the struggle that is inviting the participation of all, including other Arabs. While he finds "Events unfolding there [Tunisia] have been both dramatic and inspiring," He has a lot of questions. "What is not clear is the outcome. Where it goes from here remains uncertain. Will the change be progressive and open to full participation, and will women benefit from this revolt? Answers to these and more questions will be coming in the months ahead when we see how this revolution plays out."

Yes, Mr. Zogby, you can watch and cheer from the sidelines, and encourage others to do the same, and "see how this revolution plays out" or you can get involved and do whatever you can to help the people see this thing through to a favorable conclusion. One thing about struggle in the Internet age, distance and even language are no longer a barriers. You and the other critics that take your stance may make light of the efforts of Anonymous all you like but at least they are getting involved in the struggle. And by the accounts of those who are in the struggle, as opposed to those on the sidelines, they are making a difference.

Perhaps it is just as well that Mr. Zogby watch from the sidelines because while those involved in this struggle are putting everything on the line in the hope that it will spread and succeed, he doesn't hold out much hope of that. "Notions of 'spontaneous combustion' -- or "what caught fire here will spread there" -- are, at best, apolitical, ahistorical, naïve fantasies." Can't happen. Not going to happen. Of course the phrase 'spontaneous combustion' is his. The people planning strategy, circulating videos, organizing marches and protests, and cracking websites are not waiting for spontaneous. They are taking action.

Mr. Zogby knows it's all for naught and he's here to tell you why.
"Those who assume that this movement is automatically transferable to other countries, there is no doubt that it is a transformative moment that has inspired many Arabs. But those who force parallels with the fall of the "Iron Curtain" are mistaken. There is no Soviet Empire or occupation army here."
Automatically is another of those words activists have little use for. No one is saying it will happen automatically. And yes, there are many differences between the situation in Europe in 1989 and that in North Africa today. We could write volumes about what is different. That's not important. What is important is what is the same and what is the same is that Europe was entering a revolutionary period in 1989 and North Africa is now. It is a time when enormous, dramatic change is possible if we people struggle for it. This is the lesson that the Tunisian people are teaching us now. We can either "Seize the Time" in the words of Bobby Seale, or we can sit on our hands, watch and do nothing as the Huffington Post would have us do.

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
Egypt is on Fire!
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt

Now that Mubarak is trying to pull the plug on the Internet in Egypt, the hacker activist group Anonymous is going Old-School dusting off the old fax machines and using them to agitate for change in Egypt. According to the website Fast Company:
Members of the group are organizing to fax copies of the Egypt-related cables that WikiLeaks released today to schools in Egypt. The hope apparently is that if they can get the faxes into the hands of students, students will distribute them to other protesters. A source told Forbes the goal was to warn them that the police could not be trusted. The WikiLeaks cables, which describe human rights abuses and political arrests, "are just more proof of that," the source said.

In another trip down memory lane in the area of communications technology, some activists in Egypt are digging their modems out of storage as Anonymous plans how to spread the word about a French ISP that is setting up free dial-up Internet access for people in Egypt.

Anonymous has started Operation Egypt, issued this statement and setup this Facebook page.



DEAR CITIZENS OF THE WORLD,

Anonymous can not, and will not stand idly while people are being denied their basic rights and human liberties. Yet, there are still a lot of governments worldwide who fail to even aspire to the standard of freedom that was set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments believe they have the right and privilege to impose upon their own people an 'official' version of 'reality' which isn't in any way tampered by the truths of everyday life under which its citizens are living. Anonymous believes this is an outright crime which can not go unpunished.

The Egyptian people are living under inhumane conditions; being denied their basic rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the free access to information. By imposing censorship upon its own people and condemning these freedoms, the Egyptian government has revealed itself to be criminal, and has made itself an enemy of Anonymous.

To the Egyptian Government: 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 that the international media sees the horrid reality you impose upon your people. Anonymous will not spare anybody who supports this suppression. It is in the hands of the Egyptian government to end this: continue your repression and you will be subject to civil protest - lend an ear to the claim of freedom from your people and the hostilities will cease.

To the Egyptian people: We stand together and united against this oppression. This struggle is not just for you alone, but for the whole of humankind. Citizens can no longer endure their governments abuse. When forced by the threat of oppression, we will be loud as hell - and when the people roar, it will send shivers down the spines of all those who stifle our freedom and take our precious liberties away.

Anonymous are your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters, your parents and your friends, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or place of birth. Anonymous is you. You will not be denied your right to free speech, free press, free association and your universal right to freely access information, both in real life and through the internet.

Join us on the IRC - irc.anonops.ru #opEgypt !

Join us in this battle for freedom of information worldwide!

For as Khalil Gibran once said: "Life without Freedom is like a body without a soul, and Freedom without Thought is like a confused spirit... Life, Freedom and Thought are three-in-one, and are everlasting and shall never pass away."

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
Egypt is on Fire!
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt is on Fire!

It is 8:00pm in Cairo and protesters are still out in the streets defying the curfew that went into effect two hours ago, it bans anyone from the streets until 7:00am. In Cairo, the ruling party headquarters is on fire. Internet, SMS and cell phone are now being interfered with but earlier we had this from the Guardian's running blog:
4:45pm A downtown police station in Cairo, police cars and gas tanks outside the police station are on fire, which could account for the number of loud explosions being heard, al-Jazeera reports.

It is the fourth day of unprecedented protests by tens of thousands demanding an end to President Mubarak's rule. Mubarak has imposed this curfew in Cairo, Alexander and Suez where all day police and demonstrators have been fighting running battles. Security forces fire rubber bullets, teargas and water cannon at protesters. That won't be enough because by now the struggle has grown from the major cities to the towns and villages. Protesters appealed to the police to join them and at the same time worked to outlast and tire the overwhelmed police.



Now Mubarak has put the Army in charge of security because the police have given up and joined the protesters! By 3:00pm Cairo time OllieGarkey, a blogger at the DailyKos was reporting:
Breaking: Police Siding with Protesters in Egypt. Mubarak regime falling.
At 1:33pm Peter Bouckaert from Human Rights Watch Alexandria reported:
The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria.
Similar scenes have reportedly been playing out through out Egypt as the beleaguered police accepted water and vinegar from the protesters because because while it was the police that brought the tear gas, they neglected to bring any gas masks.

So now the army is being sent in as the last support for a crumbling regime. Hundreds have been arrested, dozens have been killed and El Baradei is reported to be under house arrest. As night closes in on this forth and most eventful day of the Egyptian Revolution people are preparing to put an end to Mubarak's rule.

This mornings France24 report on events in Egypt and Tunisia


France24 Interview with Amy Hamzawy of Carnegie Middle East Center


Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011-01-27 Tunisia protests continue as a warrant is issued for Ben Ali

In Tunisia, foreign minister Kamel Morjane resigns as demonstrations continued there. Although they forced President Ben Ali to flee on January 14th, the activists are demanding a complete break with the corruption of the past and the removal all officials associated with the ruling RCD party of the ousted president. Political sources say that the interior and defense ministers are also expected to be replaced in the widely expected cabinet shuttle. The industry and international co-operation ministers are expected to remain from the old government but neither was a member of the RCD. Still, it is not clear if even this complete purge of the RCD will satisfy the people's demand for change especially now that it is being reported that Mohammed Ghannouchi will remain prime minister. Protesters, who earlier today stormed police barricades in Tunis, the Tunisian capital are demanding a clean sweep.

Tunisia's powerful labor union did call off the general strike planned for Stax, Tunisia's second largest city, on Friday in a move to ease tensions, but it will not join the new government. However, teachers and doctors have already gone out on strike in the town that started it all, Sidi Bouzid.

France24 reported on Tunisia:
Some Tunisians demanded steady rather than abrupt change.

“RCD members need to get out little by little, but now this is a dictatorship of the people where there is anarchy. We must little by little trust each other, we must listen to each other,” said a doctor who gave his name as Labib.
...
Hundreds rallied in the capital Tunis on Tuesday in support of the interim government formed after Ben Ali’s fall, later clashing with protesters who complain that it is dominated by former members of his RCD party.

In the deprived central city of Gefsa, Tunisian soldiers fired in the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, the first time the army has intervened since Ben Ali’s departure on Jan. 14, and witnesses said a young man set himself alight.

Libya is in revolt as Gaddafi worries

Libya's Moamer Gaddafi may have hailed WikiLeaks for exposing US 'hypocrisy' back in December but since the cablegate exposures helped rally the people to throw out Ben Ali in January, he has been singing a different tune. Yesterday Gaddafi "said he feared that the Tunisian revolution which overthrew president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was being exploited by 'foreign interests'" according to France24. In an interview, he told the private Tunisian Nessma TV station “I fear for the Tunisian revolution."

Because Libya has 5.9 million cell phone users but less than 400,000 Internet users, Anonymous OpLibya is adopting strategies that focus more on spreading information via SMS.

Anonymous produced this video to explain the housing crisis in Libya:


Indymedia has this on Libya:
There are reports from Libya that YouTube has been blocked, largely because the videos of protests are being uploaded there. One twitter comment has said "Citizens of Bani Walid in #Libya said they will continue to take the streets until their demands are met". (Videos: Three clips of protest in Libya in Beida, the third-largest city in Libya. Reports of unrest in Zuwara, Zawiya, Tajoorah, Bayda, and Benghazi.

The Guardian printed this Friday:
We Libyans are just as hungry for a just and accountable government as our Tunisian brothers and sisters. The lack of resilient institutions will make our task more difficult. However, a worried Gaddafi was the first Arab leader to give an address on television about the events in Tunisia. He obviously disapproves, but also hopes to quell the protests that have started in some Libyan towns and cities.
This article is from last Sunday and so a little dated but it still has important and rare information about what has been happening in Libya recently:
Protests in several cities in Libya continued for a third day over the late completion of government subsided housing.

Last night hundreds of people broke into vacant houses and took over about 800 vacant units in Bani Walid city (180 kilometres south east from the capital, Tripoli).
We also have this report on the struggle in Libya from an Anonymous source:

2011-01-27 Tens of thousands rally in Yemen, demand change

There were massive anti-government rallies in Yemen today. Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands took to the streets of the country's capital, Sanna to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation.

According to Al Jazeera:
Opposition members and youth activists are rallying at four different locations in Sanaa on Thursday, chanting for Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, to step down.

"Enough being in power for [over] 30 years," protesters shouted during the demonstrations.

They also referred to the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying he was "gone in just [over] 20 years".

"No to extending [presidential tenure]. No to bequeathing [the presidency]," they chanted.

An opposition activist said that the staging of the demonstration in four separate parts of the capital was aimed at distracting the security forces.
Saleh's ruling General People's Congress held counter marches that were much smaller but also numbered into the thousands. Yemen is the most impoverished country in the Arabian Peninsula.

North Africa News from France24 27-01-11


2011-01-27 Mubarak blinks as Egyptian protests continue for third day

The latest at 6:00pm pst: As protests build and El Baradei returns, Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party [NDP] says it is open to dialogue but continues the brutal suppression of demonstrators. More protests are expected on Friday and the Internet is all a twitter with the news.

As the Egyptian revolt entered it's third day the number of protester continued to grow into the tens of thousands, numbers completely unprecedented for a country in which such mass demonstrations have been illegal for more than 30 years. The activists who began by calling for economic relief and an end to this State of Emergency first established in 1981 are now demanding a complete change in government and the ouster of president for 30 years Hosni Mubarak.

The police have been attempting to brutality suppress and scatter the protesters, some of which stayed in the streets for a second night. At least six people have been killed since the protests began. In the eastern city of Suez, which was cut off by road, Internet and cell phone access for a period yesterday, protesters torched an Egyptian police post. Al Jazeera writes:
Angry demonstrators in Egypt have torched a police post in the eastern city of Suez, where violence between police and protesters has ratcheted up amid a security crackdown.

Police fled the post before protesters used petrol bombs to set it on fire Thursday morning, witnesses told the Reuters news agency. Police in Suez responded to other demonstrators by firing rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and teargas.

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of a second police post later in the morning, demanding the release of relatives who were detained during a wave of unprecedented protests that authorities have failed to quell since they began on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, activists calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who has served as Egypt's president for 30 years, clashed with police in the capital, Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday.
Mohamed El Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog who has announced his support for the revolt and says he is willing to become president, is expected to arrive in Cairo today.

North Africa News from France24


North African Revolution Continues

WikiLeaks Central is an authoritative source of information on WikiLeaks things. It is also very well informed about things Anonymous.

I am happy to announce that I will be a regular contributor to WikiLeaks Central. What is basically the material below is divided into five articles on the front page today.

North Africa News from France24


As the Egyptian revolt entered it's third day the number of protester continued to grow into the tens of thousands, numbers completely unprecedented for a country in which such mass demonstrations have been illegal for more than 30 years. The activists who began by calling for economic relief and an end to this State of Emergency first established in 1981 are now demanding a complete change in government and the ouster of president for 30 years Hosni Mubarak.

The police have been attempting to brutality suppress and scatter the protesters, some of which stayed in the streets for a second night. At least six people have been killed since the protests began. In the eastern city of Suez, which was cut off by road, Internet and cell phone access for a period yesterday, protesters torched an Egyptian police post. Al Jazeera writes:
Angry demonstrators in Egypt have torched a police post in the eastern city of Suez, where violence between police and protesters has ratcheted up amid a security crackdown.

Police fled the post before protesters used petrol bombs to set it on fire Thursday morning, witnesses told the Reuters news agency. Police in Suez responded to other demonstrators by firing rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and teargas.

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of a second police post later in the morning, demanding the release of relatives who were detained during a wave of unprecedented protests that authorities have failed to quell since they began on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, activists calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who has served as Egypt's president for 30 years, clashed with police in the capital, Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday.
Mohamed El Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog who has announced his support for the revolt and says he is willing to become president, is expected to arrive in Cairo today.

There were anti-government rallies in Yemen also. Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands took to the streets of the country's capital, Sanna to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation. According to Al Jazeera:
Opposition members and youth activists are rallying at four different locations in Sanaa on Thursday, chanting for Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, to step down.

"Enough being in power for [over] 30 years," protesters shouted during the demonstrations.

They also referred to the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying he was "gone in just [over] 20 years".

"No to extending [presidential tenure]. No to bequeathing [the presidency]," they chanted.

An opposition activist said that the staging of the demonstration in four separate parts of the capital was aimed at distracting the security forces.
Saleh's ruling General People's Congress held counter marches that were much smaller but also numbered into the thousands. Yemen is the most impoverished country in the Arabian Peninsula.

In Tunisia, foreign minister Kamel Morjane resigns as demonstrations continued there too. Although they forced President Ben Ali to flee on January 14th, the activists are demanding a complete break with the corruption of the past and the removal all officials associated with the ruling RCD party of the ousted president. Political sources say that the interior and defense ministers are also expected to be replaced in the widely expected cabinet shuttle. The industry and international co-operation ministers are expected to remain from the old government but neither was a member of the RCD. Still, it is not clear if even this complete purge of the RCD will satisfy the people's demand for change especially now that it is being reported that Mohammed Ghannouchi will remain prime minister. Protesters, who earlier today stormed police barricades in Tunis, the Tunisian capital are demanding a clean sweep.

Tunisia's powerful labor union did call off the general strike planed for Stax, Tunisia's second largest city, on Friday in a move to ease tensions, but it will not join the new government. However, teachers and doctors have already gone out on strike in the town that started it all, Sidi Bouzid.

France24 reported on Tunisia:
Some Tunisians demanded steady rather than abrupt change.

“RCD members need to get out little by little, but now this is a dictatorship of the people where there is anarchy. We must little by little trust each other, we must listen to each other,” said a doctor who gave his name as Labib.
...
Hundreds rallied in the capital Tunis on Tuesday in support of the interim government formed after Ben Ali’s fall, later clashing with protesters who complain that it is dominated by former members of his RCD party.

In the deprived central city of Gefsa, Tunisian soldiers fired in the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, the first time the army has intervened since Ben Ali’s departure on Jan. 14, and witnesses said a young man set himself alight.

The Algerian opposition is regrouping after thousands of police were deployed on Saturday to suppress several hundred demonstrators. They too are inspired by the Tunisian revolution. With public protests being so strongly suppressed some Algerians have turned to a more drastic demonstration of their opposition to the status quo. At least four people in Algeria have attempted self-immolation, some successfully, since Tunisia freed itself of Ben Ali.

As with Tunisia and Egypt, activist in Algeria have been able to make creative use of the Internet to organize in spite of the governments best efforts to stop them. France24 reports:
And as the Algerian blogosphere is in a fever of excitement, web users are accusing the government of taking measures to censor the Internet. They believe Twitter, Facebook and SMS services have been intermittently blocked over the past few days.

And this was all that was needed for Anonymous to launch an operation against the Algerian government. This cyber activist group that lent its support to Tunisian demonstrators is reportedly behind a series of cyber-attacks that notably blocked the web site of the Interior Ministry.
This is what they said about the rally:
Police broke up an opposition march calling for democracy in the Algerian capital on Saturday, with troops out in force and streets barricaded to prevent protests in the wake of a popular revolt that toppled the president in neighboring Tunisia.

Algeria’s capital awoke to a virtual state of siege on Saturday, with a heavy police presence and many streets blocked in order to prevent protesters from reaching the May 1 Square, where opposition groups planned to stage a pro-democracy march.
The opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) planned to defy a 19-year-old ban against marches in Algiers, despite warnings from the authorities and in the wake of a popular revolt that overthrew neighboring Tunisia's long-time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali only a week ago.
The pictures below were taken by David Davidson in Algier and posted on 22/01/11 @ 22:08. We found them through the Anonymous OpAlgeria board. You can see the whole collection on his Facebook page here. I copied some to my flickr account so that I could post them here.


In co-ordination with these protests on the ground the hacker group Anonymous has launched Operation Algeria. They have been supporting the struggle on the ground my transmitting and translating materials from the struggle. They have also been getting pictures and video out on the net.

Through OpAlgeria Anonymous has launched DDOS attacks against 'Attaque DoS contre le site Internet du ministère de l'Intérieur algérien' and other government websites. Apparently they have been successful at shutting down some Algerian websites and cracked one. They put there own "Message Presse Anonymous" on an Algerian government website.

Anonymous also issued this video Press Release on Operation Algeria:



The date to watch in Algeria is February 9th, the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the state of emergency. Numerous trade unions and political parties are calling on people to take to the streets on that day.

Libya's Moamer Gaddafi may have hailed WikiLeaks for exposing US 'hypocrisy' back in December but since the cablegate exposures helped rally the people to throw out Ben Ali in January, he has been singing a different tune. Yesterday Gaddafi "said he feared that the Tunisian revolution which overthrew president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was being exploited by 'foreign interests'" according to France24. In an interview, he told the private Tunisian Nessma TV station “I fear for the Tunisian revolution."

Because Libya has 5.9 million cell phone users but less than 400,000 Internet users, Anonymous OpLibya is adopting strategies that focus more on spreading information via SMS.

Anonymous produced this video to explain the housing crisis in Libya:


Indymedia has this on Libya:
There are reports from Libya that YouTube has been blocked, largely because the videos of protests are being uploaded there. One twitter comment has said "Citizens of Bani Walid in #Libya said they will continue to take the streets until their demands are met". (Videos: Three clips of protest in Libya in Beida, the third-largest city in Libya. Reports of unrest in Zuwara, Zawiya, Tajoorah, Bayda, and Benghazi.

The Guardian printed this Friday:
We Libyans are just as hungry for a just and accountable government as our Tunisian brothers and sisters. The lack of resilient institutions will make our task more difficult. However, a worried Gaddafi was the first Arab leader to give an address on television about the events in Tunisia. He obviously disapproves, but also hopes to quell the protests that have started in some Libyan towns and cities.
This article is from last Sunday and so a little dated but it still has important and rare information about what has been happening in Libya recently:
Protests in several cities in Libya continued for a third day over the late completion of government subsided housing.

Last night hundreds of people broke into vacant houses and took over about 800 vacant units in Bani Walid city (180 kilometres south east from the capital, Tripoli).

We also have this report on the struggle in Libya from an Anonymous source:


Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back

Today Egyptians continued their unprecedented demonstrations in opposition to the the 30 year old State of Emergency ban on unauthorized protests. We now know what happened after I lost web-cam contact with downtown Cairo [see yesterday's blog], the police moved in with tear gas, water hoses, rubber bullets and batons and attempted to clear the square. The France24 report below shows what happened. An NHK report I just heard [9:15 am] says that the streets have been cleared and shows long rows of police vans parked along the streets. I didn't know one city could have that many police vans. But activists are even now planning new protests on-line as the authorities futilely attempt to block Internet access.

Tunisia wants former President Ben Ali back. In handcuffs. The interim government has issued an international arrest warrant charging Ben Ali with looting the country. Protests continue with thousand reported fighting with riot police in Tunis and Stax, Tunisian's second largest city.
Obama supports Tunisian protest in his State of the Union speech.

Protests continue into the night in Cairo and Suez, despite the government's vow to stop them. Latest word [3:56pm pst] ids that road to Suez are blocked and Internet and cell phone are also down their.

Now videos not the struggle are starting to surface. This first one below is being called Egypt's Tiananmen moment as protesters face off with armored cars.



From WL Central:
Anonymous has joined in the protests, recruiting activists and delivering their now well-known wrath in the form of DDoS attacks on Egyptian websites:

Analysis from NetCraft shows server failure for Egypt's Ministry of the Interior (MOI) website, and other reports indicate that the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may also have been targeted.
Attacks from Anonymous were direct results of Egyptian censorship. As of yesterday, access to Twitter has been blocked, while Youtube remains accessible. Vodafone Egypt was quoted as having denied allegations of censorship yesterday, stating: "We didn't block twitter - it's a problem all over Egypt and we are waiting for a solution." Yet Twitter confirmed "Tuesday that Egypt was indeed blocking access to their service. Access to the US-based social network Facebook was also reportedly cut off by early Tuesday."

Noon Update:

Egypt. Molotov Cocktails are thrown in Suez as the government tries to ban all demonstrations. Live ammunition is reportedly being used by police.
500 people report arrested in Egypt. Protest also continue in Cairo.
As Egypt attempts to block Internet access as Bill Clinton calls upon Egypt not to block access to social networking sites.
Whitehouse, France and Germany all issue statements asking Egypt to allow the protests.
Massive demonstrations in Egypt are being planned for Friday after pray in spite of government ban.

Tunisia. Ben Ali's loot is now being put at $50 billion.
As thousands continue to protest in Stax the curfew in Tunisia was eased.
General Strike in Tunisian town that started it all is planned for Thurday.

The two videos below are from this morning's France24 report. Yesterday France24 used pictures I posted here from Algeria, so I guess I can use their stuff. [I would anyway]

Also I am becoming a contributor to WikiLeaks Central so I will be reporting news over there as well and since that is considered the authoritative website for WikiLeaks. I will be keeping my opinions to the DailyKos.

Today on Al Jazeera:

Fresh anti-govt protests in Egypt
Fresh protests over living conditions and an autocratic government have broken out in Cairo a day after large and deadly demonstrations, calling for the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, swept across the country.

More than 500 protesters were arrested by security forces as the government vowed to crackdown on them.

On Wednesday evening, thousands of demonstrators were spread throughout downtown Cairo after being dispersed by security forces. Many had gathered on Gelaa Street, near central Tahrir Square - the site of a violent early morning confrontation between security forces and protesters who had been planning to sleep the night in defiance of the government.

Police fired tear gas and broke up concrete to use as rocks to throw at protesters and "egg them on," Al Jazeera's Adam Makary reported.

Protesters lit a fire - possibly on a tyre - in the middle of a nearby street and were pelting police officers with stones, said Al Jazeera correspondent Rawya Rageh.

Clinton calls for reform in Egypt
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said that widespread anti-government protests over poverty and government repression in Egypt represent an opportunity for the 30-year administration of president Hosni Mubarak to implement "political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people".



Tunisia seeks arrest of ex-leader
Tunisia wants to have ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family arrested and put on trial for possession of expropriated property and for transferring foreign currency abroad, the nation's interim justice minister has said.

Interpol, the international police agency, has been asked to help arrest Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and other family members who have fled the country, Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said on Wednesday.

Tunisia protests turn violent
Demonstrators have clashed with Tunisian police as peaceful protests demanding those loyal to the ousted government quit turned violent.

It was not clear how the clashes near the government offices in the capital, Tunis, began on Wednesday, but the Reuters news agency said that witnesses saw riot police use tear gas on hundreds of demonstrators, mainly teenagers and young men who threw stones.

As always. More, Later.

Egyptian Protests Day 2 France24 Report


Tunisia Report 26-01-11 France24


Algeria: Leakspin issue a new video yesterday



Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BREAKING: Protesters Plan "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today

WikiLeaks Central has 2011-01-25 Revolution Day in Egypt
Egyptians will be demonstrating today in solidarity with Tunisia and in hope for change within their own government. An Egyptian national holiday in honour of the police, has been renamed 'The Day of Wrath', 'Revolution Day', and the 'Koshari Revolution', the latter referring to a rice, lentils and pasta dish frequently eaten by lower income Egyptians.

There has been a significant amount of support and planning for the protest online, causing the government and police to promise an equally strong suppression. Over 85,000 people have liked the Facebook page for the protest day[link is my add- CC], calling for a day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment.

April 6 Youth Movement, whose group said they distributed over 150,000 flyers for the event, had at least three members arrested last week for distributing pamphlets, according to Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm. Almost half of Egypt's 80 million people live on less than or just above USD$2 a day. The protesters are calling for a raise of minimum wage to 1200 pounds, linking wages to prices, getting rid of the Interior Minister, and abolishing the state of emergency that Egypt has imposed since 1981.

Al Jazeera is reporting tonight:
"Our protest on the 25th is the beginning of the end," wrote organisers of a Facebook group with 87,000 followers.

"It is the end of silence, acquiescence and submission to what is happening in our country. It will be the start of a new page in Egypt's history, one of activism and demanding our rights."

The Egyptian government has warned activists hoping to emulate Tunisian pro-democracy protesters that they face arrest if they go ahead on Tuesday with mass demonstrations some have labelled as the "Day of Wrath".

The rallies have been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia's president.

Similar calls have been made in other authoritarian Arab states. Coinciding with a national holiday in honour of the police, a key force in keeping president Hosni Mubarak in power for 30 years, the outcome in Egypt on Tuesday is seen as a test of whether vibrant Web activism can translate into street action.

The BBC has this article: Egypt activists to hold Tunisia-inspired 'action day'
Organisers have called for a "day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment".
Emirates 24/7 has:
The rallies have been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia's president. Similar calls have been made in other authoritarian Arab states.

Coinciding with a national holiday in honour of the police, a key force in keeping President Hosni Mubarak in power for 30 years, the outcome in Egypt on Tuesday is seen as a test of whether vibrant Web activism can translate into street action.

On background:


The April 6 Youth Movement is an Egyptian Facebook group started by Esraa Rashid and Ahmad Maher in Spring 2008 to support the workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, an industrial town, who were planning to strike on April 6.

Activists called on participants to wear black and stay home the day of the strike. Bloggers and citizen journalists used Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs and other new media tool to report on the strike, alert their networks about police activity, organize legal protection and draw attention to their efforts.

The New York Times has identified the movement as the political Facebook group in Egypt with the most dynamic debates. As of January 2009, it had 70,000 predominantly young and educated members, most of whom had not been politically active before; their core concerns include free speech, nepotism in government and the country's stagnant economy. Their discussion forum on Facebook features intense and heated discussions, and is constantly updated with new postings.

Egypt is the 'big enchilada" of North Africa and Egypt definitely will be the place to watch today and we will be watching here all day. Return often for breaking news and new developments above the fold.

Another Death in Venice

Scotty was a homeless Vietnam veteran that lived for many years on Venice Beach. He was someone I saw every day. He was an alcoholic and a gentle soul. Everyone loved Scotty. After he was hospitalized last year someone finally found shelter for him but Venice Beach was still his real home and he would be down there almost every day. He had a heart attack while waiting for the bus to the shelter on Saturday so I guess you could say he died at home.

I never did a film interview with Scotty for the documentary I'm working on now Vietnam: People's Victory, which will also be about the veterans, because hey it's Scotty, I can tape him anytime.

This is a photo essay - Rest in Peace Scotty


Here are a couple of diaries related to this:
A Death in Venice
'

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom