Sunday, 11 December 2011

On the Campaign Trail: The Revolution Continues in Giza

As Egypt's parliamentary elections enters the second round, campaigning is in full swing. One coalition called The Revolution Continues are hoping to make gains in the governorate of Giza. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Egypt Votes, Tahrir Split

Egyptians head to the polls for a historic occasion - the first parliamentary elections since former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a mass uprising in January and February.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Tahrir Calls for Transfer of Power

A march from the Cairo suburb of Mohandiseen is one of a series of marches that heads towards downtown's Tahrir Square, calling for a transfer of power from military rule to a civilian authority.

The march comes one week after clashes erupted by Tahrir square after riot police and military police fired a barrage of tear gas and birdshot at protesters, resulting in over 40 deaths and over 3000 wounded. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Bloody clashes grip Tahrir

Dozens have been killed and hundreds are injured as violent clashes between Egyptian security forces and protesters ecalated in Cairo's Tahrir square.

The clashes began after police forcefully removed 200 demonstrators that had stayed in the square after a mass protest on Friday.

Tens of thousands have since come to the square and have been defending Tahrir from Riot Police and Military Police who are using tear gas, bird shot and batons to contain the protesters.  On two occasions, security forces took control of the square but then retreated.

Demonstrators in Tahrir are now calling for the ruling military council (SCAF) to step down and transfer power to a civilian authority, citing a failure to manage the transition to democracy. The military rulers are accused of using the same violent tactics as that which typified Mubarak's rule, of torturing and killing peaceful protesters, of conspiring to stay in power or maintain their powers, of systematically clamping down on peaceful protests and on political activists, of censoring the media and stifling free speech, and of court martialling (military trials) 12,000 civilians, amongst other accusations.

The clashes are ongoing.

UPDATE 23/11:

Footage from Monday and report from Wednesday added.

The death toll now as reported by Reuters has reached at least 37.

Protests and clashes have been reported in numerous cities across the country, including Alexandria, Suez, Ismalia, and Zagazig.





Friday, 18 November 2011

Tahrir sends clear warning to military council

A mass demonstration in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square delivers a strong message to the ruling military council.

Protesters demanded that the military transfer power to a civilian president by April 2012, and rejected a document put forward of 'supra constitutional principles' which could protect the military's privileges. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Memorial march for victims of Maspero massacre

Thousands of Coptic Christians march from St Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya to Tahrir Square, in commemoration for the over 25 people who died during the military's bloody crackdown on a protest on October 9th.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Egypt's local revolutions: Meet Oqba

“The revolution isn’t only in Tahrir; it’s in the places in which we live, in the towns and villages, everywhere”. When Ranaa Salah of the People’s Committee of Meet Oqba says these words she means them, and she can back it up.

Ranaa is part of a group of young volunteers from her neighbourhood – Meet Oqba in Cairo – whose aim is to safeguard the gains of the revolution and to make sure that the push for change is felt at a local level. The committee first came together during the early days of the revolution, when the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak withdrew the police force from the streets while simultaneously opening prison cells, leading to widespread chaos and looting. Ordinary citizens had to act.

“The committee didn’t start with political ideas or the idea of serving the community. It started at the beginning to protect homes” explains Emil Adel from his family shop where he sells home appliances in Meet Oqba. Many of the youth of the town wanted to go to Tahrir to take part in the mass uprising that was underway, but they were afraid of leaving their own area vulnerable. So they began to coordinate. Groups would go to Tahrir while others would stay in the streets of Meet Oqba setting up checkpoints – checking people’s IDs and staying alert to the threat of trouble makers.

But the People’s Committee or ‘lagna shabeyya’ soon started to evolve. After Mubarak’s ouster committees of ordinary people all over Egypt who initially banded together to protect homes began cleaning rubbish and painting the streets, as the country was swept with a wave of nationalism and pride. Emil explains: “The President went and the government went but we are staying, we are the country and we will keep the country beautiful. This is how it started but then after that we realised there were solutions, things we could do”. And in Meet Oqba the People’s Committee has found solutions.
While discussions were taking place nationally and internationally about the deposed president, the interim military council, the cabinet, the constitution, elections – changes at the top – the People’s Committees began working from the bottom. When there were fears of a food shortage at the beginning of the revolution they monitored local bread suppliers where subsidised bread was sold. One of the committee members photographed one of the oven owners stealing flour and putting it in his car. He was arrested and fined.

When there were fears of a gas crisis and prices rocketed, the committee acted. They went to the governorate offices to pick up and distribute gas canisters themselves. They delivered the gas to the people at the government rate - cutting out the middle men who had been profiting from the shortage. Then, Emil says, they took it one step further. “We realised we could solve the problem if residents had piped gas instead of using gas canisters. So a delegation from the committee went to the gas company to inquire and we found out there was already an agreement to supply Meet Oqba with piped gas in 2008. So we told them to get to work and they said ‘ok’. But then they wouldn’t. Only after we kept pestering them did they start to work. We realised that persistence was a tactic we could use. Most of us weren’t involved in politics before – we started to learn.”

The pressure tactics yielded results and the committee didn’t stop there. They went on to push the governorate to solve the rubbish problem. There was no regular collection until the committee’s pressured paid off again – rubbish is now collected from the main streets of Meet Oqba twice daily.
The committee – who also print a small newspaper to help communicate with their community – already have an eye on the upcoming parliamentary elections, due to begin at the end of November. Emil says this will be their next project. “We can’t be a People’s Committee and let the elections get rigged. We will be at the polling stations and monitor fraud, even though we don’t have the power to prevent it… when we go to vote ourselves, none of us will tell the other who to vote for. Although there is one thing we are all agreed on: none of us will vote for any of the criminals of the old NDP.”

The committee though - like the revolution as a whole - is having to contend with pressures that are resisting change. They say that the interim government’s recent decision to replace the local governor was due to the fact that he had been cooperating too closely with the committee. Members also complain that remnants of the old regime continue to have a strong presence in their area and rival People’s Committees have been formed in Meet Oqba with links to the NDP.

Despite this, and a time when the ruling military council has been seen to be dividing Egypt, particularly along sectarian lines, the committee has vowed to stay united to their cause. “Our committee has Muslims, Christians, Liberals, Secularists, Communists, Salafists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood” said Mustafa Salah Ibrahim, one of the founding members of the group “but we are all under one umbrella: serving Meet Oqba and safeguarding the revolution.”

Monday, 10 October 2011

Copt's express rage during funeral for Maspero massacre victims

Hundreds of Egyptian Christians chant slogans against the ruling Military Council during funerals for the protesters that were brutally killed in clashes with the army.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rally for detained Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil

A rally is held outside the military prosecution office in Egypt as the military courts consider an appeal for detained blogger Maikel Nabil. Nabil was arrested earlier this year, tried in a military court and sentenced to three years in prison on charges of insulting the military and spreading lies about them. On the day of the appeal, the 26 year old blogger had been on hunger strike for 43 days.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Protesters rally against Egypt's emergency law

Hundreds of protesters marched from Cairo's Tahrir square to the location of Egypt's parliament building and cabinet headquarters to rally against the military council's use of the emergency law.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Settlers stage Palestinian attack drill

Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank simulate a Palestinian attack, to prepare for violence they say will accompany the Palestinian statehood bid later this month.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Protesters pressure Military Council on return to Tahrir

Protesters return to Tahrir on September 9th for the first major protest there since a sit-in was violently dispersed at the beginning of Ramadan.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Historic Mubarak trial begins in Egypt

A Cairo court adjourns the trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak until August 15th, after a day of high emotion in Egypt.

Thousands rally in Alexandria as part of nationwide Islamist demonstrations in Egypt

Despite being portrayed as a day of unity between Islamists and liberal groups, Friday's protests in Alexandria - which attracted tens of thousands - saw divisions between members of the liberal 6th April group and members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Peaceful Tahrir march ends in violence in Abasseya

Around 300 people are injured in Abasesya, Cairo, after what began as a peaceful march from Tahrir towards the Ministry of Defence ended in clashes.

Pro-reform demonstrators had intended to vent their disapproval of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (SCAF), who have assumed control of Egypt since Mubarak was toppled in February.

But on 23rd July, the anniversary of the 1952 revolution that originally brought the army to power, soldiers blocked the protesters' march before it reached it's intended destination. Shortly afterwards, clashes broke out between the Tahrir demonstrators and civilians and went on for several hours. It was unclear if those that attacked the protesters were disgruntled local residents or if there were any hired thugs among them. Late on in the evening, tear gas was seen being fired from behind the civilian lines.

Friday, 22 July 2011

A meeting of two revolutions in Tahrir

فى عشية الذكرى السنوية لعيد 23 يوليو, نظمت الاحزاب الناصرية مسيرة في ميدان التحرير لاحياء ذكرى ثورة 1952 و زعيمها الراحل جمال عبد الناصر

On the eve the July 23rd anniversary, Nasserist parties hold a rally in Tahrir Square to commemorate Egypt's 1952 revolution and it's leader - former President Gamal Abd el Nasser.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Life inside the Tahrir sit-in

Since a huge protest on July 8th in Tahrir, demonstrators have been holding a sit-in, vowing to remain until their demands are met. They have taken full ownership of the square with no government forces in sight. Food, cleanliness and security are in the hands of the protesters who are living in the square day and night. This is a day in the life of the Tahrir sit-in.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Tahrir sit-in begins as protests sweep Egypt once more

Five months after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising, protesters take to the streets again in one of the biggest days of demonstrations since February. Demonstrators have vowed to take part in a sit-in until the demands of the revolution have been met.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Egypt; football and revolution

Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, politics has entered every aspect of Egyptian life - even football. This is most evident in the Cairo derby, a game between arch rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek

Monday, 4 July 2011

Moroccans march against referendum results

Protesters from Morocco's 'February 20 Movement' march against the results of a referendum that overwhelmingly backed constitutional changes put forward by King Mohammed.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Protests in Tahrir after midweek violence

After over 1000 people were injured in violence starting June 28th, crowds return to Egypt's iconic Tahrir square to demand change.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Raw Video of Tahrir and Interior Ministry clashes

Violence returns to Tahrir as police and protesters clash on the streets of Cairo. Over 1000 people were injured as demonstrators fought running battles with security forces around Tahrir square and the Interior Ministry, starting late Tuesday (June 28th) and going on throughougt the day on Wednesday.

Violence Returns to Tahrir

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Torched Imbaba church reopens

One month after the church of Saint Mary in Cairo was attacked and set on fire renovations are complete and the place of worship has reopened.

Monday, 6 June 2011

One year on from Khaled Said's death - has anything really changed?

One year on from the death of Khaled Said at the hands of Egyptian police, protesters come out onto the streets to mark the anniversary. Said's death is seen as one of the main contributory factors to the January 25th revolution, but some protesters say little has changed in the last year.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Libyan rebels continue gradual advance

Libya's rebel fighters capture the strategic road junction of Beer Ayad near the city of Zintan in the Western Mountains.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Red Line - activists stand in solidarity with duo summoned for criticising army

Dozens of activists gather at the military prosecutor's headquarters in Cairo after Hossam el Hamalawy and Reem Maged are summoned after criticising the army on live TV.

You can see the source of this controversy here. Hossam el Hamalawy was one of a number of guests on Reem Maged's ONTV show 'biladna'. It was about whether or not the assembled guests would be taking part in Egypt's 'Second Day of Rage' on Friday May 27th.

For those that haven't watched it or can't understand it, the controversy is likely a result of when Hossam (or 3arabawy as he is otherwise known) specifically points the finger at Hamdy Badeen, a general in charge of the military police. He implies that he should be held responsible for the gross violations of the military police. 

Now, military abuses since the SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) took over are well documented: Torture, between 5-10,000 civilians tried in military courts and this despicable shameful display of military abuse are fast eroding any credibility the army may have had when they first took over after Mubarak's ouster.

Alongside these glaring abuses of power the military displays an incredible arrogance in dealing with criticism of such abuse. The army sees itself as a 'red line' in terms of freedom of speech: chant in Tahrir, denounce our former pal Mubarak, but whatever you do, don't criticise Egypt's great army. 

In March, blogger Michael Nabil was arrested and charged with 'insulting the military establishment' and 'spreading false information'. Last week artist Ganzeer was detained for a day for spreading this 'mask of freedom' depicting the army's idea of liberty. And then on May 30th after Hossam el Hamalawy's appearance on ONTV, the military summoned him and TV presenter Reem to the military prosecutor's office.

Dozens of activists turned up today outside the military building to stand in solidarity with Maged and Hamalawy, as well as Nabil Sharaf el-Din who was also summoned. The chants from the protesters were largely anti SCAF, and anti- Tantawi, leader of the SCAF and therefore defacto leader of Egypt right now. 

After being inside for several hours they were eventually released. Reem, Hossam and their lawyers said they were not being officially investigated. They just 'discussed' the matter of Hossam's comments on the program, and asked Hossam to provide them with evidence of the military police violations. This won't be difficult, and as Hossam pointed out (in the video of today's protest) they have already provided a case to the general prosecutor and the military prosecutor. 

Thankfully, Hossam and Reem are out. But this bullying and intimidation serves to reinforce the army's 'red line' that says that they are not to be criticised in public. Egypt's blogging community defied them on May 23, but at other times such defiance results in anything from a telling off to a prison sentence after a military trial. 

The military may portray themselves as defenders of the revolution, but they continue to operate in a way which is contrary to the values of the revolution, repressing the very freedoms that Egypt rose up to oppose. Criticism of a country's rulers is part and parcel of democracy, and the SCAF and whoever eventually replaces them had better get used to it. 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Egypt's 'Second Day of Rage'

Tens of thousands of Egyptians return to Tahrir Square for a 'Second Day of Rage', calling for the demands of the revolution to be fulfilled. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Egypt 100 days after the revolution: 'A mini-Mubarak in every institution'

One hundred days after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's prospects are clouded by insecurity, economic worries and sectarian violence. Four Egyptians outline their views of their post-revolutionary country.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Egyptian activists mobilise in support of Palestine

On the eve of the beginning of the third Palestinian Intifada, hundreds of Egyptian activists try to set off on a solidarity march to Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Egypt's Christians blame army after sectarian violence

After at least 12 people are killed and two churches are torched in more sectarian violence in Imbaba, Cairo, Egypt's Coptic Christians take to the streets in protest. This time, their anger is directed at the army for failing once again to protect them.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Pro bin Laden rally outside U.S. embassy in Cairo

A Salafist dominated rally is held outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, praising Osama bin Laden as a hero and calling the U.S. and Israel terrorists.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Egypt's workers keep the revolution alive

After workers' strikes and protests played a pivotal role in Egypt's historic January 25th revolution, the labour movement is now ready to get involved in the political scene. 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Copts celebrate Easter at newly rebuilt church

There are mixed feelings at Easter for Coptic Christian villagers in Sol, Atfeeh, who mark the holy day with mass in the Two Martyrs church - rebuilt by the army after being torched in sectarian violence in March.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Masses return to Tahrir for "Save the Revolution" day

Thousands gather in Cairo's world famous Tahrir Square to hold a demonstration to "Save the Revolution". Protesters are demanding the trial of the corrupt members of the old regime, and for an increase in the pace of change. 

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Egyptians rally for Radwan release

Egyptians hold a demonstration outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo to pressure authorities in Damascus to free Egyptian-American Mohamed Radwan. The 32 year old engineer was arrested in the Syrian capital as he photographed the country's political unrest on his mobile phone.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Coalition air strikes pave the way for Libyan rebel advance

Libya's revolutionaries reach the oil town of Brega, while newly released footage shows coalition forces bombarding government forces, aiding the rebels' advance

Friday, 25 March 2011

Egypt protests in defiance of ban

After cabinet approves draft legislation banning strikes and demonstrations, Egyptians take to the streets of Cairo to oppose the law, while a Coptic rally and an anti-state media protest also take place.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Hundreds of Copts protest outside TV building

Hundreds of Coptic protesters gathered outside Egypt's state television building in Cairo on Sunday.

The demonstrators say they are angry at state media for not reporting the burning of a church during a sectarian conflict in a town south of Cairo on Saturday.

The protesters were surrounded by a line of military police wearing riot gear. 

Crosses were held aloft by many of the crowd. Some priests were also present.

A number of small scuffles broke out, but it was not clear what exactly triggered them.

The stretch of the Corniche in front of the TV building is closed to traffic.