With the government curfew lifted and military roadblocks encircling the city of Cairo, Tuesday is shaping up to be the biggest day of protest yet as the ongoing general strike may top one million marchers tomorrow, according to organizers hoping to oust President Hosni Mubarak. Al Jazeera English (live stream available above) reports that despite Mubarak’s attempts to calm unrest by swearing in a new cabinet, “opposition groups say personnel changes will not placate them and…they will continue until the president steps down.” Meanwhile, the Egyptian army has said they “will not use force against the people” though protesters should restrain from “the carrying out of any act that destabilises the security of the country.” It may be too late for that!
Meanwhile, Reuters has a liveblog rolling:
Thousands in Tahrir square hours after curfew in a mostly good-natured gathering, singing national anthem and “Viva Egypt, viva the people” as well as chants calling for the president to quit. Protesters call for mass rallies on Tuesday, saying 1 million people could take to the streets to mark a week since the uprising broke out.
Additional reports are coming in every few minutes from the BBC, Huffington Post, Human Rights Watch and so on. For countless other resources for Egypt news, the inestimable Anthony De Rosa is collecting dispatches.
The avalanche of information may seem insurmountable, with waves of news crashing every few minutes, but Salon’s Alex Pareene helpfully reminds us not to get too ethnocentric about the whole thing. Before diving into the deep water of Middle Eastern unrest, take a deep breath and read this:
So our liberal Tumblr users feel self-satisfied because they are keeping up with the latest images out of Cairo and our Bush apologists can feel like his entire foreign policy has been justified and our finest foreign affairs bloggers can happily argue with each other over Israel, as they always do, and meanwhile in Egypt thousands of people will fight for their fundamental human rights, a struggle that has very little to do with your opinions on anything.
The revolution is indeed streaming online, but remember that it’s happening with or without you. With that in mind, dive right in.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 31, 2011