Today’s sequence of events in Egypt:
- The day started with news of Israel being shocked at Obama’s betrayal of Mubarak. They questioned whether Obama is a reliable ally.
- Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions gathered at Tharir square. Millions across Egypt rallies.
- U.S. asked Mubarak Not To Seek Re-Election. However, Egyptian election is not due until September. Which is sure to disappoint protester demanding Mubarak step down now. Election in Egypt are also fraudulent, which is what kept Mubarak in power for so long.
- There is a report that President Obama’s envoy told Mubarak that it was time for him to step down.
- Mubarak gave a speech saying he will not seek re-election but will be staying until the election in September. He calls for Parliament to debate reforms. Egyptian tweet saying Parliament is made up of Mubarak’s men and that offer is not acceptable. Mubarak says he will die in Egyptian soil and threaten arrest against outlaws and instigators.
- Conflicting report: Voice of America (VOA) claims protesters applauded Mubarak announcement that he won’t seek re-election. While tweet accounts from Egyptians and report from Guardian reports anger. According to one tweet from Sidhe D’mento, BBC think protester might accept such offer: “Just woke up to BBC saying Mubarak isn’t going to run for Pres. again and saying “the street” might accept it. I f**n doubt it!”
That VOA news item have been taken down at around 8pm EST and now shows a 404 page not found error. Google search of “Egyptians Applaud Mubarak” still shows various sites quoting VOA report.
- People are said to be chanting “leave, leave, leave” and “not enough, not enough!”
- Based on tweet accounts and eye witness accounts given to Al Jazeera, right after Mubarak’s speech, man armed with knives and weapons approached various protest sites simultaneously. These armed man in motorcycles and cars chanted support for Mubarak and started attacking crowd at Port Said and Alexandria causing them to disperse. The crowd tried to fight back with stones and clashes broke out. Soldiers fired in the air to disperse the fight.
- Nicholas Kristof from New York Times Tweet: “Just back from Tahrir. A bit unnerving: mob of pro-Mubarak forces running around, very aggressive, almost picking fights.”
- The simultaneous attack also targeted people at Tharir Square according to some tweeter’s account on #Jan25.
- A tweet from Noornet claimed 5 people were stabbed by “thugs” at Alexandria.
- Obama delivered a short speech but did not call for Mubarak to step down rightaway. He did however said transition must start now. So it is not clear if he is OK with Mubarak staying until September if transition or debate for reform happens now. Mubarak already announced he will start the transition and process for reform through Parliamentary debate. Obama acknowledged the youth of Egypt. Obama walked away right after reading his speech ignoring a question yelled out by a member of the press. He had stressed that transition must be peaceful.
A good humored tweet by tweetactivist before Mubarak’s speech:
Riot police [Not working] Curfew [Not working] Cabinet reshuffle [Not Working] Mubarak’s Jet [Not working?]
A tweet expressing support:
ReemAbdellatif: If a revolution pauses, it ends. #jan25 #keepgoing #egypt #freedom The world is with you.
And a tweet of advice:
Pictures from MotherJones.com
What makes Egypt’s revolution so special is there are no political speeches, no grandstanding, no dominating leader. Just people, lots of them, making a statement in numbers. That’s how any democracy should be like. A real power of the people, for the people, by the people.