In another positive development for the pro-democracy group, thousands of workers across the country have gone on strike. They include newspaper workers and railway workers.Telecom workers are also said to be blocking some roads.
Vice President Soleiman, who is increasingly becoming the voice of the government and appears to be calling the shots, warned protesters that he would use “police tools” or there would be a coup if they don’t give up. Soleiman have previously talked about the protesters in condescending tone treating the youth protesters like kids saying he would ask their parents to take them home. In threatening them with police force and coup, he said he foresaw:
“the dark bats of the night emerging to terrorize the people” if the situation is not resolved.
Scattered military deployment have been reported. Another million man march is being called for Friday. It is being called “Friday of Martyrs”, touted as a massive funeral to honor those who have died.
In Kharga, al-Wadi al-Gadid province South of Cairo, protesters were voicing objection to the re-instatement of an officer they said is “authoritative”. Riot broke out and security services reportedly opened fire killing at least 3 and injuring about 100, lots of them with severe injuries.
In an embarrassing development for U.S. President Obama, report have came out about testy exchange of phone conversation with Saudi Arabia where Obama was told that he must support Mubarak and allow him to stay in power to oversee the transition. Saudi went on to say that if U.S. withdraw their aid then Saudi will bankroll Egypt. This conversation was held on January 29. Obama have repeatedly voiced support for an “orderly transition” and have not specifically called for Mubarak to step down.
Al Jazeera’s summary of the days events:
Social Media Hype?
The role of the social media have been discussed by various media a lot. Some have coined the term “Facebook revolution”. I think that is like calling some past revolution a TV revolution or radio revolution. Maybe we should not be overhyping and sensationalizing it too much. Instead focus on what the revolution is all about. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great tool, one that would probably also be used for propaganda eventually (if it is not already being used). Instead of focusing on specific social media brand it is more important to focus on the infrastructure or internet backbone and make sure free flow of information continue and any new restrictive censorship law are quashed.