Egypt shuts down the internet on eve of protest as the world community gathers

on 25 Comments

Raw video from the Associated Press

Issandr El-Amrani reports that the internet has been shut down in Egypt as of 1 in the morning before the big demo. And not long after a horrifying AP video went up of a man being shot (above), and of shotgun shells in the streets. Where is Obama?

Mohammed El-Baradei in that video: “The right of peaceful demonstration is an absolute right of every human being. I wish that we didn’t have to go to the streets to impress on the regime that it has to change.”

Just caught Joe Biden on PBS News Hour squirming about Egypt, rejecting the analogy to eastern Europe, and urging “dialogue.” As if Mubarak will give up power that way.

How can you help the Egyptian people?? Go to this campaign by Access to preserve internet access for the brave and inspiring voices in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez. There you can donate bandwidth on your site and donate a few dollars (why not 10 each?) “to help keep the protest movement alive by contributing funds for the urgent setup of servers that will help people reach blocked sites like Twitter. 100% of your donation will go to supporting those behind the firewall. Help us by clicking here.” There’s also a petition at the site.

More Egypt: Here’s an organizing guide to “How to Rise Up,” apparently for the big demo that will start after prayers Friday. Note the recommended outfit, page 10, hoodie, sneakers, potlid for shield, aerosol can for self-defense (think what the Israelis would do if you whipped out an aerosol can?) and flowers for a silent vigil the organizers seem to be planning.

Also from El-Amrani: an account from a college professor of being stomped and sexually assaulted by Egyptian police during the demo yesterday.

Helena Cobban sees the end of the US-Israel “imperium” in the Middle East.

25 Responses

  1. Les
    January 27, 2011, 6:41 pm

    Liberal Obama is an oxymoron. I look forward to the day when Egypt will no longer supply the guards for the western wall of the Gaza Concentration Camp and the freedom of Gazans. Imagine that a Hamas run Gaza is free before the PLO run West Bank and East Jerusalem!

  2. RoHa
    January 27, 2011, 6:41 pm

    The story from Akhbar-al-Arab about Gamal Mubarak is being repeated all over the place, including in serious newspapers.

    Has anyone seen any independent confirmation?

    • Saleema
      January 27, 2011, 7:25 pm

      I saw it in the website. something about fled to london with 100 piece luggage.

      • Avi
        January 28, 2011, 1:12 am

        fled to london with 100 piece luggage.

        There were reports that the former Tunisian president fled the county with several tons of gold he and his family had looted from the state treasury and loaded on to a cargo plane before fleeing the country.

    • Seham
      January 27, 2011, 7:43 pm

      RoHa, there is no Akhbar al Arab, that was a mistake, such news publication does not exist. However, I saw the same unverified report on Macleans (Canada) and Gulf News. It’s still unverified. But whether the bastard is in the country or not, neither he nor his despicable father have shown their face since the protests ensued, which leads me to believe they are hiding and scared or out of the country.

      • RoHa
        January 27, 2011, 8:02 pm

        I tried Goggling “Akhbar al Arab”, and got a lot of sites for Arabic news, but I couldn’t find a U.S. based website with that title.

        But if it doesn’t exist, what is the source for the report? Every repetition cites “a US-based Arab website, Akhbar al-Arab”.

      • Potsherd2
        January 27, 2011, 9:25 pm

        The Guardian only spoke of it as an “unverified report” when I looked.

    • pineywoodslim
      January 28, 2011, 12:03 am

      Hopefully it’s true, but maybe the story is a bit of planted psy-ops from tech-savvy Egyptian revolutionaries.

      That’s fine too. Make the narrative.

  3. shelfreader
    January 27, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Um, Phil…the first page of the organizing manual says to keep distribution of the manual low-key (email and printed handouts only) so that it won’t fall into the hands of the state. Perhaps you should remove the link?

    • bijou
      January 27, 2011, 9:00 pm

      too late – it’s no longer accessible. :(

  4. annie
    January 27, 2011, 7:47 pm

    i wonder if ahmed moor is still there. i hope there is not a bloodbath in the streets tonight. i am very worried. whenever they shut down communication it becomes much more serious.

  5. Potsherd2
    January 27, 2011, 8:30 pm

    There are women in the street!

    Israel weighs in: link to

    From an Israeli minister who remains anonymous:

    “[Mubarak’s] regime is well-rooted in the military and security apparatus,” the minister said. “They will have to exercise force, power in the street and do it. But they are strong enough according to my assessment to overcome it.”

    Or rather, this is what Israel would do and what they want Egypt to do. Even Obama, on You Tube, has come out in favor of Twitter, if not actual political change.
    link to

    “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,” Obama said. “And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets.”

    • pineywoodslim
      January 28, 2011, 12:06 am

      “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,” Obama said. “

      What a load of crap.

  6. Sumud
    January 28, 2011, 12:14 am

    Oh Phil thanks for posting this video. I just left a comment on another article, The Australian is reporting that the man shot at the beginning of the clip has died:

    Net down, special forces deployed in Cairo as Egypt braces for protests

    Rarely, for The Australian (a right-wing Murdoch publication), it’s a very informative read.

    • RoHa
      January 28, 2011, 2:53 am

      Take care, Sumud.
      If you read it seven times in a row, Murdoch will steal your soul.

      • Sumud
        January 28, 2011, 6:41 am

        LOL can we send him to Saudi Arabia also?

  7. Avi
    January 28, 2011, 1:22 am

    and not long after a horrifying AP video went up of a man being shot (above), and of shotgun shells in the streets. Where is Obama?

    Perhaps Biden or Ibish and Goldberg could talk and reason with Mubarak and his thugs, much in the same way they have managed to talk and reason with Israel and its Zionist thugs.

  8. James
    January 28, 2011, 2:18 am

    get the mans name who has been murdered here by egyptian police under direction from the tyrant mubarak… this is an equivalent ‘neda’ moment.. we see how the response from the usa leadership is so very different here… obama is no leader if that is all he has to say about this..

  9. RoHa
    January 28, 2011, 2:56 am

    It seems to be bursting out all over. Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, and now Yemen.

    (I note that the Northern Yemenis are rebelling, and the Southern Yemenis seem to think Aden was a good idea after all.)

  10. RoHa
    January 28, 2011, 3:13 am

    OT, but important. If no-one has posted it elsewhere, perhaps a mod could find a home for it.

    The text of Turkey’s report on the Mavi Marmara.

    link to

  11. Lydda Four Eight
    January 28, 2011, 3:37 am

    I am on facebook with an Egyptian friend and he is able to call into Egypt on cell phones, everything else is down. Most of us haven’t heard from anyone in several hours.

    I have seen twitter chatter about activists in Europe using ham radios:
    link to

    one of my friends also suggested this for communication:
    link to

  12. Koshiro
    January 28, 2011, 3:54 am

    This suggests that the regime is panicking.

  13. seafoid
    January 28, 2011, 5:42 am

    That Helena cobban analysis is spot on. The US has nothing to offer the people of the Middle East, especially the shabab.

  14. aparisian
    January 28, 2011, 9:32 am

    The regime is no doubts falling! Where is your bloody Obama? Next will be your turn liar!
    Free Free Egypt! Free Free Egypt! Free Free Egypt!

  15. aparisian
    January 28, 2011, 9:33 am

    The regime is no doubts falling! Where is the bloody Obama? Next will be your turn liar obama!
    Free Free Egypt! Free Free Egypt! Free Free Egypt!

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