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Egypt Uprising: A Chronicle

Egypt Uprising: A Chronicle

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Published by John Postill

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Published by: John Postill on Feb 09, 2011
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Egypt uprising – key phases, a compilation
Dr John PostillOpen University of CataloniaSheffield Hallam Universityhttp://twitter.com/JohnPostill
Weds, 9 February 2011
Pre-protests
14 Jan. Tunisian government ousted, ‘virtually unprecedented in modern Arab history´
1
.
Week 1. Violence erupted during the first seven days of anti-governmentdemonstrations in Egypt
2
25 JanDay of Anger.
Largest demo in years against Mubarak, across Egypt, inspired by Tunisian events. Set on this day to coincide with National Police Day. Coordinatedvia Facebook page. Orgs ‘taking a stand against torture, poverty, corruption andunemployment’
3
. Twitter played ‘a key part’, supporters in Egypt and abroad usedhashtag #jan25 ‘to post news of the day’
4
. Anonymous leaflets provide advice on how toorganise mass demos, confront riot police, take control of gov offices. Leaflet asks people to email and photocopy it but not use social media which being monitored
5
. Alsoham radio used to organise and coordinate the ‘extremely well organised’ revolt
6
. AlJazeera TV coverage widely watched in Egypt and abroad.26 Jan One protester and police officer killed. More violence used by both police and protesters
7
. 27 Jan. Nobel laureate ElBaradei returns to Egypt to take up leadership of opposition toMubarak. Speaks to thousands of protesters defying curfew for third consecutive night.But protests smaller as people planning for mass demo the following day
8
. Police returnto streets, fighter jets fly low overhead. User named eacusa tweeted: “#Jan25 #EgyptGood news, morale in Cairo still high, veteran activists from 60s & 70s r spreadingknowledge of predigital ways 2 coordinate.”
9
. Government disrupts internet andmobile/blackberry services simply by making a few phone calls.
28 Jan Friday of Anger.
Although Egyptian gov cut off internet and mobile phoneservices, this however didn’t dissuade protesters. One commentator said ‘demonstratorshave an offline networking tool: the mosques’, but doubts about ability to sustainmomentum ‘analogically’
.Violent clashes protesters and authorities
. ElBaradei placed under house arrest, US says will review $1.5 billion aid package, later released.‘Plethora of Tunisian national flags and anti-Mubarak grafitti’ (overlooked media??)
.29 Jan Soldiers protect Egyptian Museum. Thousands of protestors stand their ground inTahrir Square despite troops firing into the air 
. Protestors more confident, even‘celebratory’ about prospects that Mubarak would leave, though no evidence
.1
 
30 Jan. Thousands of protesters still defied curfew; army deployed across Cairo to protect key places; vigilante groups set in neighbourhoods to fight off looters. MuslimBrotherhood official support for ElBaradei to form national unity government
.31 Jan Al Jazeera facing interference to broadcast signal across Arab region, worse thanever 
. For first time pro-Mubarak protests, at least 1,000 people, drawn mostly fromneighbourhood watch groups. Industrial strikes called in Cairo and many other cities
.
Week 2. Anti-government protests continued into a second week, with runningbattles between rival demonstrators
 
1 Feb. March of the Millions.
Mubarak’s speech. Won’t step down yet and will “dieon Egyptian soil”. More clashes between anti- and pro-Mubarak on streets. Leader of Kifaya (Enough) movement says Mubarak’s offer to serve another term not enough. New national coalition for change formed
.2 Feb. State-sponsored thugs and police attacked the protesters in Tahrir Square, as thearmy looked on. “Provocateurs came riding on horses and camels armed with swords,whips, clubs, stones, rocks, and pocket knives, attacked anti-government protesters incentral Cairo, including Tahrir Square”. Journalists also attacked
. Google and Twitter launch speak-to-tweet system whereby messages can be sent without having an internetconnection, through a voicemail message
.In morning internet access partiallyrestored; night-time curfew eased
. Why internet back on? Reporters Without Borderssays: a) Egypt couldn’t ignore US pressure, b) dire economic consequences, c) too lateto be effective, internet already effectively used as mobilisation tool
. Mubarak doesn’theed international calls to resign. ElBaradei calls on army to step in and says Mubarak should be granted “safe exit” for Friday’s Departure Day
. 3 Feb Situation has deteriorated rapidly
. New vicepresident blames foreign media.Mubarak tells ABC he’s tired and wants to resign but fears chaos. Mubarak supportersshoot and kill at least five in Tahrir Square. Thousands barricaded in the square, willstay until Mubarak resigns. Muslim Brotherhood, until now on the sidelines, issuesstatement calling for national unity gov to replace Mubarak 
.“Vodafone … forced bythe Egyptian government to send SMS text messages to its customers. The pro-Mubarak messages characterized protesters as un-loyal to the state and had called upon recipientsto "confront" them. Vodafone CEOVittorio Colaoreported that the general public isstill being blocked from sending SMS text messages”
.
4 Feb Friday of Departure.
Same organisers of Day of Anger and Friday of Anger [seriality]. Obama urges Mubarak to resign, though not calling for immediateresignation. Hundreds of thousands demonstrate in Tahrir Square. Chants calling for Mubarak’s resignation ‘reverberate across the square’
5 Feb Thousands stay in square, fearing that army will try to evacuate them. Head of army asks protesters to go home
. Leadership of ruling National Democratic Party (sic)resigns, including son of Mubarak, Gamal
.
6 Feb Sunday of Martyrs
Same organisers again. Muslim Brotherhood announcethey’ll take part in a dialogue about the transition
. Banks reopened. People rushing to buy US dollars
.2
 
7 Feb Concessions to civil servants by new Cabinet: 15% rise in salaries and pensions.Admin of Facebook page that ignited protests, Wael Ghonim, released – had beenarrested 25 Jan.
Week 3.
8 Feb “3:35am Since Wael Ghonim's release from Egyptian custody and emotional TVinterview on DreamTV, thousands of supporters have joined a new Facebook pagecreated in his honour. Its called:We authorise Wael Ghoneim to speak on behalf of theEgyptian revolution.”. 04:00am Making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter is thisEgypt tribute music videoby Amir Sulaiman,Omar Offendum,The Narcicyst, Ayah,  and Freeway, with lyrics like: "I heard them say the revolution won't be televised. Al Jazeera proved them wrong, Twitter has them paralysed.". 6:31am Hamas eyesBrotherhood rise - Change in regime in neighbouring Egypt could be a major boost for the Hamas movement which has been ruling Gaza for the past four years. Hamas' earlyorigins lie in the Muslim Brotherhood, and the two groups still have very close links.9:08am PJ Crowley, US assistant secretary of state, joins the thousands on Twitter thatare talking about the release of Wael Ghonim. Having been released in #Egypt earlier today, it is good to see @Ghonim back on line
.
2:52pm Al Jazeera showing live videofrom Egypt's Tahrir Square - hundreds of thousands already there protesting, and manymore expected
.
5:07pm
 
Al Jazeera's correspondents in Cairo said that there are a lot of Egyptians visiting the square for the first time today. Well dressed upper class people.The mood is euphoric, they are celebrating the sense of freedom. People chant freedom,we want freedom. They are euphoric about their ability to express themselves, this issomething they have not been able to do in the past. we have noticed in the Square thatthere is a recognition by people that this will not happen over night in order to achievetheir aim. 5:40pm
 
Al Jazeera correspondent in Cairo said the vice president came outabout 10:30 this morning and said the president had signed a decree allowing for constitutional amendments and was probably intended as a move against the millionman march in Tahrir Square today. "But I don’t think it worked well, I don’t think anyone here has bothered listening to that yet, the call here is for an end to the regime of the past 30 years, and to make sure they will not return once it’s over," our correspondent said.
9 Feb
. 1:30am Egypt’s Ambassador to the UN, Maged Abdelaziz, has spoken at the UNSecurity Council and had this to say about Al Jazeera: "Even though when we had somedisputes with Al Jazeera, and then they were able to broadcast, they managed tomaneuver us and go to get from some other sources, so the world is a small village andeverybody knows what is happening all over the place.". 10:07am Egypt protests remainstrong- demonstrations enter sixteenth day, following the largest gathering so far inCairo's Tahrir Square. Crowds also out in huge numbers in Alexandria, Egypt's secondlargest city.
Sources
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