Egypt: Netizens Rise for the Support of Egyptians on their Day of Rage

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

The countdown for mass protests across Egypt has started, with very little information trickling from the ground after the Egyptian authorities shut down the Internet and virtually all other communication with the outside world. The aim is to clampdown on the protesters and netizens are fearing the worst.

Major demonstrations are being planned across the country after today's Friday prayers, in what has been dubbed the Million Egyptian March, in protest for political and economic reforms, and the end of Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. The Day of Rage will signal the beginning of the forth day of protests, which has seen the death, injuries and the arrest of hundreds of anti-regime activists and mere by-standers.

Despite all this, the buzz online is upbeat, with an international out pour of support for Egyptians protesting against corruption and tyranny. Netizens are being innovative in by passing the blackout, by contacting Egyptians directly and amplifying their voices for the rest of the world to hear their cry.

A graph showing how the Internet was strangled being widely circulated on Twitter

A graph showing how the Internet was strangled being widely circulated on Twitter

Both Twitter and Facebook were blocked earlier, but the voices of Egyptians are still loud and clear on social networking platforms. Their messages are being broadcast through retweets, such as in this instance where Lebanese Hilal Chouman holds up the megaphone:

RT @: just got off phone with a friend in Egypt: “people r bein kidnapped by police, some return, some haven't returned”

Suggestions to bypass the block continued. Chouman adds:

Best way to get word out of Egypt is call people you know and then tweet or post online calls to cell and land lines still work

Kate Doak suggests:

@ Mona, I suggest that you follow @. They are actively pursuing getting HAM radio broadcasts from Egypt web-streamed.

And Layal Al Khateeb from Lebanon pleads:

The people of are being blocked from the word..if you can get in touch with anyone there..publish what they have to say online

Mark Little notes:

withdraws from the internet to block protest. No bigger story in the world today

Lebanese Jamal Ghosn implies that the blackout will not halt the protests:

Mubarak cuts off web&SMS, Obviously never heard Egyptians talk, because the 1 place where word of mouth is more than enough is Egypt.

And mich1mich prays:

RT @: My thoughts and prayers go out to all the courageous Egyptians on this blessed Friday. be safe

From the UAE, Sultan Al Qassemi tweets:

Tips from the resourceful @sokkari on how to circumvent the communications blackout in Egypt Arabic #Jan25

Ory Okolloh, from Kenya, notes that mass action has gone back to basics:

I like this…back to the basics for mass action organizers in Egypt – leaflets:

Firas Al Atrachi warns:

Rumors that riot police will fire tear gas at first sign of demonstrations … rumor being circulated in #cairo right now #jan25

Chouman adds:

The internet shutdown in makes fears from bloodshed today rise. Riot police is expected 2 b in streets 2 attack protestors

And Salma el Daly reports:

No Mobile phones are working in only the land lines.

Israa El-sakka foresees trouble:

لو صحت الأخبار المتواترة عن أن خطب الجمعة النهاردة حتكون عن طاعة الحاكم …ساعتها الناس ممكن تضرب أئمة الجوامع فعلاً !!! ده استفزاز
If the news being spread that today's Friday's prayers sermons will focus on obeying the ruler. If that is the case, people might hit the preachers (imams) in the mosques!

Others are left looking for information. Jordanian Jawaf Safar asks:

can anyone confirm the arrest spree happened during night? anyone?

r7aal adds:

RT @: فليشهد التاريخ.. اليوم مصر هي فعلاً أم الدنيا وأم الأحرار والشرفاء.. اليوم مصر حرةٌ حرةٌ حرة
Let history be witness … today Egypt is truly the Mother of Earth and the mother of all the free and decent people .. today Egypt is free, free, free

Humour is also not lost, given the grave circumstances. Lebanese Imad Bazzi quips:

LOOL kazzafi (Libyan leader Gaddafi) called Mubarak !! it means that its a matter of hours before Mubarak catches the flight to Saudi Arabia :P

in reference to the ousted Tunisia strongman Zine Al Abidene Ben Ali, who fled his country after 29-days of massive protests.

And Ramesh Srivats jokes:

RT @ So the government of has blocked all internet access. The country can now be renamed gypt.

The question remains, what will happen in the dark? Just A Brick concludes:

RT @: What happens when u disconnect a modern economy & 80,000,000 people from the Internet? We ll soon find out.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.


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