Egypt: The Battle of the Thugs Continues

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

Protesters continued to battle with waves of government-paid thugs, who entered their ranks, first as pro-Mubarak demonstrators, and waged started a full-fledged attack, with knives, tear gas and Molotov cocktails, at the peaceful protesters.

All this happened in front of the very own eyes of television viewers, who have been glued to their sets and live streams on their computers, since Egyptians rose, demanding an end to president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime.

Activists on the ground and news reports describe the situation as catastrophic, with a large number of casualties reported. A make-shift medical camp has also been set up in one corner of Tahrir Square, to treat protesters hurt in the attacks, which also targeted international media, covering the demonstrations.

On Twitter, Gigi Ibrahim shares this photograph of an injured foreigner in the protests

On Twitter, Gigi Ibrahim shares this photograph of an injured foreigner in the protests

Egyptian columnist Mona El Tahawi, who has been following the events closely from New York, continues to whip up support for her countrymen's cause:

@monaeltahawy: Heart going 2 explode I'm trying really hard not to fall apart, won't help anyone. Sisters, brothers in #Egypt yelling extra hard 4 u #Jan25

On the ground, tweets are continuing to pour in, after Mubarak's regime lifted an Internet ban imposed on January 27.

@arabzy: | We are in Tahrir now, they Killed us. They slaughtered us. | Alive in Egypt | | @aliveinegypt | @speak2tweet | #Jan25

@EmanHashim tells us (Ar):

ميدان التحرير الآن ساحة حرب.. الثوار صامدون والنصر قريب لكن كل أنواع الدعم مطلوبة.. هذه آخر معاركنا مع مبارك :
“Al Tahrir Square is now a war zone. The protesters are holding up and victory is close but all types of support are needed. This is out last battle with Mubarak!”

@tafatefo tweets that he has successfully pinned down a thug to the ground and is sitting on him and tweeting his victory. This tweet has been retweeted by @OGT29 with the following message:

@OGT29: SOME PROTESTORS ARE VICTORIOUS AFTER ALL rt” @tafatefo اجلس حاليا فوق أحد البلطجية #jan25

And as the casualties mount, so does the call for supplies:

@eacusa: #jan25 #egypt PLEASE RE-POST: Mohamed Mahmod/Bab El Louq near Tahrir in URGENT need of Alcohol, Betadine…

Meanwhile, the support for the protesters continues:

@Liam_Fox: #Mubarak supporters attacking the museum & the protesters protecting it. #Egypt #Jan25

@RobinGross: Glued to Al Jazeera – watching events in Egypt live on the web. Mubarak thugs becoming violent against peaceful protestors. #jan25 #Egypt

@EmergencyNet: OMG, fire rptd. at Cairo museum…don't they know these antiquities can't be replaced? Come on people, use your heads.

For those who left the protests, the walk home is making them feel unsafe:

@NadiaE: Walking home with friend feeling very unsafe. Should be home in 10 min #jan25

And insults on Mubarak continued to hail:

@Sarahngb: It is clear now that Mubarak is not only senile, he clearly suffers from dementia.

Meanwhile, Syalh@ appeals for more protesters to continue in calling for their cause:

يا مصريون.. يا عظماء.. يا شرف العرب وأمل العرب.. مصر تستغيث وساحاتها مشتاقة لكم.. انزلوا الى أحضان مصر #Egypt #Jan25 #Tahrir
People of Egypt: You are great. You are the honour and hope of the Arab people. Egypt implores you and its squares are calling for you. Go to the embrace of Egypt.

Lebanese Hilal Chouman is worried about the safety of Egyptian bloggers he knows. He continues to keep a close watch:

@hilalchouman: @jarelkamar is FINE and in tahrir. No news about @ahmada2 His phone is closed #jan25 #tahrir #egypt

Others are outraged at the turn of events:

@Life_Quotesx: Molotov should be thrown on Mubarak not on the innocent protesters in the tahrir square!…#LIFEQ

@ZouEG: #tahrir is closed off.reporters are being attacked.molotov coktails are being thrown from the ground and the rooftops.rabena yostor. #Egypt

@mariamali7: seems to be calmer now in middle of Tahrir, but eyewitness says abt 200 thugs heading there now, trying to find out where from #jan25

And some are just rolling their eyes in disbelief, as the government continues to pump out propaganda, to split the ranks of protesters:

@IceQueer: #Egypt's National TV is saying that Muslims Brotherhood are throwing #molotov on protesters from the roof of buildings surrounding #Tahrir!!

Others try to cheer up those of us following the protests. Sate3 quips:

@sate3: To whom it may concern: We reiterate. #Mubarak has the right to defend himself. What's wrong with u people? Sincerely, Israel #Egypt #Jan25

News on attacks and harassment of international media, is also being circulated, making news people the news for a change:

@Saudiwoman: RT @stbwien First good News Today: norwegian journalist @Lars_akerhaug is ok! #cairo #egypt

It is also at such times that one knows what people are made out of. Sandmonkey, a blogger who has been covering the protests closely, even when the Internet was shut, notes:

@Sandmonkey: The one good thing about all this is that it's exposing to us the idiots amongst our friends. Unfollow and unfriend very quickly. #jan25

Photo credit: Gigi Ibrahim

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

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