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Egypt: Clashes in Tahrir Square in the Words of Bloggers

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

Yesterday, millions of the Egyptians protested everywhere against Mubarak's regime. Bahey El-Din wrote here about the peaceful protests that took place in Cairo and all over Egypt.

Yesterday, genuine protesters were around 8 million across Egypt. Numbers estimate 1.5 million in Alexandria and 2 million in Cairo. They were completely peaceful, and the mood was described as “festive” and “celebratory” by many news outlets.

Then Mubarak gave a speech at night. Many people – including myself – found it a good step from the regime's side. After Mubarak made his speech, people were divided between accepting it as a good initiative and others who believed people should rather continue to demonstrate in downtown Cairo till he steps down.
Raafatology wrote here how he finds Mubarak's offers disappointing.

لا أدرى كيف يريد مبارك من مجلس مشكوك فى شرعيته أن يعدل مواد الدستور؟؟ مجلسي الشعب والشورى جاؤوا بإنتخابات مزوره وهناك طعون أمام المحاكم لم تُنظر بعد. فكيف يحق لمجلس كهذا أن يغير الدستور؟؟
I don't know how Mubarak wants an illegitimate parliament to fix the constitution. The parliament came after rogue elections and there are accusations that hasn't been studied by the courts yet. So, how come such a parliament is charged with fixing the constitution?

But a few hours later, a series of new events took place in Cairo. Bahey El-Din wrote here about his own experience for what happened.

Many people got an SMS mobile text message about a mass rally in support of Mubarak in Mohandeseen. Others got a message offering 70 LE to go to rallies. My mother told me that when pro-Mubarak protesters were asked why they are going on the street, they said “each one of us got 200 LE”. News about workers in the TV/Radio as well as petroleum companies were to go on the streets and protest in favour of Mubarak
Clashes in Tahrir Square
Pro-Mubarak protesters throwing stones on the Anti-Mubarak protesters.

Photo taken by Nasser Nouri under Creative Commons license

Raafatology also wrote here about the clashes that took place in down towntoday.

Mubarak is doing what he is known for; killing his own people. The protesters in Tahrir and Alexandria were sitting doing nothing, and all the sudden some people in civilian cloths started throwing stones on them. The army just warned the thugs, but did not interfere yet. The protesters arrested one of these thugs and they found out he was a member of The Mubarak’s National Security.

Baheyya then wrote how those pro-Mubarak protesters used horses to attack the protesters.

The crowds on horseback, beating the demonstrators like savage marauders. NDP members and public sector clerks marched in processions, including uniformed police officers, holding aloft Egyptian flags and photos of Mubarak to perform support for him.

Zeinobia stated here that it's not only the protesters who have been attacked here.

Foreign journalists were attacked and harassed , their equipment was smashed. Anderson Cooper was attacked by the thugs of Mubarak in Cairo. The NDP thugs tried to break in to Al Shorouk newspaper HQ terrorizing its journalists who left their work to protect themselves and their building.
Protesters under attack
Egyptian blogger @BooDy covering his wounds with a tissue.

Photo taken by Nasser Nouri under Creative Commons license

But where is the army? Zeinobia wondered about the role of the army in all this.

- Why did the army leave the thugs enter with their weapons like that ??
– Why did the army leave the thugs attack the protesters like that ??
The army has sold us so far or to be correct the commanders of the army have sold us.

May be we didn't get what Mubarak really meant in his speech yesterday. Baheyya stated here what she read between the lines in yesterday's speech.

This is what Mubarak meant in his speech yesterday, that “everyone must choose between chaos and order”, between his rule and his violence.

Finally, Nawara Negm called all Egyptian to get down to Tahrir Square and stand with the protesters there.

نداء من داخل ميدان التحرير الى كل من شارك في مظاهرة المليون التوجه فورا للتحرير
A call for all those who participated in yesterday's demonstration to go right now to Tahrir Square.

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

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