Egypt: No march today, but TWO million people estimated in & around Tahrir Square

by: Paul Rosenberg

Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:30

Al Jazeera is reporting estimates that more than two million are in and around Tahrir Square.  The square itself can hold about two million people, and there many more on side steets unable to enter. On Democracy Now! this morning, producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, a Cairo native who has returned to cover the demonstrations on the ground, reported that there was "An ocean of people". See for yourself:

It's now more than two hours into curfew, but much earlier Koudous tweeted:

sharifkouddous Wow. It's 10am and already more people in Tahrir than I have ever seen. And there's more flooding in #Egypt

This outpouring of people makes it clear that the movement to oust Mubarak, far from losing steam, is only growing stronger and stronger.  Of course it's impossible for millions of people to demonstrate day after day, so a strategy is emerging to keep a continuous presence in Tahrir Square at all times, and to bring massive demonstrations at regular intervals.  The next natural time for another such demonstration will be after Friday prayers.

From a written Al Jazeera report:

Packed shoulder to shoulder in and around the famed Tahrir Square, the mass of people on Tuesday held aloft posters denouncing the president, and chanted slogans "Go Mubarak Go" and "Leave! Leave! Leave!"

Similar massive demonstrations calling on Mubarak to step down are also being witnessed across other cities, including Sinai, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, Damnhour, Arish, Tanta, el-Mahalla and el-Kubra.

Tens of thousands were reportedly marching in Alexandria while the number of those protesting in Sinai was estimated to be around 250,000.

Tuesday's protests were by far the biggest since street demonstrations broke out against Mubarak's rule last week.

"The crowd is very diverse - young, old, religious, men, women - and growing by the minute," Al Jazeera's online producer said from Tahrir Square.

"They're chanting the same slogans they've been chanting all week. Someone actually hung an effigy of Mubarak from a streetlight."

Organisers had called for a march by a million people on the day, but the turnout surpassed all expectations.

Soldiers deployed at the square did nothing to stop the crowds from entering.

They have formed a human chain around protesters, and are checking people for weapons as they enter. Tanks have been positioned near the square, and officers have been checking identity papers.

According to reports, the military police have placed barbed wire around Mubarak's residence in Masr el-Gedidah, a suburb east of Cairo.

Paul Rosenberg :: Egypt: No march today, but TWO million people estimated in & around Tahrir Square

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Phenomenal! (4.00 / 5)
To me, this is the single most encouraging series of events to happen on Earth in the last 30 years.  I will resist my Ugly American natural tendency to bemoan the contrasting American situation, and focus on watching in wonder and amazement as the Egyptian people--and Arab peoples across the Middle East--reject corruption and tyranny in favor of democracy and (perhaps) socioeconomic justice.

Go Egypt!!

Precisely how we should have handled to 2000 Presidential Election (4.00 / 4)
Camped out in front of the WH until Gore was inaugurated and Bush sent packing. Anyway, enough re-living the past...

Stay strong!

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

u - mean - (0.00 / 1)
the united 51percent of 'the people'? against the other untited 49percent of 'the people?

[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 2)
I mean Americans that support democracy and those that are OK with 5 Supreme Court judges deciding who "won" the election.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
oh I understand - (0.00 / 1)
so you mean the 51 percent who 'supported democracy' against the 49 percent who supported the decision of the Supreme court?

Somehow I think that's not the way it works in Egypt - There seem to be at least 80 -(90?) percent of ALL 'the people' -(whoever they are) - supporting democracy? - Right?  

[ Parent ]
And - men! (0.00 / 1)
does this Egypt thing confuse the 'homelanders' - I saw an incredible performance on FOX where Glenn Beck wanted to be Switzerland - and this OReilly dude was all over the place - Now what's a real democrycy to do?

[ Parent ]
I guess one of the best lessons - (0.00 / 1)
for the homeland could be -
A - If you take 'democracy' seriously you will have to be okay with any type of outcome!
and -
B - What an awesome thing is 'solidarity'!  

[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure that a majority of Americans (4.00 / 2)
support democracy. Despite all the noise and chatter that constantly takes up space in the "news" telling me that this is a Red/Blue country, I still have faith that a majority of my fellow Americans (documented or otherwise) believe in democracy.

I mislead you with the previous comment. This kind of public demonstration, had it taken place soon after the electile dysfunction in FLA-2000, would have precluded the decision by the USSC. Strong, public support for ensuring a free and fair recount would have stifled the right-wing thuggery that induced the conclusion we saw.

We missed a real opportunity in 2000.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I'm sure too - (0.00 / 1)
that a huge majority of Americans support democracy - they can be just a bit shaky if 'democracy' produces results they don't like!

[ Parent ]
and bout - (0.00 / 1)
this kind of 'public demonstrations' - They only seem to work if you don't have an equal -(or even stronger) - demonstration from the other side - The fifty-fifty thing seems to be a fifty-fifty thing!

[ Parent ]
You could write a long list of reasons to fear (4.00 / 1)
standing up for democracy in a public way.

And I'm sure that many people in Egypt could find a reason not to do so, but, thankfully, they have managed to overcome their fears and do it, anyway.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
That last part (4.00 / 1)
is due to the M$M and the paltry, emaciated state of journalism that dominates this place. (I mean, the most trusted journalist in the US is comedian that pretends to be a reporter, fer crissake!)

Well, that and the stultifying effect of the Two Party tyranny (duopoly).

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
We had no Al Jazeera (4.00 / 2)
no Wikileaks, and the netroots were still in their infancy. There was no real-time reality check available at the time, all we had was the Versailles media urging everyone to move on, put it behind us, telling us our country couldn't "handle" a recount.

But yeah, a missed opportunity. I like to think it would go differently if they tried it again.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
I completely agree (4.00 / 1)

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Now Sadie - darling - (0.00 / 1)
it's nice for you to praise Al Jazeera - So now we have it - and there should be a majority accepting any outcome of the Egyptian revolution! - Right?
And I understand that you don't like me - even if I don't like - that some of our friends  made it very clear that they don't like it if the Egyptian revolution produces results they don't like -
But sister - think about your words - It's LOVE that unites us and not little dissaproving 0.00 - 1

[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 5)
What was truly infuriating was how the Democratic Party leadership actively worked to shut down all such potential demonstrations.  Jesse Jackson heeded just one demonstration in FLorida--and he had been invited by locals to do so, because they wanted the attention it would bring.  But after that, he was told to cool it.

Here in LA, I talked with union activists at a couple of spontaneous grassroots demonstrations we had, and they said that the leadership was scared to do anything without permission from the Democratic Party.  We got more than a thousand people out with no institutional support whatsoever.  With union support, it could easily have mushroomed.  But everyone was told to "cool it" and let the system take its course.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Sounds about right (4.00 / 3)
Until our elected representatives fear us, instead of the other way around, we're sunk.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]

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