Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cairo Protesters Stand Their Ground & Desperate Egyptian Government Shuts Down AlJazeera Bureau

Egyptian Protests -For updates and live streaming video/audio see:

Al Jazeera English: Live Streaming
Watch the broadcast here. Last Modified: 28 Jan 2011 17:08 GMT

Aljazeera might be blocked in some countries including the USA- Americans are FREE not to watch AlJazeera. Canada by the way has also at times blocked AlJazeera TV news.

Otherwise check out BBC & The Guardian.
Live streaming from BBC:As it happened: Egypt unrest day five

The Guardian Live Updates/Streaming

Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau
Network's licences cancelled and accreditation of staff in Cairo withdrawn by order of information minister." Aljazeera Jan. 30, 2011

The Egyptian authorities are revoking the Al Jazeera Network's licence to broadcast from the country, and will be shutting down its bureau office in Cairo, state television has said.

"The information minister [Anas al-Fikki] ordered ... suspension of operations of Al Jazeera, cancelling of its licences and withdrawing accreditation to all its staff as of today," a statement on the official Mena news agency said on Sunday.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said it strongly denounces and condemns the closure of its bureau in Cairo by the Egyptian government. The network received notification from the Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning.

"Al Jazeera has received widespread global acclaim for their coverage on the ground across the length and breadth of Egypt," the statement said.

An Al Jazeera spokesman said that the company would continue its strong coverage regardless.

'Designed to stifle'

"Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists," the statement said.

"In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.

"Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt.

"Al Jazeera journalists have brought unparallelled reporting from the ground from across Egypt in the face of great danger and extraordinary circumstances. Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt."

Will Obama administration defend the Free Press including Aljazeera or just ignore the situation .
The Americans have been blocking Aljazeera for a few years now s.
The US claims Aljazeera is just a Jihadist propaganda echo chamber.
Yet the US allows Fox News to broadcast even though it it is just a propaganda outlet for the Tea Party Republicans.
In my humble opinion Aljazeera is a more balanced news outlet than is Fox News.

"Cairo protesters stand their ground Warplanes and helicopters flew over the main square and more army trucks appeared in a show of force but no one moved." via Aljazeera Jan 30, 2011

Egyptian air force fighter planes buzzed low over Cairo, helicopters hovered above and extra troop trucks appeared in a central square where protesters were demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's rule.

State television said that a curfew has been imposed in the capital and the military urged the protesters to go home.

But the thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square choosed to stay on Sunday.

The show of defiance came as Egypt entered another turbulent day following a night of deadly unrest, when looters roamed the streets in the absence of police.

There were also reports of several prisons across the country being attacked and of fresh protests being staged in cities like Alexandria and Suez.

Thirty-four leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood were freed from the Wadi Natroun jail after guards abandoned their posts.

The protesters in Cairo, joined by hundreds of judges, had collected again in Tahrir Square on Sunday afternoon to demand the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president.

Al Jazeera's correspondent, reporting from the scene, said that demonstrators confronted a fire truck, at which point army troops fired into the air in a bid to disperse them.

He said the protesters did not move back, and a tank commander then ordered the fire truck to leave. When the truck moved away from the square, the thousands of protesters erupted into applause and climbed onto the tank in celebration, hugging soldiers.

Main roads in Cairo have been blocked by military tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and large numbers of army personnel have been seen in other cities as well.

Reporting from Cairo earlier on Sunday, Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan said it was a "long way from business as usual" in the Egyptian capital on the first working day since protests peaked on Friday.

He said that extra military roadblocks had been set up in an apparent attempt to divert traffic away from Tahrir Square, which has been a focal point for demonstrators.

"It's still a very tense scene to have so much military in the capital city of the country."

Earlier in the morning, Al Jazeera's Jane Dutton, also in Cairo, reported that the city appeared deserted in the early hours.

"The streets are very dirty, there is debris everywhere. The police have just disappeared. Any security at this stage is in the hands of the army."

Al Jazeera's correspondents in the port city of Alexandria have also said that anti-government protests have begun there, with hundreds of people on the streets.

The air force in Cairo has been attempting to disperse protesters, with fighter planes flying low over Tahrir Square on Sunday.

Al Jazeera correspondents say the noise from the planes was deafening and that the planes repeatedly flew over the crowds.

The security situation in the capital has prompted the country's interior minister to hold meetings with top officials on Sunday.

Habib al Adli met Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the defence minister, and vice president Omar Soliman, state television reported.

As the police withdrew from streets across Egypt, Adli has been the target of growing criticism by the protesters who have called on him to resign.

The absence of police has given looters a free rein, forcing ordinary citizens to set up neighbourhood patrols.

According to Dina Magdi, an eyewitness, unidentified men on Sunday morning came out of the interior ministry compound in a car and dumped a body on a street. They then opened fire on people present in the area and fled. There were no immediate reports of casualties in that attack.

Also see related news on Aljazeera:

Tunisian leader returns from exile
Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the previously banned al-Nahda party, returns home after 21 years in the UK.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2011 12:08 GMT
Sudan police clash with protesters
Anti-government demonstrators in Khartoum faced riot police in protests inspired by those in Egypt and Tunisia.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2011 15:02 GMT
South Sudan voters chose secession
More than 99 per cent voted in favour of secession from the north in January referendum, preliminary results show.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2011 09:50 GMT

And from Press TV:

Mubarak on TV demands Cabinet resignation

Iran TV reports 20 dead in clashes in Egypt
Egyptian president defends actions of Egyptian security forces against protesters

CAIRO — Embattled President Hosni Mubarak says he has asked his Cabinet to resign in his first appearance on television since protests erupted demanding his ouster.

He says he will press ahead with social, economic and political reforms. He calls anti-government protests part of plot to destabilize Egypt and destroy the legitimacy of his regime.

He is defending security forces' crackdown on protesters.
Story: Egyptian military deploys in Cairo under curfew

Mubarak was in power for 30 years supported by the USA.
Mubarak expected his son to take over after his retirement .
Well no surprise the US also supports the dictatorial brutal Saudi monarchy.
So as usual the US is on the wrong side of history.

Iran 2009 vs Egypt 2011: Exposing US Government hypocrisy

Hillary Clinton with a straight face says what happens next is up to the Egyptian people Really???
America she claims never interfere in another country's affairs???
Ask the Iraqis and Afghans and Iranians, Syrians, Yemens, Algierians , Saudis etc. if this is true.
Since the invasion and illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan America has little to offer in the way of being a guardian of freedom , democracy and human rights and defending the rights and dignity of all peoples.
It seems not long ago that Hillary Clinton was all too happy to crush the popular uprising in Honduras against the military junta with its Death Squads and armed thugs.
The United States has had a notorious record in defending dictator and unseating and or assassinating leaders such as Salvadore Allende who was replaced by America's own hero and butcher Pinochet

The American government under Ronald Reagan supported and supplied with arms the so-called Contras who terrorized the people of Nicaragua because the US didn't like its popular government.

These days the US government runs a system of prisons where those incarcerated are tortured and abused on a daily basis and we are asked to trust the American government its military, the Pentagon and the CIA.

In this clip of Hillary Clinton we get a more critical stance on the Obama administration's reaction to how Mubarak is handling the crisis /uprising in Egypt.
Though she criticizes Mubarak 's heavy handed response to the popular uprising she does not insist that Mubarak step down

Hillary Clinton Speaks on Crisis in Egypt; Does Not Express Support for Mubarak
Jan. 28, 2011.

Hillary Clinton Meddling In Honduras

The Bush Neocon disciples give their views on the coup in Honduras.
They are for the Military Junta in Honduras and therefore against the people of Honduras.
They are against the Mullahs and the Iranian government and for the people.
Some Tea Party Republicans are for Mubarak and against the Egyptian people.
Clinto and Obama were slow to react to the Egytian uprising concerned that they should support their ally Mubarak while when this occurred in Iran they were quick to condemn the regime.

The right saw nothing wrong with the military staging a military Coup to oust a popular leader in Honduras . The problem was president Zelaya was pushing for reforms to guarantee the rights and freedoms of all Hondurans not just the elite whom the Americans like and support. The US is not interested in real reforms. Their idea of democracy is all tied into supposedly fair and honest elections. But when all the candidates are in favor of the same policies then the election becomes meaningless. This is to a great extent true about the USA where its difficult to tell the partys apart since both are pro-war, pro-big business believe in the myth of American exceptionalism that America is morally superior to all other nations etc.
Krauthammer et al. on the Honduras coup

First a rather hypocritical statement by Hillay Clinton saying that what happens next is up to the Egyptian people-she doesn't bother to mention US involvement in foreign and domestic affairs of Egypt over the last few decades in which the US gave military aid of 1.3 billion a year and that the US stood by and did nothing as the authoritarian Regime crushed all dissent- -Egypt has had a dismal human rights record
The USA has used Egypt for renditioning of prisoners (detainees)used as a stop-over
and has handed over prisoners to be tortured by Egyptian police and or military on the behalf of the US government and the American people.
Egypt has also been used in various ways to enforce the Israeli blockade of Gaza

The common folk of Egypt are demanding an end to the Mubarak regime and want to install a government which is more democratic and which respects the human rights and freedoms of the citizens of Egypt and not just the elites of the well to do, the well connected, the rich and powerful . Meanwhile the USA is sending mixed messages about the crisis because as we have seen in America the rule of law , human rights etc, are being ignored in its bogus war on terror.
The US administration will have one less country to rendition prisoners to to be tortured if the uprising is successful.
If the Obama and the American government were interested in reform they would have cut off all military aid to Egypt years ago instead of being Mubarak's enabler.  Now they are discussing the issues of aid to Egypt while secretly hoping the Egyptian people come to their senses and realize they will be beaten down once again by Mubarak or whomever replaces him as the new strong man of Egypt.

So the people of Egypt if they want to really bring about change in how they are governed they should in my humble opinion realize the US government is not on their side as such but is on the side of America's corporate , strategic and military interests.

The American government was reluctant to speak out against Mubarak's use of force against the anti-government demonstrators.
When Iran was experiencing the same sort of protest Hillary and Obama were quick to take the side of the people of Iran against the Mullahs.
Egypt has a human Rights record that is just as bad as the Iranian government or that of Saddam whom the Americans supported and provided with arms -of course we now know they were also supplying arms and money to the Iranian government in exchange hostages etc. Iran Contra Affair. Meanwhile the US was also sharing satelite intel to Saddam during the Iraq/Iran War. So how did that turn out for the USA. Meanwhile in Afghanistan the US supplied the Taliban and other extremist groups in Afghanistan in their war against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union fell and the Taliban took over Afghanistan. But the Americans never learn and go on supporting more often than not the worst people.
In Iran they had supported the Brutal Shah even after the Iranian people rose up and put others in charge .
When it is the extremes which get supported the more reasonable centrist who want to reform the country are either destroyed and or ignored .

Egypt facing revolution as Mubarak outlaws protests

Obama the Neocons Neoliberals are all for democracy and reform in countries that do not protect the citizens basic human rights and freedom except in countries led by American backed proxies or puppet regimes all in the name of American interests.
Odd how American's corporate and strategic interests always come before the interests of the citizens of other nations.

America was all for Saddam until they decided they were against him. As it appears now the US invasion and occupation of Iraq has more to with American and Israeli interests than with "bringing freedom and democracy" to the people of Iraq or of Afghanistan etc.

Is Obama condemning the use of violence by both sides or just those protesting. It seems the Mubarak government has been all too willing to use violence killing over 40 people this week.

"A People Defies Its Dictator, And a Nation's Future is in The Balance A brutal regime is fighting, bloodily, for its life." Robert Fisk reports from the streets of Cairo via Information Clearing house Jan. 29, 2011

"The Independent" -- It might be the end. It is certainly the beginning of the end. Across Egypt, tens of thousands of Arabs braved tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and live fire yesterday to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak after more than 30 years of dictatorship.

How does one describe a day that may prove to be so giant a page in Egypt's history? Maybe reporters should abandon their analyses and just tell the tale of what happened from morning to night in one of the world's most ancient cities. So here it is, the story from my notes, scribbled amid a defiant people in the face of thousands of plainclothes and uniformed police.

It began at the Istikama mosque on Giza Square: a grim thoroughfare of gaunt concrete apartment blocks and a line of riot police that stretched as far as the Nile. We all knew that Mohamed ElBaradei would be there for midday prayers and, at first, the crowd seemed small. The cops smoked cigarettes. If this was the end of the reign of Mubarak, it was a pretty unimpressive start.

But then, no sooner had the last prayers been uttered than the crowd of worshippers, perched above the highway, turned towards the police. "Mubarak, Mubarak," they shouted. "Saudi Arabia is waiting for you." That's when the water cannons were turned on the crowd – the police had every intention of fighting them even though not a stone had been thrown. The water smashed into the crowd and then the hoses were pointed directly at ElBaradei, who reeled back, drenched.

He had returned from Vienna a few hours earlier and few Egyptians think he will run Egypt – he claims to want to be a negotiator – but this was a disgrace. Egypt's most honoured politician, a Nobel prize winner who had held the post of the UN's top nuclear inspector, was drenched like a street urchin. That's what Mubarak thought of him, I suppose: just another trouble maker with a "hidden agenda" – that really is the language the Egyptian government is using right now.

And then the tear gas burst over the crowds. Perhaps there were a few thousand now, but as I walked beside them, something remarkable happened. From apartment blocks and dingy alleyways, from neighbouring streets, hundreds and then thousands of Egyptians swarmed on to the highway leading to Tahrir Square. This is the one tactic the police had decided to prevent. To have Mubarak's detractors in the very centre of Cairo would suggest that his rule was already over. The government had already cut the internet – slicing off Egypt from the rest of the world – and killed all of the mobile phone signals. It made no difference.

"We want the regime to fall," the crowds screamed. Not perhaps the most memorable cry of revolution but they shouted it again and again until they drowned out the pop of tear gas grenades. From all over Cairo they surged into the city, middle-class youngsters from Gazira, the poor from the slums of Beaulak al-Daqrour, marching steadily across the Nile bridges like an army – which, I guess, was what they were.

Still the gas grenades showered over them. Coughing and retching, they marched on. Many held their coats over their mouths or queued at a lemon shop where the owner squeezed fresh fruit into their mouths. Lemon juice – an antidote to tear gas – poured across the pavement into the gutter.

and so it goes,

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