Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.
The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.
Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir Square in central Cairo overnight, defying a curfew that has been extended by the army.
One of Al Jazeera’s correspondents said the military’s attempts to block access to the square on Monday by closing roads was not working as more people were arriving in a steady stream.
“Protesters say they’ll stay in this square for as long as Mubarak stays in power,” she said.
Egypt’s most prominent democracy advocate took up a bullhorn Sunday and called for President Hosni Mubarak to resign, speaking to thousands of protesters who defied a curfew for a third night. Fighter jets streaked low overhead and police returned to the capital’s streets — high-profile displays of authority over a situation spiraling out of control.
Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei’s appearance in Tahrir, or Liberation, Square underscored the jockeying for leadership of the mass protest movement that erupted seemingly out of nowhere in the past week to shake the Arab world’s most populous nation.
(More articles at Memeorandum)
If wishes were camels:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Sunday for “an orderly transition” to a more politically open Egypt, stopping short of telling its embattled president, Hosni Mubarak, to step down but clearly laying the groundwork for his departure.
Mrs. Clinton, making a round of Sunday talk shows, insisted that Mr. Mubarak’s future was up to the Egyptian people. But she said on “State of the Union” on CNN that the United States stood “ready to help with the kind of transition that will lead to greater political and economic freedom.” And she emphasized that elections scheduled for this fall must be free and fair.
Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do right now to affect the outcome.
I am not writing about Egypt for tomorrow’s paper; I’ve done a bit of homework on the economy, but really don’t feel that I have much to contribute — besides, other stuff is happening in the world, and someone should be writing about it.
That said, I’m a bit surprised not to see anyone drawing the parallel that has jumped out at me (maybe because I spent time in the Philippines in 1990 and 1991, working for UNDP): the People Power revolution in Manila in 1986. This has some of the same feeling: a dictator who’s a long-time US client, a mass popular uprising that’s more about the perceived corruption of the government than about any particular ideology; El Baradei seems to be playing something like the Corazon Aquino role.
What happened in the Philippines was that after a disputed election the military leadership switched their support to Aquino and Marcos fled the country. The net result wasn’t a revolution but a change of power followed by some modest reforms.
Still, it was progress.
Teh stupid! It burns!:
Tracy Morgan has gone rogue.
The comedian gave his second racy shout-out to Sarah Palin this week on Sunday night, when he stopped on the red carpet at the SAG Awards to chat with E! host Giuliana Rancic.
“Sarah Palin, you’re the hottest MILF in the world!” Morgan shouted, referencing the raunchy acronym coined in the 1999 teen comedy “American Pie.”
He should be fired. Since he works for NBC he’ll probably get a raise.
A massive storm system bringing heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain could potentially impact 100 million people as it slams the Rockies, Plains, and Midwest regions early this week before traveling to the eastern seaboard Wednesday, according to forecasts on Sunday.
Freezing rain is expected to develop Sunday night and continue through Monday, producing a light grazing of ice that could lead to dangerous travel conditions in the central states, the National Weather Service said, but the primary storm system will hit early Tuesday and continue through Tuesday night.
I blame Sarah Palin
Shaking their tiny fists department:
Twenty-five protesters were arrested in Rancho Mirage, California today, at a protest in front of the Rancho Las Palmas resort, site of the “Billionaire’s Caucus,” an annual meeting put on by the Koch Brothers and other corporate entities and conservative movement operators.
Riverside Sheriff’s deputy Melissa Nieburger said that the sheriff’s department did have contacts with protest organizers, which included the California Courage Campaign, CREDO, MoveOn.org, 350.org, the California Nurses Association, United Domestic Workers of America and the main sponsor, the good-government group Common Cause, prior to the event, and that they were aware that some protesters would seek to be arrested for trespassing. She would not guarantee that all 25 who were arrested were part of that coordinated operation. The police, who wore riot gear, batons and helmets, did put the arrested into plastic handcuffs. Nieburger described them as “passive restraints.” They were being processed at press time, and Nieburger would not say whether they would be released or would spend the night at the jail in Indio.
Nieburger estimated between 800 and 1,000 activists at the “Uncloak the Kochs” event. Event organizers chartered buses from several locations around Southern California and claimed 1,500 people signed up for those buses, on top of any local activists who attended. It appeared from the ground that well over 1,000 protesters were there.
I don’t get it. I sympathize with the goal but exactly what did they accomplish by staging a protest and getting themselves arrested?