Saturday, 9 April 2011

Tweeting from Tahrir Square remains high, despite crack down.

Photo By Gail Orenstein for the web 3.0 lab. Egyptian woman sits in front of her vegetable stall in Cairo. She said she earns approximately four US dollars per day.

"Egypt's ruling military council has said it would clear protesters from a central Cairo square with "firmness and force".

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, a senior military officer blamed trouble in Tahrir Square on "elements that backed the counter-revolution", a reference to people loyal to the administration of deposed President Hosni Mubarak.

"Tahrir Square will be emptied of protesters with firmness and force to ensure life goes back to normal," the council's Major General Adel Emarah said.

Responding to Emarah's remarks, protester Zain Abdel Latif in Tahrir said: "If they use force we will use force. This isn't Libya, where the army can just attack us."

YouTube captures events in Tahrir Square

"The military council is part and parcel of the corrupt regime. It is made up of heads of the army that have benefited from Mubarak and his 30 years of robbing the Egyptian people," said Abdullah Ahmed, 45, a protester in Tahrir.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters had retaken the iconic square hours after security forces attempted to disperse them.

In the clash that ensued, at least one person was killed.

In scenes reminiscent of the violent 18-day uprising that ousted longtime President Mubarak in February, protesters and riot police threw rocks at each other, and security forces responded by firing tear gas, witnesses said.

Egypt's health ministry said that one person was killed and 71 injured after those clashes. The military had earlier denied that anyone was hurt or killed in the raid of the square.

Groups of protesters rallying around the southeast corner of the square threw bottles and possibly petrol firebombs at riot police, Michelle May, a freelance journalist, told Al Jazeera.

One of the main roads running east from Tahrir Square towards Talaat Harb Square was virtually empty, and gunfire seemed to have subsided, a witness said.

Army and central security troops withdrew in the morning, leaving the square to protesters who began setting up barricades made of furniture and left-behind barbed wire.

"The number of protesters remaining in the square is swelling, as news [of the clashes] spreads through the city," reported Mike Hanna, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo."

Read More here on Al-Jazeera

Photo by Gail Orenstein web 3.0 lab/Clima. Young Egyptian girl waits outside a phone booth stall in Khan el-Khalili, Egypt's Most famous market to use a land-line phone. These kinds of phone shops are still very popular all around Cairo. They also sell mobile phones inside.

Conclusion: Given the very high activity on twitter we can only conclude that protesters are self organizing to continue resistance. We anticipate continue unrest and protest in Tahrir Square for the near term future.

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