Tens of thousands of people have been marching through the streets of Cairo, defying the state security apparatus. AP reports that Mohamed ElBaradei, who returned home to take part in the protests, had been assaulted with a water cannon when he tried to march and has since been placed under house arrest. The protest has spread to other Egyptian cities as well.
I just heard a reporter on Al Jazeera English suggest that when the people of Egypt wake up tomorrow morning, they will wake up in an entirely different country. And here in Washington, Vice President Biden has been quoted as saying that Hosni Mubarak is not a dictator and should not step down, which helps no one.
Sometimes, it’s better just to shut your mouth and say nothing.
Here’s an eyewitness account from Alexandria, from the Guardian in London:
“After prayers, the protesters came out of a mosque and started shouting slogans. They were saying “peaceful, peaceful” and raising their hands. They were immediately attacked by police in an armoured car firing teargas. Fierce clashes started then, with exchanges of rock throwing. About 200 police faced about 1,000 protesters. The clashes lasted for nearly two hours. Then a much larger crowd of protesters came from another direction. They were packed in four blocks deep. Police tried to hold them back with teargas and rubber bullets, but they were finally overwhelmed.
Then the police just gave up, at about the time of afternoon prayers. Protesters gave water to police and talked to them. It was was all peaceful. Hundreds of protesters were praying in the street.
Now walking down to downtown Alexandria, the whole road is packed as far as we can see, people shouting slogans against [Hosni] Mubarak and his son Gamal. Asking others to join them. It is a very festive atmosphere. Women in veils, old men, children, I even saw a blind man being led. And there are no police anywhere.”
But it is not by any means all festive and flowers. Here’s a fresh posting from YouTube, in which a protester is shot and killed. WARNING: It’s not for the faint of heart, but neither is revolution.