Battle in Egypt

Al-Jazeera Egypt around midnight: Street battle in the centre of Cairo, minister of health speaks of 507 injured, the government therewhile is busy with discussion about general lines for the constitution draft.

Not only in Cairo: Since Sunday morning street battles all over egypt, reports of two dead and several hundreds injured. In Suez protesters attacked a police station, the military went in, live ammunition is been used. Ongoing street fights in Alexandria and in Cairo between protesters and riot police, apparently a fire in a building beside Tahrir Square. The military is calling the people to support the government in this hard times against this attack to destroy the country.

Yesterday hundred thousands joint a peaceful demonstration to call the military to leave and to give power to a civil government. But the demonstration against military rule was used by parties and candidates for the upcoming elections, from liberal parties to the muslimbrotherhood and islamist salafis, they built up several stages and hold speeches, but in the evening, at the time to occupy the square and start the protest, called to leave. Just a small number of activists stayed there and was attacked at night, first by thugs, later by the riot police (csf) that in the morning took the square and closed the inner circle to prevent further protest, like it happened before in august.

At the same time, a group of 25 people who got injured during the revolution continued their protest in Tahrir Square. They were already on a sit-in for some days as they still didn‘t get the compensation the government promised them since month. A meeting with representives of the government finished without result. Sunday morning several hundred riot cops attacked them and bet them, as the news of the attack spread more people joined in the afternoon, the situation escalated fast, the police is shooting live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, several people died, hundred are injured, there are no clear numbers at the moment. Fightings also in Alexandria and Suez, in Suez the military apparerently went in after a police station was attacked. The following videos from Tahrir, most filmed by a journalist from egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm who got shot in the eye in the evening, show the beginning of the event and the situation today, translations and explanations below…

Video 1: Tahrir Square, Sunday morning. About 25 people who got injured during the revolution and have been protesting for compensation got attacked by the riot police (csf). Man complaining: „What injustice…there are 25 injured persons and they send them 5000 police men and officers, and they don‘t even talk to them, just start hitting them!“ A general of the csf says the people who were protesting left the day before and most of these people were just street people and thugs and the police just acted in a legal way. Protester, injured in the eye: „Is this the reward you give to the ones who were injured in the revolution, fighting for democracy and freedom? They didn‘t even talk to us, just start hitting us…“

Video 2: The csf left a blue transporter in the square, protesters are protecting it, explaining that the driver and a police men run away and left the car with the key, the protesters drove it to the ministry of interior to give it back but nobody came out to take it, so they brought it back to the square. The two kids both suppose it was left to let the protesters burn or destroy it and then show this pictures to give a bad impression of the protest, so they protect it to avoid such an image. Then shouting: The csf is coming. Some protesters try to let the situation calm down and to stop others throwing stones, but the csf already start attacking, police-men are taking stones and throw it back, shoot teargas, the sound of teasers can be heard.

Video 3: Street battle around Tahrir Square, csf shooting from cars, beside thugs (in civil) can be seen. People shouting: „Al-Shab yourid iskat al-mosher – The people demand the removal of the military chief [Tantawi, minister of defence and head of the ruling surpreme council of armed forces]“

Videos 4 and 5: The protest is going on in the evening, the people are shouting slogans against the military, demand the removal of the regime, protester says everybody should go on protesting, the military is not better than Mubarak and should leave.

General Fangary of the Surpreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is speaking to the people in the TV, saying more or less the same as always: „The people who are doing this now are acting on a agenda from outside and want to destroy the country, they wan‘t to stop the elections. But the elections will take place in its time and the army will play the main role in securing it … We don‘t have to give attention to every person who is going to Tahrir and saying he doesn‘t like the government. The egyptian people is 80 millions, and the people in Tahrir Square don‘t represent all the egyptian people. … We call all the egyptian citizens now to stand firm with the government to pass this hard time for our country…“

Update: 20 of november, 2am
The muslimbrotherhood is calling the people to stay calm (what means not to protest). The Salafi Nour party called the people to stay at home, one Salafi Sheikh and candidate for the parliament went back to the square. The 6 of april movement said it was not protesting and called for a demonstration for next week instead (actually many of its members are candidating for the parliament now). Confirmed: one dead in Suez, one in Alexandria, in Cairo one 13-year-old shot in the head, in critical condition.

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