The big news around the sphere is Pres. Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight. But not around here, as something serious is brewing in Egypt… and so far no one is covering it, but that won’t last long.
Just a few moments ago (6:45 pm EST)…
Protests have brought Cairo to a standstill this week as thousands have poured into the streets, shouting “Down with Mubarak” and clashing with riot police. The demonstrators are calling for an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in power and were inspired by the Tunisian uprising that ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14. The protests were organized on Facebook and Twitter, though reports are now surfacing that Twitter is being blocked in Egypt. – Washington Post
While the cable yakkers regurgitate their White House talking points on centrism, centrism, centrism, Egypt is rocking. Christian Science Monitor calls the protests “unprecedented.” The pictures are stunning and make sure you see Lens.
From the Washington Post (translation enabled): We didn’t block twitter – it’s a problem all over Egypt and we are waiting for a solution.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhoneVodafone Egypt
RT @cnnjill: Clinton on Egypt: “Egyptian govt is stable/looking for ways to respond to legitimate needs/interests of people.” (Cue laugh track)
bencnn benwedeman by MideastChannel: Hillary Clinton on #Egypt unrest: “we urge all parties to exercise restraint” That’s usually what they say before the storm hits. #jan25
stevenacook Steven A. Cook: Troops moving in. Lots of commotion “mubarak go to Saudi” unclear how many
LaraABCNews Lara Setrakian: People are still out on the streets, going strong in Cairo. Some police throwing stones at protesters, others running away from them #Jan25
Cairo – Well, today was the big day…January 25th…National Police Day…and Egypt’s Day of Rage.
It began for me at 230am when I was wandering back to my hotel from Bab el Luq. I found myself on Falaky Street near the Interior Ministry. It was already flooded with police.
Later this morning it was extremely quiet going through Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square). Loads of Central Security Forces soldiers and two trucks with water canons atop waiting.
My twitter feed began lighting up around noon. Sporadic reports of protests on Ramses Street, clashes in front of the Lawyers Syndicate, and hundreds?, 1000s?, 10,000s? moving toward Tahrir Square. I was atop the Marriott Hotel at the time looking downtown. Traffic was moving well. Still, Twitter was reporting lots of action downtown. People are demanding change. No reports of violence. …
Also see Blogs of War.
The Tunisia virus is spreading, but in the U.S. it’s like nobody knows.
So, back to your regularly regurgitated programming.
If you’re playing a drinking game tonight during the SOTU coverage, the word is “centrism.” You’ll be drunk ten minutes in.
PS – Lebanon’s “day of anger” is also in full swing, for those who can be bothered.
…and Nick Baumann comes through again, explaining what you need to know.