The following happened after I stopped blogging yesterday: Malek was released, we found out where Sharqawy was detained, there was a tiny protest at the Lawyer's syndicate in Cairo , and the city of Mahalla went on fire. Clashes erupted between the people and the police, shots were fired, over 100 detained and at least 2 are dead. Here is the story:

Egyptians angry with
the government about high prices set fire to shops and two
schools in a Nile Delta textile town on Sunday after police
thwarted plans for a general strike and countrywide protests.

Police fought battles through the streets of Mahalla
el-Kubra with the protesters, led by textile workers who tried
to go on strike for more pay to compensate for inflation.

The demonstrators set ablaze a primary school, a
preparatory school and a travel agency, among other shops in
the working-class town, and stopped an incoming train by
putting blazing tires on the railway tracks, witnesses said.

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the
protests. Some 40 people were injured and hundreds of others
had breathing problems from gas inhalation, security sources

Protesters threw stones at police, attacked police vehicles
and tore down the posters of the ruling party's candidates in
Tuesday's local elections, witnesses said.

Hossam has more  

Sometime after 3pm, demonstrations broke out in El-Shoun Sq, chanting
against price increases.. Mubarak’s police fired on the demonstrators..
A man and a child were killed.. Police trucks attacked.. Buses caught
on fire… Mass round ups of activists and citizens… Ghazl el-Mahalla
labor organizers Kamal el-Fayoumi and Tarek Amin el-Senoussi are in police custody… Police gunshots heard throughout the town according to witness…

UPDATE: I’ve spoken with Kareem el-Beheiri,
who’s on the run now… Kareem says hundreds were detained today in
Mahalla including minors… Anyone nabbed was abused also by the police.
Children were beaten up with sticks, sacks full of rocks, punches,
kicks… Lawyers who showed up to defend the detainees were chased by
sword-wielding plainclothes police thugs… For more information about
the mass round ups of activists and demonstrators in Mahalla, Cairo,
Mansoura, Kafr el-Sheikh and elsewhere, please check out the Tadamon, April 6th Strike and the HMLC blogs, as well as Nora’s Twitter account

UPDATE: Mahalla is under “unofficial” curfew,
according to an activist in the city I’ve just spoken with.. The town
is occupied entirely by Mubarak’s Central Security Forces who managed
to pacify the city by 10pm.. Citizens are instructed by microphones to
stay in their homes…

 I could write all about it, but I got pictures, and you know what they say, worth a thousand words and all, so check it out:

This is how Mahalla looked like. Streets empty and shops closed!

And then the police arrived, which got the clashes started, and it looked like something out of Gaza:



As you can see, all ages participated in the rioting….


..and genders… 

 Tear Gas was used to disperse the protesters

 A protester kicking away a canister of tear gas


 The people started burning tires in the streets


Some even burned down a Bus…




Some people were arrested 



And others heavily injured. 

For more pictures go here and here , and for more coverage, go here .

There are talks of a repeat strike the first week of May, so this may be all far from over! 

0 comment on Aftermath

  1. Adam B.
    April 7, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Hmm, riots have never solved anything…

    In the case of a democracy, it flies in the face of the heart of the system. In the case of a despotic (or pseudo-despotic) government, it just gives them an excuse to roll out the heavy machinery.

    In any case, riots always hurt the innocent bystanders and shopowners the most.

  2. tedders
    April 7, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Oh my!!!

    No good for anyone!!

  3. anonymous
    April 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Subhanallah it does look like Gaza…i betcha ur next door neighbours r nervous…an angry Egyptian population is a scary Egyptian population

    But I’m happy…they need 2 do this because they are occupied by the Pharoah and his band of crooked merry men…market reforms are only benefitting the rich elite right now…who can wait 4 Dr. Nazif’s policies to filter down and reach the vast majority of the population…

  4. Bitman
    April 8, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Adam B: All revolutions are started with violence. The French, the American, Chinese and even colonization of the east by the west wasn’t exactly bloodless.

    You cannot overthrow a government with democratic means, when that government doesn’t obey basic democratic principles. Even in the so-called democracies, would there be limits for a total rebuild of the system from within. Imagine trying to turn America into a communist state by elections alone? Or implementing a western democracy in China?

    There was blood shed when America got rid of it’s British rulers; and the result after all that blood was worth the struggle and sacrifice. I just wish the Egyptians the same luck in creating a society where everyone has a chance.

  5. Adam B.
    April 8, 2008 at 9:19 am

    6. Bitman:

    I just differentiate between an all out armed struggle between a rebel faction and a dictatorship on one hand and rioting in the streets by people who are unhappy with an elected leader.

    Hey, Egypts government might not be completely legally elected, but it is of no use to bring a country even further from democracy than it already is… In any case, what use it it to set fire to stores, cars etc.? How exactly does that hurt the government?

    My point is, that since Indias struggle for independence, we have had a brilliant example of how to achieve victory peacefully in a modern world. If there really was such a majority that wanted Mu removed, why not shut down the country with peacefull non-violent demonstrations and possibly even convince the military to cross over and join? This method might not work in, say, Iran because the government doens’t give a shit about it’s image in the rest of the world, but for Egypt, so much hinges on the west looking favourably towards them… There should be a reasonable chance to change the system from the inside rather than taking it apart!

  6. Maram
    April 8, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Adam B.:

    We’re dealing here with a government of thugs, a smart government of thugs. They deploy anti-riot (or should I just say: riot) police in uniform and also in civilian clothes. We call them Karate Teams. They pretend they’re from the protesters and they are the ones who set-up fire in shops and other places, so that people think that the protesters are violent, and are the ones who are doing that.

    This dictatorship will not be toppled by peaceful means. It’s a police state that will stop at nothing. We must scare them to make a difference. Pressure from everywhere. How can you have a peaceful movement if they are arresting people from coffee shops, the streets and their homes.

    They need to know that the people are fed up. They need to know that they must leave, now. Or their other alternative is to start real reform so that the economy and the lives of people do actually improve. Those workers in those pictures get paid something between 150 – 400 – 600 Egyptian pounds a month. That’s 27 – 109 Dollars a month.

  7. Jack
    April 8, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    To be honest, from the pictures it looks as though only half the people are fed up. The women are fine with it as I don’t see any women there at all.

    Some day muslims may find that having women involved in the political process is a good thing, other than sending them on suicide missions, of course.

    Good lord, is the litteracy rate in Egypt really only 30%? That’s a good basis for a representative democracy, which by the way is NOT majority rules.

  8. Jane
    April 8, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    There was blood shed when America got rid of it’s British rulers; and the result after all that blood was worth the struggle and sacrifice. I just wish the Egyptians the same luck in creating a society where everyone has a chance.

    Bitman, the U.S. didn’t have the equivalent of the Muslim Brotherhood, or other Islamic fascists, waiting in the wings. 🙁

  9. Noliving
    April 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Question, why is it ok for these people to throw rocks but not ok for the pally’s too throw rocks at the egyptians? I mean the pally’s although buying entertainment bought a ton of food. These rocks being thrown are down for the sole purpose of politics while the pally’s was for survival.

  10. Friend of the Egyptians
    April 9, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Throwing rocks is in no way shape or form a means of survival.

    Getting their act together, teaching their children to love life rather than love death, and renouncing terrorism would do far more for their standard of living than throwing rocks.

  11. howard_coward
    April 9, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I’m scared!

  12. Louise
    April 9, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Adam B., fer Chris sake, where did you get your knowledge of India’s history from? Watching the movie Gandhi?

  13. Noliving
    April 9, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Yes but the stores were sold out of food in gaza and the egyptian police were in their way to get too the food among other things.


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  1. […] and his trademark juvenilia, profanity, and keen insight are intact. (Update: He has posted some remarkable photographs from yesterday’s “clashes” in Mahalla, the source of yesterday’s General […]

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