Monday, January 31, 2011

Cairo Protests - Monday 31st

January 31st 2011: Police are partly back in Cairo, directing the traffic or just making their presence visable. The people are still gathering in very large numbers in Tahrir Square and are preparing for tomorrow's ”Million March” which is supposed to attract over one million protesters in Cairo and Alexandria. It feels like the situation is about to reach a critical point; will the police increase its brutality during tomorrow's protests and if that's the case, what will the military do about it? Most people agree that the military is on the people's side, but they have so far been weak in their support other than that they haven't used much violence against the protesters. What worries me is the clashes that are bound to take place tomorrow or in the days to come, between police and civilians. If the police opens fire against the protesters, will the military finally stand up and defend them?

Rumours say that the protesters have given the military until February 3rd to show their support for the people. What will happen after that remains to be seen. No clear opposition leader have stepped forward that have been widely accepted. Nobel peace prize winner Mohamed Elbaradai is undoubtly the one who have been seen the most publicly through media and says that he will lead the country in the transition period if the people want him. Many are critical to Elbaradai though, saying that he talks more to the media than to the people and that he has been away from Egypt for too long and didn't join the protests until a couple of days after the protests had begun. In my opinion, he's worthy and qualified to take over the president post until a free and fair election can take place. It would be impossible to find the perfect candidate in the heat of the moment so having a temporary leader that will listen and accept the voice of the people is good enough. Not every good change can happen in a day. During the transition period, the people of Egypt will have more time and resources to find candidates to lead the country through the reforms.

Our afternoon has been spent on hunting for food and drinks, as for most other people in Cairo. The city is running low on bread and other essentials. God knows what will happen if the businesses keep being closed for much longer. It's just been a week since the protests started. It took less than a day before the police started to be openly violent, another couple of days before the whole security broke down. Huge prison breaks, large amounts of weapons being stolen, looting, sabotage, buildings and vehicles of fire. Internet and mobile nets are shut down. It's incredible how fast the system can completely collaps. The banks are closed and people can't get their salaries. Now we're running out of food and drinks. What's next?

Swedish Radion called for a second (live) interview today. I'm happy that I get to do my part in spreading the information about what's going on in the country now that we're being cut off from the internet. I hope I'll be able to publish this along with all the videos and photos I have waiting. Keep your fingers crossed.

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