Ahram Online was able to confirm that buisnesses, banks and government agencies, including the Cabinet offices, in Cairo have started to dismiss their employees hours ahead of the planned demonstrations against the government of Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, which are set to start today in Tahrir square at 5 PM Cairo local time.
Employees at the Cabinet headquarters, except those in its media department, in downtown Cairo were sent home two hours early. The Armed Forces have sent extra military police units to secure the building.
Meanwhile, management at different workplaces told employees that they must go home early because they claimed that protesters planned to block major roads including the vital 6 October bridge.
Ahram Online was not able to confirm whether these companies and agencies have received instructions from authorities or other parties to do so or if they have done so on their own accord.
However, protesters have not publicly changed their original plan to gather in Tahrir at 5pm in order to stage a peaceful march on the cabinet’s headquarters in midtown Cairo.