Protests get violent, Egypt expects more protests amid high security presence

Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Jan 2011

Police hit hard at protesters in downtown Cairo as government cracks down on Internet access

Demonstrators move away from a cloud of teargas in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Since Wednesday morning police trucks and state security forces could be seen in several areas throughout Egypt, after Tuesday's unprecedented demonstrations calling for radical political and economic reforms.

Spots expecting demonstrations have been guarded by state security after the ministry of interior declared that no demonstrations of any kind will be tolerated.

Despite official warnings, several demonstrations calls or rumours of some have been spreading on social media sites. Although the government has cracked down on activists' Internet tools, blocking Twitter, Facebook and a number of Egyptian news websites, online activists have been able to post and discuss possible meeting points as the "Day of Anger" looked set to continue for several more days.

Suggested meeting points in Cairo included the 6th of October, Nasser City and Tahrir square.

Several protestors gathered in different locations with hundreds at the Press and Lawyers' syndicate in downtown Cairo and further protests held in Monofeya in Egypt's Delta region.

A prominent member of the press syndicate, Yehia Kallash, was detained shortly during the Wednesday protests, according to sources in the syndicate.

According to Reuters, there have been brief attempts by protesters to gather outside the High Court in the centre of the capital and in the industrial city of Mahallah el-Kubra, where some of Tuesday's protests also began. Sources also say police questioned anyone who appeared to loiter around Cairo's downtown area.

By mid day, demonstrations in downtown Cairo turned violent, with protestors throwing stones and state security firing tear gas canisters to disperse the crowds. Numerous journalists covering the events also commented on the increased number of arrests today.


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