Today and yesterday were hard days in Tahrir Square. I was there tonight right after gangs came to attack the protesters in Tahrir Square. After I got home tonight I heard an interview on Al Jazeera that was filmed this afternoon discussing how wave after wave of gangs armed with machetes, knives, horse whips and Molotov cocktails attacked the protesters in the Square. Fighting erupted. News reports later tonight said approximately 30 people were injured.
By the time I arrived (having gotten out of class at the downtown campus on Tahrir Square), all the tents in the Square were already gone and I didn't see any fighting. There were still groups of people marching and sometimes groups of people running toward certain areas. I saw many people, some armed with sticks, running down an alley next to the Square.
This first video is one I took while I was still in the university building. At the time I filmed this, I had thought it was the army that had removed the protesters' tents in the Square, but a man told me later it wasn't the military, rather it was groups of pro-Mubarak people.This video is available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQvBJsfI2Co
The next few videos are once I'd gotten down to the Square. I stayed across the street from the actual Square since it was safer there.This video is available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1weQ2ZwYRY
This video is at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BL_e5Aaly8
This next video is one taken on the street that my school is on, a half block down from Tahrir Square. This is where the people were running to in the last video. I saw a lot of men and military soldiers running into the alley to the right of the Pizza Hut that is covered with the green tarps. After about 10-15 minutes, I saw military soldiers walking out with two men they were detaining (each man flanked and held by the arm by one soldier). I also saw 5-6 men carrying out a large bundle (like a piece of carpet or a blanket that looked like it contained either a person who could not walk or a body. I didn't film this because it was difficult filming at this time. Here's the video of the area right before I saw the men arrested and what looked like a person being carried out.
Here's the link to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwZ4Z5xPgP4
Here's a video of a man who was watching the events of Tahrir Square with me and many others. He spoke English and was willing to have me ask him a few questions on video. Because of the poor lighting and the likelihood that someone would try to stop me from filming right next to the Square, we walked half-way down the block and did the following video. This video was is quite short because a group of 3-4 men came up to us and told me to stop filming so I walked away. After the men left and we walked a little further down the block, we continued the interview. Because of the length of time to download things, I'm leaving off the second short video I did with this gentleman in which he talks about how the protesters were still in the square because the revolution is still unfinished. The second video below explains what he meant by that.
This video is available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnYeDXUx_5E
Here is the link for this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSR2fLL9mDQ
This next video is one I took a week ago in Tahrir Square. All the tents you see in this video were removed tonight. I wonder what happened to the young man I interviewed in this video.
This video is available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Ym4a3Bc4w
Yesterday's news, also not good:
You can read the Huffington Post article at the following link entitled Women's March Turns Into Shouting Match. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/egypt-womens-march-turns-_n_832993.html
I talked to three women who were at the protests yesterday: two foreigners, one Egyptian. All reported similar things: that there were some male protesters chanting slogans against the women protesters. One positive thing was that there were men joining in the women's march and arguing and chanting for women's rights along with the women. Some Egyptian men were telling the young men against women's rights that these women had been right there with them during the revolution and they had a right to be there in the Square. At one point some of the men in the square were telling women to go home for security reasons because there were reports that protesters were coming over the bridge and there could be violence in the Square. The shouting at the Women's March escalated to some women reportedly having to run out of the Square in fear with some being physically attacked.
There was also violence as clashes broke out during a protest of a couple thousand Coptic Christians demonstrating to protest the burning of a Coptic Church. As many as 13 were dead after these clashes, and more injured. There were Muslims marching with the Coptics in solidarity. The Muslims and the army said they would help rebuild the Coptic church that was burned.
The last piece of news for today: Mohammed Elbaradei has announced he will run for president.