Egypt Braces for Massive Riots after Friday Prayers

Egypt Braces for Massive Riots after Friday Prayers

By | 2011-01-28T05:29:00-04:00 January 28th, 2011|News|0 Comments

Egypt is bracing for major riots Friday, with demonstrations planned throughout the country after Friday morning prayers. Three people were killed this week in the largest demonstrations in Egypt in 25 years.

The major protests follow the recent successful revolt in Tunisia. Demonstrators are calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down from power and allow open and fair elections.

The country’s four primary Internet providers all cut service shortly after midnight. Mobile phone signals were disrupted as well, in an apparent attempt by authorities to make it more difficult for protesters to organize or to get footage of the demonstrations out of the country.

Organizers have switched to contacting friends abroad on landlines. Footage and reports from protests earlier in the week were online almost instantly as demonstrators updated their pages on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook while riots were ongoing.

Muslim Brotherhood Joins the Fray
The latest government crackdown may be a response to the Muslim Brotherhood’s announcement on Thursday that it will join Friday’s demonstration. The Brotherhood is Egypt’s largest opposition group, and its participation could give the counter-government rallies new strength.

One Brotherhood leader told reporters, "Tomorrow is going to be the day of the intifada." He predicted that many of the Brotherhood’s younger members, some as young as 15, would take part in Friday’s demonstrations.

Leading opposition member Mohamed ElBaradei has also thrown his weight behind the protests.

Overthrow Planned in Detail
According to a report in the Hebrew-language daily Maariv, Mubarak has reason for concern, as those organizing the demonstrations have planned his overthrow in detail. Documents spelling out how to revolt against the administration reportedly include satellite images of strategic sites and major intersections.

The documents, given to activist leaders, also include instructions on how to seize Mubarak’s presidential palace, television and radio stations, and the seats of local government throughout the country, according to the report.