Feb. 2nd, 2011

seticat: (* cat - tv - orangedragoness)
Last 8+ days: Egyptian anti-government protesters have been very peaceful over all. Many of them have brought their entire families and are camping in Tahrir Square. The Egyptian Army has been at the entrances to the Square, checking for weapons and such and making sure if any conflicts break out, they are settled out before things escalate out of hand. There has been some looting, but the people themselves have been discouraging that.

Last 24 hours: Pro-government forces have been 'staging a rally'. Firebombs and all sorts of improvised incendiary devices are being thrown, many of them at various areas within the Square starting many fires. And not just a few, but 'quite' a few. There is the sound of automatic weapons fire in the background and CNN's reporter has related he and his camera crew have been physically attached several times. Something that simply hasn't happened up until now. He said it looks like the three main entrances to the Square are being blocked by pro-government forces. He's also seen pro-gov protesters walking around armed with knives, etc. There has been a massive increase in people suffering serious injuries, a lot of them head injuries.

And it doesn't look like the Army is doing one single thing to step in the break it up.

So, for a quick recap:
Anti-government protesters - pretty much peaceful the last 8-9 days, family to include women and children have been camping in the square, minimal or no weapons seen and minimal damage caused by them and the Army stepping in from time to time to keep things quiet.

Pro-government protesters - started up in the last 24 hours, mostly armed males, the Army is sitting back not doing squat to stop the fire bombing, the assaults, or making *any* effort to make sure the men, women and children who are currently in the Square stay safe or can leave the square safely if they wish.

Folks, even if I weren't a cynical, pessimistic sorta gal, I'd still have to come away from this with the impression this is a government promoted and supported, staged aggression against those who want a change in their government to give the world a taste of what the Egyptian government wants folks to think Egypt would be if Mubarak stepped down.

Now, I'm not saying what I think you should get from this whole mess. I'm just saying take the time to review the actions of the last 9+ days and then do the math for yourself.

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