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Anti-Government & Pro-Mubarak Protesters Clash In Egypt

In Egypt, World Revolution on February 1, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Al Jazeera:

Violence erupts in Alexandria shortly after Egyptian president’s announcement that he will not seek another term.

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has announced in a televised address that he will not run for re-election but refused to step down from office – the central demand of millions of protesters who have demonstrated across Egypt over the past week.

His announcement follows a week of protests, in which millions of people have taken to the streets in Cairo and elsewhere.

Mubarak seemed largely unfazed by the protests during his recorded address, which aired at 11pm local time on Tuesday.

Shortly after his speech, clashes broke out between pro-Mubarak and anti-government protesters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported.

Rock-throwing youths at the city’s Mahatit Masr Square scattered as automatic gunfire rang out and a tank advanced towards them before halting and then withdrawing. There was no sign of any casualties.

Mubarak’s words were unlikely to carry much weight with the protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square: they resumed their “Leave, Mubarak!” chant shortly after his speech, and added a few new slogans, like “we won’t leave tomorrow, we won’t leave Thursday …”

Mubarak mentioned the protests at the beginning of his speech, and said that “the young people” have the right to peaceful demonstrations.

But his tone quickly turned accusatory, saying the protesters had been “taken advantage of” by people trying to “undermine the government”.

Until now officials had indicated Mubarak, 82, was likely to run for a sixth six-year term of office. But in his address on Tuesday, Mubarak said he never intended to run for re-election.

“I will use the remaining months of my term in office to fill the people’s demands,” he said.

That would leave Mubarak in charge of overseeing a transitional government until the next presidential election, currently scheduled for September.

Related Link: Hosni Mubarak Announces He Will Not Run For Another Term As President

Hosni Mubarak Announces He Will Not Run For Another Term As President (FULL SPEECH)

In Egypt, World Revolution on February 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Al Jazeera:

Egyptian president offers concessions and defiance in the face of continued protests demanding he leave office.

Following is the text of a televised speech delivered by Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday after a million Egyptians took to the streets demanding the president leave office:

“I talk to you during critical times that are testing Egypt and its people which could sweep them into the unknown.

“The country is passing through difficult times and tough experiences which began with noble youths and citizens who practise their rights to peaceful demonstrations and protests, expressing their concerns and aspirations but they were quickly exploited by those who sought to spread chaos and violence, confrontation and to violate the constitutional legitimacy and to attack it.

“Those protests were transformed from a noble and civilised phenomenon of practising freedom of expression to unfortunate clashes, mobilised and controlled by political forces that wanted to escalate and worsen the situation.

“They targeted the nation’s security and stability through acts of provocation theft and looting and setting fires and blocking roads and attacking vital installations and public and private properties and storming some diplomatic missions.

“We are living together painful days and the most painful thing is the fear that affected the huge majority of Eyptians and caused concern and anxiety over what tomorrow could bring them and their families and the future of their country.

“The events of the last few days require us all as a people and as a leadership to chose between chaos and stability and to set in front of us new circumstances and a new Egyptian reality which our people and armed forces must work with wisely and in the interest of Egypt and its citizens.

“Dear bothers and citizens, I took the initiative of forming a new government with new priorities and duties that respond to the demand of our youth and their mission.

“I entrusted the vice-president with the task of holding dialogue with all the political forces and factions about all the issues that have been raised concerning political and democratic reform and the constitutional and legislative amendments required to realise these legitimate demands and to restore law and order.

“But there are some political forces who have refused this call to dialogue, sticking to their particular agendas without concern for the current delicate circumstances of Egypt and its people.

“In light of this refusal to the call for dialogue and this is a call which remains standing, I direct my speech today directly to the people, its Muslims and Christians, old and young, peasants and workers, and all Egyptian men and women in the countryside and city over the whole country.

“I have never, ever been seeking power and the people know the difficult circumstances that I shouldered my responsibility and what I offered this country in war and peace, just as I am a man from the armed forces and it is not in my nature to betray the trust or give up my responsibilities and duties.

“My primary responsibility now is security and independence of the nation to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in circumstances that protect Egypt and the Egyptians and allow handing over responsibility to whoever the people choose in the coming presidential election.

“I say in all honesty and regardless of the current situation that I did not intend to nominate myself for a new presidential term. I have spent enough years of my life in the service of Egypt and its people.

“I am now absolutely determined to finish my work for the nation in a way that ensures handing over its safe-keeping and banner … preserving its legitimacy and respecting the constitution.

“I will work in the remaining months of my term to take the steps to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.

“According to my constitutional powers, I call on parliament in both its houses to discuss amending Article 76 and 77 of the constitution concerning the conditions on running for presidency of the republic and it sets specific a period for the presidential term.

“In order for the current parliament in both houses to be able to discuss these constitutional amendments and the legislative amendments linked to it for laws that complement the constitution and to ensure the participation of all the political forces in these discussions, I demand parliament to adhere to the word of the judiciary and its verdicts concerning the latest cases which have been legally challenged.

“I will entrust the new government to perform in ways that will achieve the legitimate rights of the people and that its performance should express the people and their aspirations of political, social and economic reform and to allow job opportunities and combating poverty, realising social justice.

“In this context, I charge the police apparatus to carry out its duty in serving the people, protecting the citizens with integrity and honour with complete respect for their rights, freedom and dignity.

“I also demand the judicial and supervisory authorities to take immediately the necessary measures to continue pursuing outlaws and to investigate those who caused the security disarray and those who undertook acts of theft, looting and setting fires and terrorising citizens.

“This is my pledge to the people during the last remaining  months of my current term.

“I ask God to help me to honour this pledge to complete my vocation to Egypt and its people in what satisfies God, the nation and its people.

“Dear citizens, Egypt will emerge from these current circumstances stronger, more confident and unified and stable. And our people will emerge with more awareness of how to achieve reconciliation and be more determined not to undermine its future and destiny.

“Hosni Mubarak who speaks to you today is proud of the long years he spent in the service of Egypt and its people. This dear nation is my country, it is the country of all Egyptians, here I have lived and fought for its sake and I defended its land, its sovereignty and interests and on this land I will die and history will judge me and others for our merits and faults.

“The nation remains. Visitors come and go but ancient Egypt will remain eternal, its banner and safekeeping will pass from one generation to the next. It is up to us to ensure this in pride and dignity.”

Related Link: Anti-Government & Pro-Mubarak Protesters Clash In Egypt

Egypt Revolution 2011 Videos (LIVE UPDATES) Page 10

In Egypt, World Revolution on February 1, 2011 at 10:22 PM

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David House: Bradley Manning’s Spirits Down But Excited About Egypt

In Bradley Manning, Manning, WikiLeaks on February 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM

David House spoke with Dylan Ratigan this afternoon about his visits this weekend with Bradley Manning at Quantico Marine Base.

As Jane wrote this morning, it was clear to David that Bradley’s spirits were down as a result of his solitary confinement, but Bradley was excited to discuss the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. David also revealed on MSNBC that while he meets with Bradley, there are three Marines standing behind Bradley who make their presence known. That’s in addition to electronic surveillance of the room, and presumably of every word spoken between Bradley and David.

House faced even stricter scrutiny from the guards, and Manning is still being detained under MAX/POI. Once in, Manning had some interesting observations about the situation in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as about American punditry’s reaction. Meanwhile, the new brig commander is going over Manning’s file, and a decision about possible changes in the conditions of Manning’s detention may be coming this week.

We drove down to Quantico on both Saturday and Sunday. Because David was concerned for his friend’s health and his first priority was being able to see him, we made the decision not to pursue delivery of the petition (now with 51,382 signatures) to the brig commander at this time. A new brig commander was appointed last week after the previous one abused Manning’s medical classification in order to punish him for “disobeying orders.” We also wanted to give her time to review Manning’s case and hopefully make the decision to remove him from punitive POI watch/MAX custody.

Bradley was brought in to meet with David, per usual, in chains. His MAX custody classification means that the entire facility is on lockdown whenever he leaves his cell, and he must be accompanied by two guards at all time. During his conversations with David, Manning’s guards listen closely to everything they say, and make it a point to make noise and shift around frequently to call attention to their presence in the room.

David was initially quite concerned about Manning’s state of mind, and felt he was beginning to exhibit some of the damaging symptoms of prolonged isolation including emotional withdrawal and impaired cognitive function. Bradley seemed slow to respond when they spoke, and could not process information as quickly as he normally did.

Bradley became excited and engaged, however, when David mentioned the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

“Bradley is in a shocked state due to solitary confinement, but his mood and mind soared when I mentioned the democratic uprisings in Egypt” said House on his Twitter feed last night.

Bradley was specifically interested in the role that online social networks had played in facilitating the uprising of young, technologically sophisticated youth in both Tunisia and Egypt. He noted that at a certain point, crowds seem to collectively intuit that they have reached a size sufficient to overpower the police. He felt that the broad instant communication capabilities of social networks in Tunisia and Egypt had enabled the quick assembly of enough people to reach this “tipping point” in a way that had not been previously possible.

David and Bradley did not discuss the role that leaked WikiLeaks documents played in sparking civic action in Tunisia and Egypt. Bill Keller of the New York Times, however, recently wrote that the “WikiLeaks cables in which American diplomats recount the extravagant corruption of Tunisia’s rulers helped fuel a popular uprising that has overthrown the government.” And Michael Hirsh, writing in the National Journal, says that “the Wikileaks cables may have done more to inspire democracy in the Arab world than did a bloody, decade long, trillion-dollar war effort orchestrated by the United States.”


Related Link: United Nations to Investigate Treatment of Bradley Manning

Free Bradley Manning!

Click Here to Donate to Bradley Manning’s Defense Fund

Bradley Manning – Solitary Confinement Torture, 8 Months and Counting…

In Bradley Manning, Manning, WikiLeaks on February 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The man suspected of revealing classified US government documents to the WikiLeaks website is being held in solitary confinement while awaiting trial. Bradley Manning has been kept alone in his cell in a Virginia jail for 23 hours a day, under constant surveillance, for seven months. The Pentagon denies he is being mistreated, saying that he receives visitors, can make phone calls, and routinely meets with doctors. But the UN says the use of solitary confinement for prolonged periods can be a form of torture that should be used sparingly. Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from the Quantico military base.

Free Bradley Manning!

Click Here to Donate to Bradley Manning’s Defense Fund

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