February 17th, 2011 Washington D.C. to celebrate the resignation of the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. There was a great showing of Egyptian Americans as well as others who came to express their solidarity with the peaceful Egyptian people who made this beautiful revolution possible. Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry from CODEPINK opened up the night [...]
I was in the middle of buying some mints from a street vendor on Cairo’s Talat Harb Street—right off Tahrir Square--when the rocks started flying. I had given a 20-cent coin to the vendor. He gave me one pack of mints, and all hell broke loose.
“Run, run,” people yelled at me. I saw a group of men running down the street, carrying a man whose face was streaming with blood. Then I saw the pro-Mubarak thugs, armed with rocks, metal pipes, whips. “Run, Run,” the Egyptians on the street told me. I ran for shelter as fast as I could.
Tonight our CODEPINK delegation in Cairo returned to Tahrir Square after the terrible events of this afternoon, when Mubarak's thugs busted up their peaceful protest with rocks, sticks and molotov cocktails. Hundreds have been wounded--their hands, legs, arms wrapped in bloody bandages. Despite the beatings, thousands of people are still camped out in the square--absolutely determined to stay there until Mubarak goes.
Now is the time that the Egyptian people need our solidarity. Don't let there be one more "Made in the USA" teargas canister hurled at these people. Don't let there be one more U.S. bullet or U.S. weapon aimed at them.
Today belongs to the youth! Using Twitter and Facebook and who knows what else, tens of thousands young men and women took to the streets of Egypt. They gathered to protest the Mubarak regime. Twenty thousand filled Cairo's Tahrir square. They protested in Suez, Fayoum, Ismailia, Kafr el Sheikh, Bultim, Mahallah, Mansour and cities from Alexandria in the North to Aswan in the South. Nothing of this magnitude this has happened in Egypt before.
After several canceled flights, I am finally on my way to Egypt to join my CODEPINK colleagues who are already there. We were supposed to be leading a delegation to Gaza right now, traveling through the Sinai to get to Gaza's southern border. The Rafa crossing into Gaza has been closed, our delegation is unable to leave Cairo, and we have been caught up in the breath-taking people's movement that is sweeping Egypt. CODEPINK’s Tighe Barry has been out on the streets of Cairo all week long. You can hear a compelling report from him here.
At 1 a.m. on Wednesday, February 2, I was speaking to one of the thousands of protesters planning to spend the night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. “I hope you’ll get at least a few hours sleep,” I said, as we parted. “We don’t need to sleep,” he smiled. “We have been sleeping for 30 years.”