Egypt Strikes Continue As Doctors, Lawyers Join Protests

02/10/2011 09:30 am 09:30:57 | Updated May 25, 2011

CAIRO (AP) – Doctors in white lab coats and lawyers in black robes streamed into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday as labor unrest across the country gave powerful momentum to Egypt's wave of anti-government protests. With its efforts to manage the crisis failing, the government threatened the army could crack down by imposing martial law. (Scroll down for live updates.)

The protests in their 17th day – which have focused on demanding President Hosni Mubarak's ouster and the end of his regime's heavy hand on power – have tapped into the even deeper well of anger over economic woes, including inflation, unemployment, corruption, low wages and wide economic disparities between rich and poor.

For the second day, crowds angry over lack of housing rioted in the Suez Canal city of Port Said. On Thursday, they set fire to the local headquarters of state security, the main post office and the governor's offices, which had already been partially burned the day before. It appeared police and soldiers were not intervening.

The spread of labor unrest was in part in direct response to calls from protesters as strikers expressed their support for the political movement. But there also seemed to be another element – locals unleashing long pent-up resentment at symbols of the state, whether it was an unpopular local police chief, a state factory seen as stiffing workers or a governor failing to follow through on promises.

The government warnings raised the prospect that the energized protests could bring a new crackdown.

Speaking to the Arab news network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that if "adventurers" take over the process of reform the military "will be compelled to defend the constitution and national security ... and we'll find ourselves in a very grave situation."

The night earlier, he was more explicit, saying in an interview with "PBS NewsHour" that there would be chaos if Mubarak stepped down immediately. "Do we want the armed forces to assume the responsibility of stabilizing the nation thru imposing martial law, and army in the streets?" he said. It was the second coup warning this week, with Prime Minister Omar Suleiman making similar threats Tuesday.

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02/14/2011 4:24 PM EST

Somali Preacher Urges Egypt-Style Revolt

Ahram Online reports:
A spiritual leader of Somalia's Islamist Shebab rebels called for popular Egypt- and Tunisia-style revolts to topple the government.

Sheikh Jama Abdusalam said such uprisings would rid the war-wracked country of a government that he accused of serving Western interests.

"I am urging the people to carry out Egyptian- and Tunisian-style uprisings in Somalia," Abdusalam told Alfurqaan Radio, a Shebab mouthpiece.

Read more here.

02/14/2011 4:21 PM EST

Clinton To Egyptians 'Don't Let Anyone Hijack The Process'

@ AlArabiya_Eng : Clinton to Alarabiya: I say to egyptians: don't let anyone hijack the process #alarabiya #Iran #Egypt #clinton

02/14/2011 4:20 PM EST

Egypt Summary: Today's Events

Egypt's military rulers called for an end to strikes and protests Monday as thousands of state employees, from ambulance drivers to police and transport workers, demonstrated to demand better pay in a growing wave of labor unrest unleashed by the democracy uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The statement by the ruling military council that took power from Mubarak appeared to be a final warning to protest organizers in labor and professional unions before the army intervenes and imposes an outright ban on gatherings, strikes and sit-ins.

Soldiers cleared out almost all the remaining demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the giant traffic circle that was turned into a protest camp headquarters for the 18-day revolt. During more than two weeks of round-the-clock demonstrations at the square, protesters set up tents, brought in blankets, operated medical clinics and festooned the entire plaza with giant banners demanding removal of the regime.

Read more here.

02/14/2011 3:51 PM EST

'Rumors' Of More Deaths In Bahrain

The Guardian reports:
There are rumours – and let us stress, just rumours at this point – of more deaths in Bahrain following today's protests.

02/14/2011 3:48 PM EST

France Asked To Freeze Assets Of Egypt Officials

@ felix85 : France says Egypt asks it to freeze possible assets of ex-officials, adding to UK and Germany already today

02/14/2011 2:59 PM EST

Yemen Protests Continue After Concessions By Regime

Ahram Online reports:

A crowd of about 3,000 protesters, mainly lawyers and students, tried to march from Sanaa University to Al-Tahrir square in the city centre, where [Yemen President] Saleh's supporters have been camped since last week, but were prevented by security forces who erected barbed wire, witnesses reported.

In a move to manage the situation President Saleh halted constitutional procedures which may have allowed him to assume the presidency for life, and possibly pave the way for his son, the chief of the Republican Guard, to succeed him.

02/14/2011 2:50 PM EST

Protester In Bahrain Reported Killed By Security Forces

The Guardian reports:

A major development in Bahrain where there are reports that one person has been killed by security forces during a protest:

According to sources in the hospital, and confirmed by Nabeel Rajab from a Bahraini human rights organisation, Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, 27, was shot in the back with live ammunition. Protesters are incensed.

02/14/2011 2:43 PM EST

Dozens Of Iran Protest Clips On YouTube

@ thelede : Live Update: Dozens of Iran Protest Clips on YouTube http://nyti.ms/dG1C5M #Egypt #Bahrain #Iran

02/14/2011 2:42 PM EST

Egypt’s Ruling Generals Meet With Opposition

The New York Times reports:

Two generals sat down Sunday night to talk about their country’s future with seven of the revolution’s young organizers — including the Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim — and the young activists posted their notes on the meeting directly to the Internet for the Egyptian public to see.

“We all sensed a sincere desire to preserve the gains of the revolution and unprecedented respect for the right of young people to express their views,” two of the young organizers, Mr. Ghonim and Amr Salama, wrote in their Facebook posting, with the disclaimer that they were speaking only for themselves. They noted that the generals spoke without any of the usual “parental tone (you do not know what is good for you, son),” and called the encounter “the first time an Egyptian official sat down to listen more than speak.”

Read more here.

02/14/2011 2:22 PM EST

Al Jazerra: Clashes Reported In Iran Protests

@ AJEnglish : Clashes reported in Iran protests: Pro-reformist marches under way in Tehran despite a heavy security presence a... http://aje.me/fqbkTi
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