Early this morning, (1:30 a.m.), several of us in the Voices office were in touch with Josh Brollier by phone as he described police assaults on Gaza Freedom Marchers, several hundred of whom were gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The line was cut when Josh himself was beaten. Later, he told us that he had been sitting on the ground, locking arms with protesters beside him. Uniformed police, generally, weren't physically assaulting people. They were telling them to rise and leave the square. But, plain clothes police were attacking people. Josh was whacked in the head, pulled by the hair, slapped in the face and then pushed, along with a mass of other people, out of the square.
Others were bloodied and bruised, and one person suffered broken ribs.
Police penned the Gaza Freedom Marchers into a space beyond the Tahrir Square where the group remained for another six hours. They danced and sang. They listened to one another, seated in a large circle. A minute of silence was observed, in remembrance of children who died during the Operation Cast Lead attack. Even the police officers who surrounded them maintained the silence.
Later this morning, Josh called. He said that the group decided to disperse and will attempt to gather again in the evening. We've been following their experiences through photos, videos and comments posted at this site: