First letter from Egypt: blockade on the road
Written by Luis Gustavo Porfírio – PSTU
Monday, 07 February 2011 01:58
I arrived last Wednesday night at the Cairo airport, and there was a big feeling of desolation. Even with no disorder or desperation, many people were there resolute to leave the country. Stores were all closed, some embassies worked with helping points for their citizens, people passed through customs without any control by the police.
It was not possible to leave the airport during the curfew. By the morning the city was still silent, as no Arabian city could be. Going downtown we found ourselves on a suspicious traffic, next to a Police Station. Men with big knives and metal sticks walked opening the trunk of the cars. They asked about our nationality and for our passport, but didn’t do more than that. After this weird situation we continued riding when another blockade stopped us. This time the men had guns and sticks. One of them had a shock-gun, only used by the police. Once again, not far there was a group of police officers calmly watching.
It wouldn’t last long, because on the afternoon there were already many reports on violence against foreigners and journalists. The State TV broadcasted the government’s will, blaming foreigners and Zionists for the demonstrations. A ridiculous joke, coming from the best ally the US and Israel have on that area. The only effect this news had was to give just another excuse for Mubarak’s militia to attack.
On the streets downtown it was a busy day for the government supporters. Just like the Zionists do in Palestine, they attacked fast the weak points of demonstrators. In Tahrir Square the democratic movement counted 10 killed and hundreds injured. The reports include sharpshooters from the top of the buildings, supply barred by the police before getting to the demonstrators hospital, and lots of threatens where the army keeps both sides apart.
The expectation is that on Friday (4), the rally will bring a renewed strength in Cairo and other cities, showing that the majority is with the democratic movement, fighting to end a dictatorship not at all afraid to take society to chaos.
Gustavo Luiz Porfirio is a historian on the Palestinian cause and the struggle of the Arab people. He lived in Lebanon and other countries in the region and is a militant of the PSTU (Brazil) and LIT-CI (IWL-FI). He arrived to Egypt on the 2nd of February, as a special correspondent of Opinião Socialista and International Courrier press.
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