Cairo Clashing

Developing Story….

Pro-Mubarak groups are fighting with protesters calling for his ouster. Mubarak forces riding horses and camels are attacking people in Tahrir Square.  Shit is getting ugly.

Nicholas Kristof of the NYT: “It’s not quite right to describe what’s happening in #Tahrir as “clashes.” These are attacks by #Mubarak thugs.” and “It’s odd that Mubarak despises Iran. In fact, he’s precisely copied the Iranian model to crush pro-democracy protests.”

Updates in the comments, I’ll try to add video and images as they come in.


Nick Kristof on Twitter


From Al-Jazeera, pro-Mubarak forces attacking anti-government protesters:

And NYT:


Associated Press:

In the early afternoon, around 3,000 Mubarak supporters broke through a human chain of protesters trying to defend the thousands gathered in Tahrir, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene. They tore down banners denouncing the president, fistfights broke out as protesters grabbed Mubarak posters from the hands of the supporters and ripped them to pieces.

From there, it escalated into outright street battles as hundreds poured in to join each side. They tore up chunks of pavement and from grabbed ammunition from a nearby construction site, hurling stones, chunks of concrete and sticks at each, chasing each other.

At one point, a small contingent of pro-Mubarak forces on horseback and camels rushed into the anti-Mubarak crowds, trampling several and swinging whips and sticks to beat people. Protesters retaliated, dragging some from their mounts, throwing them to the ground and beating their faces bloody. The horses and camels appeared to be ones used by the many touts around Cairo who sell rides for tourists.

UPDATE 2, 13:20 EDT:

Kristof gets out of Tahrir Square, and offers some analysis:

Today President Mubarak seems to have decided to crack down on the democracy movement, using not police or army troops but rather mobs of hoodlums and thugs. I’ve been spending hours on Tahrir today, and it is absurd to think of this as simply “clashes” between two rival groups. The pro-democracy protesters are unarmed and have been peaceful at every step. But the pro-Mubarak thugs are arriving in buses and are armed — and they’re using their weapons.

In my area of Tahrir, the thugs were armed with machetes, straight razors, clubs and stones. And they all had the same chants, the same slogans and the same hostility to journalists. They clearly had been organized and briefed. So the idea that this is some spontaneous outpouring of pro-Mubarak supporters, both in Cairo and in Alexandria, who happen to end up clashing with other side — that is preposterous. It’s difficult to know what is happening, and I’m only one observer, but to me these seem to be organized thugs sent in to crack heads, chase out journalists, intimidate the pro-democracy forces and perhaps create a pretext for an even harsher crackdown.

I have no idea whether this tactic will work. But the idea that President Mubarak should make the case that he is necessary for Egypt’s stability by unleashing violence and chaos on his nation’s youth — it’s a sad and shameful end to his career. And I hope that the international community will firmly denounce this kind of brutality apparently organized by the government.


Fuck. Sun is going down, and per CNN:

CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted: “The only way out of Tahrir is thru army lines to the right of the mosque next to the Mogamaa.” (The Mogamaa is a building that houses the Interior Ministry.) “People in Tahrir square begging Obama to intervene. They are terrified a bloodbath is about to occur.”

@SanFranLefty: Yikes. But what could Obama do? It’s a sovereign nation. This is a job for the U.N.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: Tell Mubarak that if he doesn’t call off the thugs immediately, that the spigot of cash is turned off immediately.

@SanFranLefty: Exactly. That’s the leverage. And you know that secret “kill” switchs we put in all those tanks and fighter planes? Counting 3, 2, 1 . . .

@SanFranLefty: Not an option. We’re buying a stable southwest border for Israel with that money. It would cause more problems than it would solve in the long run.

@SanFranLefty: With my own beloved Republican party squarely behind Mubarak, lover of freedom, I can’t see that working.

Apparently Anderson Cooper has been “punched in the head” while trying to get through the crowds. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel bad about that. I despise the obviously coached thugs, but I’ve wanted to punch Cooper in the head a few times myself, mostly just to see if I could manage to mess up his hair.

@hunkamonkiman: No, he’s a good guy. His boyfriend is teh hot. Just think of Coop with a big fat cock in his mouth and you won’t want to punch him. Or think of him as his gay brother jumped from the terrace to his death. Or his gay dad trying to make a life with Gloria.

@Benedick: I’ve always had a soft spot for Anderson Cooper. I don’t understand Gawker’s fixation on having him make a public proclamation of his sexual orientation. He’s not in the closet, he’s just also not going on the cover of People magazine to announce it either.

@SanFranLefty: I don’t give a rat’s ass about his sexual orientation, but I remember when he hosted The Mole for fuck’s sake! Then he’s on CNN? Vanderbilt Clan nepotism.

I had no idea he was gay. They say everybody is a little gay, which, like Eric Cartman, probably makes me a quarter bi. I typically don’t care for the lives of TV personalities. It’s how they act behind the media megaphone that I’m concerned with. And he’s done some excellent reporting, but he’s also let me down by not calling people on their bullshit and allowing them to regurgitate false equivalencies and outright lies (talking points). I just thought the phrase “punched in the head” (his words) was kinda funny. And considering what’s happening all around Tahrir, I’m surprised he and his crew got off that light. I’m glad they got out safe, but I really wish CNN wouldn’t make more of a fuss about Cooper than the people in the streets actually being whipped and beating by camel-borne thugs.

@Benedick: Anderson is indeed a very pretty man.

@hunkamonkiman: It’s not just Anderson–pro-Mubarak forces are targeting journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists has a list of those attacked today.


Careful with mentioning Anderson Cooper’s impossibly hawt ‘n hunky bf, Ben Whatshisnuts. He’s been known to cause uncontrollable salivating and air-humping among certain segments of the population (me). Did I find the shirtless photos? Yes, of course.

I’d hit that so hard, State Farm would preemptively cancel all earthquake coverage in the tri-state area.

@¡Andrew!: Sweet mother of all things unholy. That boy just caused me to make a wet spot. Really digging the pictures when he has the scumstache…

@homofascist: But what could they possibly have in common? Ha ha.

I can think of all kinds of nasty things for which that Colt ‘stache would just be delicious. I’m sure he keeps AC warm at night.

(Photos 10 & 12 Holy #$@!$#)

@SanFranLefty: Did you catch him saying “inshallah” toward the end?

But the pro-Mubarak thugs are arriving in buses and are armed — and they’re using their weapons.

Up till that last bit, they sounded a lot like teabaggers. :)

@al2o3cr: The pro-Mubarak thugs are riding camels, not Medicare-funded wheelchairs.

If I half-hear the AJ feed correctly, the thugs are putting up blockades.

AJ is now headlining things “The Battle for Egypt”, and they’re being careful to note “pro-Mubarak” and “anti-Mubarak” crowds.

I mention this because I’m seeing some Twitter griping that American media isn’t calling it a “revolution” — AJ goes as far as “revolt”, but stops there.

ADD: Gawd, world weather is fun.

As an outside, totally independent, nordic observer I can attest to the fact that AC is pretty cute in a slightly ferrety way and his bf is all kinds of hot muscly goodness. May they know happiness in AC’s converted firehose firehouse.

And this Benedick. He is an interesting and most desirable man. I like to read his postings. They are so interesting and intelligent. He makes me laugh like Eirik Haroldsson splitting skulls in Norway. I would date him like crazy and fill him up with vodka. I bet he is all kinds of teh hawt. Too bad for this Viking that such an attractive and interesting man is already taken. His OH is some lucky guy.

@Snorri Haraldsson: Don’t tell him I said so, you TOTALLY have a shot. Benedick is as profligate as a bonobo in heat, I heard it independently from, like, 15 sailors (although they were all talking about the same pool table, oddly enough) PLUS I have it on good authority he’s into guys that can’t pronounce the word “about”, which makes him a total whore for both the Nordic and the Canuck male. Also too his native British guys, although who among us has not stooped to a Brit in a pinch (if you know what I mean)?

You didn’t hear it from me, though.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: This is a clear winner: “as profligate as a bonobo in heat.”

@¡Andrew!: I don’t know, I suppose if you covered his face with a paperbag he’d be hawt.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: This Snorri guy. He sounds kinda interesting. I’m thinking 6’4″ viking with equipment to match. I wonder if he’s into long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners?

4:25am in Cairo, and Tahrir’s still hot. When does the Army tell Hosni to die elsewhere?

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: Right? The BF is pretty fugly to me. And yet Andrew and HF are creaming their pants. Maybe it’s a peen-having thing.

Tahrir update: Shots fired may have been warning volleys from Army, not aimed at anyone. Tanks have also been creating smokescreens to try parting the (very angry) crowds. General sense is that the thugs are on the run, chased by Molotov cocktails.

@flippin eck: Because Andrew and I know that a boy with a mustache like that is a dirty, dirty boy. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.

@nojo: Coop is reporting that he’s been told to stay away from the windows and turn out the lights where he’s broadcasting. It looks like they’re basically broadcasting the show from a sofa in his hotel room.

CNN is saying part of it is tracer fire.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: One tracer just hit an apartment building…

Brian Williams and Richard Engel are in a dimly lit perch overlooking the action. I’m surprised the perch is lit at all.

State Department now telling Americans to evacuate — last call on a flight out…

The Benedick person seems so interesting. In your language what does it mean 9 1/2 inches? I must now go and peel off my skin tight leather trousers and repose myself. I hope I do not have naughty dreams. This can happen among us Viking men. Perhaps I will dream of Benedick? Or I will dream of the fjords. They call to me: Snorri! they cry, Beware of men with thick moustaches and interesting accents. I am only a simple norlander and know not what this means. Or assless chaps. And such as.

@Snorri Haraldsson: Libertarian Tool has a lot to answer for.

Government flights out of Egypt after Thursday “unlikely”. And here I thought we’d enjoy a lull until the Friday protest…

I am told there is a wise man among your elders. He is named Catt. I venerate all wise men.

@nojo: I wonder where they’re taking them to. Is it a flight to the States or the nearest cushy Western country, say Italy, with a voucher for a bottle of wine and a return flight to the US hub of your choice?

Anderson’s hair still looks awesome and it’s 5:45 in the morning there. If only it were warm enough for him to wear his black muscle shirt.

On a more serious note – it’s unreal how all the injuries seem to be to the head – I assume because the Mubarak thugs are riding horses and swinging cricket bats and straight razors at the protesters. I saw on the Beeb (or was it Kristof?) that the pro-Mubarak people are telling reporters that they are state oil company employees and other government workers who have been ordered to go attack the protesters or else they’d be fired and jailed.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Apparently they have to pay for the flight out. Not sure where they’re landing.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Taking them to Istanbul, Madrid, Rome, Tel Aviv, and Frankfurt. They’re flying empty planes to Cairo and flying them back to the nearest international airports, fueling them up again, and turning them back around. Turns out that a friend of mine’s parents were in Egypt for a tour of the pyramids. Her mom was one of the Americans interviewed by some network at the airport yesterday. State Department is charging the people for the flights.

I didn’t realize that about 90,000 U.S. citizens live in Egypt. Don’t know how many had joint citizenship versus expats.

Whew. Survived an entire hour with Ed Schultz. Happily, he didn’t talk much.

@nojo: Damn. I hope they bill for that with some sort of payment plan. I’m always flying in the cheap, nonrefundable seats. That would suck to have to come up with money up front to GTFO of a situation like that.

@SanFranLefty: Do they get a choice of destination or you just end up wherever your plane happens to be going?

@flippin eck & @karen marie: If you didn’t like that, then you’re gonna hate this: Gay-for-pay porn superstar Reese Rideout teaching two sweet, innocent and naïve Canadian guys how to be strippers.

Did all the snow just melt in Chicago? ‘Cause it sho’ jus’ got 20 degrees hottah in heeeeeere.

I should add that this aired on Canadian broadcast teevee, FSM-dammit.

@¡Andrew!: Oh, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I didn’t like it, just that I’d like it better if he had a bag on his head.

Reese, on the other hand, is — indeed — quite the hunk!

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: No choice of destination. And needless to say, no hope of seeing any luggage ever again beside what you had on you. They were literally dumped at a random international airport in Europe, then had to go up to random airline booths, explain the situation, and beg that the unused return Cairo to US ticket somehow be converted to a credit of sorts. My friend’s parents wound up at JFK, apparently all but kissed the sticky linoleum, and now are trying to proceed home, with the ice storm/snowpocalypse from hell.

At this point, my friend’s attitude is, “Well, they’ll have a story to tell for the next 15 Thanksgivings and Christmases…”

Oh, and you don’t have to pay up-front. State Department sends you a bill. No idea what the payment plan is, or if they just take it out with your taxes.

@SanFranLefty: HOLYSHIT! They should at least take them to Amsterdam. Damn. Glad folks are getting out safely.

W/r/t expats: seriously considered moving there 10 years ago. Was put off by the air quality and kid’s asthma. DAMN GLAD I didn’t go.

And, Al Jazeera returns to regular programming. Tune in tomorrow!

AJ morning report: “Even Iraqis are heading back to Baghdad for safety.”

Quiet but busy at 10:30am local. AJ has its cam on a makeshift fence at one entrance to Tahrir. There’s a tank squatting outside, but it’s just parked.

@nojo: Lets face it. There’s something about camel cavalry that is as cool as it is chilling.

i took note that AC’s hair does not move even when he’s punched in the head. what a trooper, when they were pummeling his cameraman, instead of helping him, our AC, without out a mussed hair, pulled out his flip video camera. that’s a pro right there.
btw, i’m enjoying the ‘catt/snorri show infinitely more than the camel brigade.

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