Is Egypt About to Have a Facebook Revolution? Like the Tunisian protests, the calls to rally in Egypt went out on Facebook and Twitter, with 90,000 people voicing their support. Throughout the day organizers used Twitter to give minute-by-minute instructions about where to gather in an attempt to outmaneuver the police, until the government blocked it in the late afternoon. In another parallel with Tunisia, the protests drew energy from the death of a single young man: a young Egyptian named Khaled Said whose family and witnesses say was beaten to death by two policemen in Alexandria last year. His slaying has become a rallying point for Egypt’s opposition. Tunisia’s protests were also sparked by a single death, that of a poor Tunisian vegetable vendor who set himself on fire to protest corruption. That act has been copied by at least six people in Egypt. The demonstrations in Egypt were clearly inspired by what happened in Tunisia. They were bigger than anything seen here for a number of years. What was also most striking was the boldness and anger of the protesters. Even when the police moved in with water cannon and tear gas, they stood their ground. The police, by contrast, appeared wrong-footed. They are unused to confronting crowds as big and determined as this.

The events in Cairo were co-ordinated on a Facebook page – tens of thousands of supporters clicked on the page to say they would take part. The microblogging website, Twitter, has confirmed that its website has been blocked in Egypt. Twitter said it believed the open exchange of information and views was a benefit to societies and helped government better connect with their people. The Swedish-based website Bambuser, which streams video from mobile phones, said it had been blocked in Egypt. On its blog, it accused Egyptian officials of trying to control the news agenda. Evenimentele din Cairo au fost coordonate pe Facebook, pe o pagina special creata, unde 90.000 de sustinatori au dat click, spunand ca vor lua parte la proteste. Se pare ca Twitter a fost blocat in Egipt si ca retelele de telefonie mobila au picat.,8599,2044142,00.html On Facebook, more than 85,000 people have pledged to attend a nationwide antigovernment protest planned for Tuesday, Jan. 25, in Egypt. It’s an effort that has so far been facilitated almost entirely online, and if even half that many people show up, it will be a historic day for Egyptian political activism under the Mubarak regime. The “Revolution Day” Facebook page presents a list of demands for Mubarak’s nearly 30-year-old administration, ranging from raising the minimum wage to limiting presidential terms. As for social-network mobilization, observers say that Facebook is easier than word of mouth or cell-phone use for the government to monitor.

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