Downtown under siege again…

I won’t be posting a report on today’s Kefaya pro-resistance demo, as I couldn’t go. But you can check some demo pix here.
Jano Charbel of dpa who attended the protest told me he was punched and beaten by batton-wielding CSF, who took his bag, and returned it later without his mobile phone nor the money that was in it. Others were also assaulted including blogger Alaa Seif who was beaten so much that his shirt was shredded, and activist Ahmad Droubi was beaten on the head, shoulders, and his eyeglasses were smashed by plainclothes thugs. Droubi told me shortly before the crackdown, he saw and overheard one of the plainclothes thugs eagerly asking a CSF Lt Colonel, “When are we going to get some action ya basha?” I was also told several female protestors were manhandled by the plainclothes thugs.
CSF attacking demonstrators in downtown Cairo
Al-Jazeera reported there were similar pro-resistance protests that took place in Tanta and Bani Suweif.
On another note, I won’t be blogging for the coming ten days at least, as I have some urgent personal errands I have to take care of.

See you soon…

Darell Issa weighing in?

Not a single conversation thesedays about US policy in the region, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, and what have you–that does not end with the question, where are the Arab Americans, and why aren’t they as organized as the pro-Israel lobby. Issandr has blogged several postings about this subject before.
Anyways, Zazou posted some critical comments on Darell Issa, the US congressional representaive from Lebanese decent, who is no stranger for us here in Cairo, with his regional visits that usually include meetings with Hosni, Gamal, and the NDP posse…

Worth checking out: Poor Lebanon…

Actors and Artists demonstrate for Lebanon today

The Actor’s Guild and the Artists’ Syndicate have called for a sit-in at the UN office in Cairo, today Monday, to protest the Qana massacre.
The actors and artists will assemble in front of the Guild, located in el-Bahr el-A3zam Street in Giza, at noon, and will move in buses and cars to Garden City, where the UN office is located.

Several actors and artists have joined the ranks of dissent since the launching of Kefaya, in addition to others who’ve known to come into the art scene from activism background. The most outspoken actor/activist has been Khaled el-Sawy, the star from the box office hit The Yaacoubian Building. He together with the novel author, Alaa el-Aswani, had helped launch Artists For Change last year, as one of Kefaya’s offshoots.

Israel to suspend aerial operations for 48 hours, US says

I’m watching Al-Jazeera now. The channel has just announced that the US State Department said Israel agreed to suspend aerial operations for 48 hours, and will investigate what happened in Qana.

UPDATE: Now Al-Jazeera is saying that “Israel’s temporary suspension of aerial bombardments does not cover missile launch batteries.”

HRW holds Israel responsible for Qana war crime

HRW issued a statement denouncing Israel’s massacre in Qana today…

Israel/Lebanon: Israel Responsible for Qana Attack
Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime

(Beirut, July 30, 2006) – Responsibility for the Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 54 civilians sheltering in a home in the Lebanese village of Qana rests squarely with the Israeli military, Human Rights Watch said today. It is the latest product of an indiscriminate bombing campaign that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have waged in Lebanon over the past 18 days, leaving an estimated 750 people dead, the vast majority of them civilians.

Continue reading HRW holds Israel responsible for Qana war crime

Pro-resistance protest in Talaat Harb

I uploaded pix of today’s protests here.
Will be posting a report soon…

UPDATE: Here’s the report….
I arrived in Talaat Harb Sq. few minutes after 7pm, and there were only 20 leftist activists standing in the square, with Palestinian and Lebanese flags, and no security presence.
Earlier in the day, there had been confusion about the protest’s location.
There was a demo and a prayer organized at the Press Syndicate, that had been agreed up on by different political groups, but with the news trickling early morning on the Qana massacre, others felt there had to be some street action, and I learned from activist sources there was something to happen in Talaat Harb Sq.
I wasn’t optimistic on my way to the demo. This space activists had in the “street,� in 2005 and up till March 2006, has been constantly under attack, and it’s just an “achievement� nowadays in itself to get few dozens to show up somewhere outside the “liberated zone� called Press Syndicate stairs.

Continue reading Pro-resistance protest in Talaat Harb