Mass country-wide protests entered their second day, with demonstrators and police clashes resulting in four deaths by early morning today. The protesters have vowed to remain in Tahrir Square in Cairo until the regime falls, defying security forces firing water cannons and tear gas into the crowds and beating protesters when at close range. According to reporters on the ground, security forces had said that they would not allow protesters to reassemble in the square.
Despite reports on January 25 that some social media sites had been entirely blocked by the government, some demonstrators were still able to take to Twitter to announce more rallies in Cairo. The Guardian’s live blog posted tweets of protesters organizing demonstrations in Nasr City, Medan El Saa’a, Tahrir Square, Omar Makram and other well-known neighborhoods.
In Alexandria, amidst an increased police presence, protesters who reconvened were quickly contained by police. Along the city’s Corniche, a main road facing the Mediterranean Sea, several dozen protesters were surrounded by more than 100 security personnel, including plainclothes officers and uniformed riot police; an unknown number of demonstrators were arrested. Another 100-person protest in the Alexandria neighborhood of Abu Suleiman was shut down by police in under an hour. Other significant demonstrations were reported in Asyut and Suez. The Egyptian government claimed that, since nationwide protests began the day before, over 800 people had been arrested—many human rights groups, however, claimed arrests were in the thousands.
In a public statement by President Mubarak, the National Democratic Party pointed blame for the protests at the Muslim Brotherhood, stating, “The Brotherhood organization is illegal, and a number of parties are exploiting the enthusiasm of youth to achieve chaos.”