Egypt back online
But protests continue
Egypt is returning to the internet even though protests are continuing in Cairo and other cities.
President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday he would not seek re-election but would step down in September. Whether this represents the compromise protestors were looking for or a sign of weakness which will encourage them remains to be seen.
Egyptian newspapers and other sites are coming back online now and Twitter offers this analysis: "internet is back in #Egypt. I am using my computer now. fuck you Mubarak."
Mobile phone services are also coming back online.
Police tried to clear Tahir Square and other areas of central Cairo late last night without success. Demonstrators have mostly dismissed Mubarak's promise to leave later in the year as insufficient.
The danger for Mubarak is that any action short of an instant taxi ride to the airport will strengthen the resolve of demonstrators to hold until he leaves power.
The next challenge will be Friday when protestors will again gather after prayers - so far the mosques have played a more important role than Twitter or Facebook in organising Egyptian reform. ®
Govt. drinks cool-aid on importance of internet.
Don't get me wrong, the internet is important. But obviously not important enough that shutting it down has any real effect on quelling public unrest. I imagine the the thought-stream went something like:
"That new-tech internet thing is allowing people to express discontent."
"Lets shut it down, then people will stop because it is only the power of the internet driving the discontent."
"Oh, the people are still discontented, but now we look foolish as well."
The internet is a tool - a very powerful one. But if you take away my hammer, I will just go find half a brick to drive the nails in with.
Seems obvious then.
>so far the mosques have played a more important role than Twitter or Facebook in
>organising Egyptian reform
So shut them down .. and then stop people talking to each other .. or writing letters .. or writing in diaries .. or whatever else those pesky people will think of next.
Honestly - I can just imagine Mubarak doing an impersonation of Hitler in his bunker 'what do you mean they are still talking to each other!!!'
The more that the glorious leaders try to squeeze a population, the harder the population will fight to free themselves.
As a famous plastic toy said: "Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force!"
And I hope other leaders around the world are taking notes and learning that lesson.
As far as I know
with the current situation Mubarak would have to walk to the airport due to road blocks. But then if he did that he might not get there....