Friday, January 28, 2011

Crowds clash with police in 'Angry Friday' protests as Egypt cuts Internet, cell service

Washington Post
January 28, 2011

Heavily armed riot police battled thousands of protesters across Cairo on Friday, as the Egyptian government sought to squelch a burgeoning pro-democracy movement that appears to be gaining strength.

The government shut down Internet connections and cellular telephone service in an effort to disrupt communication among the demonstrators, who have relied heavily on social networking sites to organize their protests.

But crowds nevertheless surged onto the streets after noon prayers, in response to organizers' call for a day of protests dubbed "Angry Friday."

Tear gas blanketed much of this capital city's downtown, as demonstrators sought to converge on the centrally located Tahrir Square. They were met by police wielding clubs and water cannons.

Despite the crackdown, the protesters showed no signs of leaving, and continued to chant slogans demanding the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.