I was all set to be abed by midnight for the first time in weeks. Lights were out and I was settling in when I started to hear shouting down the street towards Tahrir Square. A unified chant began to emerge, and as I came out on my roommate’s balcony over Tahrir Street, there was a mob of young men and women shouting, “The people demand the fall of the system!” as they marched with Egyptian flags from Tahrir Square towards Abdeen Palace.
Not ten minutes later, I was out on the balcony again. Some of the protesters were coming back down the street. Residents of the street had come out in the “popular committees” or “neighborhood watch groups” that were so familiar during the 18 days of revolution, with their sticks and thin plastic pipes. They beat a few youth as they ran back down the street towards Tahrir Square.
Maybe fifteen minutes later, I was back out on the balcony watching an argument that had broken out on the intersection below. I noticed that the neighborhood watch and the employees of the gas station on the corner had once again erected a roadblock on the street heading towards the Interior Ministry. They were turning cars away from both the Ministry and the street to Abdeen Palace, but I couldn’t hear clearly enough to understand why.
Eventually, sometime after 1am, things settled down enough that I could sleep.
The Leaking Begins
When I woke up this morning (not as rested as I’d planned), I discovered in Egypt Today that protesters had stormed a number of buildings of the Central Security, the intelligence service in the police force, to stop them from destroying documents, videos and other evidence proving their corruption and use of torture.
There are also rumors that senior police officials have been relieved of their jobs, and that they stormed several government offices in protest. My roommate, who was watching from a nearby balcony, heard that one of those government buildings was the Abdeen Prison down the street, where they supposedly released prisoners who attacked the Interior Ministry. I can’t confirm either, just to say that rumors are rampant and the revolution is far from over yet!