Egypt Protest

Thousands of anti-government protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in Egypt this week. Many have taken inspiration from the protests in Tunisia that toppled the government there. The protests are the largest Egypt has seen since President Hosni Mubarak took power nearly 30 years ago. But Mubarak maintains a tight grip. And he has shown a willingness to crack down harshly. Anna Maria Tremonti will talk to some of the protesters. And we'll look at what's behind the growing opposition movement.



It's Thursday, January 27th.

Egypt has blocked the social networking service, Twitter.

The government learned they couldn't club, teargas or arrest the most wanted 140 characters in Egypt.

This is The Current.

PART ONE



Egypt Protest - Protestors

We started off the item by hearing from one of the many protesters who were arrested in Egypt this week. He was picked up in Cairo on Tuesday night along with Jack Shenker, a reporter with the British newspaper The Guardian. Shenker had an audio recorder with him at the time. And he kept it running. You'll hear some of that tape.

All week, thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets across Egypt. Many are taking inspiration from the protests in Tunisia that toppled the government there. The protests are the largest Egypt has seen since President Hosni Mubarak took power nearly 30 years ago. At times, they have turned deadly. At least, four protesters and two police officers have been killed. Over a thousand people have been arrested. Police are using water cannons and tear gas. And the government has banned protests. But the demonstrators aren't backing down. Here's a sample of what some of the protesters have been saying on Twitter over the last few days.

Egypt Protest - Journalist

Mohamed Eldahshan is a writer and consultant who has been among those protesting in Cairo. He spoke with us this morning.

Egypt Protest - Protestors

This has been a slow boil for about 3 years now. Among those whohave been trying to provoke change is George Ishak. He got on a plane in Vienna, this morning he was headed for Cairo. Egypt's opposition parties are now scrambling to catch up with the grass roots protestors. George Ishak is part of that coalition for change and the former leader of the Kefaya (or "Enough") opposition movement. He was in Cairo.

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