By Emad Mekay
Egyptian police started beating up journalists protesting outside the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo. They beat up women journalists, too, who were screaming and crying for help. “Do not club women. Do not attack women,” some of the men rushed to the police asking them not to target women. “You’ll make things worse if you use violence,” many journalists were telling police officers outside the building.
Two journalists were arrested: Yehia Qalash, who is a member of the union board, and Mohammed Abdel Qodoos. Qalash was released later on, but Abdel Qodoos is still in custody.
This is the second day of protests with far more police presence. Security is more intense outside important buildings including the TV and Radio building overlooking the River Nile. Soldiers look ready for a fight today.
In the industrial city of Mahala, police virtually cordoned off the city. My sources in the city tell me the police ordered early dismissal of textile factory workers to preempt any organized protests of workers after work. They also blocked all traffic to some streets leading to the city center square, Al-Shoon Sqaure, where thousands demonstrated yesterday.
The protests are not asking for anything specific this time. They want the government out. It is that general.