Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cairo protests

The situation in Egypt is currently rather confused & fluid. The BBC are reporting this morning (3rd Feb) that a retired Egyptian general with close links to the army is claiming that the army are ready to move against Mubarak if the violence from his supporters continues. However, BBC footage I've seen of the initial attack on anti-Mubarak protestors is quite interesting (link follows below). You can see how when pro-Mubarak supporters ride into the crowd on horse-back (and some on camels!) at Tahiri square, people do initially scatter, but then quickly re-group and surround the horses, and turn on them, with reports of them pulling the riders off. This results in the violent conflict in the square yesterday which saw at least 3 deaths and up to 1500 injuries and by all accouints the pro-Mubarak supporters were repulsed from the square.
I would say, that yet again, this is a very good example of how what may initially be presented as 'panic' (eg scatterring in the face of attacks), could instead be seen in terms of an ordered response to a credible threat, which is limited and governed by the social context in which crowd members find themselves   

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