People go out at night and stand infront of their homes with knives and whatever they can find to protect their family and houses from the convicts.
I also heard about how this started. It started with a few educated people that gathered in Cairo and started a peaceful demonstration. The police then surrounded them and started to physically torture them and that’s when nearby people came in and intervened. Things spiraled out of control from there.
The source of this information is Aleia [last name with-held for privacy] who heard from one of her uncles who contacted family there via their landline phone and numerous articles that I have been reading and posting on Facebook verify it.
Addition, people have been constantly going on about this being a religious movement. That is all lies and there are tons of articles out there to prove how wrong they are if they just searched and did some reading. Here is one such article with an update: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/930605–reform-leader-calls-on-egypt-s-mubarak-to-go
CAIRO—Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the secular opposition banded together Sunday around a prominent government critic to negotiate for forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
The announcement that Mohamed ElBaradei would represent a loosely unified opposition reconfigured the struggle between Mubarak’s government and a six-day-old uprising bent on driving him and his party from power.
Though lacking deep support on his own, ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and diplomat, could serve as a consensus figure for a movement that has struggled to articulate a program for a potential transition. It suggested, too, that the opposition was sensitive to the uprising’s image abroad, putting forth a candidate who might be more acceptable to the West than beloved in Egypt.
In scenes as tumultuous as any since the uprising began, ElBaradei defied a government curfew and joined thousands of protesters in Liberation Square, a downtown landmark that has become the epicenter of the uprising and a platform, writ small, for the frustrations, ambitions and resurgent pride of a generation claiming the country’s mantle.
“Today we are proud of Egyptians,” ElBaradei told throngs who surged toward him in a square festooned with banners calling for Mubarak’s fall. “We have restored our rights, restored our freedom, and what we have begun cannot be reversed.”
Earlier, he criticized the Obama administration, which has expressed support for the rights of the protesters but pointedly refrained from calling on Mubarak to step down. In an interview with CNN, Mr. ElBaradei called that approach “a failed policy” that was eroding American credibility.
“It’s better for President Obama not to appear that he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, it’s time for you to go,” ElBaradei said.
Whether ElBaradei can emerge as that consensus figure remained unclear. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work as director of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Even in Liberation Square, the crowd’s reaction to ElBaradei was mixed — some were sympathetic but many more were reserved in their support for a man who spent much of his adult life abroad.
One Brotherhood supporter, Mohammed Fayed, an engineer, said that even if ElBaradei could replace Mubarak, he should stay no longer than a year: “ElBaradei doesn’t live here and doesn’t know us. We need a leader who can understand Egyptians.”
Last year, when ElBaradei returned to Egypt, the hopes of many of the 20 or so of Egypt’s opposition movements, leftists, seculars and Islamists alike, were pinned on him. Within weeks, he managed to collect more than 900,000 signatures for his candidacy, but the laws enacted by Mubarak prevented him from running.
Then he disappointed many: Instead of remaining behind to fight the regime, ElBaradei preferred a luxurious exile in his Vienna estate, leaving his supporters behind to bear the brunt of the secret police.
His standing suffered further when it appeared that ElBaradei was willing to cooperate with the regime, instead of calling for the radical change that seemed impossible just a few days ago.
But this dent in credibility and popularity seems to have been overcome ever since Baradei demonstrated with the masses in Tahrir Square on Friday and was hosed down by a police water cannon. Now, Baradei is slowly evolving to become the courageous and outspoken opposition leader his supporters had always hoped he would become.
With files from Gil Yaron
Proof of the prisoners roaming the streets harming people:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8291661/Egypt-in-crisis-vigilantes-and-prisoners-on-the-streets.html
Inmates escaped from at least four jails across Egypt, including suspected Muslim extremists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist.
In one jailbreak at the Abu Zaabal prison on the outskirts of Cairo locals told The Daily Telegraph that 18 people had been killed after gangs of gunmen fought a six-hour battle with guards to free jailed associates.
Meanwhile as darkness fell last night, groups of club-wielding “Citizens’ Committees” manned checkpoints at road junctions across Cairo and other cities in a bid to stop looters.
Egyptian police have been absent from the streets since Friday night, when they lost control of vast demonstrations demanding the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
The army has been on the streets since then, but is largely restricted to static guard duty in tanks and APCs.
On Sunday many Egyptians claimed that the jailbreaks and looting were deliberately orchestrated by Mr Mubarak in order to convince them that an end to his rule would simply lead to chaos.
“Egyptian state television has been showing the pictures of looting all day,” said one man. “This is designed to get protesters to leave the streets and go back to guard their homes.”
At the Abu Zaabal jail on Sunday, bullet marks could be seen on the perimeter walls and prison trucks lay ditched in a nearby river.
Locals claimed that thousands of prisoners had escaped after posses of Bedouin tribesmen from Sinai – an area near the Israeli border notorious for smuggling and banditry – came to spring jailed fellow clansmen from the facility on Saturday evening.
“The Bedouin came just before sunset in cars and trucks,” said one eye witness from a nearby town.
“At first they just fired randomly into the air, but then they started shooting at the prison guards, who fired back. Eventually the guards could not keep control and they left the jail. Thousands of people escaped, and Bedouins took their friends off with them in trucks.”
He said the escaped prisoners included members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement that contests elections in Egypt and aspires to be one of the power brokers in any post-Mubarak government.
On Sunday the area around the prison was still lawless, with groups of youths wandering around with clubs and gangs of looters stripping the jail of food supplies and furnishers.
There appeared to be no inmates still left in the jail, although a small number, who had only months left to serve in their sentences, surrendered themselves to a nearby mosque in the hope of not jeopardising their parole.
At the same mosque 18 bodies from the jail battle were also taken, and later removed by ambulance.
“Why didn’t the army protect us?” asked one resident. “We are scared now that the town is full of criminals.”
As night fell large groups of men and youths formed check points all over Cairo, some also armed with knives and pistols. On the route back from Abu Zaabal back into the city centre, The Telegraph encountered checkpoints almost every 50 yards in some areas.
“We are protecting ourselves and the people,” said Mohamed Kamal, 21, wielding a large black baton. “Last night we arrested 12 criminals and handed them to the army, and today we caught another three. We support the demonstrations here but not any kind of destruction.”
At a nearby police station that was attacked and burned out on Friday night, rap sheets bearing suspects’ mugshots littered the streets, with locals claiming that weapons had also been stolen from the armoury.
Overall, though, apart from a currency exchange store that had been broken into, The Telegraph saw little evidence that the looting of private property had been particularly widespread.
Most Egyptians were at pains to dissociate the protests from any criminal acts.
“Please tell the world that we are law-abiding people, not thugs or thieves,” said Ahmed Ghazi, 45, an engineer, as he saw The Daily Telegraph outside the burned out police station.