Egypt protester stares down a water cannon in Cairo (video)
Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East. Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.
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But protests erupted in about a half-dozen Egyptian cities. Ahram Online has been doing great live updates on events for most of the day here. At 5:06 pm in Cairo (10:06 am Eastern TIme) Ahram estimated 20,000 protesters in Alexandria alone. But reports from the field on days like today, amid the excitement and confusion, frequently overestimate the size of crowds.
Monitor correspondent Kristen Chick was in Tahrir Square in Cairo, site of some of the largest protests, and estimated a few thousand people there (she should have a story up on our home page in the next few hours). We'll have to wait until better pictures and video start trickling out to assess the size of the protests. If there were crowds as large as those claimed for Alexandria anywhere, there will eventually be video confirmation.
Here's some good amateur footage of defiance and anger from protesters in Cairo today: At about 1:20 in, a young man stares down a police truck firing a water cannon.