Egypt protester stares down a water cannon in Cairo (video)

By , Staff writer

I'm still trying to figure out how big today's protests in Egypt were, particularly in Cairo. None of the images and video I've seen so far look like the 80,000+ organizers were hoping for.

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.

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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.

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