Protests against the Egyptian government continued today as thousands gathered in the streets of Cairo, The New York Times reports.
The Egyptian government intensified efforts to crush protests on Wednesday, decreeing a new ban on public gatherings and sending police equipped with clubs, tear gas and armored carriers against small groups that defiantly gathered in Cairo to oppose the 30- year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
The Associated Press, citing unnamed Egyptian security officials, reported that 860 protesters had been arrested since major protests began Tuesday morning, roughly two-thirds of them in Cairo. Many others were in Alexandria. Nadeem Mansour, a human rights advocate at the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo, said the bulk of the arrests took place overnight.
In contrast to the thousands who marched through Cairo on Tuesday and occupied a central square for hours, the Wednesday gatherings were relatively small. In front of Cairo’s press and lawyer’s syndicate buildings, more than 100 people shouted slogans, outnumbered by a force of security officers. “You’re protecting thieves,” they chanted. Police officers began striking the protesters with bamboo sticks.