The ‘tweets’ of the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution represent some of the most remarkable real-time reporting ever seen. Twitter was a kind of alternative press, a way of getting the word out to other Egyptians and the outside world, and a means of undermining the state controlled media.
The uprising was not, as some have called it, a ‘Twitter revolution’. Twitter was a tool, not a cause. The revolution had much deeper roots stretching back years: it was a reaction to neoliberal economic policies, the lack of opportunities and the brutality of the regime. But the way it was seen in Egypt and around the world was heavily influenced by social media.
On 21 April OR Books, an independent progressive publisher, will release a collection of tweets from the uprising. Tweets from Tahrir, edited by Red Pepper’s very own Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns, is available exclusively to order online at www.orbooks.com. The following are edited extracts from three of the crucial days of the revolution.
the day of revolt Tuesday 25 January
Inspired by the example of the Tunisians, Egyptians took to the streets in unprecedented numbers, overcoming police brutality to briefly occupy Tahrir Square
3arabawy Hossam 11:02:28 Jan 25
@shadihamid I’m not expecting a revolution today. I’m expecting protests. So let’s not shoot high so as not to disappoint people later.
monasosh monasosh 13:56:06 Jan 25
This is great, we r in nahya street, ppl r walking by our side #jan25
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 15:30:06 Jan 25
We are taking all the tight streets of shubra with us to Ramsesees we are heading #jan25 http://yfrog.com/h56kshgj
ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 15:57:42 Jan 25
#Jan25 amazing! Huge crowd just rushed in from abdeen to join thousands controlling half of tahrir square
norashalaby Nora Shalaby 15:58:37 Jan 25
monasosh monasosh 16:00:04 Jan 25
Eyes burning fuck #jan25 http://yfrog.com/gy70kgj
norashalaby Nora Shalaby 16:04:42 Jan 25
Tear gas is fucking deadly. Cant see!
monasosh monasosh 16:21:43 Jan 25
Police is throwing rocks at us #jan25 http://yfrog.com/h06ipbj
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 16:27:33 Jan 25
Police throws rocks @ demonstrtrs while we raised our arms. We’re unarmed, they’re in full gear. We are strong, they’re weak. #25jan #Egypt
3arabawy Hossam 18:34:52 Jan 25
Ya shabab, Tahrir is a war zone now. Tens of thousands r protesting the same chants as the Tunisians. #Jan25
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 21:58:59 Jan 25
OMG Twitter is back!! Thank god ! The situation in Tahrir is beyond amazing eveeryone should head there #jan25
3arabawy Hossam 00:47:41 Jan 26
Police has started attacking the downtown Cairo occupation. Reports of tear gas fired and arrests. Protesters chased to side roads. #Jan25
NevineZaki Nevine 01:40:49 Jan 26
I CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT IT HAS REACHED TO, THIS IS INSANE! #JAN25
Bloody Wednesday Wednesday 2 February
The day that pro-Mubarak thugs were mobilised to attack the protesters in the square with extreme violence
3arabawy Hossam 12:20:04 Feb 2
Here r the latest updates: The govt is countermobilizing against us now. There r several pro-Mubarak protests taking place in Cairo now.
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 13:39:10 Feb 2
Pro-Mubarak march now coming into Tahrir in ‘a big number’ and it will get ugly http://yfrog.com/h3zsgekj
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 13:40:49 Feb 2
INCREDIBLE standoff between pro-change and pro-Mubarak demos at Tahrir NOW #Egypt #jan25 http://twitpic.com/3vqkcp
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 13:46:50 Feb 2
Real panic in tahrir. Square overun by Mubarak drmonstrstion #Egypt #jan25
norashalaby Nora Shalaby 14:40:06 Feb 2
Is this mubaraks answer to us?? Sending thugs to throw stones at us! #Jan25
3arabawy Hossam 15:01:23 Feb 2
Plainclothes thugs (police) are on horses now, trying to storm Tahrir Square, with whips! #Jan25
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 16:10:08 Feb 2
They r coming in with horses and thugs, we need more revolution people in Tahrir square now!
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 16:15:28 Feb 2
Everyone in Cairo who wants Mubarak out and stands for justice come to Tahrir NOW!
ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 16:43:07 Feb 2
#jan25 I saw at least a dozen guys coming back badly bloodied from front line. Incredibly violent scene and the soldiers are just watching
monasosh monasosh 16:53:25 Feb 2
Many are injured on the Egyptian Museum side #Jan25 They need help
monasosh monasosh 17:20:10 Feb 2
Cut wounds, fractures, rupture eyes. Weapons used glass, coke bottles, knives, swords #Jan25
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 17:56:49 Feb 2
The Tahrir liberators are way less in numbers than the Mubarak thugs if this continues more ppl will die! MUBARAK OUT NOW!
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:01:53 Feb 2
Pro-Mubarak thugs are police. This is POLICE MASSACRING CIVILIANS, make no mistake. #Egypt #Jan25
tarekshalaby Tarek Shalaby 18:10:08 Feb 2
I’m fine but we’re under serious attack and there’s no way out. I’m staying to the very end. Hasta la victoria, siempre.(@FraCicardi)
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:58:48 Feb 2
I am seeing – not reporting, seeing – Mubarak ppl throwing ,molotov cocktails on demonstrators, and on shops. #Egypt #jan25
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 19:28:39 Feb 2
Gun fire from talaat harb st. We are in a battle field
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 19:39:22 Feb 2
I WILL NOT LEAVE TAHRIR TONIGHT so stop telling me to do so! We need more people in TAHRIR NOW!! Get here for our freedom!!! #Egypt
monasosh monasosh 22:57:36 Feb 2
This is a damn war zone, and the world is watching us! #Jan25
monasosh monasosh 04:06:34 Feb 3
Some1 among the thugs on bridge had a riffle, took his time & aimed, 3 wounded, 1 dead, army to intervening #Jan25
monasosh monasosh 09:54:52 Feb 3
Charging my mobile,on a balacony overlooking Tahrir square, absorbing the horror of last night & the bravery of our ppl #Jan25
Friday of the martyrs Friday 11 February. After 18 days of protest, Mubarak fell
3arabawy Hossam 18:02:49 حسام
Mubarak has stepped down, says Omar Suleiman. #Jan25
monasosh monasosh 18:12:41 Feb 11
Shit! Ppl are going crazy, screaming and running, Mubarak jas stepped down #Jan25
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:15:14 Feb 11
Egypt, the Middle East, the World will never be the same. From #Tahrir square – CONGRATULATIONS, FREE #EGYPT! #jan25
NevineZaki Nevine 18:18:58 Feb 11
Its crazy!! The streets are craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyy!!!!
ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 18:19:25 Feb 11
Amazing, just amazing! Part of me never truly believed, even yesterday, that this could happen #egypt #jan25
monasosh monasosh 18:44:23 Feb 11
Today we fulfilled our promise to those who died #Jan25 #KhaledSaid
Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 20:10:39 Feb 11
I can’t stop crying. I’ve never been more proud in my life
3arabawy Hossam 20:14:39 Feb 11 حسام
I can’t recall how many times we thought we ‘re about to b massacred & our revolution ‘d be squashed. Still the will of the people prevailed
monasosh monasosh 00:31:48 Feb 12
I’m in Tahrir square.This is where it all started on #Jan25 when we declared our demands ppl thought we were mad. Look where madness got us
TravellerW Mo-ha-med 05:08:31 Feb 12
Now Ahmed, whose son Eslam was killed by the police & who vowed not to leave #Tahrir until Mub. left, can go home. #Egypt #Jan25 #Justice
Buy Tweets from Tahrir online from OR Books.
When fire safety has become a privilege for the rich, it’s time to stop austerity and fund emergency mass works to raise standards immediately, writes Jane Shallice
The election result has irreversibly changed political discourse in the UK, writes James Fox
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Bernie Grant's election to parliament, Ayo Wallace explores the life and legacy of his radical representation of Tottenham's black communities.
Across Britain, hundreds of thousands of people have now taken part in mass rallies for Corbyn's Labour. Eli Regan soaks up the atmosphere in Warrington
The under-30s could be decisive in the general election. Frances Grahl meets young people hit by Tory austerity and looks at what's driving their support for Labour
“To them it’s just another number, someone else being sent back. But when you’ve got three children being left without their dad … it’s quite major,” writes Rebecca Omonira-Okeykanmi.
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
The Greens have stood down in Brighton Kemptown to clear the way for Labour, and the Lib Dems won’t stand in Brighton’s other seat, Green-held Pavilion. Davy Jones, who would have been the Green candidate in Kemptown, says this shows the way forward
Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the opposition – he has become the People’s Prime Minister
While Theresa May hides away, Corbyn stands with the people in our hours of need, writes Tom Walker
In the aftermath of this disaster, we must fight to restore respect and democracy for council tenants
Glyn Robbins says it's time to put residents, not private firms, back at the centre of decision-making over their housing
After Grenfell: ending the murderous war on our protections
Under cover of 'cutting red tape', the government has been slashing safety standards. It's time for it to stop, writes Christine Berry
Why the Grenfell Tower fire means everything must change
The fire was a man-made atrocity, says Faiza Shaheen – we must redesign our economic system so it can never happen again
Forcing MPs to take an oath of allegiance to the monarchy undermines democracy
As long as being an MP means pledging loyalty to an unelected head of state, our parliamentary system will remain undemocratic, writes Kate Flood
7 reasons why Labour can win the next election
From the rise of Grime for Corbyn to the reduced power of the tabloids, Will Murray looks at the reasons to be optimistic for Labour's chances next time
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 25 June
On June 25th, the fourth of Red Pepper Race Section's Open Editorial Meetings will celebrate the launch of our new black writers' issue - Empire Will Eat Itself.
After two years of attacks on Corbyn supporters, where are the apologies?
In the aftermath of this spectacular election result, some issues in the Labour Party need addressing, argues Seema Chandwani
If Corbyn’s Labour wins, it will be Attlee v Churchill all over again
Jack Witek argues that a Labour victory is no longer unthinkable – and it would mean the biggest shake-up since 1945
On the life of Robin Murray, visionary economist
Hilary Wainwright pays tribute to the life and legacy of Robin Murray, one of the key figures of the New Left whose vision of a modern socialism lies at the heart of the Labour manifesto.
Letter from the US: Dear rest of the world, I’m just as confused as you are
Kate Harveston apologises for the rise of Trump, but promises to make it up to us somehow
The myth of ‘stability’ with Theresa May
Settit Beyene looks at the truth behind the prime minister's favourite soundbite
Civic strike paralyses Colombia’s principle pacific port
An alliance of community organisations are fighting ’to live with dignity’ in the face of military repression. Patrick Kane and Seb Ordoñez report.
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
Job vacancy: Red Pepper is looking for a political organiser
Closing date for applications: postponed, see below
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences
The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally
Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself