Tweets from Tahrir

How the Egyptian revolution unfolded on Twitter

April 11, 2011
6 min read


Alex NunnsAlex Nunns is Red Pepper's political correspondent @alexnunns

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

Tear gas!!

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.


Alex NunnsAlex Nunns is Red Pepper's political correspondent @alexnunns


✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

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

#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces

Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'

Confronting Brexit
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond

On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network

Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter

#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement

Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.

Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees

Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides

The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari

Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next

Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace

Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill

Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility

Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports

From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices

How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed

In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design

Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform

Who owns our land?
Guy Shrubsole gives some tips for finding out


4