All kicking off

Scene from last night

Demonstrator faces police

Today we are unable to get in to work. The TV building is a focus for demonstration and there is anger over the way that the media has been portraying what happened in Tahrir last night.

Added to that our Egyptian colleagues are all working on the story and do not have time for our training programme – which is more than understandable.

So, we are waiting to see what happens next. Yesterday afternoon, the police tried to break up a sit in on the square which was a hangover from the huge, peaceful demonotration on Friday. An armed vehicle was set on fire and then things escalated. Police and demonstrators clashed both in the square and surrounding streets. Paul, one of our fellow trainers was caught up when he was going to the metro and a crowd with knives rushed past him. Shots were fired.

Overnight, two people were killed and over six hundred injured.

We had spent yesterday with the journalists of the Egyptian broadcaster, ERTU, talking to them about election coverage and how to work towards free and fair reporting. They face dozens of problem from lack of accurate information to how to cover the violence that we are seeing today.

The TV station itself has a military presence around it. Barbed wire surrounds the building and there are armoured vehicles parked outside reception. It has been the scene of big demonstrations.

Talking to ordinary Egyptians, they are worried about the future. Everyone I have spoken to is going to vote – and a for lots of different parties. Most said that they had chosen their party because it was “organised” and there is a really strong desire for organisation in the face of what many see as potential chaos. When I ask why people, choose certain candidates, the main reason is that they are mukhlis which means sincere or honest.

So, now we wait and see what happens and hope that tomorrow we will get a chance to resume.

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