This livestream just started. Mohamed Mahmoud, just east of Midan Tahrir, is the street that has seen some of the most intense clashes between demonstrators and police today, and some of the worst violence. Arabawy.org also has a post with video from the street — “the front line.” @NoraYounis just tweeted, “Mohamed Mahmoud must be renamed to
#martyrstreet,” adding: “And rebels should install metal barriers like they used to during #Jan25.”
Other news from Twitter: my friend @LiamStack says, “morgue officials &doctors at biggest hospital said monday
#egypt used live ammo on protesters. at least 23 dead btwn sunday&monday, more now.”
There have been violent battles in Alexandria and requests for medical supplies to be sent there. Even after Tantawi’s speech, the troops are still attacking protesters. AJE has riveting video of the clashes in Alex:
According to @ASE, who works for Al Jazeera, Mohamed El Baradei has claimed that troops may have used nerve gas in Tahrir. Whether or not El Baradei said this, I’d be fairly sure this is a false rumor born out of the panic of the moment. There are a lot of nervous questions circulating on Twitter about exactly what kind of tear gas is being used, and what kind of treatment is necessary, and everyone seems on edge. It does seem clear, though, that some of the tear gas fired on the protesters comes from the US — probably directly from the US military.
It’s pretty clear also what led to Tantawi’s proposals of a referendum and a “National Salvation” government in his mummy-speech this afternoon. Just before that, the generals met for five hours or so with various political parties and figures associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood and satellites, opportunistic as ever, struck a deal. The outlines are probably this: in exchanging for supporting Tantawi’s compromise, the Brotherhood would get the lion’s share of seats in the “Salvation” government, regardless of how they fare in the parliamentary elections (due to start on Monday). The Brotherhood will also support the military in the proposed referendum on whether they should go back to their barracks. If the military win, they can continue to rule de facto past the date they’ve now offered for a Presidential election in mid-2012.
If that’ s all true, the demonstrators are right to reject the referendum, and there seems to be growing rage at the Brotherhood in Midan Tahrir. Whether the rest of the population is angry enough at SCAF to see through a proffered withdrawal that actually means their continued power, nobody knows.