The 2011 Egyptian protests are a series of street demonstrations, protests, and civil disobedience acts that have been taking place in Egypt since 25 January 2011. The demonstrations and riots began in the weeks after the successful Tunisian uprising, with Egyptian protest organisers hoping that events in Tunisia would inspire crowds to mobilise. Specific grievances have centered around legal and political as well as economic issues: police brutality, state of emergency laws, lack of free elections, corruption, restrictions on freedom of speech, high unemployment, low minimum wages, insufficient housing, food price inflation, and poor living conditions. Mohamed ElBaradei, seen as the most likely candidate for an interim presidency, called for the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak as a possible objective.
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While localised protests had been commonplace in previous years, major protests and riots broke out all over the country starting on 25 January, known as the "Day of Anger", a date selected by Egyptian opposition groups and others for a major demonstration. The 2011 protests have been called "unprecedented" for Egypt, and "the largest display of popular dissatisfaction in recent memory". These have been the largest demonstrations seen in Egypt since the 1977 Egyptian Bread Riots. And for the first time, Egyptians from different socio-economic backgrounds and faiths have joined in protest together.
The capitol city of Cairo has been described as "a war zone", and the port city of Suez has been the scene of frequent violent clashes. The Egyptian government has attempted to break up and contain protests using a variety of methods. Anti-riot police groups have been responding to areas with shields, rubber bullets, batons, water cannons, tear gas and, in some cases, live ammunition. For the most part, the protest response has been non-lethal, although there have been fatalities. The government successfully turned off Internet access and imposed a curfew, claiming that minimizing disruption from the protests is necessary to maintain order and to prevent an uprising of fundamentalist Islamic groups.
International response to the protests has generally been supportive. The protests have captured worldwide attention due to the increasing integration of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms that have allowed activists and onlookers to communicate, coordinate, and document the events as they occur. As the level of publicity has increased, the Egyptian government has made increasing efforts to limit internet access, especially to social media. On the eve of major planned protests on Friday, 28 January, a nationwide internet and mobile phone "blackout" began, though before dawn the following morning it was reported that the blackout for cell phones had ended.