Inspired by the successful democratic revolution in Tunisia earlier this month, Egyptians launched major protests Tuesday against the three-decade authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
The protests were organized online and scheduled for a national holiday celebrating the country’s police force. The subjects of the holiday had little down time, however, as thousands of protesters converged on public areas in Cairo and other cities.
A video posted online of an attempt to break up protesters using a vehicle-mounted water cannon speaks of the lack of preparation for the protests. The vehicle emitted a weak stream of water directed at demonstrators, with riot police remaining far back. Other videos, however, display more violent confrontations.
Mubarak has ruled Egypt’s since 1981. His son Gamal Mubarak is believed to be his intended successor.