After the resignation of Mubarak on February 11th work has begun in Egypt towards the democracy they aspired for thoughout their protests, the success of which have sparked a number of further protests across the Middle East, much like the Tunisian protests before it.
On February 12th a group of activists issued the "People's Communiqué No 1", imitating the titles of communiqués from the Army. It demanded, among numerous other demands, the dissolution of the cabinet Mubarak had appointed on 29 January, the suspension of the parliament elected late last year in a poll widely suspected of rigging, freedom for the media and syndicates and for the formation of political parties. In response, the Egypt Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued Communiqué no. 4, in which they "promised to hand power to an elected, civilian government....[and] also pledged that Egypt would remain committed to all international treaties." The promise of a new beginning following Mubarak's resignation prompted thousands of people to begin cleaning up Tahrir Square, the centre of much of the 18 days of protests.
On February 13th Parliament was dissolved and the constitution was suspended, with the army announcing it will stay in power for the 6 months until September's Presidential and Parliamentary elections. An inventory count at the Egyptian Museum also revealed 18 missing and 70 damaged artefacts.
February 14th saw two representatives of the demonstrators meet with military spokespersons, reporting back that a referendum on changes to the constitution will take place within two months. The military called for an end to strikes and protests, however, thousands of state employees, including police, transit workers and ambulance drivers, protested for better pay and many protesters still remain within Tahrir Square. The military gave a final warning to labor unions before the armed forces intervenes and imposes an outright ban on gatherings and strikes.
February 15th saw little more than announcements that Tareq al-Bishry, a retired judge known for his pro-opposition views and for his support for a strong independent judiciary, was tasked with setting up the committee to reform the constitution, with the changes would be formally announced within ten days and thT Adly Fayed, the director of public security at the interior ministry, and Ismail El Shaer, Cairo's security chief, have been fired over their decision to open fire on the demonstrators.
The most significant responses internationally to the success of the Egyptian protests come from Iran, Yemen and Bahrain, where protesters have been taking to the streets in demand of similar goals of politcal freedom and reform as well as improved human rights and living conditions.
On 14 February, clashes were reported from parts of Bahrain, with helicopters circling over Manama, where protesters were expected to gather in the afternoon. There was also a greater police presence in Shia villages. At least 14 people were injured in clashes overnight,with police having used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse marchers in the mostly Shia village of Newidrat in the country's southwest. The marchers were demanding the release of those detained during earlier protests and after clashes resulted in the death, of a young male named Ali Abdul Hadi Mushaimai protesters were said to have moved to another location with 600-700 continuing protests in the evening. Regrets were expressed over the incident and an investigation into the death was announced. The following day, on February 15th, police reportedly opened fire during a funeral of a protester killed on February 14, killing yet another.The number of protesters increased on the second day and Al Wefaq, the political party which won the largest number of seats (18 out of 40) in the 2006 parliamentary election, officially joined the protests. Thousands of protesters managed to get control of Manama's main square, the pearl roundabout and tents were put up to help protesters stay through the night in an effort to copy Tahrir square during Egypt's revolts.
The Iranian protests are seen as a continuation of the election protests of 2009. February 14th was chosen for the protests in order to coincide with the 25th day of Bhaman, the 11th month of the Persian calendar The day before these protests two opposition leaders were placed under house arrest without any means of communication. An estimated number of 350,000 began to gather in Tehran's Azadi Square despite large amounts of police on the streets. The protests were originally intended as a symbol of solidarity to the Egyptians, but transformed into an anti-government demonstration during which police shot protesters with paint-ball guns and fired tear gas. Protesters responded by setting fires inside rubbish bins as a means to protect themselves. A number of other protests were reported nationwide, but each were forcibly dispersed by police. These protests mark a setback for the propaganda and influence of the ruling regime of Iran, who have been campaigning that the Green Movement of the previous protests had lost momentum, as these revived uprisings prove otherwise. Iranian TV showed footage on February 15th of members of parliament calling for the execution of opposition leaders.
A number of demonstrations have taken place in Yemen through January and February, but the success of the Egyptian protests appear to have sparked further protests in recent days. It all started on February 11th when a group of demonstrators celebrating Mubarak's resignation were attacked by hundreds of men armed with knives stick and assault rifles. The next day saw 4,000 protesters gather in the capital city of Sana'a to carry on celebrations of Mubarak's resignation, before also demanding the removal of President Saleh. Approximately 5,000 police and government supporters responded by beating anti-government protesters. Protesters also attempted to reach the Egyptian embassy before being held back by police. Clashes also broke out with pro-Saleh protesters forcing about 300 anti-government protesters, said to be chanting "After Mubarak, it's Ali's turn" and "A Yemeni revolution after the Egyptian revolution.", to end their protests. Demonstrations continued into a third day in a row as 2,000 gathered in Sana'a, with further chants of "the Yemeni people want the fall of the regime" and "a Yemeni revolution after the Egyptian revolution." 1,000 of these then broke off towards the presidential palace, where they were blocked and clashed with police. President Saleh and an unnamed opposition group were preparing to hold talks in the hopes of avoiding revolts like those in Egypt, as well as postponing a trip to the United States. Several thousand protesters, mostly university students, demanding Saleh resignation and political reform protested at Sanaa University on February 14th. Demonstrators were then attacked by pro-government demonstrators, before starting to march ahead. Though police initially managed to keep a counter-demonstration apart from the anti-government protesters, violence was reported. Demonstrations continued into February 15th.
I'm unsure how regular I will post updates on events, if at all, because the spread of protests across the Middle East and not just Egypt means a lot more news. This post alone took a good hour and a half or so and I'd rather not do that every couple of days because I also have other work to do. So I'll either focus on one particular country or just wait until something really big happens in the future, because this has turned into a lot more work than anticipated and believe it or not blogging doesn't exactly pay well.