By 5 PM, penned in protesters were released, but only after they organized their confinement camp into a living manifestation of the demands: End the Seige of Gaza, Free Gaza.
The Gaza Freedom March cracked through the tsunami of wildly distorted pro-Israel coverage of the situation in Gaza in mainstream US and European papers from the New York Times to Le Monde. It got major coverage in the Middle East - Al Jazeera filmed tonights protest. Tens of thousands of Egyptians and tourists saw the March, and the story is all over the news in Cairo (photo at right is tonight's Cairo paper). More and more Egyptians are coming up to us on the street, expressing support for the protest in different ways. It appears that some Egyptians joined the protest and at least one may have been singled out and abducted by Egyptian security.
The march, originally planned for Gaza, was held in Cairo because the Egyptian government confined most of the 1350 participants from 43 countries to Cairo. In the course of fighting thru police state repression, and intransigent efforts by the Egyptian government and their US sponsors to stop the march, those involved strengthened their collective commitment to the mission of the Gaza Freedom March, reached out and began to connect with people in Egypt (see The Sleeping Giant post below), and became a major event around the world at a critical moment -- when the world powers are moving to literally starve the people of Gaza into death or submission with the wall planned at the Egyptian border.
There is so much to digest, so many stories to tell, and so much to learn from this whole experience about the situation in Gaza, and the struggle to end the siege of Gaza.... And also much to think about and learn from the conversations about what it will take to "free Gaza" and beyond that, to bring about a world free of all oppression. I'll be blogging more and writing after I catch my breath. But for now, a moment to appreciate: A call that has been issued from Cairo to the world.
Photos below are from inside the protest, previous post has photos from outside the confinement area. Watch video at Guardian (UK). Thanks to so many GFM people for photos.