Egypt’s Week Of Chaos (28 PICS)
Laura King and Edmund Sanders – Los Angeles Times
Police began returning to their posts in the Egyptian capital on Monday, seeking to restore order after days of looting, but they stayed away from the protester-thronged square that has become the epicenter of the movement to oust President Hosni Mubarak.
As the dramatic standoff entered its seventh day, protest organizers called for the biggest demonstrations yet, urging that 1 million people flood the streets Tuesday.
Defying curfews, protesters have maintained an around-the-clock presence in Tahrir Square — Liberation Square — worried that it will be sealed off by the military if they leave. Army tanks continued to ring the sprawling plaza Monday, blocking off some access routes, but people were still allowed to move in and out at several points, sometimes in queues separated by gender.
Noisy protesters alternated among speeches, prayers and anti-government chants. To keep warm overnight, crowds huddled around small campfires and shared plastic cups of tea.
Foreigners, meanwhile, mobbed Cairo’s international airport, seeking a place aboard one in the trickle of evacuation flights on Monday. The State Department on Sunday had urged U.S. citizens to consider leaving and said it would charter flights for those wishing to do so. But many Americans in the Egyptian capital said they had not been able to get any information about the flights.