Official: Egypt calm as strike call fails
A nationwide call for a day of protest against price increases and curbs on freedom across Egypt on Sunday failed to draw any response, a security official said. "There is no sign of protest anywhere. But there is tighter security, with riot police trucks stationed in downtown Cairo and in (the northern industrial city of) Mahalla just in case," the official told AFP.
Egyptians went to work as normal and Cairo traffic was heavy, AFP said, despite a month-long call to stay at home or wear black as a sign of mourning for the state of the country. The most visible sign of protest came from about 15 people chanting "Down, down with Hosni Mubarak" outside the Lawyers' Syndicate in downtown Cairo, an AFP conveyed.
The call has been circulating via email, text messages and through the social networking website Facebook and was meant to coincide with President Hosni Mubarak's 80th birthday. It also received the support of the country's main opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.
In recent months Egypt has seen a number of strikes and protests against low salaries and price hikes that have been the one of the most serious challenges to the Mubarak regime. Mubarak has ordered the army to help with bread production and recently announced a public sector pay increase of 30%.