BBC: Egyptian police stifle protests

BBC: Egyptian police stifle protests

Police in Egypt have been deployed in large numbers to prevent a national strike by pro-democracy activists.

Police have orders to arrest anyone taking part, and a number of activists have been arrested in recent days.

So far, the strike appears to have had a limited effect and there have been few signs of demonstrations.

The organisers of Monday”s action had urged people to wear black and called for protests including sit-ins at places of work or study.

The call to protest was circulated through SMS messages and social networking sites.

The campaigners are pressing the government to raise the national minimum wage and are calling for a new constitution to be drafted.

The campaigners were hoping it would build on a protest demanding economic and political reform they held for the first time last year. Three people died in the protests in April 2008 and hundreds were arrested.

Egypt is run under a emergency law that has been in place since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

The Source