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More than 1 Million Protesters Flood Egypt’s Streets

February 1, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Africa, Middle East, Protests with 1 Comment

More than a million Egyptians flooded the streets of cities across the nation today, most of them in Cairo, for the planned pre-democracy “march of a million.”

The protesters gathered in Cairo’s historic Tahrir Square, calling for president Hosni Mubarak to resign. For his part, Mubarak has announced that he will not run for office again in scheduled sham elections this September.

That announcement, while cheered by Egyptians, was largely symbolic since the 82-year-old was not expected to seek “re-election” anyway. It appears to be a ploy designed to give him another few months in office.

Protesters weren’t buying it; they won’t be happy until Mubarak is gone. Political activist Gigi Ibrahim told Al-Jazeera that “every day there are more numbers on the street than the day before. I think the protests are gaining momentum. The people… will literally not leave until Mubarak steps down.”

Despite being urged by state television to stay at home for their own safety, the squares and streets of the capital were overflowing with demonstrators. The atmosphere is being described as “festival-like” and “communal,” with protesters coming from all walks of life. They are buoyed by the army’s announcement that it will not harm peaceful protesters and will respect Egyptians’ “freedom of expression.”

“To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people, have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people,” an army statement said.

Meanwhile, opposition figures and political parties are growing bolder and more vocal with each passing day of the crisis. Wafd, one of the nation’s oldest parties, announced an agreement to form a “national front” in the face of Mubarak’s “lost legitimacy.” The banned Muslim Brotherhood has been making pronouncements as well, including one that says it will not negotiate with the Mubarak regime.

Britain’s Telegraph reports that leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace laureate and former head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, has met with top army brass to plan a transition from the Mubarak regime to a yet-to-be determined system of government.

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One Comment

  1. TajamulFebruary 7, 2011 at 1:53 pmReply

    Hi, I have been watching the revolution in Egypt unfold and the courage and determination shown so far by the young people of Egypt. I have been watching news regularly and some of the recent reports coming out are not very encouraging especially the current regimes strategy to divide and derail. You people have the momentum on your side – don’t let this opportunity go waste – as you all are seeking true democracy – please elect a leader amongst you in cario, alexendria, suez and other cities – do a ballot – let the young and able people come forward – take the leadership – this is the time now – a movement without a clear leadership is recipe for failure. SO PLEASE SELECT A LEADER AMONGST YOURSELF – and show the door to self appointed leaders who are making deals on your behalf.

    Do not let your sacrifices go for nothing – I can give some ideas on who this could be done – don’t know how to reach you people.

    Contact me if any of you read this.

    More fuel to your revolution!

    Taj

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