Friday, February 11, 2011

Reaction to President Mubarak's speech

President Mubarak just finished his speech and the hundreds of thousands of protesters in streets in Tahrir Square and Alexandria are chanting loudly in anger.  This is the second time there has been a big lead up to a speech by the President, each time with protesters convinced the message would be one they were hoping for, and each time the message being the opposite.  President Mubarak's speech made it clear that he planned to remain President until September.

Protesters in Tahrir Square took their shoes off and started waving them in the air which is an incredible sign of offense here.   Reporters in Tahrir Square described how some protesters broke down in tears, incredulous and angry.

In Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, tens of thousands of protesters started marching to the military site there immediately after the speech.  The reporter just discussed how protesters have been chanting:  "Come on Army, tell us your position!  Freedom is in your hands!"

The main points of President Mubarak's speech:
  • He would delegate some responsibilities to Vice President Suleiman
  • “We will not accept or listen to any foreign interventions or dictations”
  • He is working on constitutional reform
  • He will lift the Emergency Law when the time is appropriate
  • He lived for Egypt and will die in Egypt
For more details from the speech, you can read the New York Times article at this link:

The timing of this speech, on the eve of a mass demonstration day, is likely to significantly increase the size of what were already predicted to be crowds numbering in the millions.

I'm watching Tahrir Square still on TV, now almost an hour after the President's speech, and the crowds are still roaring.

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