Day 7 of Egyptian Uprising: Protestors Vow to Stay on the Streets Until Mubarak Resigns
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Massive protests in Egypt have entered their seventh day as tens of thousands pack into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Protesters are vowing to stay in the streets until President Hosni Mubarak resigns. A general strike was called for today, and a "million man march" is being organized for Tuesday. We speak with Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is in Cairo. "This is a popular uprising across all segments of society," Kouddous says. "People are so fed up with Mubarak, it’s hard to describe. They curse him. They want him to step down. And they will not leave the streets of Cairo, the streets of Egypt, until he does."
AMY GOODMAN: The massive protests in Egypt have entered their seventh day as tens of thousands pack into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Protesters are vowing to stay in the streets until President Hosni Mubarak resigns. A general strike was called for today, and a "million man march" is being organized for Tuesday.
The Egyptian government continues to crack down on protesters and the media. Earlier today, six Al Jazeera journalists were arrested, their equipment seized. On Sunday, Egyptian authorities closed Al Jazeera’s offices in Egypt and removed the news station from the main TV satellite provider.
The internet has been completely shut off across most of Egypt. One of the only internet service providers still operating is the Noor Group, the company that manages the service for the Egyptian Stock Exchange and banks. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been completely shut down.
Well, Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous is in Egypt, and we’ve developed a workaround to circumvent the Mubarak regime’s internet blackout. His round-the-clock tweets are being read around the world. Last night, CNN International highlighted one of them.
CNN INTERNATIONAL: Let’s go to a trends map here that we’re looking at to see the trending topics out of Cairo on Twitter. Now, still at the top here is Mubarak. But what’s interesting to note is how ElBaradei has come up in a popularity so much in the last few hours. That’s referring to Mohamed ElBaradei. Now, let’s see what some Twitter users there are saying about him.
"Baradei seen as non-corrupt, is respected. But he lived away too long, didn’t join earlier protests & this revolt was done w/o his help."
AMY GOODMAN: That was CNN International last night reading one of Sharif’s tweets. Sharif grew up in Mubarak’s Egypt. He was only three years old when the current regime came to power. He comes from a prominent Egyptian family with a long history in the arts, literature, film and politics.
Sharif, you landed in your home city of Cairo just a few days ago, but it was not the same country you grew up in. Describe your feelings and what you have found, but start at the airport.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Well, Amy, I’ve traveled to Egypt countless times from the United States after I moved there for college and then work, and when my plane from JFK touched down in Cairo International Airport on Saturday, the day after the massive protest where the protesters beat back the Interior Ministry, police and state security forces, I did land in a different country than the one I had known my entire life. Egypt has been reborn. This is not the Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt anymore. And no matter what happens next, it will never be again.
This is a unprecedented popular uprising, the likes of which myself and many others never thought they would see under President Mubarak. They are taking to the streets, men and women, rich and poor, all segments of society. They are defying the curfew for the past few days, packing into Tahrir Square. And their mood is celebratory, and it’s victorious. They are sure. They are sure that they will not leave until Mubarak does. And they are chanting in the streets every day.