afrol News, 29 January - With the police defeated and the army split between officers and privates, the protesters again gathering have an easier day today. President Mubarak's speech, not followed by action, was a flop.
Central Cairo's Tahrir Square, housing both government buildings and the Egyptian Museum, is filling up with protesters again. Many admire the leftovers from yesterday's complete victory over the much-hated police. Burned-out armoured police vehicles are a perfect background for a photo documenting the hard-earned victory.
In today's Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, the police is no longer present in the streets. Only in a few spots, this leads to lawless conditions and looting, but in most places, protesters and army privates jointly see to that law and order is in place, including around the national treasure - the Egyptian Museum.
Yesterday, President Hosni Mubarak's brutal police were the focus of public hatred. At least 74 persons lost their lives yesterday, most of whom were protesters killed by the police. Police officers still loyal to the regime therefore know that the public hatred has only increased. It s not safe for them on the streets.
Also yesterday - when President Mubarak thought he was playing his best and final card by sending out the army - the protesters virtually won the battle as they welcomed the soldiers with cheers and smiles.
By now, the army is virtually in control of Egypt. They decide if and when President Mubarak will have to through in the towel. They also decide if or when to brutally end the protests.
But the army is split, it has been demonstrated. Many superior officers are warning the population to "observe the curfew" or the army will have to use force against the protesters. It is more than indicated that there may be given orders to shoot against civilians.
The question however is who would be carrying out this order. Army privates, drawn to the security forces in an unpopular three-year national service, belong to the same age and social classes as their protesting brothers. They were ordered into the streets from isolated ar
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak speaking on national TV late night of 28 January 2011
my barracks without knowing what the protests were about and surprised to see the warm welcome by their countrymen.
They will not shoot at ordinary protesters if the fraternal mood prevails - and if the looters don't get the upper hand. They are more likely to join files with the protesters if given radical orders of their disgust.
Protesters gathering at Tahrir Square prepare for this afternoon and evening. The goal is clear: President Mubarak must go. They plan new buildings to occupy or burn.
Because Mr Mubarak's late night speech did not satisfy many Egyptians. They saw him out of touch with the people. Sacking the government would not change the fact that he himself has led Egypt till the situation in where it is today over 30 years.
President Mubarak said he understood "the suffering of the people" and promised social reform, more freedoms and dialogue. But he is only living up to the promise of changing his government.
There is no dialogue. Potential dialogue partners - including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition leader Mohammad El Baradei - are still in detention. The protesters have no real leaders with whom to enter in dialogue.
There are no new freedoms. The clearest sign that nothing has changed is that the internet is still switched off all over the nation. The mobile phone net is mostly off. The curfew is still on today. No action has followed President Mubarak's speech.
The protests therefore will go on and grow in strength today. Yesterday was predicted to be the day of "make or break" for Egypt's protest movement. The protesters have already achieved to change Egypt in an irreversible way and President Mubarak's grip on power is no longer sustainable.
The protesters are sure their revolution will prevail. President Mubarak will have to vacate his office today or within few days. Who could stop them from reaching this goal?
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