Posted on February 11, 2011
Last night in Tahrir Square there were thousands of people waiting to hear the presumed resignation speech of a fascist dictator on his last legs. Instead we heard a condescending old man tell us he was not going anywhere and that we should all go home and get back to work. The cries of outrage lasted for hours afterwards and, if anything, the speech served to galvanize the protest movement. We heard immediate roars of ‘get out, get out’ then calls to remember the dead, ‘my brother’s life is not that cheap’.
Group calls shortly afterwards responded to the speech by calling for a march the next morning to the Presidential Palace. Others, inspired by rage immediately started to move towards the palace and the state TV building, Maspero. Surprisingly, both groups arrived at their destination without bloodshed. As I write there are 10s of thousands moving towards the Presidential Palace and around 15000 in front of Maspero demanding it cease broadcast.
People on the square widely presumed that this speech was designed to cause anger and ultimately violence so that brutal repression could be justified. Demonstrators have so far kept their calm despite the murderous response of the police force to the early days of the revolution and the terrible images we have seen since the internet was switched back on.
The thousands on their way to the Palace will find a few thousand already there, a field hospital already set-up in anticipation of violence and tents and blankets arriving to accommodate the occupation of the grounds. In the same way we took Tahrir and Parliament we will take the TV building and eventually the President’s Cairo residence.
The resilience of the Egyptian people to all the tactics of propaganda, physical violence and murder has been steadfast. We will not stop until this regime falls.
1458: AFP reports exchanges of gunfire between police and hundreds of protesters in the north Sinai town of El Arish. The report cites witnesses as saying several people were injured.
1504: Reuters are also now reporting violence in Sinai town of El Arish after about 1,000 protesters attacked a police station, burning vehicles and throwing petrol bombs.
1604: The vice-president made a very brief televised statement. He said Mr Mubarak was stepping down for the benefit of the republic.