Egypt

Egyptian protesters shocked by Mubarak's television address

Reuters

Protesters across Egypt reacted angrily to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s speech on Thursday night. Expectation amongst demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other Egyptian cities had been building throughout the day. But disbelief at Mubarak’s failure to resign immediately quickly turned to resentment.

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Reaction - Marwa, protester, Tahrir Square, Cairo

“They are very angry, they are pissed off, they can’t believe the speech. They expected him to resign today. People were anticipating the resignation all day and it didn’t happen,” Marwa, an Egyptian protester in Tahrir Square, told RFI.

“All the chanting is ‘go away, leave, you have to leave, we won’t leave.’ Nobody knows what will happen next,” she added.

“There was a call to march on the presidential palace and I don’t know whether that happened, people are marching towards the television building at the moment,” said Adam, an Egyptian protester who spent the day at Tahrir Square.

“There’s definitely a feeling that the president is in complete denial of the reality on the ground and also Suleiman, his deputy, with him. They’re calling for his blood,” he told RFI.

Protesters are not happy with Mubarak’s announcement of constitutional amendments. They say it does not go far enough, and could be reversed at any time.

“It’s the same thing he said in his second speech and it’s not enough, they want him to leave,” said protester Marwa.

“He’s still the president he can take away those privileges any time he wants. There’s a rage amongst people. This is the seventeenth day in the streets. He didn’t show any emotional words in his speech it had the same arrogant tone he used. Everybody’s pissed off,” she said.

The television address seems to have fermented the feeling of protesters on the streets and the ranks of people in Tahrir Square were swelling.

“I see a lot of people waiting in line to get checked in. More people are coming to Tahrir Square, there’s a line waiting to check in,” said demonstrator Marwa.

Following earlier comments by the army, Mubarak’s speech also took them by surprise.

“It was like a shock to them, like it was a shock for us,” said Marwa, “the army people in Tahrir, they thought it would their last day here. But I guess not.”

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