Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mass protest fills Cairo, the Egyptian Army cannot sit on the sidelines, martial law needs to be imposed and Mubarak deposed to avoid bloodshed

Dear All

The number of Egyptian protesters has significantly enlarged with huge rallies in Cairo and other cities.

This is a sign that protestors are stepping up their efforts to force President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Organisers hope that such a massive show of dissent will bring one million people on to the streets of the capital.

The current demonstration is the biggest since the protests began.

The atmosphere at present is said to be festive, with protesters singing and chanting.

But that could change if trouble breaks out and the mob turns violent and goes on a wrecking spree.

Protest leader Mohamed ElBaradei said:

"They hope that this will end today or Friday at the latest, and they called the coming Friday 'the Friday of departure', but I hope that President Mubarak will take heed before then and leave the country after 30 years of rule and give the people a chance, and I don't expect that he wants to see more blood."

The Cabinet reshuffle to appease the people didn’t work.

You could say this is a popular uprising is that it is happening across Egypt given that different people from all walks of life are taking part.
Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, men and women of all faiths are taking to the streets.

The scenes would have been unthinkable only days ago because Egypt is such an authoritarian country headed up by a powerful army.

Egypt's powerful army has vowed it will not use force against the protesters which means that Mubarak has lost key allies.

Mubarak has lost the people and lost the army, it’s time to go.

And panic has set in; new Vice-President Omar Suleiman said he would hold cross-party talks on constitutional reform.

Mubarak has reshuffled his cabinet on Monday to try to head off the protests.

Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq says that he will "review our entire political, constitutional and legislative situation, into something more satisfactory and appropriate for us as Egyptian citizens. Everything is subject to amendments, without limits."

But analysts say the army's statement has been a major blow for President Mubarak, and appears to have encouraged protesters, who are flocking to central Cairo in their thousands.

In cities across the country, the feeling is that Mubarak should go, it is too powerful to ignore.

One demonstrator, Tarek Shalabi said:

"We're here because we want to make a statement. We're not going until Mubarak steps down."

One problem needs to be addressed that of pro-Mubarak demonstrators holding counter-protests elsewhere in the capital.

They could tip Egypt over the edge.

In that respect the Army cannot sit on the sidelines as a neutral, they will have to pick a side.

At present they are leaning towards the anti Mubarak protestors, they said in a statement:

“To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people... have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people."

As pressure grows, the situation will need a safety valve that has to be the army. It is obvious that a transition to martial law is needed in order to stop the total collapse of law and order.

They need to arrest the President, Hosni Mubarak.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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