While Tahrir Square in Cairo remains the focus for pro-democracy protest, strikes to protest the Egyptian dictatorial regime are rolling across the fertile Nile Delta – even musicians are on strike.
Revolutionary rapper Lowkey comments:
“These democracy activists, as we speak that are in Liberation Square, are having their pictures taken by the State Security and State Television and by media all over the world and those activists are being targeted. They are being targeted with the full support of the United States. What the United States is trying to do at this stage is maintain the status quo, but change the face. They want a more acceptable face to the exact same status quo and the people are rejecting that status quo.”
While the US puts more stopgap suggestions to the Mubarak/Suleiman regime, Wael Ghonim expresses the wishes of the protesters. Move over, Malcolm Gladwell, here’s Wael Ghonim on the Egyptian Internet Revolution 2.0.
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Suleiman was quoted on Sunday as suggesting Egypt was not ready for democracy and a government statement said the emergency law would be lifted “according to the security conditions” — a phrase giving the authorities wide latitude.
As Egyptians staged one of their biggest anti-Mubarak protests yet, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described Suleiman’s comments about democracy as “unhelpful.”
Mubarak, under pressure from more than two weeks of unprecedented demonstrations, has said he will not seek re-election in September but has refused to resign.
After Biden spoke to Suleiman by telephone on Tuesday, the White House issued a statement listing four steps the United States wants Egypt to take:
1. “Restraining the Ministry of Interior’s conduct by immediately ending the arrests, harassment, beating, and detention of journalists, and political and civil society activists, and by allowing freedom of assembly and expression;
2. “immediately rescinding the emergency law;
3. “broadening participation in the national dialogue to include a wide range of opposition members; and,
4. “inviting the opposition as a partner in jointly developing a roadmap and timetable for transition.”
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“The President emphasized the importance of taking immediate steps toward an orderly transition that is meaningful, lasting, legitimate, and responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
“The President also reaffirmed the long-term commitment of the United States to peace and security in the region.”
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is under siege after days of raging street protest is known to be close to King Abdullah, who has condemned efforts by what he said were “intruders” to interfere with Egypt’s stability.
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