Protestors Want Mubarak to Step Down By Friday
CAIRO, EGYPT— The president has told the nation he will not be running for president again after his term ends.
President Mubarak, whose term ends in August of this year, said in a televised speech that he will not run again. Opposition groups said they will be satisfied only until Mubarak steps down. Protestors want Mubarak gone by Friday.
An estimated 2 million people gathered around Tahrir Square Tuesday to protest Mubarak's government in what is the largest demonstration ever gathered in the nation. 250,000 people packed into downtown Cairo and thousands stayed throughout the night.
Students, professionals, farmers, women in veils and women in high heels, and other people from all trades were at the demonstration demanding that Mubarak leave office. Traffic jams were seen all over Cairo throughout the day as people abandoned their cars to attend the demonstration. Tuesday's demonstration was peaceful and also optimistic after the army said Monday that soldiers would not fire on peaceful protesters. People waved signs reading “Bye-Bye Mubarak” and “Yes, we can too.”
The U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva praised the popular movement in Egypt and urged that the Egyptian government listen to the demands of its people.
Tourists continued to be evacuated from the country— Italy brought back tourists in military transport planes. Some had been stranded at the airport for more than three days.
In Washington, D.C., President Obama reportedly sent a message to President Mubarak advising that he should not run for re-election in the fall. President Obama also withdrew American support for its closest Arab ally.
The U.S. sent former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to come up with a deal with the country. Americans were protesting outside the Egyptian embassy in Washington.
The last of the internet providers in Egypt went silent— Mubarak had already pulled the plug on the other service providers.
The U.S. State Department also recommended that Americans avoided traveling to Egypt, and U.S. tourists currently in Egypt were also asked to leave as soon as they could safely get out.