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Egyptian Calls for Mubarak to Step Down Intensify

  • Luis Ramirez

A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo's Tahrir Square, January 31, 2011

A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo's Tahrir Square, January 31, 2011

Protesters in Egypt are preparing for an eighth day of anti-government demonstrations. Opposition groups in Cairo are calling 1 million people to demonstrate against embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

A week into the demonstrations, the call for President Hosni Mubarak's ouster is getting stronger.

A young boy was among the thousands of people marching into Cairo's Liberation Square on Monday.

He shouts, "Leave, Mubarak! Leave!"

The demonstrators got a boost on Monday when the Army issued a statement describing the demonstrations as legitimate and saying that soldiers would not fire on protesters.

Army tanks continued to move into central Cairo in an attempt to bring a semblance of order to a city in chaos. Armed vigilantes set up scores of checkpoints across the city manned by private citizens wielding machetes, swords and sticks to protect their property from the bands of looters who have been roaming the city for days.

The protesters remain firm in their resolve to see Mr. Mubarak, Egypt's president for nearly 30 years, deposed. His rule has brought Egypt stability. But demonstrators say it has come at too high a price. They say they are tired of political repression, corruption, poverty and unemployment.

The protests have continued throughout much of the country, including the coastal city of Alexandria, where hundreds marched on Monday.

This demonstrator says the protesters want Mr. Mubarak and "his agents" to leave. He says Egyptians do not want them. He says everyone in Egypt is calling for change.

President Mubarak appeared on television Monday, swearing in members of his new government. A statement from the newly appointed vice president says Mr. Mubarak has asked him to open a dialogue with the opposition. That invitation is falling on deaf ears, with demonstrators saying they will intensify their protests.

Opposition groups called for 1 million people to take part in a demonstration in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday. With the Army saying it will not fire on demonstrators, the protesters got what appears to be a new level of security and an incentive to keep up their push to drive Hosni Mubarak out of office.

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