Locals join day 12 of Egyptian protest
Published Saturday, February 5, 2011 6:21PM MST
With president Hosni Mubarak still holding on to power, restless Egyptians once again took to the streets Saturday, while ripples of support could be felt in demonstrations of solidarity held in cities around the world.
The morning started with a jubilant mood in Tahrir Square as news spread the ruler had conceded to the demands of demonstrators, stepping down from power. By the afternoon there were conflicting reports with some saying Mubarak is still the national party leader, but dismissed many in his inner circle, including his son.
As protesters and soldiers clashed in Cairo, Egyptians who live abroad and those sympathetic to the cause mounted their own demonstrations, including dozens of people in Edmonton.
"It's not enough. He's just getting rid of unimportant people - we want him down," said Mohammed Ahmad, an Egyptian-Canadian activist.
"Leave the country, then we have a change. Without him going away, there is no change," seconded Hefny Mahmoud, who was born in Cairo.
The group braved howling winds during a march from Gazebo Park to the University of Alberta, hoping continued international pressure will be enough for Mubarak to end his reign after almost 30 years in power.
"Egypt, we all know, is the mother of the Middle East, so hopefully he'll be out sooner than he thinks," said Mohammed Chebley, a Lebanese-Canadian showing his support for the cause.
The 12th day of protest comes as other countries in the area continue their own political protests, with at least 147 people dead in demonstrations that erupted in Yemen, Jordan and Tunisia.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls the situation in the Middle East "a perfect storm," caused by poverty and political repression. She urges regional leaders to embrace democratic reforms despite the risk of short-term instability, arguing the alternative is a continuation of deadly protests.
She and other world leaders have gathered in Munich for an emergency meeting on the situation.
With Files from Sean Amato