Egypt Sunday: The Day of the Martyrs
The protesters in Egypt have called for another large gathering today, as a moment to honor the martyrs, the many who have been killed in this struggle for democracy.
The protest begin at 1PM Cairo time (6AM EST) with the celebration of mass in the square:
We are all Khaled Said Egyptian Christians will do their sunday mass tomorrow at 1 pm in Tahrir square. Egyptian Muslims will surround them to protect them & will protect all enterances to the square in case Mubarak thugs try to attack. Egyptian Christians did the same thing to Egyptian Muslims on Friday during Friday prayers. One country united against a dictatorship.
With the US pushing the Mr Rendition solution of a Suleiman presidency, and multiple reports of negotiations amongst various parties, Ahmed Maher the general coordinator of the 6 April youth movement (the first movement to call for the January 25th demonstration) has given an interview to Al-Masry al-Youm explaining their position:
Al-Masry Al-Youm: How do you view Egyptian youth and political movements after 25 January?
Ahmed Maher: There has been an awakening since Tunisia’s events and the toppling of Ben Ali’s tyrannical regime. Youth and people started to react upon the event as many committed suicide and set themselves ablaze in front of People’s Assembly building. The government accused them of being mentally ill. This caused cries of anger to flow out and become louder till January 25th protest broke out by youth who never participated in political activities before. I believe that youth awakening and political awareness will not fade even after the current regime falls, which is the most important of all gains.
Al-Masry: Did you achieve political reform?
Maher: Steps taken by the government in response to our demands are positive, but I think that they are old demands. The appointment of vice president, dismissing the idea of Mubarak’s son inheriting his father’s seat, reforming the government, and Mubarak’s non-nomination for presidency should have been a natural response to political demands that rose with the rise of the Kefaya movement in 2004. The main demand the 25 January youth are calling for is the fall of Mubarak’s regime, besides achieving comprehensive reforms on all levels.
Al-Masry: Why don’t you ask the international community to help you achieve these demands?
Maher: Like all Egyptians we reject any foreign intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs, except the European union and the UN Security Council, because we believe that change must come from inside, moreover change by foreign powers will take into account western countries’ interests and therefore we would not feel the meaning of words such as freedom, democracy and change.
The rest of the interview may be read here.
Along with Maher’s clear rejection of “foreign intervention,” it’s very important to note that he describes the 6 April demand as “the fall of Mubarak’s regime” highlighting the fact that the demonstrators all along have called for an end to NDP regime rule, not simply for the replacement of Mubarak senior. Perhaps Obama and Clinton might take note.