Egyptians say this is not a second revolution, it’s a continuation of the first one
CROWD: Egypt! Egypt! Egypt!
JIHAN HAFIZ, CAIRO CORRESPONDENT, TRNN: Egypt’s popular uprising completed its fourth day Tuesday. Protesters battled police in side streets as tens of thousands descended on Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
HAFIZ: What you’re seeing right now is one of many marches that are heading from inner downtown and toward Tahrir Square. This march just came from Talaat Harb, and they actually came from an area named Shubra, which is about 20 minutes away from here. And they’re all converging on the square right now for what they plan will be a permanent sit-in here until the military council is brought down.
HAFIZ: Dubbed the Million Man March, it was the largest demonstration since Egyptians ousted former president Hosni Mubarak. The protest came one day after Prime Minister Assam Sharaf and his entire cabinet submitted their resignation to the military council. However, their resignation did little to sway the protesters, who continued to demand the removal of the military junta in all Egypt’s major cities.
PROTESTER: All of these people need to be charged and leave the country. The country needs cleansing. It needs work. People are hungry! No one can earn money or find work in this country!
PROTESTER: Egyptians don’t want a new revolution; they want to implement the initial one. It’s not “another revolution” as they’re saying … it’s not that at all. We want our demands to be met. That’s all.
HAFIZ: The crowd went wild while this army general declared his support for the protesters. Since then, two more military officers have joined him.
CROWD: Speak up! Don’t be afraid! The Council needs to leave!
HAFIZ: Nine months ago, people welcomed the military council after Mubarak’s ouster. Now they accuse the military of trying to hold on to power instead of overseeing a transition to a civilian government.
PROTESTER: The military council is colluding with the system. This isn’t about a government changing. The military council has no good intentions in preserving the Revolution.
PROTESTER: The document the military released allowing them to do whatever they want–of course, no one should be above the law, even if they are a part of the military. This is just a cover-up for all of the bad things that have been taking place. So he [Tantawi] is trying to save himself by implementing the laws that he wants.
HAFIZ: For the first time since the violence erupted Saturday, Egypt’s current ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, addressed the nation in a televised broadcast. Tantawi Suggested the possibility of holding a national referendum to decide whether the military should remain in power. He also said the military council would move up presidential elections to June 2012 and insisted that parliamentary elections would be held as scheduled in six days. The response in Tahrir was unequivocal.
CROWD: Oh Tantawi, oh Tantawi! The Revolution is back to haunt you!
HAFIZ: Like Mubarak before him, Tantawi offered too little too late. People here say Tantawi has blood on his hands. Security forces have killed more than 30 in four days. Tantawi’s Speech incited these young men to head to the front lines, where the battle for Tahrir rages unseen in dark side streets throughout the city. A young child struggles to breathe after being carried away from a barrage of tear gas unleashed by the police. He is one of many.
PROTESTER: The military is now involved in firing at people. They are shooting at us with canisters, live bullets, and gas
HAFIZ: The latest uprising enters its fifth day with no end in sight. Egyptians show no signs of tiring, despite the brutal repression, and they vow the popular revolt will continue until the military regime steps down. Jihan Hafiz for The Real News in Cairo, Egypt.
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