Sunday, July 10, 2011

Protests spread in Egypt as discontent with military rule grows

Barak: Come Meet My Organ Monkey; I Already Have Him Trained and He Does What I Ask Him to Do.

Interim leader's speech fails to convince protesters blocking off Cairo bureaucratic headquarters and road to Suez canal

Jack Shenker in Cairo
, Sunday 10 July 2011

"Protests have brought Egypt's administrative and commercial nerve centres to a standstill , as government attempts to stem a growing wave of opposition to military rule succeeded only in galvanising demonstrators further.

The interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf, took to the airwaves late on Saturday pledging to "meet the people's demands", following mass rallies across the country in which Egyptians accused the ruling council of army generals of betraying the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak this year....

But activists dismissed the announcement as empty rhetoric and claimed it contained nothing substantive. "His speech sounded like one of these tricks of the old government," Sherif, an engineer in his late 20s, told local news website Ahram Online. "If this government is unable to take serious steps, it should resign."....

Egyptian newspapers used their Sunday editions to highlight the widening gap between the supreme council of the armed forces, which assumed power in the aftermath of Mubarak's overthrow and has promised democratic elections before the end of the year, and large sections of the general public who believe that the pace of reform is too slow. "Protesters: Sharaf's decisions are not enough — Calls for hunger strikes and civil disobedience," stated the front-page headline in state-owned al-Ahram, the country's biggest-selling daily. Al-Tahrir, a new Egyptian paper that emerged out of the revolution, splashed with a smiling photo of the country's de facto leader, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, under the words "The Marshall doesn't respond."

Activists have called for another round of mass demonstrations on Tuesday."

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