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Friday eyewitness report from Tahrir Square

The struggle surges ahead
International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the mass demonstrations that shifted the balance away from the violence of the regime
ANTI-MUBARAK demonstrators gathered in the hundreds of thousands on Friday, in Cairo's Tahrir Square, in Alexandria and in cities and towns across the country for a new day of mass protest against the regime.

In my estimation, the Tahrir Square demonstration was even bigger today than it was last Tuesday, when across Egypt, between 6 million and 8 million people protested, according to estimates. As the hour for curfew came and went tonight, thousands of people were still arriving to demonstrate. In Alexandria, an estimated 1 million people also turned out.

Everywhere, people were united around the slogan that Mubarak must go now. In Tahrir Square, there was an echo of the old civil rights slogan in the U.S. "We shall not be moved"--hundreds of thousands of people were chanting, "He should go! We will not move." Then there was my favorite slogan of the day: "Ya Mubarak, sahi el noum, inaharda akher youm!" It sounds better in Arabic because it rhymes, but it translates roughly into English as: "Wakey, wakey, Mubarak, today is the last day!"

To understand the importance of today's massive turnout, you only have to remember what happened on Wednesday and Thursday, which can only be described as the unleashing of the hounds of hell--thugs of the regime sent out in a coordinated assault on the demonstrators at Tahrir Square and the whole of the pro-democracy movement.

The scale of violence was seen by millions of people around the world. They threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, and they wielded knives and all kinds of other weapons in an attempt to intimidate, injure and drive out the demonstrators from Tahrir Square.

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