Millions call for Mubarak to leave on peaceful “Day of Departure”

    Today was billed as the “Day of Departure.” While President Mubarak did not step down, the pro-democracy movement mobilized more people throughout Egypt today than at any point since the uprising began.

    After Friday prayers, Al Jazeera estimated that more than two million packed Tahrir Square in central Cairo and hundreds of thousands, if not millions more, were out in cities throughout the country. (Other estimates put the number in the square at several hundred thousand.)

    In contrast to the previous two days of clashes, the protests today were much more peaceful. Sharif Abdel Kouddous tweeted: “Very festive atmosphere. What a contrast to Wednesday’s govt-sponsored brutality.”

    CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted:

    Very upbeat atmosphere in #tahrir. Peaceful, friendly, welcoming, dedicated, determined. This is the real #Egypt.

    Protest organizers have already said they will continue protesting through next week, which they’ve dubbed “Resistance Week.”

    While this willingness to stick it out on the streets is admirable, I still haven’t seen hardly anything about what demonstrators plan to do if the protests aren’t successful. As we’ve been saying on this site since the uprising began, it would be wise for the movement to put some serious thought into what’s next.



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