Sameh, an Egyptian socialist, spoke to Socialist Worker from Cairo on Friday evening:
“This is an unbelievable moment, to get rid of Mubarak and Suleiman in one step. Everyone is on the streets, car horns are beeping, people are dancing.
The army will be under tremendous pressure to give in to the demands of the mass movement.
People will not accept anything less than freedom and democracy.
Today is an incredible day. We have put a page in the history books.
When Mubarak said he was hanging on there was enormous anger on the streets. People wanted to give one last push. They were prepared to die to win this revolution.”
Mohammed, an Egyptian living in London, spoke to Socialist Worker while celebrating the fall of Mubarak outside the Egyptian embassy in London on Friday evening:
“You cannot imagine how it feels. There were so many rumours before Mubarak’s speech on Thursday that he was going to quit—then he didn’t.
Every Egyptian now has a sense of politics.
They feel that this struggle is not just for the people of Egypt, or Africa, or the Middle East—but for everyone who has supported us, everyone across the world.
People were so angry on Friday morning that Mubarak hadn’t gone.
The battle for the state TV stations and the surrounding of the presidential palace showed that the movement wasn’t going away.
We do not want a coup. We do not want the military to run the transition government.
We want a civilian government and immediate elections.
We want the army to protect the revolution but not form a cabinet.
We will have to wait and see what happens, but this is a great day indeed.”
Tarek Mustafa, treasurer of the Independent Property Tax Collectors’ Union (RETAU):
“Mubarak going has opened the door to trade union freedom.
For so many years we were doing it on our own, fighting against a police state, and all the official trade unions were tools of the government.
Now we’ll have free trade unions, free opinion and free political parties.
When we went out to the workers, it was the turning point in this revolution.
We went to the factories and offices and we told people the truth. We brought the workers onto the streets—and the regime cracked.”
Attera Ahmed is studying at University College London:
“I’ve lived my whole life under a corrupt and oppressive regime. You couldn’t talk, express an opinion, or protest.
I’m so proud and happy that I belong to this generation. We were a bunch of dreamers who believed in a better Egypt.
Before I left, I took part in protests for Khaled Said, the young man who was beaten to death by police last year after he refused to show his ID.
We held silent protests every Friday. We were pushed about and harassed.
They controlled Egypt by fear—but my generation had the courage to face death.
All the martyrs who died strengthened the fire of the revolution. Now we are filled with confidence, dignity and pride.
They will try to abort the revolution. Unity is so important now.
My sister called from Tahrir Square. She says everyone is hugging each other and I could hear all the cheering on the phone.”