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Million march against Mubarak in Alexandria News

By Haris Afzal on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 with 0 comments

Million march against Mubarak in Alexandria
ALEXANDRIA: Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in Egypt's second city Alexandria on Tuesday calling for President Hosni Mubarak to quit, hoping to swell their numbers to a million on an eighth day of anger.

A vast crowd of smiling protesters massed in a light-hearted atmosphere in front of Qaed Ibrahim mosque near El-Raml station in the Mediterranean port before marching off down the corniche.

However, many protesters were staying away from the corniche, marching through side streets and making it impossible to accurately assess the crowd's size.

Organisers of the protests against Mubarak's three-decade rule called for a "march of a million" in Alexandria after the authorities cancelled all train services in a bid to stymie a similar march in Cairo on Tuesday.

The Alexandria demo took place at the same time as several hundred thousand people massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square, all demanding that Mubarak stand down.

Many demonstrators waved Egyptian flags, including one scrawled with "Get out you scum, go be with Zine El Abidine', in reference to Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, forced into exile by popular protests last month.

Members of popular committees set up after police evaporated from the street were checking identity papers, fearing that police troublemakers would infiltrate the crowd.

Nearby a group of angry protesters carried a symbolic Mubarak coffin, shouting "Mubarak is dead without God's mercy."

A sea of thousands cheered as one when a rumour spread quickly through the crowd the Mubarak had left the country, with many protesters prostrating to God.

The United Nations estimates that at least 300 people have been killed in clashes with police since protests began on January 25, demanding that Mubarak quit and calling for democracy, jobs and an end to corruption and human rights abuses.

Just released from hospital after losing his hand when he was caught up in protests on Friday, Osama Maghazi is now demonstrating. Police shotgun pellets blew off the fingers of one hand, which has now been amputated.

The port worker said that on Friday he happened to be passing by the protests when he became embroiled in the violence.

"It's the people's right to define their fate," Maghazi, in his 30s, said. "I never expected the people's will to be stronger than the regime but now it's the people's will that rules."

He said he was happy that the police mangling of his hand had spurred on protesters on Friday.

"The people demand the toppling of the president," the crowd shouted, along with "One people, one demand."

Protesters also sought to stress the popular nature of their demand for Mubarak to go, crying "No parties, no groups; it's a revolution by the youth."

A huge banner flapped under the Mediterranean winter sunshine, proclaiming: "We die and Egypt lives."

As part of the protest headed off down the corniche, they passed a just-married couple driving in the other direction and greeted them with celebratory whistling.

When asked what she thought of the protest, bride Nagla said: "I'm very happy people are happy for me, but I want Mubarak out."

At around dusk, many people began leaving the protest, having ignored the curfew that came into effect at 3:00 pm but with streets haunted by insecurity over looters.

Category: World News



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