Friday of Departure – Egyptian youth refuse to back up back down back away or back off

President Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian youth-led groups

Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt –Despite his refusal to step down, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, is fully aware that he no longer is welcome in his own homeland, that’s the reason he shipped his family overseas for the sake of their own safety. The youth-led groups are now organizing what they are referring to as “Friday of Departure” and are calling for all Egyptians to march to Mubarak’s palace in Heliopolis, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday, and have also given the army an ultimatum to make a clear stance as to with whom they stand.

**UPDATE: THE ARMY HAS TAKEN SIDES WITH THE PROTESTERS AND SAID IT WILL STAND DOWN AND ALLOW THEM TO DEMONSTRATE

The statement to the military read: “We the people and the youth of Egypt demand that our brothers in the national armed forces clearly define their stance by either lining up with the real legitimacy provided by millions of Egyptians on strike on the streets, or standing in the camp of the regime that has killed our people, terrorized them and stolen from them.”

The army had until Thursday morning (Feb 3) to respond. Failure to respond would be interpreted by the youth as the army taking sides with Mubarak, and the entire youth-led groups would then descend upon the presidential palace, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday.

Meanwhile, the hackers named “Anonymous” who disrupted several US Web sites after WikiLeak’s Julian Assange’s arrest, have issued a warning to the Egyptian government after they cut off the Internet. Anonymous took down several government Web sites as a result of the Egyptian government not heeding their warning.

The message read: “Anonymous challenges all those who are involved in censorship. Anonymous wants you to offer free access to uncensored media in your entire country. When you ignore this message, not only will we attack your government websites, Anonymous will also make sure the international media sees the horrid reality you impose upon your people.”

Anonymous has called this “Operation Egypt” and can be found here on their own Facebook page.

Egyptians say they are not satisfied with Mubarak’s firing of his entire cabinet, they want him to leave the country himself. One young woman held a sign that read, “It is better to die for something than to live for nothing.” Egyptians understand their reality very well and know that you cannot begin to truly live, until you have found something worth dying for. The underlying motivation for these demonstrations is freedom. Freedom of not just for political and individual expression, but also financial freedom that they can pass down to younger generations to enjoy.

There was a report on Sunday Jan. 30, delivered by Malta News asserting that Mubarak’s generals had asked him to step down. What is suspicious is that the link to that article was broken and within a few hours the Web site itself was down and the page scrubbed permanently. Perhaps they got a call from people who know people, saying that the article would embolden the Egyptian youth and other Arabian and African generals to be confrontational with their leaders. We’ll never know.

If there is any truthfulness to the article, I suspect that Mubarak at this point in the game doesn’t trust any of his generals anymore. The catch is, the Egyptian army is so interconnected with civilians since Egypt has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. It is for this
reason that the military is more embraced by the Egyptians than the police since in one way or another the Egyptians have served side-by-side or have relatives in the army, which has created solidarity among the demonstrators. The police is viewed as Mubarak’s personal security force, therefore it is viewed less favorably amongst Egyptians.

Hopefully, for the sake of ending his closing years in dignity, Mubarak finds a way of dodging the wrath of his people, because I suspect they will not be merciful to him if they are able to locate him. Mubarak has put himself in a very tough spot because Egyptians have rejected him and refuse to make any compromise. In
essence, he has already lost this battle.

Just like the American revolutionary war hero John Adams noted in 1818: “The revolution is won not on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the people.”