I have to thank YouTube for providing the link on its ticker to a live broadcast of the latest developments in Egypt, courtesy of Al Jazeera, anticipating an address by President Mubarak. Had I not been intrigued to watch the developments on video (which is currently analysing the events as I type), this blog post would not exist.
Mubarak finally appears on state television around fifty minutes later than scheduled. Everyone at Tahrir Square got quiet to hear the president utter his resignation decree. At first, the president talked about his achievements and his loyalty to the state, neither of which had anything to do with the uprising at hand, except to maybe evoke some ethos from the people.
The opposite happened. Almost immediately, the crowd realised that Mubarak was not leaving office, and as a result, shouts and shoes started flying. The president rambled on but the crowd did not care, since they felt totally betrayed.
Among Mubarak's continued rambling is his proposals to amend the constitution, most significantly annulling the part that establishes the emergency laws from which he could stay in power for so long. But at this point, do you think the protesters really give a shit?
And while this anti-Mubarak sentiment has been magnified in this ongoing protest, such feelings, according to a reporter who has lived in Egypt for a significant time in the past, have existed for a long time. He reports that no Egyptian has uttered positive words about their ruler; the monarchy of Saudi Arabia have received more praise than Mubarak. And Mubarak still has the nerve to mutter this:
So Mubarak is satisfied by what he has offered, including transfer of his duties to vice president Omar Suleiman. Some time later, Suleiman himself appears on television.
If they actually did go back to the "normal" life with the current regime, there is practically no chance that Mubarak will continue to pursue reforms under pressure of the people while he is still in office. I'm even extremely doubtful about his possible lifting of emergency laws. Plus, the people have endured this man for thirty years and privately crapped on all of it.
A huge uprising can pretty much be expected tomorrow.