Cairo Protesters To Mubarak: Leave Now, Not Later

Michele Norris speaks to NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is in Cairo's Tahir Square. The throngs of protesters who have gathered there appear unhappy with President Hosni Mubarak's statement Tuesday that he would not seek re-election. They are chanting for Mubarak to leave now, not later.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And we're going to turn quickly now to NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is with demonstrations in Tahrir Square.

And, Lulu, the president - president outgoing, I guess, President Hosni Mubarak said that he's going to pursue the transfer of power in a way that fulfills people's demands. Do the people out there in the street feel like he was doing just that - fiddling(ph) their demands?

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I can tell you that right here there are people bedding down for the night. This has not emptied the square, and in fact, I have one protester here, Yasim(ph), and he will give you his opinion.

YASIM: I'm not surprised. I mean, I expected as much, but I think it's clear that within eight days, we've already managed to get quite a few concessions, but nobody is satisfied. And it's pretty clear what the demand is, and that's for him to get out. And I think we've already won. I think it's just a matter of time.

NORRIS: Is he leaving fast enough for you, though? He's going to stay till the end of his term.

YASIM: It took Tunisia a month, so it's never easy. I mean, everybody would like for him to get out immediately. But I mean, we've got nothing but time. We're going to stay until he leaves.

NORRIS: It's wonderful to be able to hear from a protester there, and I'm wondering if leaving is enough for them or if they're looking for a whole scale overhaul of the government.

YASIM: I think - I mean, yeah. I mean, it's a whole scale - I mean, all the corruption needs to go, and I think the people's voice needs to be heard. And no - and actually, it's not enough that he leaves. I think -I mean, the people's opinion has changed. The chants have not changed. You know, Egyptians, you know, everybody here, we want him tried. We want him tried for all of his crimes, and, you know, we don't want him to get out easily.

NORRIS: Will this mean the end of the protests?

YASIM: I certainly hope not. I don't think so.

NORRIS: All right. Well, thank you - Yasim, thank you very much. And that was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro speaking to us also from Tahrir Square. Thanks to both of you.

YASIM: You.

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