Egyptian Protesters Disgusted Mubarak Won't Resign
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Lourdes, where are you exactly?
LOURDES GARCIA: I am with a protestor here right now. His name is Mohammad Sabr(ph). He's 30 years old and an English teacher. And here he is.
MOHAMMAD SABR: We are here to deliver a message. The message is: We are not quitting. We are staying the course and we were not fooled by yesterday's speech. The speech offered nothing new. It was bland and it came to the disappointment of millions of Egyptians.
INSKEEP: Did you expect the president to resign when the speech began?
SABR: We've heard media reports from almost every channel on Earth that President Mubarak is quitting. And finally, I was listening to his speech and he was like, I am putting in a committee that would report to me. I was like, to you? How come? You are not quitting? And I kept waiting for the word quit to come in but it never did. So he was not quitting.
INSKEEP: Are you hoping that the military will step in - will push Mubarak aside? Would that be something you would favor?
SABR: Of course that's something I would favor. It's going to save a lot of hassle. This country needs to move on and needs to move on now. And what President Mubarak does not understand is now means now.
INSKEEP: Do you trust the military though?
SABR: We respect the military and we're going to listen to them.
INSKEEP: Are they guarding the TV station, the TV studios?
SABR: Yeah, more heavily guarded than any other place I've ever seen since the whole thing broke out.
INSKEEP: Why did you decide to go to the TV studios, of all places?
SABR: From my background, I know that the Television Building is very important to any regime. Once you take the Television Building, means the regime is down. It's like the last straw.
INSKEEP: Do you want to take the Television Building there?
SABR: Well, for the time being, because the army is protecting it, we are not going to go in. We're just protesting outside, peacefully. And we want to make it clear that it is a peaceful demonstration. So we are not going in as long as the military is protecting the area.
INSKEEP: Hi, Lourdes. Good to talk with you again.
INSKEEP: So what is happening now as the scene has been developing there outside the television building in Cairo?
GARCIA: And what the protestors are doing are stopping people from going in and out. So you're seeing the state broadcaster not being able to - they have to apologize this morning for not having live guests on their show. The employees have basically barricaded themselves inside the building, and they're allowed to leave but nobody is allowed to come in. So that's caused some problems obviously for the broadcasters themselves.
INSKEEP: As best you could determine out there in the crowd, do the protestors know what they intend to make happen over the course of this day?
GARCIA: At the moment, they're really hoping that today will be a banner. More and more people will come out to the streets to show their disappointment with Hosni Mubarak's speech. And what they're ultimately hoping, as you know - as the rest of the world knows - is that Hosni Mubarak resigns.
INSKEEP: NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is in Cairo. Lourdes, thanks very much as always for your coverage.
GARCIA: you're welcome.
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