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Monday
Feb072011

Egypt: Protester Says Negotiations Are a 'Trick'

Photo Courtesy - ABC NewsREPORTER'S NOTEBOOK
By TERRY MORAN, ABC News


(CAIRO) -- On Monday, I spoke with Abdul Rahman Yusuf, a poet and political activist who has been sleeping in Tahrir Square for 10 days.  He was also at Sunday's meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Yusuf said fellow activists in the Square asked him to go, but he made it clear in his comments immediately after their request, (and was quoted in local papers) saying that he did not speak for any movement, and made no deals.

This guy is no fake dissident or regime puppet; he's been on the front lines of the demonstrations, and said he would never forget the sound of a bullet hitting the guy next to him Wednesday night.  He also said he wouldn't leave the Square until President Hosni Mubarak was gone.

It's hard to overstate the distrust of President Mubarak and his cronies.

"It's a trick!  It's a trick!" one protestor passionately declared when he heard me talking about historic negotiations between the Mubarak administration and the opposition.  It's clear that President Mubarak's talks of reform are not enough for the protesters.

And while most Egyptians are heading back to "normal life," I get the sense that they are quietly happy that the hard core protesters remain in the square -- guardians of the revolution, in a sense.  In fact, it seemed on Monday that many people just wanted to show up in the Square and take a stroll there after work, in solidarity and approval.

But under that degree of normalcy, there's still a lot of tension here despite Sunday's negotiations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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