Earlier today I went to the Egyptian Embassy in London to view the protests against the Mubarak regime. I have only limited knowledge about Egypt so I cannot talk with much authority about the forces within the country but I was impressed with the turnout in London – especially considering it was a cold, wet Tuesday afternoon.
There were around 150 people there registering their discontent but what struck me was that this protest’s base seemed so broad. There was a genuine mix of young and old, men and women, more traditional and more modern Egyptians. And the impression I got from talking to people was that, for the first time in a long time, there was genuine hope and even belief that Mubarak’s government could be toppled.
My favourite chant of the day was when they were shouting about the interior minister Habib al-Adly, which I believe translates as love and justice, and saying that he was displaying neither of those traits and calling him the Minister of Terrorism.
While a country’s diaspora does not represent the situation within the country the fact that old men in smart suits had turned up to register their protest was cause for belief. Ultimately protests in London will not decide the fate of Egypt but they are a barometer of how seriously Egyptians living abroad treat the events unfolding. On this showing it appears ominous for Mubarak.
I will hopefully be posting a video of the event tomorrow and will link to it.
p.s. There is another protest planned for Saturday at midday, I believe.