Despite promises for reforms announced by President Hosni Mubarak during the past week, the popular revolt escalated on Tuesday as thousands of civilians gathered and called for his departure. From the early morning hours, protesters began to arrive in Tahrir Square in preparation for what they called the "Protest of the Millions."
Meanwhile, Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview with Al Arabiya television on Tuesday that the protesters want the departure of Mubarak no late than Friday. He expressed the hope that Mubarak would give up powers before this date.
On Tuesday many writers and intellectuals, including novelist Alaa Al Aswany joined the protest camp. The protesters expressed their satisfaction from the stand taken by the Egyptian army to "never use force against the Egyptian people." The army described their demands as "legitimate."
Press reports conveyed all the entrances to Cairo and other major cities, were closed, including Fayoum, Suez, Alexandria and Mansoura. The Egyptian army was blocked Tuesday morning the roads leading to Cairo and other cities where demonstrators were expected to be held.