Hossam el-Hamalawy, Egyptian writer and dissident:
It’s too early to say how they will go. It’s a miracle how they continued past midnight yesterday in the face of fear and repression. But having said that, the situation has reached a level that everyone is fed up, seriously fed up. And even if security forces manage to put down protests today they will fail to put down the ones that happen next week, or next month or later this year. There is definitely a change in the level of courage of the people. The state was helped by the excuse of fighting terrorism in 1990s in order to fight all sorts of dissent in the country, which is a trick all governments use, including the US. But once formal opposition to a regime turns from guns to mass protests, it’s very difficult to confront such dissent. You can plan to take out a group of terrorists fighting in the sugar cane fields, but what are you going to do with thousands of protesters on the streets? You can’t kill them all. You can’t even guarantee that troops will do it, will fire on the poor.