by Patrick Appel
Graeme Wood reports on the mood in Cairo after Mubarak's speech:
I filed out of Tahrir with a crowd that kicked up dust as it went, like a cattle stampede. By now it was nearly midnight, and many who had come to watch history being made went home filled with rage. Others, in a group of a few hundred, marched to the state TV station -- a heavily guarded building about a kilometer away -- and were, as of a few minutes ago, chanting "Irhal" so furiously that one could hear them across the Nile and up and down the corniche.
If Mubarak hadn't delayed so long, perhaps the protesters would still have had the energy to take the TV building outright. I have not seen the faces in the Square seem so bitter or fuming before; they looked like they wanted to overturn cars.
Wendell Steavenson was also at the scene:
I have never been in a crowd wracked with such intense emotion. After he finished, men wept openly while their friends consoled them. There was rage and screaming and shock. People could hardly find the words to voice their frustration. “It is promises in the air!” “He wants to keep his military honor!” “He cannot imagine that his people are telling him to go.” People shook their heads and looked up to the sky as if for some answer. One woman told me with a cracked, inchoate voice: “I’m angry … we’ve been waiting for years … wait until September? And he’s sorry!” she spat with sarcasm. “It’s too much! Sorry is in actions, not words. It’s the same old story. It’s no change. We’re just running in circles.”
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