Mubarak won't seek new term, crowds shout

An anti-government protester holds a banner showing a picture of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and reading "Bye Bye Mubarak" during the continuing demonstration in Tahrir square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. More than a quarter-million people flooded into the heart of Cairo Tuesday, filling the city's main square in by far the largest demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave after nearly 30 years in power. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

February 1, 2011 6:20:39 PM PST
Despite President Hosni Mubarak's announcement that he will not seek re-election, the pressure for immediate change in Egypt is growing and some believe it is inevitable at this point. ABC7 on Tuesday spoke with a local woman studying Egyptian politics in Cairo.

Sarah Layton from Richmond has been in Cairo for most the past eight months. She does not believe the crowds in the streets are going to accept Mubarak's deal.

"Mostly things related to Mubarak leaving, the fact that his time has come to an end, today's the last day, things along those lines," Layton said, describing what she has heard in the streets. "The feeling in the street is there is no other option there is no other solution and this will not end until he steps down."

The Columbia graduate says she saw people streaming into Tahrir Square all afternoon.

"Today they set up some security perimeters just to make sure that no one with weapons was coming into the square and that things were moving along in an orderly fashion," Layton said.

She says there is growing resentment of President Barack Obama and the U.S. government's response.

"They really feel America is supposed to be the country of democracy and this is completely a grassroots organic movement that wants to end in democracy and it doesn't make sense to people why the United States would not be openly supporting this," Layton said.

Layton says her parents are urging her to leave and she plans to fly out on Thursday. But pictures from the airport show huge crowds and very long lines.

George Saywell got back to San Francisco from Cairo Monday night.

"It was a zoo; I think everybody in the city was trying to get out of the airport, flights were cancelled," Saywell said. "I mean the Cairo airport, you could barely move, it was solid people."

Saywell was traveling with a group of UC Berkeley alumni. Many lived through the turbulent 1960s as students at Berkeley.

"Tuesday I thought that this was going to be of that nature, but by Thursday it was a whole three orders of magnitude different," Saywell said.

The state department says it has received 2,600 requests from Americans looking for help in getting out of Cairo. They were trying to get another 1,000 Americans onto charter flights Tuesday.