Wael Ghonim, Google executive rouses crowds as Egypt enters 15th day of protests (Video)
Tens of thousands of protesters fill Tahrir Square with gridlock traffic all around central Cairo, even as the government presents a picture of a country returning to normal life. Talks continue between the government and opposition groups, but the demonstrators continue to demand Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's immediate removal.
And the protests may have found a new figurehead to bolster any wavering spirits: Wael Ghonim, the Google executive detained January 28 and released Monday after international pressure.
He spoke to the crowds on Tuesday saying, "For a long time, I've been saying we have a voice that should be heard. We have a right that should be taken seriously. We will take that right, even if we die as martyrs. Your demands are my demands. For the president to step down is our demand from now on," the Wall Street Journal reports.
He wrote on Twitter after his visit to the square:
Dear Egyptians, Failure is not an option #Jan25
Despite his insistence to news cameras on Monday that he is not a hero, judging from the chatter on Twitter, he is offering up a new rallying point. An emotionally charged interview aired Monday night with an independent Egyptian news channel. In it, Ghonim broke down when presented with photographs of men killed during the violence. As he wept, he said the deaths were not the protesters' fault but the government's fault and then he walked off the set.
Here are his first words after his release:
Here's the Associated Press report from earlier Tuesday:
| February 8, 2011; 11:31 AM ET
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