Anti-Mubarak Protesters Gather in Times Square

Hundreds of people marched in Times Square on Friday to show solidarity with protesters in Egypt who are calling for the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

The demonstration in New York was organized by several prominent Egyptian-American groups, and comes after nearly 100,000 people packed into Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday for a "day of departure" rally. It was the 11th day of anti-government protests in that country.

Anti-Mubarak demonstrators are vowing to continue to gather -- even after deadly clashes Thursday with pro-government supporters -- until Mubarak stands down.

Tri-state residents with family in Egypt have rallied in front of the United Nations and in surrounding neighborhoods with sizeable Egyptian populations, like Astoria and Newark.  There are close to 60,000 Egyptian-Americans live in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, according to census data.

Kamal Sabbagh of Atlantic City, NJ said "I have my nephew, Timmy, He's in the heart of the action in Taharir Square and he's not leaving. He's 100-percent Egyptian today." 

The orderly demonstration in Times Square came after a violent round of clashes in Cairo this week that left at least 11 people dead and scores injured.

"One week, he killed so many people. This is too much," said Samirah Samef of Clifton, N.J.

Mubarak has said he would not run again in general elections later this year -- a move that did little to appease opponents who wants him to leave office immediately.   Mubarak said his departure now would leave the country in chaos.

"What will happen after cannot be worse than what's happening now," said Darrin Sawaan of Flushing, Queens.

And on Friday, for the first time in the 11-day-old wave of protests, varying scenarios were being put forward by two opposing camps in Egypt and by the United States over how to usher the country into post-Mubarak era after nearly 30 years of rule.
President Barack Obama's administration has made a judgment that Mubarak has to go soon if the crisis is to end peacefully, and it is in talks with Egyptian officials over the transition, according to U.S. officials.
Under one U.S. proposal, the 82-year-old Mubarak would step down and hand over power to a military-backed temporary government headed by his newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman, the U.S. officials said, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The government would then prepare for free and fair elections later this year, as scheduled.

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