MUBARAK GOES! – chased out by the masses

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THOUSANDS of striking doctors and medical students, dressed in their white coats, marched through central Cairo yesterday to join the movement of millions of people demanding that Mubarak and his regime must go.

Calls have gone out across the country for a ten-million strong demonstration throughout Egypt to take place after Friday prayers today.

Unions held nationwide strikes for a second day yesterday, and were vowing that Mubarak must be gone by Friday, and be followed by his regime.

Along with the doctors, 3,000 lawyers marched from the capital’s lawyers syndicate to the square, as did the artists syndicate, public transport workers, and industrial workers.

In the centre of Cairo, the Qasr al-Aini teaching hospital was closed by strike action, as the 3,000 staff walked out.

Textile workers and other unions took strike action demonstrating that the whole country was taking part in a general strike.

There were union-organised strikes and walkouts all over Egypt.

Staff at Egypt’s largest textile factory walked out and locked the gates, bus stations around Cairo were closed.

Union officials spoke of a ‘definite escalation’.

There has been a renewed international element to the demonstrations, with Egyptians from abroad returning to join the pro-democracy camp.

An internet campaign is currently under way to mobilise expatriates to return and support the uprising.

Meanwhile, 34 political prisoners, including members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, are reported to have been released over the past two days.

There are still an unknown number of people missing, including activists thought to be detained during the recent unrest.

On Wednesday, Gaber Asfour, the recently appointed culture minister, resigned from Mubarak’s cabinet for health reasons.

The website of Egypt daily newspaper Al-Ahram said Asfour, a writer, was under pressure from literary colleagues to leave the post.

Asfour was sworn in on January 31 and at the time he had believed it would be a national unity government, al-Ahram said.

The Ministry of the Interior announced an immediate investigation and possible criminal charges could be brought against the senior officer who ordered the firing on protesters during protests on January 28.