The latest from Tahrir Square: Early this morning, a popular Egyptian actor and singer, Tamir Hosni, tried to address the crowd. Al Jazeera reported that "people shouted him down and the army had to intervene, firing warning shots in the air."
Hosni was quickly whisked away. Why? Al Jaz's excellent live-blog of the protests explains:
this came after (Hosni) spoke on national television, urging protesters to go home. It is not clear whether he came to the square to say the same thing, or if he had changed his views.
The square hasn't taken kindly to opposing views. I've seen people suspected of being regime supporters dealt with pretty harshly, dragged away by mobs threatening beatings, only to have cooler heads persuade the protesters to spare him. It's youthful exuberance, but also an understandable response to the violence they were subjected to in the early days of the protests, first by police two weeks ago and then by pro-Mubarak gangs last Wednesday.
Still, as Hannah and I reported in Tuesday's stories from Tahrir Square, there's an unmistakable disjunction between the protests in the street, which have transfixed the world, and the halls of Egyptian political power, where establishment figures are negotiating to reshape the old order. Whether the protesters ever see their views represented in those backrooms, where decisions are getting made, will determine the true impact of this uprising.
So far, the protesters are much more concerned with remaining in the street, which they've done enormously well. Responding to claims by the ruling NDP that they're trying to institute reforms, one Tahririte told Hannah:
"They can't be trusted," said Mohamed Zakaria, 47, a civil engineer who was in Tahrir Square. "There's no millionth chance. They've had 30 years and did nothing."
Or, as a young man told me:
"We don't believe in negotiation," said Youssef Hesham, a 25-year-old filmmaker. "When it's a revolution, you're not supposed to negotiate."