Cairo Crowds Prepare for a March

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Cairo crowds prepare for a march aimed at bringing down the 30-year regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Organizers requested that a million people flood the streets.

Egyptian authorities shut down the Internet and cell-phone service ahead of the protest to stop people from showing-up.

The ruling National Democratic Party announced a counter demonstration in support of Mubarak.

Tuesday’s new arrivals gave new energy to protesters who spent another chilly night in the plaza, and the crowd broke into a full-bodied roar of “Down, Mubarak, down!”

Protesters are demanding an end to what they feel is a repressive, incompetent and corrupt regime that didn’t improve the lives of ordinary people, but restricted civil liberties and violated human rights.

They don’t have a leader, but have united around Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former secretary general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The crowd in the square came from all walks of life: secular middle-class professionals and pious Muslims of modest means.

The religious element has become more visible, and dawn brought a long audio burst of Koranic verses. After being caught off guard by the protests, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group and one of the cornerstones of political Islam in the Middle East, has thrown its support behind the movement and endorsed ElBaradei as a transitional figure.