"We have brought down the regime, we have brought down the regime," chanted the hundreds of thousands of people who packed into Tahrir Square for "Farewell Friday."
Egyptians waved flags, cried, cheered and embraced when the news reached them through a public address system. "Finally we are free," said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old protester.
... The military made clear it also wanted the demonstrators off the streets and for life to return to normal. It was clearly ignored.
Hundreds of thousands of people crammed into the area around Tahrir Square.
Live television pictures from Alexandria also showed massed ranks of people filling a main boulevard in the city and Al-Jazeera reported there were other demonstrations in Suez, Mahala, Tanta and Ismailia.
A group of army officers, including a lieutenant colonel, had also defected to the protesters. "The armed forces' solidarity movement with the people has begun," Major Ahmed Ali Shouman told Reuters by telephone just after dawn prayers, saying he had handed in his weapon. "Some 15 officers ... have joined the people's revolution."
From the Guardian:
he march from the presidential palace back to Tahrir square was a wall of sound. Car horns blared, amateur fireworks exploded centimetres above our heads,onlookers cheered raucously from the balcony above. Some people fainted, others unfurled their Egyptian flags in the middle of the street to pray, and many, many people had tears in their eyes.
Amid the jubilation though, there was a moment of reflection for those who died to make this day possible. 'Be happy martyrs, for today we feast at your victory,' sung the crowds.
On the ground were military police in red berets, all smiles and thumbs-up to demonstrators. Apprehension about what might happen next in an Egypt now under army control was being pushed aside to allow for celebrations, but as the procession reached the high-walled Ministry of Defence, Egyptians could not resist reminding their new overlords of who now held the balance of power in the Arab World's most populous nation. 'Here, here, the Egyptians are here,' they shouted up at darkened windows, pointing down to the street.
"For 18 days we have withstood tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition, molotov cocktails, thugs on horseback, the scepticism and fear of our loved ones, and the worst sort of ambivalence from an international community that claims to care about democracy," said Karim Medhat Ennarah, a protester who has provided the Guardian with updates throughout the uprising. "But we held our ground. We did it."
Isn't it funny how those tireless and bellicose defenders of "freedom" on our shores -- the American Right -- are the ones worrying and fearmongering about this outcome?