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March of Millions: Egypt gears up for massive protest, strike (VIDEO)

Egyptians prepare for a March of Millions protest in Cairo and Alexandria Tuesday as the army vows to not shoot at protesters.

Egypt protests
An Egyptian woman holds up a sign in Tahrir Square during afternoon anti-government protests January 31, 2011, in central Cairo, Egypt. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Egyptians are gearing up for Tuesday's "March of Millions" as the government attempts to reassert its authority and the army promises to not shoot at protesters.

Protesters plan to hold a massive march through Cairo and Alexandria to mark the one-week anniversary of demonstrations against the authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

The so-called April 6 Movement, aligned with leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, said it hoped to coax more than a million people onto the streets of the capital.

Protesters in Cairo plan on beginning at Tahrir Square, which has been taken over by demonstrators during the past week, and marching toward the presidential palace. They might carry some of the more than 100 bodies killed in the past eight days of unrest.

The army pledged Monday to not use force against protesters. “Freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody,” an army spokesman said on state television.

However, it also said it will begin better enforcement of a curfew and urged demonstrators to not commit acts of "sabotage."

Uniformed police, who had all but disappeared from the streets, were redeployed across much of Cairo ahead of the march. And the government stopped all national train service.

The march will coincide with an open-ended general strike, which was initially called for by workers in Suez, AFP reports.

"We will be joining the Suez workers and begin a general strike until our demands are met," a protester, Mohammed Waked, told AFP.

In an effort to try to limit the size of Tuesday's protests, the government plans on cutting off mobile phone networks again.

Egyptians can use their landlines to send voice messages to Twitter through a service set up by Google this past weekend called Speak2Tweet. Users do not need internet access, which the Egyptian government has already cut off. Here are the directions: "Call +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855 to leave a tweet and hear tweets."

"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there," according to a statement on Google's blog.

Listen to Speak2Tweet messages here.

Twitter is already abuzz with people commenting on the march. , writes: "Off to bed be safe those who will be in the million march and those reporting on it

Up early to check development on million man march. The sense of unity and 'in this together' is incredible."

Check out this slideshow of Egypt's women participating in the protests.

Watch this audio slideshow from Al Jazeera:


In the YouTube video below, protesters appear to gather at Tahrir Square ahead of the march. The mood in the air is festive as demonstrators jump up and down and chant together.

 

More on the protests in Egypt:

Egyptian army says it won't fire on protesters

Kristof in Egypt: Columnist reports via Twitter, Facebook

US plans charter flights to evacuate Americans from Cairo (VIDEO)

Cairo protest aims to draw one million (VIDEO)

YouTube video showing Juju, 8, lecturing Mubarak goes viral (VIDEO)

Israel allows 800 Egyptian troops into the Sinai (VIDEO)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/egypt/110131/march-millions-egypt-gears-massive-protest