Egyptians Demand Reform after Toppling Ruler

antiquities_protest.jpg
About 150 graduates of archaeology schools demonstrate outside the office of Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass in Cairo seeking jobs and accusing the minister of corruption Feb. 14, 2011.
AP Photo

CAIRO - Tahrir Square was bustling again Monday night with plenty of people still celebrating a Mubarak-free Egypt.

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But while the mood here by and large is still quite good, airing grievances seems to be the thing to do, CBS News' Harry Smith reports.

(Scroll down to watch a video of this report)

Even the cops got in the act Monday. Egypt's feared police squads marched in protest, demanding better pay and health benefits. Simultaneously, they proclaimed their misdeeds were not their fault; the regime made them do it.

The new military rulers are moving quickly to shore up support. During the weekend, they promised free elections within six months. On Monday, a referendum on constitutional amendments was promised within two months. The military also called on Egyptians to get back to work. They said the continued protests are hurting the country's security.

At many a business, there were flash strikes and demands that the bosses, the corporate officers of corruption, be fired.

"We've been putting forth these demands for years, but it just went in one ear and out the other," one man said through a translator.

So how goes the revolution? Well it depends where you are. Along the Nile on the Corniche, people are enjoying a pleasant afternoon. Down the street, not so much.

Things haven't been going so well at the state television station.

The director of Mubarak's media mouthpiece was unceremoniously removed from his office Sunday. The station is surrounded by tanks, soldiers and concertina wire. A small group was there to protest, and no sooner had CBS News started taking pictures than orders came to stop.

Despite much discussion and flashing of press cards, the military didn't want to its picture taken anymore.

It's not like that all over town. CBS News was in a lot of different neighborhoods and was welcomed quite warmly. Most people encountered are still reveling in the revolution.

To that end, another gigantic demonstration has been planned for Friday. The pro-democracy folks say they want to remind Egyptians even in this country, and the army in particular, that what happened here the last few weeks was no fluke. The demonstration Friday is going to be repeated next Friday and next Friday and the next Friday for the foreseeable future.

The pro-democracy demonstrators have met with the army, and they told CBS News that for first time the army seemed to be listening and weren't being paternalistic.