The scenes coming out of Egypt this week are unprecedented.
It had been widely thought that President Hosni Mubarak’s military-backed regime was immune to popular discontent.
Rising unemployment and prices – and crucially the example of Tunisia – have changed all that.
“Thirty years is enough,” one protester told euronews.
“They have been in power all this time. They brought corrupt blood into the country. And they buy wheat meant for animals from Russia and sell it to us to eat.”
“What do you want me to say? Mubarak and his entourage are thieves,” another said.
But for one protester at least, Mubarak was not the main problem.
“Those looking for change should find out who will seize power after Mubarak. All we want is to change the system. It’s the regime that is corrupt,” he said.
However the vast majority of those on the streets simply seem to want the president out.
There have been similar scenes in other cities like Suez and Alexandria.
State buildings have been attacked and even torched.
The size of the protest is such that even the legendary might of Egypt’s security forces seems unable – or unwilling – to contain it.