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Labor unrest, protests grow after Egypt's uprising

By Tarek El-tablawy

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 14 2011 1:40 p.m. MST

"They said they will go after corrupt people no matter what their position current or previous," the posted statement added. Amendments to the much-reviled constitution will be prepared by an independent committee in the next 10 days and then presented for approval in a popular referendum in two months, they said.

The military also encouraged the youth to consider forming political parties — something very difficult to do under the old system — and pledged to meet with them regularly.

"We felt a sincere desire to protect the gains of the revolution and an unprecedented respect for the right of young Egyptians to express their opinions," Ghonim said.

On Monday, representatives of the youth groups that organized the protests said they wanted Shafiq's government replaced by a cabinet of technocrats and that Mubarak's National Democratic Party be dissolved.

The party has dominated political life in Egypt for three decades and is widely thought to have been behind much of the corruption that protesters have complained about. The party won all but a small fraction of parliament's 518-seat chamber in elections held in November and December that were marred by widespread fraud blamed on the party and its allies in the police and civil service.

The wave of post-Mubarak strikes and protests spread to the community of refugees too.

Several thousand refugees from East African countries, including Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, gathered outside the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, on the outskirts of Cairo, demanding to be allowed to leave Egypt to resettle elsewhere. Several helmeted riot police officers blocked the entrance, as many in the crowd tried to get into the building. They banged on the gates and threatened to storm the building before they calmed down and representatives went inside to meet with UNHCR officials, who gave them assistance with their daily hardships. There were no clashes and the numbers dwindled to a few hundred by evening.

The refugees complained they have been stuck in Egypt for several years, some as long as a decade. They said the U.N. has made no effort to move them elsewhere, and that they live in difficult conditions in Egypt. The refugees said that with the country in turmoil, there is even greater urgency to move them.

AP correspondents Karin Laub, Sarah El Deeb and Christopher Torchia contributed to this report.

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