I am watching the television as Mubarak's thugs attack peaceful demonstrators in the streets of Cairo. Tahrir Square is now a scene of terrible violence. These are not counter-demonstrators, or Egyptians with a different political point of view; they are paid vigilantes -- the kind of thugs Mubarak has used before to disrupt and intimidate elections and maintain his power. This is why the old dictator needs to go now, and not wait until September elections, which he will certainly try to manipulate again.
Mubarak is nothing but a thug himself and is now using his paid thugs instead of the police and army to shut the protests down. Some reporters are even suggesting that these are police officers in plain clothes with weapons.
I'm feeling really angry this morning about all of this. The nonviolent protesters are saying, "We will die in this square." And somebody has to protect them. It's just not enough now to call for calm and an end to the violence, as the White House has done; it's time to demand the resignation of the thug who is sending the other thugs to attack democracy. The big thug, Mubarak, must go -- NOW.
Watch and read the breaking news on Al Jazeera, "Clashes break out in Tahrir Square;" on the BBC, "Clashes erupt amid Cairo protests;" and on CNN, "Anti-government demonstrators fear bloodbath after dark."
Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street -- A Moral Compass for the New Economy, and CEO of Sojourners. He blogs at www.godspolitics.com. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.