Sensing they were taking part in a monumental moment in history, Minnesotans gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol on Friday afternoon to show solidarity with the people of Egypt. Many Americans are puzzled by the events transpiring in the Arab world’s most populous nation. There is a realization of the historical magnitude of what is happening, but Americans have become accustomed to our support of ruthless dictators. Egyptian-Americans and others from the Arab world have a clearer understanding of the underlying forces in play in the region — to a large degree through the coverage of the Gulf television station, Al Jazeera. Watch Al Jazeera in English, online, here.
The speakers in St. Paul reflected the commonality of the peace campaigns and the struggles for freedom in Iraq, Palestine and other countries in the Arab World as well as Egypt. The Egyptian government succeeded last week in temporarily shutting down Internet access — with the aid of Boeing subsidiary Narus of Sunnyvale, Calif. Nevertheless, attendees at the rally reported that they were once again able to contact their families in Egypt. The world continues to watch the resilience and courage of the Egyptian people and remains apprehensive about the communication control methods now available to any government, including that of the United States.