Our View: U.S. could learn a thing or two from Egyptian protestors

DKS Editors

The media’s coverage of the protests in Cairo has stirred up feelings of revelation, rebellion and luck. The United States is lucky to still have access to the Internet and could learn a lesson in civilian uprising for a change in unfair government.

With the recent protests against the country’s government, Cairo civilians have banded together, not knowing each other personally but all having the same idea, to cause an upheaval and request the dismissal of President Hosni Mubarak from his position.

After seven days of antigovernment protests, the military and local police of Cairo have done their best to quell the uneasy atmosphere in Egypt.

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman said Monday that Mubarak told him to start a dialogue with all the political parties.

According to Haaretz.com, Suleiman added on state TV that the dialogue will involve both constitutional and legislative reforms, a request voiced by anti-government protesters.

Egypt, wrote Anne Applebaum of Slate.com, like many Arab societies, has a wealthy and well-armed elite at the top and a fanatical and well-organized Islamic fundamentalist movement at the bottom. In between, there’s a large, unorganized group of people who have never participated in politics, whose businesses have been limited by nepotism and corruption and whose access to the outside world is hindered by ridiculous laws and suspicious bureaucrats.

This past weekend, the Egyptian government shut down the entire country’s Internet access because access is so limited and because they can. Since the shut down, Egyptian protesters have not left the streets and won’t until Mubarak has left the government. The days of unrest have killed nearly 100 people and left thousands injured.

If this is what it takes for a severely necessary reform, then so be it. In our opinion, protesting of this level is dead in America. All we do is complain that we need reform, but the most we’re “allowed” to do is protest in specified areas so we don’t cause civil unrest and rile up anyone or anything. We should applaud the Egyptians for having the gusto to proclaim their opinion to a president who has treated the little people as nothing more than that — little. We should be thankful, too, that our Internet providers are so big that we can continue to have access to satellite transmissions of the outrage, Twitter and Facebook updates and websites that keep us up to date 24/7 on what is going on thousands of miles away.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent State editorial board.