By: Megan McLaughlin
People driving along Palm Ave. this chilly February morning were greeted by a group of about 30 students holding a peace demonstration. The rally was organized by Senior Ramsey Fisher to promote awareness of the political upheaval and rising violence in Egypt. In a message, Fisher said he was inspired to show other people that MSJ students are “aware and care about what’s happening” outside their community. He has family living in the country, and wants to see “peace and freedom throughout Egypt, as well as in other Middle Eastern countries.”
Students and teachers gathered where Palm Ave. and the horseshoe meet to hold signs and urge drivers to “Honk for Peace” and to “Stop the Violence in Egypt.” Students from every grade level also waved clappers and chanted “peace, peace, peace.” English Teacher Patricia Allen led a chant with help from English Teacher Brian Rath, and the crowd joined them in cheering, “Ha ha, ho ho, Mubarak must go!” Freshman Sabeeka Naqui agrees. “People should have a say in government, and we are standing up for those people.”
President Hosni Mubarak has held power in Egypt for thirty years. On February 2, a week after the protests began, he agreed not to run for re-election in September, However, many Egyptians are not satisfied by the promise, and violence is escalating in Cairo and other cities. Protestors are calling for Mubarak to step down immediately.
The demonstration was covered by local news stations like KRON4, KTVU, and KCBS 740 AM radio. Fisher says the demonstration “went way beyond [his] expectations and he is very happy [with it].”