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Protesting OSU students support Egyptian riots for human rights

Joe Podelco / Photo editor

In response to the violence and demonstrations in Egypt, a group of about 40 students protested outside the Wexner Center for the Arts at noon Friday.

Chants of “Egypt, Egypt, don’t you cry, liberty will never die, justice, justice will survive!” rose up from the crowd.

Several protestors held signs that read, “Mubarak Has To Go” and “Mr. Mubarak I hate you, Leave us.”

Omar Gowayed, a first-year in chemical engineering, and Maher Elsayed, a first-year in mechanical engineering, learned of the protest via Facebook.

“We are just here to support the revolution of the Middle East and especially Egypt,” Gowayed said.

The Facebook group titled “Standing in solidarity with the Egyptian people!” was created on Wednesday and expected between 150 and 225 supporters.

Protests are being held all over the world today as the news of the conflict in Egypt spreads.

Groups, including the Egyptian Association for Change, Egyptian Americans of Ohio and the Muslim Student Association of OSU, are coordinating the demonstrations.

The President Hosni Mubarak-led regime imposed a 13-hour military curfew beginning at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) that now covers all Egyptian cities. Several buildings, including the headquarters of the ruling party, are shown ablaze in television images. According to MSNBC, the fires have also threatened the Egyptian National Museum.

Mohamed Ali, a third-year Ph.D. student in the microbiology department, said the demonstrators were “supporting the people in Egypt who are done with thirty years of oppression and demand a new regime.”

“Egypt has become an island country – isolated from the rest of the world,” Ali said.

A statement taken from the Egyptian newspaper Al Dostor (an influential anti-Mubarak newspaper in Egypt) titled “From Egyptians to all the people of the Free world” is being sent to all media outlets the Egyptians can reach. It claims President Mubarak has banned Facebook, Twitter and all other popular Internet sites, as well as blocking three mobile phone networks beginning Saturday. Also, the government is said to have cut the water supply and electricity in Suez City.

“The police are firing live bullets and releasing gas into peaceful protests, there are several casualties,” Ali said of the protests in Egypt.

The casualties are not yet numbered. However, medical sources estimate nearly 900 wounded demonstrators, according to an MSNBC report.

“Support the peaceful protests against the tyrant regime of Mubarak,” Ali said. “People are being denied their basic rights.”

Ali said the official news the public will hear from Egypt saying Islamists the Muslim Brotherhood fueled the revolution are all lies to appeal to Western governments.

“The revolution has no leaders,” Ali said. “It is by the Egyptian people who are fed up with the corruption and repression that had been going on for 30 years.”

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