How we can learn from the Egyptian people

I am watching CNN waiting for Mubarak to stop hiding like chickenshit in his palace and come out and address the people of Egypt, and, presumably, resigns. There has been a lot of arguing and bickering among Americans about what this means to us, what this means about Israel. Yes, yes, we are the most important people in the world, and so obviously these protests are really all about us and we all think its great if the Egyptian people are free, so long as they freely choose what we want them to choose. But what is lost in all this, regardless if you fear the Muslim Brotherhood is going to use the chaos to take control and immediately start bombing Israel or not, the important thing is that this is an amazing example of the power of people. Mubarak held Egypt down with an iron fist, we was, or as of now, still is, a brutal dictator that used every mean available to him to suppress all opposition. Yet the Egyptian people have brought him down to his knees by simply staying in one place. Sure they had to withstand attacks, murders, they had to fight off first Riot Police and then later plain clothed Mubarak thugs. But all of those things were the result of Mubarak’s actions, not the protesters’ actions. The protesters have done nothing but stay in Tahrir Square and withstand everything Mubarak has thrown at them. Their protests, simply the power of their PRESENCE has brought the establishment of Egypt to its knees. Yet people doubt the power of the protest here in America. Indeed it has been since the mid 70s that a protest in America has resulted in any meaningful changes. There are reasons for this, and they aren’t that hard to fix.

Our protests need to become more serious, like the protests in Egypt. Protests today generally have a group of people in a permitted area, who stay there, listen to some speeches, listen to some music, and then leave when the government issued permit tell them they have to. We need protests that say “we aren’t leaving until this is fixed!” Some might say I am radical or a revolutionary for saying we should be inspired by the Egyptian people. But you have to remember, that the Egyptian people have done nothing wrong. I do not desire to see the type of Chaos seen in Egypt to be seen here, but the chaos present in Egypt was the result of the government response. Our government would not do those things, so the chaos would not be necessary, and if the government does do those things, we need to ask ourselves if such chaos would not then be necessary. We have freedom of speech, we should use our freedom to demand reforms. The most important reform needs to be the one that neuters our free speech and the effects of our protests, we must end protest permits.

How is it even considered to be free speech if you must first get government permission to speak? How can something “free” be constrained to times, days, and limited by a bean counter behind a desk? True freedom of speech is not constrained, protests need to be able to form organically, they need to last as long the protesters will to stay and protest. Go a head, go to any small town, go into their office and try to get a permit for anything to do with “legalization” as soon as they hear that word they will fight you tooth and nail to not give you the permit. Unless you are willing and prepared to get a lawyer, you will not get your permit, I’ve tried it. Its an unpopular stance among the local government, so they will simply ignore you or deny your permit. Freedom, by definition, is not restrained by such things.

The Egyptian people had no legal “right” to protest, but they did anyway, and when the government tried to stop them, they stayed anyway. That is because with no right to protest, when protests do happen, no permission is as good as unlimited permission. We have allowed ourselves to be cowed into metaphorical “free speech” pens, where our voices are limited and fall on deaf ears. Once this is accomplished, half of the battle is won, our free speech will truly be won, and any other problems can be solved.

It turns out that Marbark surprised everyone, including the CIA, and did not resign, Now people are marching out of Tahrir Square and to, somewhere, perhaps the presidential palace? There are enough people that no security force could stop them. And the hand picked Vice President is on T.V. Practically begging the people to accept Mubarak’s token reforms and promise to step down in September as good enough, they do not look pacified, Mubarak is leaving before September, no matter if he is resigns, or gets fired.

To be clear, because when I posted this on another forum I got flamed for advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. I am NOT, in any terms, saying that the government of the U.S. should be overthrown. What I am saying is that simply by inconveniencing the powers that be, we can affect great change. Once we abolished Protest Permits, any other cause after that will have a great tool to change anything. This post isn’t about what those changes should be, it’s not about what we do with the tool once we get it, it’s only about getting that tool.

Also as a note: We now know they did not storm the palace, but it is getting close to that happening in the next few days in my opinion. Hopefully Mubarak leaves before that happens.