From San Francisco to Egypt: Let My People Go!

It’s time for the Pharaoh to go.

Like much of the world, I’ve been glued to the news these last couple weeks, watching the people of Tunisia and then Egypt rise up against their respective dictators. Egypt, in particular, is filled with so much revolutionary possibility: Cairo is the big boy on the Arab block and has huge reverberations for what goes down in Damascus, Algiers, Baghdad, and yes, Gaza and Jerusalem.

Hosni Mubarak is a U.S.-sponsored thug, a postmodern pimp exploiting his own people, a modern-day pharaoh who is now hearing the call: Let our people go!

The Egyptian uprising has been a light in the international darkness. The millions of people taking to the streets in Cairo and Alexandria are fighting not only the physical repression of the secret police but the silent, more deadly repression of the people’s spirit. But even after 30 years of dictatorship, they have shown their will is stronger than any pyramid.

Yesterday, I marched with thousands of people in San Francisco in a sign of solidarity with the Egyptian people and a call to President Obama to stop playing and do the same. It was a beautiful crowd on a sunny California day in February: young and old, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, and every type of atheist (you know how we do in the Bay), chanting in English and Arabic for freedom — real freedom, everywhere.

(Quick shout-out to the good folks from Jewish Voice for Peace who got love in the New York Times for mobilizing to show there is strong, progressive Jewish support for the uprising, and how it can bring lift the blockade in Gaza and bring justice to Israel/Palestine.)

The movement continues, and no one knows what’s going to happen next. That’s why they call it a revolution. We can only pray, and fight, for the people’s voices to win out over that of Mubarak’s secret police and Obama’s secret diplomats.

Here are some photos from the demonstration in San Francisco. To the people of Cairo: we’re with you. All the pharaohs must fall.