Middle Eastern Teens Gather Via Facebook to Protest

By Alicia Ygarza –

In the past, revolutions were fought with swords and cannons. Unlike those revolutions, the latest  in the Middle East are being run by young adults and teens via Facebook.

At least they were until the government discovered how powerful social networking sites could be.

Furious teens in Egypt and Libya have been protesting to overthrow their governments. Expressing their disgust with the government, organizing crowds of protests and arranging meeting times, their communication portal has been Facebook, although it has been shut down in Libya and just reopened in Egypt.

“The teenagers in Libya and Egypt are protesting because they want democracy,” explained Richard Brenton, a social studies teacher at Penn Manor High School.

“They want the rights you and I take for granted, they see what we have and they want their share, they want the same opportunities,” said Brenton.

How could you gather a large group of people to meet in one specific place, at a specific time?

Facebook.

When Libya’s government found that teens were planning protests over Facebook, the site was blocked to all users.

“The teens in the Middle East love Facebook, because in a way it is like democracy. They can be free and there is no political leader telling them what they can and cannot do,” said Brenton.

The Egyptian Youth Movement created a “manifesto” posted on Facebook, stating their reasons for the demand of government reform.

They wrote:

“We call on all Egyptians to join us in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, 22 of February, in our demonstration for the implementation of the demands of our revolution….

– Abolition of the current government.

– Abolition of the Emergency law.

An Egyptian disaproves the emergency law.

– The Release of all detainees.

– The formation of a presidential council, including civilians, and fair judges.

– Retribution of all the media figures that have contributed in killing our martyrs.

– Abolition of the state security apparatus and restructuring of the Ministry of Interior as well as all of the NDP headquarters.S

– Forming a new technocratic government.

– Abolishing the government led by Ahmed Shafik – which includes the foul faces that have a history of corruption such as Mufid Shehab, Aisha Abdel Hadi, Faiza Abu Naga, Sameh Fahmi, Ali Meselhi, Mahmoud Wagdy – to be dismissed and the formation of a new technocratic government,”according to the New York Times.

Ahmad Samih, an Egyptian abolitionist, is trying to gain support from local and worldwide seekers to stop the government from disconnecting Facebook to the people.

“It would be like if someone took my cell phone. It’s how I communicate, and how I find out what’s going on with people,” said Troy Diffenderfer, a student at Penn Manor High School about his Facebook.

The Egyptian government doesn’t care what their people want.

For commuting together, the government has been known to taser, beat, torture, jail and even kill members of the Youth Movement.

Pro- democracy activists are killed in Libya

“I think we as teens take our freedom of speech for granted. We can pretty much put anything we want on the internet, ” said Diffenderfer.

Could local teens be influenced by the teens in Egypt and Libya?

Just recently, student protested at Dickinson College have emerged for the lack of protection from sexual assult.

The Youth Movement declared, “Our revolution and struggle will continue until we achieve all our demands.”

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