Students gather outside Coffman to support Egypt

Demonstrators rallied Friday to support Egyptian protests of the current president.

Ansam Elshaish raises an Egyptian flag during a protest in solidarity to current protests in the countrys capitol of Cairo, on Friday in front of Coffman Union. Citizens of Cairo are currently protesting calling for an end to the 30 year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

Ansam Elshaish raises an Egyptian flag during a protest in solidarity to current protests in the country’s capitol of Cairo, on Friday in front of Coffman Union. Citizens of Cairo are currently protesting calling for an end to the 30 year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

Emily Cutts

TuesdayâÄôs protests in Egypt have reached the University of Minnesota, where students, staff and community members held a demonstration Friday outside of Coffman Union in support of the protestersâÄô desire for a change in government.

Egyptian citizens are protesting President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for 30 years.

âÄúHow do you call it a democracy when he has been president for 30 years?âÄù Mona Sonbol, a University student said. âÄúI call it a dictatorship.âÄù According to Al Jazeera reports, âÄútens of thousandsâÄù of protesters were on the street in Cairo Friday afternoon.

Back in Minnesota, nearly 60 people gathered silently on the steps holding Egyptian flags and signs. The silence turned into chants of âÄúDown with the Pharaoh,âÄù âÄúOppression must stopâÄù and a singing of the national anthem.

Not all of the demonstrators were of Egyptian descent, and many were there in support of their âÄúEgyptian brothers and sisters.âÄù

University employee Carla Mantel joined demonstrators in support of her friend who is currently in Egypt. Mantel last heard from her friend yesterday.

Former University student Muhammad Al-Qaisi attended the demonstration to âÄútell Egypt that there are people all over the world that support them.âÄù

âÄúWe are with the Egyptian people,âÄù Al-Qaisi said.

In Egypt, the Internet has been shut down, mobile phones have been jammed and a curfew has been enforced. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have also been blocked.

According to Al Jazeera reports, tens of thousands of people were in the streets in Cairo during the day, and protesters were still out after curfew.

Recent protests in Tunisia are credited for prompting action in Egypt.

Protests in Egypt have turned fatal with at least 16 people dead, according to Al Jazeera.

Buildings as well as police vehicles have been set on fire. Most notably, the National Democratic PartyâÄôs headquarters, located next to the National Museum.