Image courtesty of Sarah Carr via flickr

The brave people of Egypt are standing up. The oppressive government which has ruled them for years is shaking at its core as thousands take to the streets. In Egypt, demonstrations are illegal. Already, 7 people have been killed. And today’s protests are said to be the biggest yet.

Much has been said about the wave of freedom movements across North Africa: oppressive ageing dictatorships; a generation of young people who have been left unemployed, without hope, jilted; food and fuel prices going through the roof. A young graduate fruit seller saw his future being stolen from his grasp. He set himself and the world, alight. News of his protest spread like wild-fire. Countries sealed off by their leaders have been prized open by satellite news, Al Jazeera, Facebook, Twitter. These things have now been widely reported.

Tony Blair and George Bush thought that they could liberate at the barrel of a gun. What hubris. But where they failed, the people of the Arab world are rising up, and demanding the kind of democracy that you can’t impose. Their leaders can no longer stop them hearing of the inspiration from Tunisia. How this ends is yet to be seen. The brave people of Egypt – and Yemen, and Lebanon, and Morocco, and Sudan, and Algeria – these people are on the front line. They are risking their lives that others may be free. It is wrong to think we can win this struggle for them. But we can and must help.

We’ve put together a quick tool at the No Shock Doctrine site to help you email your MP and the Egyptian Embassy calling on the Government to respect the protesters, demanding that they are not attacked, that their calls are heeded. This isn’t much, but it is something. There are also protests outside embassies around the world. Please do join them, if you can. Egyptians must know that the eyes of the world are on them, watching their back, willing them on. President Mubarak may think he can murder his way out of this uprising. We cannot allow this to happen.

With food and fuel prices set to keep soaring, with austerity measures driving the global economy off a cliff, and with more and more extreme weather events, 2011 is going to be a global year of protest. If we work together around the world, we can build the foundations of a better future. But when I’m on the front line, I hope that someone is watching my back, and when our friends in Egypt are on the front line, we must do those small things that we can to watch theirs.

So, take action here and join the Facebook group here .