DALLAS - Even here, on the day before the Superbowl, with streams of Cheeseheads and Steelers on pilgrimage to President Kennedy's grassy knoll (site of his 1963 assassination), demonstrators stood up in solidarity with the democracy movement in Egypt.
About 150 demonstrators and several hundred tourists took part as speakers from Texas, one of whom said, "Kefaya y'all!" alternated with speakers with roots in the Middle East to show how much they care about the Arab-world upsurge.
Many of the audience members were young, college-age or younger. One of the most striking signs, held by a defiant teenager, said, "The Mubarak regime is older than I am." A speaker talked about the video of worldwide labor union leaders speaking in solidarity with the Egyptian movement. A list of the people killed in demonstrations was solemnly read.
Even in that particularly grave moment, a tiny knot of street evangelicals embarrassed themselves and Dallas by trying to drown out the proceedings with shouts about Jesus. They had apparently lost touch with the true message of the Prince of Peace, because they did their level best to stand up for dictatorship and oppression against the crowd.
Unanimous chants of "Kefaya," and "The people united will never be defeated" eventually drowned out and dismayed the evangelicals.
New and old-time peace and solidarity activists shared the microphone. Women's rights were especially prominent among the issues raised. Stoning was condemned. Democracy was praised. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was condemned. Imperialism was condemned.
Photo: PW/Jim Lane