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Rebellion Rages from the Middle East to the Midwest; the Fight Over People's Rights

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Message Michael Payne


Simply astounding! One day we watch in awe as the people of Egypt protest in the streets of Cairo and then our attention is turned inward as we watch the people of Wisconsin protest and occupy the state capitol in Madison. From Tunisia, to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and now Madison, Wisconsin, the people are rising up to fight for their rights and, by all indications, they have no intention of bending to the dictates of the powers that seek to suppress their cause.


It is amazing how the Middle East revolutionary movement erupted out of the blue with no warning of any kind. But, then again, it is easier to understand when we consider the many decades that these suppressed people have suffered under a succession of dictators and oppressive regimes. The Middle East has often been referred to as a tinder box that could be ignited by some small, unexpected spark and, then, all of a sudden it happened.


It was generally thought that such an eruption would be caused by war between various nations in that volatile region of the world, with Israel constantly being at the center point; but who would have guessed that it would be the people that provided the spark that ignited the rebellion. While it was a long time coming, it was inevitable as the people finally reached the point where they no longer could live under the iron fist of dictatorial regimes.


Middle East meets the Midwest and it's all about people's rights. Watching the protests spreading across the nations of the Middle East indicates that this is now a very strong movement that is virtually unstoppable. It is a movement that is ushering in a new era of governments of the people. A new day has dawned. That is why the U.S. and Israeli leaders are in a frantic state as they try to figure out how they can maintain their domination and control over that region. The probability of them doing so is very low since the formerly entrenched dictators have now become an endangered species.


Not long after the Middle East rebellion exploded onto the world stage, another kind of rebellion erupted in Madison, Wisconsin when the Republican Governor Scott Walker decided that it was time to bring the hammer down on the state's union workers. He and his controlling majority in the legislature created a bill designed to end the union's collective bargaining rights. The resultant backlash and vehement opposition to that bill rocked the capitol as protesters stormed into the streets and the capitol building to strongly voice their opposition.


Protests in the Middle East and protests in the Midwest. What do they have in common? Actually, much more than we might think. The one common, overriding issue in both these regions of the world has to do with oppressive governments violating the basic rights of the people. In the Middle East it is the thirst for freedom and government of the people, while in Madison it is the rights of the people to retain collective bargaining. In each case it is the people demanding that their rights be honored by governments who want to restrict them.


There is yet another common factor that is causing unrest in both the Middle East and also in America; and that has to do with the great disparity in the distribution of wealth. For Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations, the vast majority of the wealth is held by a small minority of people in the upper income levels. They hold the power and they hold the wealth. In Egypt, for example, 40%, or nearly 34 million people in a population of 84 million, live below the poverty line.


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