As protests and violence continue to escalate in Egypt, Rep. Keith Ellison has expressed vocal support of the protesters who are challenging the Egyptian government and President Hosni Mubarak.

Ellison has shown his support on Twitter, writing that he stands with the people of Egypt and asking his followers to send letters to the White House. He’s also issued a joint statement with two other House members calling for the release of Nobel Peace prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, who is under house arrest.

“The Middle East would be a much more powerful and dynamic place if there were less authoritarian regimes, and historically the U.S. has supported all of them,” Ellison said in an interview. “We’re always on the side of “stability” rather than justice. So let’s get on the right side this time.”

Ellison said he’s closely monitored the situation since it broke out, and is reaching out to administration sources to receive up to date information.

He said he has spoken to friends and contacts in Egypt, and they have been encouraged by the protests to help bring a more democratic government to Egypt.

“This is going to help Egypt, because the situation we’re in is unstable,” Ellison said. “That’s why the forces of democracy are out there, that’s when you want to support social change, that’s who’s going to be a better citizen of the world.”

Ellison said he doesn't plan to actively get involved in the situation. But in their joint statement, the House members called on the Obama administration to “escalate its call for political and economic reforms in Egypt.” 

“Having a more open and free democratic system in Egypt is going to help Egypt,” he said. “And the government there shouldn’t be afraid of that.”

Ppl of Egypt DESERVE freedom; I stand w/ them. Yes, I urge the gov't of Egypt to stop violence, excessive force.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Let's DO something.10k ltrs to WH urging pressure on Egyptian govt to release of M. El-Baradei, stop violence against protestors. C'mon!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad

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