Austinites rally in support of Egyptian protestors
The rally on Saturday aimed their protests at President Barack Obama's administration, asking Washington to re-think the dollars we send overseas. They say support needs to be going to the Arab people, and not their long-time leader.
While many miles away, the protestors hoped their voices and signs showed support that could be felt overseas. They rallied against what they called a “dishonest dictatorship” in Egypt.
“When I was a kid, Modarek was president,” says Luai, an Egyptian-born rally participant. “When I was growing up, going to school, Modarek was president. When I graduated from college, Modarek was president. I came to the United States, went to college, graduated, got married, had two kids, and Modarek was still president. This is not democracy by any shape or form.”
Although a United States resident for ten years, Luai and his family still support rights in his home country.
“Those people just want their basic freedoms; they want to be able to work, and to raise their kids in a secure environment. That's all they want to do,” he says.
“It's just become clear that it's no longer a sustainable situation, and it's at a political, economic, and especially moral level, says James Casey, a UT student who also studied in Egypt.
Many out in Austin consider the Egyptian uprising a fight against a food and economic crisis. They're urging the US government to re-evaluate foreign policy.
“The United States has said that we want a democratic Middle East,” says event organizer Karen Burke. “At the same time, the government has supported this dictator in Egypt. And so a free Egypt means that there is a possibility for democracy there, that the people can decide what kind of government they want in the Middle East. We should support that.”
Protestors say the role of social-networking is going to play a major part in making change – it’s why they say, the rally's message here in Austin, will be able to travel and show worldwide support to the people in Egypt in the struggle to determine their future.
Similar rallies were held also held Saturday in Houston, Washington DC, and New York.