Egyptians across US offer support to compatriots back home
Thousands of people in Egypt, who flooded streets in riots calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, were joined by relatives and supporters at protests in major American cities.
"Mubarak will go. If not today, then tomorrow," Magdy Al-Abady, 39, of Chicago, said on Saturday during a demonstration downtown in front of the Egyptian consulate's office. The genomics researcher, with an Egyptian flag draped over his shoulders, said his brother and parents were protesting in Egypt and he was speaking often with his brother.
Protesters also gathered outside the United Nations complex in New York City, filled the street in front of the Egyptian embassy in Washington and marched through downtown San Francisco to show solidarity with the uprising.
Other cities, including Seattle and Los Angeles, also saw demonstrations. In Chicago, picketers marched and chanted, "Hey Mubarak you will see, all Egyptians will be free." They held signs that said "Victory to the Egyptian people" and "Freedom and Justice for all Egyptians."
Al-Abady said he wants President Barack Obama to support the Egyptian people. "He must say very clearly that he does not support Mubarak," Al-Abady said. "Mubarak is not Egypt. The Egyptians are not Mubarak."
The crowd in New York called for the international community to support the popular uprising and abandon Mubarak. Dahlia Ashour, a native of the Egyptian capital of Cairo who still has family in Egypt, said she was disappointed Obama hadn't made a forceful statement in support of the protesters.
"He should be standing by the people, not by the regime," she said. Obama has issued a plea for restraint in Egypt and called on Mubarak to take steps to democratise his government and refrain from using violence against his people.