News / Middle East

Anti-Mubarak Activists Stage Rally in Los Angeles

Protesters at the anti-Mubarak rally in Los Angeles, February 5, 2011
Protesters at the anti-Mubarak rally in Los Angeles, February 5, 2011

Hundreds of protesters assembled on Saturday at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California, to express solidarity with anti-Mubarak demonstrators in Egypt. Many protestors were Egyptian-Americans, recent immigrants as well as long-time US residents. They were joined by immigrants from Iran and ordinary Americans.

Besides calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, protesters waived signs demanding the US stop providing aid to the government led by him.

Many people expressed their feelings as mixed, proud of the courageous demonstrators in Egypt, optimistic for change, yet all the while concerned for the safety of the Egyptian people. Also, in the midst of the protest, a group of Muslims prayed in front of the federal building.

Watch raw video from the rally:

Listen to what some of the protesters had to say:

Sana Ezzat came to the protest from Las Vegas. She was born and raised in Cairo, but has lived in the U.S. for more than 40 years. She admires her former countrymen for finally speaking out.

“This is injustice, no one can accept that. I feel for the people that have the courage to speak their mind finally, it’s way overdue, I’m so glad that they had the courage to come out and say how they feel, and it’s about time for the president to understand their feeling, and depart peacefully before there is more bloodshed in this process.”

Thirty-year-old Karim El Defrawy was also was born in Egypt, but moved to the U.S. five years ago to study.

“Some of my friends [in Egypt] got injured and they had to carry dead people on their shoulders. And all their demands are legitimate demands, they didn’t ask for anything extra or something that they don’t deserve… I grew up in Egypt and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of free speech. And the media is used as a tool for propaganda and to scare the people and it’s sad. On the other hand, the people finally have broken the barrier of fear, the fear barrier and their voice has been heard, and at this point it’s up to them, I guess.”

Twenty-nine-year-old Wale El Haddad came to the U.S. from Egypt two and a half years ago.

”All over Egypt, in Cairo, in Tahrir Square, in Alexandria and Suez, we are sending a message for them that we stand behind them. And we are sending the message also to the US authorities that they have to stop their aid to the Egyptian government. They send every year more than a billion dollars in aid for security of the Egyptian government. They have to stop that. They have to take the side of the Egyptian people; they have to force this regime to step down.”

Simone Larson, a 20-year-old American, studied in Cairo for four months, and just came back to the U.S. two and half weeks ago.

”Now seeing all the people just revolting, just coming up and rising against the government, you know, it’s very empowering even for me all the way over here in America. I support the Egyptian people and I want to be there for them, I want to help spread the word, I want to help them achieve democracy and achieve a free election.”

Dr. Osama Haikal, a physician living and working in Las Vegas, was among the organizers of the Los Angeles rally.

“If our [American] interest in Egypt and the world in general needs a ruthless, blood-sucking dictator to be served, than there is something morally wrong with our interest. It’s time for us here in the U.S. to examine our morality, our interest in the Middle East. If our interest needs a dictator, than we are wrong, we are dead wrong…. If we don’t stand at the right side of history today with the Egyptian people, you are going to get what you’re afraid of, period. History never lies. It repeats itself over and over and over; it’s for us to learn the lesson.”

The protesters were joined also by members of the local Iranian community.

Neseer Emamy believes that the events in Egypt will inspire others in the region.

”As an Iranian in support of freedom and of governments for and by the people for our country and for all countries in the world, with great interest I’m watching this movement and I’m convinced that this is the beginning of a renaissance for the region and it will have a positive impact, particularly for our sweet homeland Iran.”

Another Iranian, who gave his name as Paymaun, shared Neseer’s view.

”As an Iranian with a dream for democracy in Iran, when I see this uprising in Tunisia, in Egypt and the continuation of the Green movement in Iran, I become hopeful that there will be a future of democracy in the Middle East.”

The protest was mainly organized by the Los Angeles chapter of the anti-war coalition, ANSWER. About 100 men and women made the trip from Las Vegas, feeling they could get more exposure by protesting in Los Angeles.   

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs