US anti-Mubarak protests

Today, activists demonstrated in DC and NYC on behalf of the detainees in Egypt, and to express their opposition to Mubarak’s dictatorial consitutional amendments.

Click on the photo below to read Nora’s report about the DC protest…

DC Protest

And here’s a report about the NYC demo, from activist and friend Shehab Ismail…

Around 20 people gathered today in front of the Egyptian consulate in New York to protest the proposed constitutional amendments. Rime Naguib and I arrived in front of the Egyptian consulate at noon. We spent the morning making banners. On the banners we wrote “No to constitutional amendments”, “Proposed constitutional amendments greatest erosion of human rights in 26 years-Amnesty International”, “Goodbye Mubarak”, and in Arabic
“يسقط لا مؤاخذه السيد الرئيس المبجل حسني مبارك”, “لا للتعديلات الدستورية المقترحة، لا لنظام مبارك القمعي، يسقط “سيادة”الرئيس” “لا لتقنين تزوير الانتخابات، لا لتقنين قمع الأجهزة الأمنية للمعارضة”
The banners also had inverted Egyptian flags and a No Mubarak signs.
The protest was not led by any specific political organization, rather it was planned by a group of activists who first met each other in the protest in solidarity with Egyptian judges last year, which also took place in front of the Egyptian consulate. For many of the protesters, this was their first experience at a demonstration.
The protest was for the most part silent, but there were so many fruitful discussions among the protests about the significance of the proposed amendments and their impact on political rights and the opposition in Egypt. We agreed that the amendments is a huge step backward for democracy in Egypt, and that they pave the way for more rigged elections, military tribunals, as well as human rights abuses such as infinite detentions by national security forces.
Towards the end of the protest, an Egyptian woman came out of the consulate and she started commenting about how “unpatriotic” the protest is. We suspect that she works at the consulate. Her argument, which was for the most part confused, is that Mubarak is our best option. She also said that what Egyptian society needs is an “ethical” change, not a political one. She said Egyptians live in a blissful state under Mubarak and that he knows Egypt best. In short, her argument was that Egyptian people are the problem not the government. She was quite angry. Protesters gathered around her trying to discuss her claims, but she dismissed most of our arguments as misguided.
The protests started talking to Egyptians who were entering the consulate. In fact one man who was waiting for his family inside decided to join the demonstration. Later he even encouraged his wife to join but she hesitated.
People in the protest were from very different backgrounds, including grad students, professionals, human rights consultants. Most of the protesters were Egyptians or Egyptian Americans.

Shehab also sent some photos of the protest. Click on the pic below to watch a slideshow…

NYC anti-Mubarak protest

UPDATE: Here’s a video of the NYC sit-in… (Thanks Shehab)