Demonstrators march in support of Egypt's uprising
January 29, 2011 10:47 PM
The protesters began at the corner of Montgomery and Market Streets and ended at the United Nations Plaza where speakers voiced their objections to the Egyptian government and President Obama's aid to Egypt's administration.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," said Imam Zaid Shakir of Oakland's Lighthouse Mosque. Shakir quoted the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. as he spoke to the crowd.
For a moment, the protesters' endorsements and cheers swallowed Shakir's voice.
"Injustice in Egypt is a threat to justice in America," Shakir said, raising his voice. "If we people in America allowed the injustices that our country had perpetrated all over the world to go unchallenged, it is a threat to everywhere."
His message moved many people to join the protest.
Catherine Gaballa, who has family members currently residing in Egypt, said she was moved to tears. Though she remains proud, she is worried to see the people of Egypt fighting for democracy, she said.
Nader, 20, a UC Berkeley student who refused to give his last name, said he came to support the people of Egypt and demonstrate his solidarity.
"This is the dictator that the U.S. supports... so we need to come out and show people that we are supporting a dictator and people don't want him anymore," Nader said. "We're not like our government. We don't support the Egyptian dictator."
The Egyptian government shut down mobile phone services, Internet and social media in an effort to impede the massive demonstrations that have swept the country. The use of social media as a means to organize protests in Egypt was largely inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.
"Mubarak should stop what he's doing immediately and grant people the rights and freedom that was way overdue," said Egyptian transfer student Farida Ezzat. "We have been waiting for 30 years."
Organizers and speakers called for another rally at the same location at 1 p.m. Saturday.
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