A group of Egyptians resident in New York Saturday took to the streets to protest the military intervention and ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi. The group carrying placards and chanting pro Morsi slogans converged outside the Egyptian embassy on 42nd Street and 2 Avenue, Manhattan.
Clad mostly in yellow, the group comprised a wide demographic range. The messages on their placards mostly urged the US government to support democracy in their homeland and to stop funding the military intervention which saw the overthrow of the legitimately elected Morsi. Some of the placards also bore the sign of a hand with four outstretched fingers and the inscription ‘R4BIA’.
R4BIA is a movement that emerged in Egypt following the killing of demonstrators protesting the coup of July 3, 2013 at Rabia al-Adawiya Square by the military. It is considered as a spontaneous movement to oppose tyranny and to support democracy in Egypt and other Arab nations. It is not clear who came up with the sign but it is attributed to Rabia al-Adawiya after who the square is named. Rabia was the fourth child of her parents and Morsi was also the fourth President of Egypt after Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. Speaking to IMC, Mohamed Khalifa, one of the frontrunners of the protest said “We make the sign to remind people of his legitimacy as the democratically elected president of Egypt”.
Khalifa also stated that the military’s actions are highly illegal and should be condemned by the US. He said the men in power at the moment are a cabal who have tried everything to snatch power and have used the coup as everything else failed. “We want to state that Morsi is the legitimately elected president of Egypt and what is going on there at the moment is a shame and not something the US should support in any way”, he said.
Some anonymous speakers also condemned the brutal killings of innocent protesting Egyptians in the name of putting down an uprising.