WASHINGTON – More than thirty people gathered on the south end of Lafayette Park Saturday to protest the administration of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.
After about an hour of gathering on the edge of Lafayette Park, the protestors marched up and down Pennsylvania Avenue shouting chants like “One, two, three, four Mohamed Morsi has to go, five, six, seven, eight down to the fascist state.”
Morsi was elected president of Egypt a year ago Sunday, on June 30, 2012. One of the protestors said Morsi has adopted too many of the policies and practices that his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, put in place.
Mubarak was overthrown after an 18-day series of protests in Cairo in 2011. After resigning the presidency, Mubarak faced charges of negligence in Egyptian court. After the trial concluded on June 2, 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment.
One year later, protestors are taking to the streets of Cairo yet again due to a lack of satisfaction with Morsi and his administration. The protestors in front of the White House said they stand in solidarity with their fellow protestors more than 5,000 miles away.
Nermin AbdelWahab, a law student at the University of District Columbia, said that the main opposition of the protestors is to Morsi’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood and the reinstitution of policies similar to those under the Mubarak administration. AbdelWahab said that the protestors assembled are mainly secularists, and therefore against the rule of a Muslim Brotherhood-associated president.
“[Morsi has] kind of tried to reinstitute a lot of the same old dictatorship rules that were under Mubarak,” she said. “We’re mostly secularists, so most of us don’t support Islamic rule in general.”
AbdelWahab said that by protesting in both Cairo and D.C., they are attempting to reconnect the opposition that was previously against Mubarak, against Morsi.
The protests come the day after an American student was killed in clashes between Morsi’s opposition and supporters in Alexandria, Egypt – just over 130 miles from Cairo. Despite the violence, Abdelwahab said that protestors will return to the streets in Egypt and D.C. tomorrow. Andrew Pochter, 21, was originally from Chevy Chase, Md.
In addition to standing in solidarity, the protestors at the White House wanted to send a message to U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration and the American people.
Obama is currently traveling in Africa, but AbdelWahab said that the message would still get to him through media.
“[We wanted] to send a message to Obama and to Americans that not everybody supports Morsi and the Brotherhood in Egypt,” she said. “There’s a strong opposition that’s starting to form against Morsi.”