FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A South Florida woman who used Facebook to organize the “Rally for a Free Egypt” last week in Boca Raton saw even more people turn out to support her cause at another rally on Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale.
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Stephanie El Maadawy said she knew she had to do something after watching the violence in Cairo on the news. Last Thursday about 40 people lined Federal Highway at Sanborn Square, holding signs and shouting that President Hosni Mubarak must step down.
“We believe in basic human rights for all countries and that’s why we want local lawmakers to stop aid to dictators like Mubarak and all around the world,” said El Maadawy.
So Sunday afternoon a crowd of about 50 gathered in Fort Lauderdale. Muhammed Abousmoussa held his daughter in his arms as he marched and chanted outside the Federal Building there.
The Egyptian native was one of the demonstrators voicing their support for the revolution, or Egyptian Intifada, going on in Egypt.
“We’ve had enough,” Abousmoussa said. “I feel like the Egyptian people deserve their freedom and I think what they’ve done in the last 13 days they’ve done enough to earn their freedom.”
The Fort Lauderdale protest is not the first in South Florida. One in Miami was staged soon after the revolt began, followed by one on Thursday in Boca Raton.
“My family’s from Egypt,” Lena Emara told CBS 4’s Carey Codd at last week’s Boca Raton rally. “I have family living there on less than 100 dollars a month. Half the country is living on even less than that.”READ MORE: Psychologist shares how to talk to your child about Texas school shooting
El Maadaway said she will continue to organize rallies until Mubarak leaves office.
“He has to step down,” said Stephanie El Maadawy. “Not tomorrow. Not in 6 months. Today. The Egyptian people deserve a clean slate and we want to make sure that happens.”
Over the weekend, Egyptian opposition groups won new concessions from the government of President Hosni Mubarak. Representatives from a broad cross-section of groups, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, met with the vice president. He agreed to allow freedom of the press, release detained anti-government protesters and lift the country’s emergency laws when security permits.
Senior Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi says the officially outlawed group is sticking to the protesters’ main condition that President Mubarak step down.
While Abousmoussa protested Sunday his mind was on his loved ones clashing with government supporters in Cairo.
“My nieces and nephews are in the square right now,” he said.
Demonstrators in Fort Lauderdale pledged their continued support of the Egyptian struggle. They vowed not to rest until Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak steps down.
That hasn’t happened. Yet Sunday Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman said he is ready to work with the opposition groups towards democracy. Suleiman said the government would allow freedom of the press and a democratic presidential selection process.MORE NEWS: New FBI report finds active shooter attacks on the rise
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