The ongoing chaos and violence in Egypt has prompted more action on the streets of Houston. On Friday, a group called The Egyptian Americans for Democracy & Human Rights is holding what it calls a "peaceful walk and rally” in downtown Houston to call for an end to the violence in Egypt. The organizer of the event is Hesham Ebaid, from the Houston Muslim American Society. He tells KTRH they want an end to the violence and mayhem first and foremost, and also want to send a message to U.S. leaders. "The U.S. sends tax dollar aid (to Egypt) in the range of $1.3 billion a year," he tells KTRH. "And for us to justify this money we just can't allow a coup or a militarily-run government to control people's lives and do what they've done the past 7-10 days."
Mr. Ebaid and his group want the Egyptian military to end its crackdown on protesters, but are also denouncing the recent burning of Christian churches by some of those protesters who are sympathetic to ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Above all, Ebaid thinks the military should stand down and new elections should be held. "Go to the polls right away and ask the people what they want to see as far as this current government--to go, to stay--whatever the will of the Egyptian people is should take precedence," he says. "But what we want is to restore democracy and stop the bloodshed."
The event begins at 3 p.m. outside Houston City Hall, and will involve a rally and a walk around City Hall. As part of the event, several hundred balloons will be released in what organizers call a symbol of "solidarity towards the wounded humanity" in Egypt. "We are sending a strong message to the (U.S. government) to interfere in this process and make sure that our tax dollar aid to Egypt is going to help the country versus sending money for the army to buy weapons and kill its own people."