Protestors against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi held a small rally outside the White House Wednesday, after a military coup removed him from office.
A group of American and Egyptian students who call themselves “The REAL Egyptian Revolution” held a solidarity rally at 8 p.m. to call for expanded democratic rights in Egypt.
They had planned to protest Morsi's presidency, but changed the focus of the gathering after a military coup removed Morsi from office Wednesday.
"There's a flurry of activity right now," said protest organizer Lacy MacAuley. "We want to be there to stand in support of the Egyptian people."
Morsi became Egypt's first democratically elected president June 30, 2012. He took power after the 2011 Egyptian revolution that ended the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.
“When Morsi was running for president, he made 15 promises, but after 12 months of him in power, he delivered the exact opposite of all his promises," Tawfik Daoud, an Egyptian organizer of a similar protest last Saturday who is living in the U.S., said in a press release. "My Egypt is in dire need of bread, medicine, gas, electricity and basic safety in the streets."
According to research done by the Woodrow Wilson Center, unemployment in Egypt reached 3.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. That leaves 13.2 percent of the labor force out of a job, which is up from 12.6 percent in June 2012, when Morsi took office.
Food prices have increased by 8.9 percent between May 2012 and May 2013, according to government statistics.
Other major issues include high crime rates, fuel shortages, rolling blackouts, stock market woes and inceased sexual harassment.
Abdallah Esayed, another organizer of Wednesday's protest, said in a press release that he lost an eye fighting for the revolution last year in Cairo after a police officer shot him while he was protesting in the streets.
“Many people lost their lives for the promise of freedom," Esayed said. "But our eyes, limbs and lives were not lost in vain. Egyptians will continue to fight for freedom, and we will succeed.”