11 February 2012

General Strike Set for Anniversary of Mubarak Departure

After yesterday's large protests at the Ministry of Defense thankfully completed without major incident, a general strike is set to take place in Egypt today to mark the one-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak relinquishing power.

The goal of the strike is to demand the military's immediate handover of the government to civilian authority. (Lots of unfortunate irony there.) The military has continued to reinforce its stance that it will not concede power until after the presidential elections in late June.

While university groups and some workplaces are set to strike, it seems to be up in the air just how many groups will walk out today. The strike's main proponents seem to be the youth revolutionaries, while more traditional camps--Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Azhar, the Coptic church--have come out against the call for civil disobedience; their stance being that a strike will only further damage the economy.

There is not a firm line drawn in the sand, however. While these groups have formally announced they are against the strike, that does not mean no one from those camps will participate today. For instance, a Coptic group known as the Maspero Revolutionaries is set to strike today.

Notably, a sit-in is planned in the city of Mahalla, where the first large labor strike took place back in 2006 2008.

I have to admit I find it a little odd they have organized a general strike on a Saturday--which is the final day of the weekend in Egypt--but I guess you can't really shift dates around on the calendar.

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