Who’s Behind Egypt’s Revolt?

Robert Dreyfuss in The Nation:

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 01 10.29 It’s spontaneous, yes, triggered by the explosion in Tunisia. But contrary to some media reports, which have portrayed the upsurge in Egypt as a leaderless rebellion, a fairly well organized movement is emerging to take charge, comprising students, labor activists, lawyers, a network of intellectuals, Egypt’s Islamists, a handful of political parties and miscellaneous advocates for “change.” And it’s possible, but not at all certain, that the nominal leadership of the revolution could fall to Mohammad ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who returned to Egypt last year to challenge President Mubarak and who founded the National Association for Change.

Let’s look at the emerging coalition, in its parts.

First, by all accounts, is the April 6 Youth Movement. Leftists, socialists and pro-labor people know that the movement takes its name from April 6, 2008, when a series of strikes and labor actions by textile workers in Mahalla led to a growing general strike by workers and residents and then, on April 6, faced a brutal crackdown by security forces. A second, allied movement of young Egyptians developed in response to the killing by police of Khaled Said, a university graduate, in Alexandria. Both the April 6 group and another group, called We Are All Khaled Said, built networks through Facebook, and according to one account the April 6 group has more than 80,000 members on Facebook. The two groups, which work together, are nearly entirely secular, pro-labor and support the overthrow of Mubarak and the creation of a democratic republic.

More here.

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