Organizers say Egypt general strike successful

Members of Egyptian political and revolutionary groups have said the general strike that started on Saturday was successful on its first day.

Several student and labor groups joined activist groups calling for the strike to press the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to leave power. But other groups and the country’s top Muslim and Christian clerics condemned the strike, which started on 11 February, the anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

A number of participants said the strike's participation rates among university and school students prove that the current generation is capable of proceeding on the revolution's course. They said that the media campaign launched against the strike encouraged many to abstain, but expected support for civil disobedience to grow.

National Association of Change spokesperson Ahmed Taha al-Nuqr told Al-Masry Al-Youm said the success was unexpected.

Amr Hamid of the Revolution Youth Union said even a small-scale response is evidence that the revolution will continue. He said public civil disobedience will be their last resort if the military council does not meet their demands.

Students helped the strike succeed on its first day, said Tarek al-Khouly, spokesperson for the April 6 Youth Movement Democratic Front.

Khouly said activists did not expect all state institutions to participate from the first day. The strike’s real effect will appear gradually, he said.

He argued that the action was successful despite pressure on public servants and sermons at mosques against the strike.

Essam al-Sharif, general coordinator for the Free Front for Peaceful Change, said the strike was 60 percent successful, thanks to young people. He said officials' TV appearances to stress that work continued as usual indicated the strike was having an impact.

Senior Kefaya movement leader Mohamed Abdel Aziz said the strike's success is contingent on students’ responsiveness. He said the statement made by SCAF in response to the planned strike maintains the usual rhetoric of blaming foreign plots against Egypt without naming who is behind them.

People should not gauge the success of the strike by the first day’s participation rates, said 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition member Mostafa Shawky.

“We will not resort to violence or vandalism. The call for general strike covers the next 40 days. We have no problem if some say that the strike failed on the first day — real success is measured at the end,” he said.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

Related Articles

Back to top button