Mubarak, OUT! Protests, IN!

So, why do we still see protests taking place in Egypt, and Tahrir Square filled with camping tents?

Well, an article from CNN gives some of the reasons as to why the Egyptians do not want to give up in their search for a fair government, more opportunities, and a better Egypt.

The article is from a few months ago, yet… it seems that the ony thing that has changed since the publication of the article is that parliamentary elections were held.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Among recent events, there is no doubt that police and military brutality have increased in recent months. It is important to remember one of the reasons why protesters took Tahrir Square: Police brutality and their lack to protect Egypt’s citizens.

Despite the videos and pictures that show what really happens in daily Egyptian protests, no one seems capable of taking responsability for the actions committed by either the police or the military of Egypt.

In an article from November 23, 2011 and published by Israel National News, were posted videos showing real events that took place in the streets of Cairo, Egypt.

First Results in for Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections

Although the final results of Egypt’s first democratic election in decades have yet to be released, early reports indicate Egypt’s Islamist blocs to have taking the top position. According to the Bloomberg Business week, Egypt’s two main Islamist parties may have claimed up to 70 percent of the vote. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party appear to have won 40 percent in the first round of elections and, more surprisingly, is that the ultra conservative Salafi Al-Nour Party said it may have received 30 percent of the vote. Coming in third place is the secular Egyptian Bloc, which said it may have won as much as 20 percent of the vote.  Second round run-offs for closely contested seats will begin early next week, followed by further parliamentary elections in Egypt’s providences that have yet to cast their ballots.   Other sources indicate these percentages to be slightly high, yet, all sources point to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi Parties as being in the top positions.

full article available here.

Current Affairs: Calm Prevails in Egypt’s Elections

New York Times: In a surprise, Calm Prevails in Egypt’s Elections

By David D. Kirkpatrick

November 28, 2011

Full article here.

Even with the ruling military tightly holding on to power,  and after a mass of protests in Cairo last week,  a unexpectedly large number of Egyptian people made it out yesterday to vote in the first parliamentary elections since the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.  It appears that citizens in the post-revoultion atmosphere feel that it is their duty to continue to make their voices heard.  The hope, however,  that the elections will be legitimate and without corruption is still dismal. One protester said, “It is like a play, it is like a sham. we are pretending to be voting.” Protest leaders have urged those in the street to go to the polls to express their grievances. The military government sees the turnout as a success and an indication of citizens’ approval of their transition timeline. The real impact of these elections unfortunately won’t been seen for several months.

 

2005 – Egypt’s poor untouched by economic boom

Source: Aljazeera.com

9/1/2005

“Egypt’s economy is growing at its fastest pace in years, exports are surging and the bourse is booming, but there is little sign yet of an economic revival in the poor suburbs and crowded slums of the capital”

This article from Al Jazeera English describes a pre-uprising atmosphere in Egypt where the country’s poor saw little befit from the country’s growing economy.  At the turn of the century, the Mubarak administration, in accordance with its structural adjustment package, privatized much of the country’s state run businesses. This led to massive lay off of Egyptian workers.  Official unemployments estimates at the time were around 10 percent, however, unofficial estimates, which include jobs outside of recognized labor, placed the unemployment rate at levels up to twice that number.  With roughly 20 percent of the population unemployed, the government cutting its public sector, and reducing its provided social services to reduce its deficit, its no wonder that people took to the streets in rage.

Full article available here.

How neoliberalism created an age of activism

“Decades of neoliberal economic policies have concentrated wealth and are now spurring a global backlash.”

Full article available here.

This article by Juan Cole provides a exemplary illustration of the argument currently being developed by this blog. Cole describes how in countries all over the world, like Egypt and the United States, young rebels are reacting to a single stunning worldwide development: the extreme concentration of wealth in a few hands thanks to neoliberal policies of deregulation and union busting.  This is in a sense the exact argument I have been researching.  The connecting tie among social movements around the world is that of inequality. The polices of neoliberalism enacted after capitalism’s structural crisis of the 1970s have concentrated wealth in the hands of less and less.  The uprising in Egypt was not only an attack on an unruly dictator but also attack on the policies that that dictator allowed to occur. It was an uprising against repression, including repression of labor power.  It was a revolt against corruption, including the ties between the ruling elite and economic elite. Neoliberal reforms were at the heart of the complaints of the Egyptian revolution, as they are with social movements around the world.

Egypt issues strike warning – Apr 2008

Full Article.

This article discusses the methods of organization taken prior to the bread strike in 2008.
The general strike against low wages and rising prices was called by the country’s largest state-owned textile factory, Mahalla al-Kobra.
The article also discusses the reactions by the government after the strike warning was issued. (striking is illegal without permit in Egypt)
“The ministry’s agencies will take the necessary and immediate firm measures against any attempt to demonstrate, block traffic, or hinder public services – or inciting any of these acts.”
Articles like this are vital in fully understanding the political and economic atmosphere in Egypt prior to the current revolution.  It is also vital to gaining insight into the desires of the Egyptian people. 

Inside Story – Egyptian protests – 6 Apr 08

Here is part 1 of a television report put out by Inside Story in part with Al Jazeera English.  The report  asks if the workers’ strike in Egypt in 2008 was a success and what was to be expected of the country’s opposition and ruling party as tension mounted.  The strike was a result of poor pay, rising food costs, and the high poverty rate in the country.  The government claims that it was doing best to combat the global economic crisis, yet, many of the people interviewed say they feel that they are not represented by the government at all.  This video provides wonderful coverage of this post protest atmosphere in 2008 and it may prove useful evidence for the final paper.