Egyptians plan protest on Friday against economic conditions, Sisi’s policies

Egyptians plan protest on Friday against economic conditions, Sisi’s policies
Egyptians have been mobilising under the hashtag 'the revolution of the poor' to take to the stress on Friday to protest against the deteriorating economic situation witnessed in the country and the policies adopted by the president.
3 min read
Egypt - Cairo
24 March, 2022
Protests are planned to take place on Friday against the deteriorating economic conditions and state policies in Egypt. [Getty]

Protests are reportedly planned to erupt nationwide in Egypt this Friday against the deteriorating economic conditions, as well as towards policies recently enacted by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, according to a high-level security source.

The interior ministry was ordered not to arrest any prominent activists or public figures before the demonstrations to continue to surveil them before and during the protests, the source told The New Arab, on condition of anonymity.

Over the past few days, joint police and army forces have been deployed to major squares across the country and are securing vital institutions, the source said.

The source added that the interior ministry also set a preliminary plan to combat the protests by freeing up cells at police stations for the new arrests by transferring those already detained to general correctional facilities and releasing others charged with petty offences. 

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The protests were called for by several political forces, whether in self-exile outside Egypt or residing in the country.

Demonstrations are likely to be divided into two stages, one after Friday prayers at about 11 AM GMT, and the other after Egypt's World Cup 2022 playoff match with Senegal scheduled at 7:30 PM GMT.

In particular, poorer and middle-class Egyptians have been hit hard by Sisi's economic policies over the past years.

On Monday, the Egyptian pound had plunged around 17% in its value against the US dollar, following a rise in inflation amid growing economic hardship, and leading to price hikes across basic commodities.

The hashtag, "the revolution of the poor" has been trending for days, shoring up thousands of tweets that call on people to take to the streets on Friday.

Adopting the hashtag, one user tweeted: "I guess this is enough. What we call for is just you [the citizen] being a [person] with dignity and patriotism, religion and honour. Join us for you, your children, and folks because the country is being lost."

Another user, following the same hashtag and attaching a photo of his eighty-Egyptian-pound-pay for the day ($US 4.37), tweeted: "See these? I worked for them for 12 hours from the early morning till a late hour. You can't buy anything with these or even use them to go anywhere. But you can buy a human being's effort and humiliate him for 12 hours till you drain him. May God have mercy on us."    

Since taking power in 2014, Sisi has governed the country with an iron fist, and is frequently accused by local and international rights groups of overseeing "the worst crackdown on human rights, freedom of expression, and media in the country's modern history."