Egyptians have protested against the regime since 1977

Egyptians have protested against the regime since 1977
Comment: Suffering from the corrupt policies of subsequent regimes and the impact of economic liberalism, Egyptians have been taking to the streets since 1977, says Ahmed Maher.
2 min read
02 Jun, 2015
Egyptians have been protesting against the government since at least 1977 [Anadolu]
There are many parallels between the Egyptian food riots in January 1977 and the 25 January 2011 revolution. In both cases protestors were demanding bread, freedom, social justice and dignity.

The 1977 revolution caused by Sadat's attempts to liberalise the economy was followed by a period of oppression and corruption. This continued throughout Sadat and Mubarak's rule and caused the January 2011 revolution.

This situation remains the same today, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi lifting subsidies and causing prices to rise to unprecedented levels. Corruption and authoritarianism is increasing daily while wages, freedoms and the possibility of a dignified life are decreasing.

There is no difference between Sadat's attempts to liberalise the economy in the 1970s, the crony capitalism of Mubarak through the 1990s and 2000s, and the capitalism of the military under Sisi in 2015.

In January 1977 foreign powers were accused of causing chaos, and since 2011 fantastical global conspiracies have been blamed for Egypt's problems. As always, it is outside forces, not corruption, nepotism, authoritarianism, oppression or bad planning and management that are to blame.

Surprisingly, some of those who took part in the January 2011 revolution have changed their position. They suffer from a complex in which yesterday's victim wants to become today's executioner.

These protesters have turned into cheerleaders for Sisi and his neo-liberal policies. They now use the same accusations levelled against them by Sadat in 1977, such as treason, receiving foreign funding and being foreign agents against the revolutionary youth of today.

However, not all protesters from 1977 have rejected their beliefs.

Some politicians continue to defend the 2011 revolution, by opposing the law banning demonstrations, and doing all they can to secure the release of those detained by the regime.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.