A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 7, 2014

Egypt's April 6 Movement Marks Another April 6

Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement, created in 2008 as a movement in solidarity with striking workers in the textile plants in al-Mahalla, eventually became one of the core protest movements that created the Revolution of 2011. Like other opposition groups it has seen splits within its ranks and has watched the heady enthusiasm of 2011 fade.

Yesterday, April 6,  it marked the anniversary of its founding with a press conference. Writing at Mada Masr, Sarah Carr sees it as emblematic of the Egyptian opposition generally:
April 6 sums up what is wrong, and what is right, with Egypt's political opposition. They are a group of highly motivated young people working towards a vaguely defined goal. They are plagued by in-fighting, and have split into two fronts as a result. Their presence has been amplified by both social media and state vilification, the latter of which has worked both for and against them.
In six years, their activism has not matured, and largely still revolves around street action organized in reaction to the latest outrage committed by the state. Yesterday, when the organizers (very sensibly) called off the march they had planned to avert the inevitable blood and arrests, the kids did a bit of chanting on the steps of the Journalists Syndicate and then (God help us) some street theatre entitled, "The verdict after the phone call.” In an act of painful symbolism they released some doves, half of which could not fly and dropped down back to earth. And then everyone went home.

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