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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: APRIL 6: TURNING POINT FOR STUDENT MOVEMENT
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: APRIL 6: TURNING POINT FOR STUDENT MOVEMENT
An editorial titled “The Death of Youth Activism in Egypt?”, which ran in Daily News Egypt on April 11, said: “The April 6 Youth Movement was born from the events of April 6 last year when, using Facebook, blogs, text messaging, independent media and word-of-mouth, activists and workers called for a countrywide general strike.”
Thursday, November 5,2009 22:47
by Hossam El-Hamalawy Daily Star
 

An editorial titled “The Death of Youth Activism in Egypt?”, which ran in Daily News Egypt on April 11, said:

“The April 6 Youth Movement was born from the events of April 6 last year when, using Facebook, blogs, text messaging, independent media and word-of-mouth, activists and workers called for a countrywide general strike.”

I would like to point out that the workers never called for a general strike. It was the opposition groups who did so. I blogged extensively about that last year in this posting (http://arabist.net/arabawy/2008/03/27/some-notes-on-the-6-april-general-strike) and again here (http://2tu.us/d9v.)

The editorial also said: “At best, a couple of hundred students marched across campus at Cairo and Ain Shams universities. At Ain Shams, some of the students were roughed up, but others were obliviously engrossed in special ‘fun events’ organized by the official student union, including an alleged live performance by an Egyptian pop singer.

In the ultimate farcical moment, the Cairo University protestors were locked in a photo frame as they marched and chanted their demands through a bullhorn, with a couple of students playing table tennis and their cheerleaders in the background.”

To this, I would like to respond by saying that the strongest demonstrations on that day were at Mansoura and Helwan universities. The first included roughly 1,500 students, while the second included 800.

The Cairo University demonstration, which started off with about 200 students, grew to 1,000 at its peak. Actually that day proved to be a turning point for the student movement.

tags: The Student Movement / Cairo University / Demonstration / Mansoura / Helwan / April 6 / Facebook / Blogs / Text Messaging
Posted in Reform Issues , Human Rights , Democracy  
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