2012 Social Protests : Cry Of The People
The year 2012 have seen many major political changes .. Egypt have witnessed the first post-revolution elected parliament which was later dissolved on court order, election of the first post-revolution Shura Council ( Consultative Council) which was also suspended then convened lately, the year also witnessed transfer of power from the ” Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)” to the first elected civilian president, the Egyptian people saw 2 governments, 4 legislative entities ( SCAF , Parliament (before dissolution), SCAF ( once again), the President (Morsi) and lastly the Shura Council ), 4 Constitutional Declarations (1 by SCAF & 3 by the President ) and recently the passing of the new constitution.
With these radical changes in power, the political and legislative climate in Egypt, the Egyptian people continued to unite on a single act: to protest the economical and social policies of the Egyptian state, the same time when the government and and the country’s political and legislative elites continued on adopting economical policies that increased the marginalization and impoverishment of the poor, which resulted in an unprecedented rise of the demonstrating levels and number to reach over 3817 protesting acts combining all shades of the Egyptian people.
The protesting wave included many of the Egyptian society classes, including :
Media personals , journalists, entrepreneurs , doctors, nurses, health professionals, archaeologists, under-privileged areas’ residents, imams of mosques, street vendors,small merchants, butchers, guards, pharmacists, fishermen, university& schools students and graduates, pilots, Factories’ workers, unions’ workers, companies’ employees, governmental bodies’ employees, farmers, citizens on pension, lawyers, tourism guides, aerial hosts, people with disabilities, engineers, police staff officers, ships’ owners, luggage carriers, , drivers, minibuses’ owners, airport workers, irrigation workers, workers of privatized companies, quarry workers, bakery workers, waste management workers, judges, temp workers, chemists, paramedics, distributors of gas cylinders , staff of the parliament and others from more than 70 classes and professions that have suffered and continue to suffer from economic and social policies of successive governments before and after the revolution.
Following are statistics that give an overview of the different classifications of the protesting acts that took plave in Egypt through out 2012:
Types of Protest:
other methods of protests occurred also, including :
public undressing, refrain from payment of electricity bills, cutting of a city’s water supply, resignation, declining medical treatment and other ways of protesting that the Egyptian people used in their desperate attempts to defend their dignity and right to a decent life, especially their social & economic rights
Cairo came in first with 684 protest , with Qalyubia, Ismaillia and Fayoum sharing and equal number of protests
We can see that the rate of protests have more than doubled after Morsi’s becoming president on June 2012 and throughout the following months*.
At a time when we can interpret such rise in protests rate with the Egyptian people hopes of change, at the same time we can not but notice the clear failure of Morsi’s administration to resolve these protests or even in dealing with a clear plan with the demands, rather, the administration have continued to adopt the same old policies which only aggravate the matter .
State Violations Against Protest Movement
Successive governments post the revolution, markedly in its second year, have miserably failed in dealing with the Egyptians demands and demonstrations, especially under Morsi’s administration, at a time where the protests have more than doubled in rate following Morsi’s coming onto presidency, state officials have only disregard the demands and resorted to the ways of repression and transgression against demonstrators exactly as the Mubark’s regime and its military successor, ECESR have monitored all such forms of abuse and violations against protesting groups of citizens and workers not only by work employers and businessmen but also by the State and its repressive apparatus ” Military and Police ” .
Many forms of violations were committed against protesters, ranging from dismissal form job, transfer or demotion to more severe cases as arresting,investigation, beating, threatening or unlawful detention.
More than 200 employees and workers were individually sacked during the first 3 months of Morsi’s term, and more than 100 others were were subjected to investigation after they were arrested while peacefully protesting, as has happened with the Public Transport workers, Afforestation workers, Teachers (Daqahlyia Governorate), Police also arrested several employees and workers from their homes as Zagazif University employees, Interm Chemical Co. workers ( Fayoum), Subways workers and in many other cases.
In addition, many employees and workers were physically assaulted during their sit-ins by thugs hired by work employers and businessmen, as in cases of : workers of Al-Asfour for Mining & Thermo-Industries), workers of (Ceramica Cleopatra) and doctors in different sit-ins in hospitals and many other cases.
Also, many companies board threatened to close the buisness and sack the work force, which was indeed the case of workers of JAC automobile, Cleopatra Ceramics % Al-Asfour for Mining Co. , Egypt Gas Co. also refused to reinstate more than 1000 workers after their contracts were ended, as an example
The System Has Not Changed
Morsi’s administration has continued what the SCAF has started and the parliament did not stop to criminalize strikes and social protests, Morsi , his government and Work Force Minister, Khaled Al-Azhari, continue to use repression and violence and unleashing the Police hands to subdue any demonstration attempts, The administration is unwilling to stand against the spreading power of businessmen on them, contrarily, they ferociously grew in their practice of violence against all of the revolution’s demands for social justice and dignity.
In the year 2012, the Egyptian people with all its class has protested the economic and social policies affecting their lives, which clearly shows that there is a profound crisis in the Egyptian economic policies that need a radical restructuring to stimulate the economy and redirect it to the benefit the majority of the society.
The successive governments only ignored the existence of such crisis and its demands for an overhaul to the current economic system, these governments are persistent in dealing only with the superficial symptoms and fulfilling scarce demands here and there, while moving ahead -and fast- with all the policies causing the crisis; catering for businessmen, feeding corruption, increasing taxes on the poor and middle class, suspending subsidies and all the different policies that continue to make the poor poorer and crush their dreams to a better and decent life.
The labour and social movements are generally still protesting and mobilising citizens all around the nation to demand their rights in dignity and justice, in the face of unjust economic policies, violations of businessmen and repression the State.
* This report is covering from January to the First half of December 2012 , a more comprehensive and detailed report will be published by ECESR in January 2013.