Dreams of Change from Strike to ChaosBy Ingy Fahmy
Human beings in general enjoy the act of expressing themselves and having the opportunity to be heard. Some call it freedom of speech, while others call it chaotic rumblings. People of different countries and nations might be more privileged than others in the sense of having more rights to political participation, including strikes, demonstrations, etc. Expressing yourself in a developed country that is open to democracy is something very different than expressing it in countries that are developing and still on their way to democracy. It is in the latter case that it may become chaotic.
On the 6th of April 2008, many opposition and workers activist groups called for a general strike. The strike was a result of the increasing inflation and the rising cost of bread and other important living necessities. The government’s response to this planned strike was to warn all those participating that they would take solid and harsh action, including the possibility of Egyptian citizens ending up in jail.
Egypt as a developing country has witnessed a growing awareness of civil rights. People living in Egypt are becoming more open about expressing their needs and their discontent, especially after the establishment of the Kefaya (the Egyptian Movement for Change) opposition group. The term “strike” in Egypt, however, seems to have had the meaning of going on to the streets aggressively and having the government respond to them in an even more aggressive manner.
Engaging in a strike, especially in Egypt, is never going to be the answer to any of this country’s problems. Egyptians have the wrong definition of strike in their vocabulary, and due to that it will never be the resolution to anything but only a cause and spark to start a fire and open the door to many other issues. If the people of Egypt continue to participate in these strikes, Egyptians will keep failing in their attempt to have their voices heard. The chaotic rumblings will be never ending!