Is Striking Really Effective? Opposition Figures Answer
Kandil: Striking is the only alternative
Dr. Abdul-Halim Kandil, a distinguished member in Kefaya pro-reform movement, said in a phone interview with Ikhwanweb that different forms of civil disobedience and strikes are the only choice in front of Egyptians.
“Theoretically, there are millions of ways for reform and change, but in fact, all such peaceful means were abandoned in Egypt long time ago, and nothing is left for Egyptians except different forms of civil disobedience such as peaceful protests,demonstrations, and strikes,” Kandil added.
Ballots and free press are the most important means of expression in democratic societies, but not in Egypt. So people resort to strikes as the only alternative, he said.
Strikes are a step on the right direction
Dr. Yahia Al-Qazzaz, professor of geology at Helwan university and member Kefaya, commented on the recent strike held by university professors saying that accepting to take part in a strike is in itself an unprecedented success, as university professors are known for pacifism and conservatism.
The real success is not to get everything you want, but to take a step on the path, he said.
Egyptians have changed their way of thinking
Dr. Nabil Abdul-Fattah of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, believes that Egypt is recently witnessing a new culture of protest. Such phase, he said, is unprecedented in the history of the Egyptian people, who have been victims of inherent passivity and fear.
Abdul-Fattah agrees with Kandil that reform and change can be reached through legal means of protest.
People’s discontent is the product of several accumulative factors, he said. Egyptians are fed up with their regime’s corrupt policies, the widening gap between rich and poor, the diminishing middle class, and the increasing social and economic problems including price hikes.