The Role of the Egyptian Working Class in Mubarak's Ouster


The downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt has often been portrayed as a ‘pure event’ - that is, something restricted to a couple of weeks in a single and specific square. This article seeks to direct-ly challenge this standard narrative, which has focused simply on what happened in Tahrir, arguing instead that Mubarak’s ouster from power was the result of longstanding anti-regime struggles that developed throughout the 2000s. In the implicit formation of that cross-class and cross-ideological coalition that even-tually defeated the regime, a crucial role was played by workers’ mobilizing against neoliberal policies. There are three main reasons for this: a) since the late 1990s workers were the most serious challenge to Mubarak’s regime; b) during the now famous eighteen days of relentless protests, workers were at the fore-front in the Nile Delta centers, as well as an important element in Tahrir; and finally c) when public enter-prises were re-opened on February 6, an unprecedented wave of strikes paralyzed the country, forcing the military to oust Hosni Mubarak in order to deflect the growing social soul of the uprising

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v9i2p614

Keywords: Arab Uprisings; Egypt; Mubarak; Tahrir; Working Class


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