Five years ago, the Egyptian youth banded together during the Mahalla Strike, a peaceful protest, which many viewed as a necessary springboard towards the Egyptian revolution. Today, those same young adults, collectively referred to as the April 6 Movement, have been alienated from the political conversation and remain frustrated by the status quo brutally enforced under the leadership of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
This youth movement, led by Ahmed Maher, has a reputation for peaceful protests, which proved fruitful in the early stages of the Arab Spring. The secular organization maintains a 68% approval rating amongst Egyptians who continue to strive for democracy in the wake of the oppression associated with former President Mubarak.
As the dreams of the Arab Spring continue to evaporate under President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 Movement has called for a day of civil disobedience.
In a recent statement the April 6 Movement, outlined a plan for a "day of rage," consisting of four peaceful marches around the country in order to combat the corruption, poverty, unemployment, and inflation bolstered by the policies of thee current administration.
This call for action comes after several pleas for the Ministry of the Interior to bring an end to violent intimidation tactics and to release political prisoners. Days before the day of rage began, the Ministry renewed the detention of four members of the movement who were arrested while protesting outside of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim’s home.
Conditions in Egypt have consistently worsened under President Morsi. Most recently, political satirist Bassem Youssef was taken off the air and subjected to interrogation for "ridiculing President Mohammed Morsi, and violating the principles of the society." A charge such as this is a clear indicator that the Morsi administration is no longer supporting the aspirations of the Arab Spring.
Initial reports suggest that the protests have been greeted with a heavy security presence, however violence has yet to erupt. Although the protests are directed towards the Morsi government, the U.S. Department of State issued an early statement urging Americans abroad to avoid protests because "even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence."
While it remains uncertain how the demonstrations will unfold, it is evident that bold action is a necessary step towards liberty in Egypt. Millennials are responsible for igniting the Arab Spring and have the most to lose if another tyrant instills authoritarianism. Those who invested in the Arab Spring must not let it slip through their fingers with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood at the helm.