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Egypt: April 6 – A Day of Anger

On the first anniversary of the April 6 strike, Egyptians failed to carry out a similar national strike. Months before the day, voices were getting louder asking people of all walks of life to take part in a new national strike to protest against the low economic status, and to demand a democratic reform in the “Day of Anger.”

Ibn ad dunya sets the tone for the day:

Day of anger. In memory of those who lost their lives, got tortured and abused, sacked and imprisoned in connection with the events of April sixth 2008, in Mahalla al Kubra and elsewhere, and also in solidarity with those making their voices heard today, in what is called the Day of Anger by the organizers. And also in support of the brave workers whom have lead by example, over the last years, and also won some battles. April sixth 2009.

Yet, hours before the strike, people were divided between total believers in the day's success, and others doubting if the day would have any tangible results. Egyptian bloggers were also confused. At a time when some were passionately asking Egyptians to join the strike, others [Ar] were busy analyzing the reasons why the call might fail.

Be with the revolution

"Be with the revolution" designed by Egyptian leftist, based on a photograph taken from last year's 6 of April protests in Mahalla.

A day before the strike, Mido wrote guidelines to tell people how they can join in the protests:

1- متنزلش من بيتك نهائيا
2-متشتريش أى حاجة بكرة , اى حاجة عايزها ضرورى اشتريها النهارده او بعد يوم الاضراب
3-لو مضطر تنزل من بيتك يوم الاضراب لأى سبب مهم (امتحانات مثلا ) يبقى تلبس أسود للتعبير عن غضبك و عدم رضاك على أحوال مصر
4-حاول توصل فكرة الاضراب لأكبر عدد ممكن من اللى حواليك و تعرفه على مطالب الناس و هدفهم من الاضراب
1- Don't leave your house at all
2- Don't buy anything. If you need anything urgently, buy it a day before or the day after
3- If you really need to leave your house on the day (for your exam for example) then wear black to show your anger and discomfort with Egypt's current situation
4- Try to spread the idea of the day to as many youth as you can, teach them about people's demands and the goals of the strike

However, the day started like any other normal day, as Zeinobia mentioned in her tweet, then one by one more updates from Egyptian bloggers were pooling in, under Twitter's #6April tag.

In comparison to last year's spontaneous movement and the worker's strikes and demonstrations, especially in El Mahalla, this year's initiative was met by the fictitious approval of the opposition parties and opposition from the workers themselves; and so the few protests that took place were almost only held by students in Egyptian universities, along with another one in front of the journalism syndicate.

You'll find pictures taken for Ain shams university clashes on Yallaly and Tadamon Masr blogs. And while Haqii blog posted live coverage from Cairo University protests, Mohammed Maree and Reso posted other pictures from el Mansoura university. Other bloggers covered the Alexandria and Helwan university sit-ins.

Zeinobia wrote a detailed account of the preparations, and followed up on the story as the day progressed.

As usual, journalist and blogger Sara Carr joined the protest at the journalism syndicate and wrote an excellent report entitled “6 April, again“, while Per Bjorklund wrote another post in pictures, highlighting how the police officers were scattered in streets in plain clothes.

Image taken by Scarr from the protests infront of Journalism syndicate.

On a different note, Joseph Simons, Arabist, Sand Monkey and Arabawy mentioned similar thoughts about how they were provoked by the calls, and their reservations against the 6th of April movement.

According to the Arabist:

The short story: what had been talked about nonstop for the past month as a “day of anger” with national outbreaks of protests all over the place completely fizzled out with a pathetic whimper. About 40 people were arrested, mostly in Kafr al-Sheikh, and security presence was slightly more massive than usual. Clearly Gaza is a vastly more important issue than this ill-defined “day of anger”, and the very real, very serious anti-Mubarak movement in Egypt should dissociate itself from the “Shabab 6 April” if it wants to get anywhere. If they keep doing this, I predict a surge in the number of new applicants to join the NDP. Egypt’s activists and opposition politicians are discrediting themselves if they make a big deal about a day of protests that most don’t even participate in – and no, joining a Facebook group does not count.

There isn't much to say about the day of anger except that -as usual- it resulted in a number of students and activists arrested ahead of the day, and a woman lost her pregnancy, as well as a notable number of detainees [Ar] and a stolen hope for a real reform in Egypt in the near future.

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