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April 6 Youth Movement (Egypt)

The April 6 Youth Movement played a key role in ending Hosni Mubarak’s twenty-nine-year stint as Egypt’s president. It began as a Facebook group expressing solidarity with protesting industrial workers in al-Mahalla al-Kubra. The protests escalated to calls for a national strike, and on April 6, 2008, thousands of Egyptians flooded the streets. They were met with violent repression by police forces, resulting in four deaths and 400 arrests. For the next two years, members studied the nonviolent tactics of Serbian and Ukrainian youth movements as well as methods for evading government surveillance and harassment. In 2009 and 2010 they attempted to replicate the April 6, 2008 strike, but the regime was able to obstruct most of the group’s activities. Finally, galvanized by the success of the Tunisian revolution, the April 6 Youth Movement’s leaders announced a day of action: January 25, 2011. The subsequent protests, which centered on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, ultimately toppled Mubarak’s regime and led to a transfer of power to the Egyptian military. According to Mohamad Adel, a founding member of the April 6 Youth Movement, the group is now focused on “the building of the nation and (exerting) pressure on government and society in order to complete the process of democratic reform in Egypt.”

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