Skip to main content

Why recent calls for protests failed to materialize in Egypt

Calls for mass protests on Nov. 11 failed to bring Egyptians out into the streets, not only due to an increased police presence but also to a shifting sense among the populace about how to best enact change.
Members of security forces secure Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTX2T82L
Read in 

Egyptians were anxiously waiting to see if anything would happen on Nov. 11, after widespread calls for protests for this day went public on social media. Under the banner of “Thawret El Ghalaba” (“Revolution of the Poor”), the calls for protest mainly focused on the suffering faced by low-income classes that has resulted from the large drop in the value of the local currency as well as the inflation rate rising to an unprecedented level — reaching 14% in October.

The economic decisions issued on Nov. 3 to free float the Egyptian pound and raise fuel prices were not enough to urge Egyptians to participate in the protests. As Al-Monitor’s correspondent toured different areas in the Cairo and Giza governorates on Nov. 11, it became apparent that most streets were devoid of protesters and even pedestrians. In addition, there was a heavy deployment of security forces and armored personnel carriers in main streets and squares. Only a few supporters of the incumbent regime could make their way to Tahrir Square after the security forces gave them permission to enter the square for no more than two hours before they were asked to leave.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.