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Coups and RevolutionsMass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi$
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Amy Austin Holmes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190071455

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190071455.001.0001

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“The People want to overthrow the Regime”

“The People want to overthrow the Regime”

The First Wave against the Mubarak Regime

(January 25February 11, 2011)

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 “The People want to overthrow the Regime”
Source:
Coups and Revolutions
Author(s):

Amy Austin Holmes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190071455.003.0003

This chapter analyzes the first wave of the revolution against Hosni Mubarak. Refuting arguments that focus on the role of the social media, or divisions among the elite, and the alleged neutrality of the Egyptian military, the chapter illustrates that it was a revolutionary coalition of the middle and lower classes that created a breaking point for the regime. Key features of this mass mobilization included the refusal of protesters to be cowed by state violence, the creation of “liberated zones” occupied by the people, “popular security” organizations that replaced the repressive security apparatus of the state, and strikes that crippled the economy in the final days of the Mubarak era. Key moments during the 18 days are described with ethnographic detail, including the unfiltered reactions of protesters to the deployment of soldiers on January 28. The revolutionary nature of the uprising is that people demanded more than just the ouster of Mubarak—they wanted to topple “the regime” by naming the names of a slew of Mubarak’s cronies to remove them from power.

Keywords:   Protests, Arab Spring, revolution, Mubarak, labor strikes, social media, elites, authoritarianism

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