In an analysis by Mada Masr, she talks about the events of April as the first step toward the birth of a new opposition. Does it have potential?
The counter-revolution of July 2013 won thanks to the mobilization of millions of people: They defeated the revolution with popular support. The use of force came later. First [el-Sisi] exploited the fear of the Brotherhood and the revolution itself. But in the last year and a half cracks have appeared in the apparently granitic popular support and political alliance between the counter-revolutionary forces and the state apparatus. They re-opened spaces for criticism, not because the state has become more lenient, but because more and more people have begun to hear alternative voices skeptical of the regime. In April this criticism took to the streets, an important step. But it should not be seen as a definitive victory for the opposition. The regime reacted immediately, and the movement is temporarily paralyzed. But its strength remains: We are moving forward, even if in a zigzag.
Who are the members of the current opposition movement?
The nature of the opposition is the central question. It has two levels intertwined but at the same time apart: activists and politicians on the one hand, the masses on the other. Among the former, the “conscious political movement” is made up of three layers: The first are the hard-core revolutionaries, people who were critics of the regime from the very start. Although some were initially excited about the coup of 2013, these are the “January people,” participants in the Tahrir revolution. The second layer is the new generation, young people who because of their age did not participate in the uprising of 2011, but have joined in the following years: a major category that gives freshness to the revolution. Tens of thousands of people throughout Egypt are resisting, guided by January ideals. The third is composed of the old professional politicians, including the opposition parties who largely supported the coup and only since then have expressed disagreement with its atrocities.
This movement was reactivated with the sale of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, but it is politically fragmented. The revolutionaries do not trust the maneuvers of politicians; politicians are judgmental toward the immature revolutionaries. In addition, there is a problem with the Islamists: The Muslim Brotherhood has been active since the first day of the coup, yet the new movement has no clear attitude toward them. There is contempt. But the Islamists, despite popular isolation, attacks from the state and internal dissenters, are stronger in certain lay movements.