The Bread Uprising that shook Egypt’s urban towns on the 18th and 19th of January, 1977, is always wrongly treated in the mainstream media as an “Uprising of thieves,” quoting President Sadat’s description of the events, with emphasis on the violence and the looting that accompanied the people’s uprising.
After Mahalla triggered the Winter of Labor Discontent, and once more pushed for a Hot Industrial Autumn, some on the Left today cannot help but drawing parallels between the current situation and the time leading to Jan ’77.
The preconditions that preceded Bread Intifada will be the subject of a future posting; the events were the climax of a rising social movement from February 1968, that culminated in the two-day uprising that was to be crushed by Sadat’s army in 1977.
In this posting, however, I’ll focus on 1976 onwards, and the organized working class movement vs. the rioting which was mainly conducted by the urban poor. The resources used are parts of the MA Thesis I wrote eight years ago.