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The April 6 Youth Movement

How Social Media Sparked A Revolution
by

Jamaal Eggleston

on 3 July 2012

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Transcript of The April 6 Youth Movement

El Mahalla El-Kubra
Egypt
In 2011, Ordinary Egyptian Youth
Spoke Truth to Power
through the means of bravery and determination empowered by
Social Media
THE Official Logo of the APRIL 6 YOUTH MOVEMENT


The Facebook group, The April 6 Youth Movement was created in April 2008 by activists who called for a strike against rising prices and low wages. They urged people to stay at home on the same day. The group was very popular, attracting more than 70,000 members
El Mahalla El-Kubra
Egypt
The April 6 Youth Movement is an Egyptian
Facebook
group started in Spring 2008 to support the workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, an industrial town, who were planning to strike on April 6. These protests in 2008 are said to have paved the way for the ARAB SPRING from Tunisia to Yemen.
Egyptian Police Committed Horrible Atrocities Against Women
As an informal group, the
April 6 Youth Movement
does not enter into official alliances with political parties. However, it's party leaders are attuned to its activities and have occasionally expressed solidarity with the movement. Individual members of al-Ghad, Tagammu and the National Association for Change participated voluntarily in the
April 6 Youth Movement's
2011 demonstration, although their parties had not officially endorsed the protest

Two of the movement's founding members,
Israa Abdel-al-Fattah
and
Ahmed Maher
, were under the age of 30 when they created the original
Facebook
group. The group functions as a forum and powerful organizing tool for the movement's members, who frequently
post comments
,
photos
and news reports to the page.
Leaders meet online to debate issues, plan events and mobilize the group's members to participate in specific demonstrations. Members of the movement have used various
Facebook
features - including
profile pictures
and
status updates
to protest against police measures and express
solidarity with fellow activists
who have been arrested or harassed
After two weeks in prison, Israa was released. Not only is she still active on the internet she trains young people in media production (radio, video and blogs), and in basic organization adminstration, legal procedures and election monitoring,

Israa was nominated for the Arab Revolution Women Award
While Abdel-Fattah was sitting with friends at a Cairo cafe popular with activists and intellectuals, she was arrested by Egyptian security.
The detained ”Facebook Girl” drew the attention of the foreign media and the few Egyptian newspapers that dared resist the state's censorship, turning her into an overnight symbol for resistance and resilience against corruption and injustice. The heroine was celebrated by other Facebook users who replaced their profile pics to show the face of Abdel-Fattah, in a sign of solidarity.
While
Israa Abdel-al-Fattah
was sitting with friends at a Cairo cafe popular with activists and intellectuals, she was arrested by
Egyptian
security. The detained ”
Facebook Girl
” drew the attention of the foreign media and the few Egyptian newspapers that dared resist the state's censorship, turning her into an overnight symbol for resistance and resilience against corruption and injustice. The heroine was celebrated by other
Facebook
users who replaced their profile pics to show the face of
Abdel-Fattah
, in a sign of solidarity.
Facebook Girl
Israa Abdel-Fattah was nominated for the Arab Revolution Women Award
After two weeks in prison, Israa Abdel Fattah was released. Not only is she active on the internet, but also on the ground, updating Al Jazeera TV with the latest news related to the opposition.


Esraa Abdel Fatah Ahmed is above all a civil rights militant, involved with numerous associations, including the Egyptian Democratic Academy. She trains young people in media production (radio, video and blogs), and in basic organization administration, legal procedures and election monitoring.

Israa Abdel Fattah was nominated for the Arab Revolution Women Award.
THE APRIL 6 YOUTH MOVEMENT

How Social Media Sparked A Revolution

Promo Video On Facebook
The protests that brought about the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak
were by no means spontaneous. They were weeks, months, even years in the making, says
Ahmed Maher
, a 30-year-old civil engineer who helped organize the April 6th Youth Movement as well as the demonstrations that toppled the Mubarak regime
Behind
Ahmed Maher’s
calm personality lies a revolutionary character of the highest order. He has managed, along with a group of young people, to confront a state with an array of security agencies at its disposal.

The activists were subjected to repression, detention, and torture. They were barred from protesting and accused of receiving foreign funds and working for the West.
TWITTER WAS A USEFUL TOOL IN KEEPING MEMBERS OF THE APRIL 6 MOVEMENT ABREAST OF POLICE WHEREABOUTS IN REAL-TIME
FACEBOOK WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING THE GROUP ORGANIZE RALLIES AND MOBILIZE MEETINGS
Arab Recording Artist Ramy Essam Tweeted he would give a free concert in support of April 6
After President
Mubarak
was ultimately overthrown and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took over in February 2011, the
April 6 Youth Movement
had difficulty in redefining its role. Having achieved its primary objective of bringing down the regime, it had to find a new purpose in a changed political environment. The group acknowledged that “The role now of the
April 6 Movement
as peaceful resistance is over. Our role now is to participate in the buliding of the nation and complete the process of democratic reform in Egypt." The change did not come easily for the group.
The
April 6 Youth Movement
joined the Revolutionary Youth Coalition in criticizing the ruling military council for excluding the ruling military council for youth representatives from its decision making process. But when offered a chance to participate in meeting with the SCAF, the movement experienced internal conflict. The group disowned
Ahmed Maher

after he claimed the decision had not been approved by a majority. He lost support of the group, who declared that they no longer recognized him as the movement’s leader.

The future role of
The April 6 Movement
remains uncertain...
Regardless of the group's future,
April 6's
impact will forever be felt in Egypt

While simultaneously
INSPIRING
countless others around the Globe to rise up against
TYRANNY
and

OPPRESSION
Egyptian citizens
Spoke Truth to Power
in crowds as Large as
70,000
strong
None of this progress would have been accomplished without the Power of SOCIAL MEDIA
The April 6 Youth Movement re-wrote how we think of dealing with inequality. On Feb. 11, 2011, after 18 days of massive public protests against his oppresive regime.

Mubarak was forced to resign. Six months later he was charged with the killing of protestors and corruption.

President Mubarak’s fall from
power was the pea
k of the ARAB SPRING
Arab recording artist Ramy Essam
TWEETED
he would give a free concert in support of The April 6 Movement. Thousands of Egyptian youth arrived!
APRIL 6's FIRST EVER FACEBOOK POSTING
Updating From Her IPad
The key activist behind Egypt’s “
Facebook Revolution
” is now giving advice to a new group of protesters: the

Occupy Wall Street movement
in America. He has been corresponding with the Occupy Wall Street organizers, whom he calls “Our brothers.” The protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park and their offshoots around the country often cite the mass demonstrations from last year in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as inspiration.

One of the biggest pieces of advice
Maher
says he tells the Occupy groups: Don’t sweat the details. “Stay focused on the main issues,” he says. “For 18 days in Tahrir Square, we were united to take
Mubarak
down.”
April 6 posted videos to YouTube to bring awareness to the plight of the Egyptian citizens to the World
Starting on January 25, 2011 Tens of Thousands of Citizens revolted on a nightly basis against Egypt's TYRANNICAL and OPPRESSIVE Rule
Founding Member
IRSAA ABDEL-AL-FATTAH
Full transcript