Banning protests and handling labor problems: an email to Dr. Sharaf

I sent this email to PM Sharaf on the 26th of March, 2011.  I have not heard back from him yet. 

Dear Dr. Sharaf,

I urge you to reconsider the law banning "disruptive" protests. This law has been a great disappointed to a many of your supports, myself included.

I understand the pressure that you are under and the difficulties of getting the economy back on its feet. However, there could be other ways of achieving that, rather than outlawing peaceful strikes and protests.

I suggest that you immediately form a directorate to investigate labor disputes. The directorate would receive complains and all supporting evidence to resolve issues of labor unrest.  It will have wide powers and will handle such issues as expeditiously  as possible. It will operate in transparent manner and its successes will be widely advertised. This will help restore confidence in the government.

Peaceful protests are a form of pressure release that should not be made unlawful. If such an outlet is blocked,  the risk of breakdown of public order is very real. We would want to avoid that at all costs.

I am very concerned about the Army being seen  as an instrument of repression. This portents of violent clashes between those with real and serious grievances  and the army. There is a growing perception that the army is no longer the guardian of the revolution, rather that it is there to extinguish its noble spirit. We do not want that perception to take root and spread. Having laws such as these, where the army is acting as the enforcer will make violent confrontations with the army inevitable.

Finally, I would like to emphasis that the wheels of justice should be seen as turning in the right direction even if slowly. I believe you will find that the people of Egypt are willing to be patient if they clearly see that progress is being made. This requires the successes, achievements, and reform plans be communicated often.

I pray that God will give the intuition and insight to do what is best for our land in these very difficult times.

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