We shouldn’t talk about “solutions” to the situation in Egypt (or elsewhere) but rather only about more effective strategies for dealing with the power system. This, obviously, will not be restricted to one tactic, but will require many different approaches, always subject to review and evaluation. But it is vital to at least UNDERSTAND the dynamics of the power system before you can undertake any sort of planning.
Action must be tailored to address the specific realities of the situation, and planning should not be infected with any type of assumptions regarding what may or may not be effective. Just because an action is large-scale doesn’t mean it is useful, and just because something may be small and un-dramatic does not mean it is useless.
For example, the Egypt-COMESA Trade Enhancement forum was attended by “senior officials… representing the Egyptian export and business council private sector, leading banks and related ministries”, that is, the people who stand to profit; why was no one in attendance who might stand to lose?
When they say “The study recommends focusing on sea transport”, that’s an investment strategy, and it means they have an interest in any government measures that might impact those investments, such as fuel subsidies. That affects the population, and if you scan through everything that went on at the forum, there are many other issues that will directly impact the daily lives of the Egyptian people, but the Egyptian people were not represented. That may seem small, but it isn’t.
And why should trade and investment be allowed to remain completely isolated from issues of human rights and the public interest?
Mass demonstrations can be not only a means of energizing activists and drawing attention to the opposition, but more importantly, they can be effectively employed as a means of disruption. If, for instance, the forum had been disrupted by demonstrations protesting against investment and trade that legitimizes the coup, and an economy dominated by the military and multinationals beyond the reach of democratic accountability, it could have delivered a powerful message to international business that the population of Egypt refuses to be marginalized.