"EXCLUSIVE: Leading Egyptian Protester Ahmed Maher Says If 99 Percent Movement Keeps Fighting It Can Win"
One of the main inspirations for the Occupy Wall Street protests was the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia and soon spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere. Today, ThinkProgress caught up with Ahmed Maher, a leading Egyptian demonstrator who lead the fight to topple dictator Hosni Mubarak. Ahmed Maher was in Washington, DC and stopped by to visit Occupy DC. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Maher encouraged the 99 Percent Movement to continue to demonstrate. When asked if he thought the movement had a chance of succeeding, Maher replied without hesitation, “Yes”:
THINKPROGRESS: What do you think about the movement here in the United States and what advice would you give them to succeed and do you want them to succeed? Do your support their causes?
MAHER: We support freedom of speech in any place. And also, we want to decrease the gap between people. Between wages and salaries. And also, we want to make a change from the U.S. policy to supporting the people, not support businessmen.
THINKPROGRESS: What advice do you have for people who are protesting here in the United States for the changes they want? Related to the economy, to having better salaries, to being less foreclosed on, kicked out of their homes, less economic inequality?
MAHER: I think they must keep demonstrating, and keep finding new ways to reach more people, to make great change and great pressure on the government.
THINKPROGRESS: Do you think they can win?
MAHER: Yes, I do.
Protests over economic inequality have been raging in the United States since Sept. 17, meaning they are now one month and one day old.