Uncivil Disobedience

Striking workers and street rioters hope that economic chaos will topple the military regime

Driving from Murtala Muhammed Airport into downtown Lagos normally requires at least two hours. Last week it took barely 30 minutes: what traffic there was in the largest metropolis of one of the world's major oil producers bunched up at the few gas stations that still had fuel. Around those that had none, lines of abandoned vehicles fanned out in all directions. The effect was eerie, as if a neutron bomb had been dropped in the middle of the most populous country in Africa.

If the success of a strike can be judged by the degree of economic paralysis it induces,...

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