Beginning spontaneously when the government lifted subsidies on flour and other necessities, they spread throughout the country until put down by the military. They were an early echo of the dissidence that would eventually bring down Mubarak (who was then Vice President under Anwar Sadat). I wasn't in Egypt during the bread riots, but arrived for a year's stay a few months later, and heard stories of how intense they had been; there were apparently moments when Anwar Sadat contemplated leaving the country.
You wouldn't know that from this 1977 CBS 60 Minutes report in which Sadat seems confident of his own popularity. (Egyptian Presidents in denial is not a new thing.) Sorry, but you have to watch an ad before the clip.[view whole blog post ]