Two general strikes had been held in 2006, but these were limited to Conakry. The 2007 protests were first visible in Conakry, where workers stayed at home and businesses were shut. The government responded by threatening to sack striking civil servants. Youths took to the streets, despite a ban on rallies. Action soon spread to the nation's bauxite mines, where labourers stopped work. On 16 January, Conté offered to cut fuel duty, raise teachers' salaries and address police corruption. This was rejected by union leaders, who were then arrested but soon released.