Egypt - Reaction to Morsi and MB seizure of power

Submitted by ocelot on November 23, 2012

Fresh from his anointing with the blessings of the US State Dpt. in the shape of la Clinton, for his role in brokering the Israeli/Hamas ceasefire, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, announced this morning sweeping new powers, transforming his presidency into a virtual dictatorship on the model of the old Mubarak regime.

The move has been long-anticipated by the progressive factions of the Feb 2011 movement, who have progressively withdrawn from the consultative council charged with drawing up the new constitution, denouncing it as a right-wing islamist stich-up between the MB and the Salafis.

Still the cynicism of the timing of the move, bought as it is by the blood of the Palestinians of Gaza, has nonetheless prompted a furious response. Egyptian TV news is reporting the torching of Muslim Brotherhood party offices in several locations and different cities, as well as violent clashes between pro- and anti-MB demonstrators.

Whether this signals the opening of a new wave of struggles against the new composition of a US- and Israeli-approved Egyptian dictatorship, or whether these are the last gasps of protest before the MB crushes all opposition, remains to be seen. Similarly the cohesion of the new power, with its contradictory historical ties to Hamas, vulnerability to anti-Israeli forces both within its own body, and on its Salafi flank, remains to be proved.

BBC: Egypt protesters torch Muslim Brotherhood offices

Al Arabiya: Egypt braces for mass rallies after Mursi grabs sweeping powers

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently Tahrir square is filling up again. Security Forces firing tear gas at the protesters.

Seconds out, round two?

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It'll be interesting to see. Morsi's justification for seizing judicial power, is to dismiss the current Attourney General who was appointed under Mubarak and a lot of people blame for allowing many of the Mubarak regime people put on trial for the killing of protestors in the Feb revolution to be acquitted. Together with announcing the retrial of all the forementioned acquitted, he can present himself as responding to the demands of all the people who demonstrated against those acquittals or thought they were part of the Mubarak regime old guard protecting themselves.

Yet, under that pretext, he has effectively seized dictatorial powers as there is currently no parliament (it was dismissed by the judiciary on trumped up legalisms - Morsi's declaration is also, ostensibly, to prevent this sort of abuse in future), so he is governing by dictat with no accountability to anyone or anything - other than the US paymasters, the army, and the MB itself, of course.

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The chant going around Tahrir is 'Morsi is Mubarak - Revolution everywhere'.

A lot of people have noticed the fact that Morsi gave his speech away from Tahrir to a crowd of his supporters. It seems to be only serving to reinforce the image of him as Mubarak 2.0

Edit: Also, the Ultras have turned up at Tahrir.

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nmjNB75QF2E

Video of the Ultras turning up at Tahrir.

The Guardian

Egyptian ultras, organised anti-authoritarian football supporters who played a key role in the demonstrations which ousted Mubarak, have mobilised in Cairo today, this video shows.

(Also, how do you embed videos on here?)

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardian liveblog

There has still bee no reaction from the US on Morsi's declaration.

The International Monetary Fund has just signed $4.8bn deal with Egypt, which angered leftist protesters in Cairo.

The deal involves cutting Egypt's deficit from 11% to 8.5% in two years.

jonthom

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=445046758886643&set=a.341760219215298.78315.340806139310706&type=1&theater

google translate from the caption:

Egypt: anarchist flag over the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood party fascist burned

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That pic made starting this thread worthwhile. :D

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Looks like it's spread to El-Mahalla. Reports that the Muslim Brotherhood HQ has been surrounded.

baboon

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Have you got a link to that Auto? Cheers if you have.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was a tweet re-posted on the Guardian live blog at 12:21 gmt

Clashes between Morsi supporters and the president's opponents have been reported in Mahalla Al-Kubra and Alexandria.

[email protected]
Clashes in Mahalla bet anti and pro Morsi. Security surrounding Ikhwan building to secure them. #egypt
https://twitter.com/virtualactivism/statuses/271944904232562688

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also mentions on Al Ahram live blog part 1

16:56 Leading Freedom and Justice Party member Essam El-Erian condemns reported attacks on FJP offices in several governorates.

"They are acts of thuggery hiding behind [opposition] political forces.”

The FJP HQ in Alexandria was partially torched. There were also attempts to break into the Brotherhood HQ in Tanta and Mahalla. Fighting between “thugs” and Brotherhood supporters in Mahalla resulted in injuries on both sides.
[...]
14:08 Street fights have also erupted in the industrial city of Mahalla between pro and anti-Brotherhood protesters.

14:05 Moving East to Port Said, eyewitnesses are reporting that hundreds are marching on the local office of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

NB current Al Ahram live blog is part 2 here

edit: Al Ahram times gmt+2

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Baboon:

The source I read was a tweet from Daily News Egypt:

The Daily News Egypt

Reports from Al Mahalla city confirming that protesters are surrounding the #MuslimBrotherhood headquarters after 50 got injured

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I also find it interesting how quickly and efficiently things are being organised in Tahrir and elsewhere. Field hospitals already set up before the fighting really started, designated routes through the square for the wounded marked out using washing line, attempts to list what supplies are needed so that people can bring them.

The collective memory of 2011 seems to be very strong, and means that the protesters know exactly what to expect and are preparing for it.

wojtek

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Britain and the Muslim Brotherhood: Collaboration during the 1940s and 1950s

The Egyptian revolution
Foreign Office officials have recently held various meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which have been unreported in the British media. The policy is one of ‘insuring’ Britain in the event of the Brotherhood playing a key role in Egypt’s transition and protecting an $11 billion investment by BP. FOI requests by the author for more details on these meetings have been refused by the Foreign Office on the grounds of the ‘public interest’.

March 2012 press release for the updated edition of Mark Curtis' book Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam

Entdinglichung

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

more stuff: http://juralib.noblogs.org/category/la-liberte-est-le-crime-qui-contient-tous-les-crimes/linsurrection-egyptienne-et-ses-suites/

jonthom

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.facebook.com/maspero.union/posts/470577946319188

Press Syndicate announces general strike against Morsy's decree, calls for a march Tuesday. #nov27 #egypt #tahrir"

Entdinglichung

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://juralib.noblogs.org/2012/11/25/revolution-egyptienne-combats-dans-sept-gouvernorats-du-delta-du-nil/

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from yesterday

Brotherhood's Shura Council chairman criticises Morsi declaration
---
Chairman of Egypt's Shura Council - and member of Brotherhood's FJP - takes all by surprise by voicing opposition to President Morsi's divisive constitutional declaration
Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 25 Nov 2012
---
Ahmed Fahmi, chairman of the Islamist-dominated Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of Egypt's parliament), seized on Thursday's council session to criticise the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsi on 22 November.
"We had hopes that President Morsi would put the constitutional declaration before a national referendum," Fahmi said. He also argued that the declaration "has severely divided the nation into Islamists and civilians." Fahmi urged Morsi to conduct a national dialogue with all forces to put an end to the crisis triggered by the declaration.

Fahmi’s comments came as a surprise to many, given that not only is the chairman of the Shura Council a leading member of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – the political arm of Muslim Brotherhood from which Morsi hails – but he is also a relative of Morsi himself.

In its brief debate over Morsi’s declaration, the council itself was divided into supporters and opponents. Islamists, led by FJP and the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party, hailed Morsi’s declaration.
[...]

Al Ahram

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

in a similar vein

A prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood has condemned President Morsi for giving himself sweeping powers in a recent Constitutional Declaration.
Mohamed Abdel-Qodous, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and head of the Freedoms Committee at the Journalists Syndicates, said: "I am sorry Mr President. Despite my membership of the Brotherhood, I am a son of the revolution for freedom and I reject the move giving you absolute power, regardless of the reasons behind it or how long it will be in place."

He made the comments via Twitter on Saturday.

AA: Prominent Muslim Brother condemns Morsi decree

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Morsi to meet judges to seek compromise
By Heba Saleh in Cairo

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s Islamist president is due to meet senior judges on Monday in an attempt to contain a mounting crisis sparked by his edict placing all his decisions beyond judicial review until the election of a new parliament, possibly by the middle of next year.

The Egyptian stock exchange plunged on opening for a second day on Monday by a further 4 per cent on fears of impending political instability before reversing its losses and climbing by around 5 per cent. The bourse had plunged by 10 per cent on Sunday, one of its worst days since last year’s revolt which unseated Hosni Mubarak as president.
[...]
The Egyptian market had risen by 35 per cent since the election of Mr Morsi in June, making it one of the best performing in the world. An initial agreement signed last week with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8bn loan had raised hopes that the Egyptian economy, battered by two years of political unrest, might turn a corner and start attracting investment.

Mr Morsi’s decree has, at least momentarily, united the country’s fragmented secular and liberal opposition groups who have called for a day of marches and protests on Tuesday. In response, the president’s Muslim Brotherhood group, which is capable of bringing out tens of thousands of people on the streets, is also preparing a rally on Tuesday. Over the weekend scores of demonstrators erected a protest camp in Tahrir Square – the scene of large protests on Friday and the epicentre of last year’s revolt which ousted President Hosni Mubarak – and closed the square to traffic.
[...]

FT (paywalled)

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This from last Tuesday gives some background on the financial and economic timelines.

Egypt and IMF agree $4.8bn loan
By Heba Saleh in Cairo

Egypt has reached a long-awaited initial agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8bn loan widely seen as crucial to salvaging its damaged economy after almost two years of political turbulence.

The deal, which Cairo hopes will restore confidence in its economy and spur the return of foreign investment, is key to unblocking a wider financial package of assistance from a range of external donors that totals $14.5bn, including the IMF loan.
[...]
The agreement will be presented for final approval to the IMF executive board on December 19.
Andreas Bauer, the head of the IMF technical team which negotiated the agreement, said that fiscal reforms to rein in the deficit were “a key pillar of the programme”.

He said the reform programme targeted bringing down the deficit to 8.5 per cent in the fiscal year that will start in July.

“The [Egyptian authorities] plan to reduce wasteful expenditures, including by reforming energy subsidies[...]

The 25 per cent top rate for income and corporate tax would not change, the cabinet said in a statement issued after the deal was announced.

Energy subsidies, which cost $17.5bn last year, account for 20 per cent of the Egyptian budget. Egyptian administrations, even before the revolt which toppled Hosni Mubarak as president last year, acknowledged that the fuel subsidies were wasteful and a drag on the economy. But they shied away from cutting them for fear of provoking social unrest.
[...]
“We see energy subsidy reform as a gradual process, and not as something to be done overnight,” said Mr Bauer. “Given the magnitude, it will take several years to wind them down, and to get buy in [from the population] and protect those in need, savings cannot be used exclusively to reduce the deficit but must also shore up necessary social spending.”

Both Mr Bauer and Mr Araby have been keen to stress that the economic programme is homegrown and not imposed by the fund. Mr Araby said Egypt would have adopted this programme with or without the IMF loan. Their assurances are aimed at pre-empting criticism from government opponents who charge that by resorting to the IMF and its conventional market-oriented prescriptions, the new Islamist authorities are walking in the footsteps of the ousted regime and adopting policies which can only add to the burdens on the poor.

Diplomats and sources close to the negotiations say there is a strong international desire to help stabilise the rule of Mohamed Morsi, the new Islamist president and avert economic shocks which could provoke unrest in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

So the timeline from the MB point of view, given that Morsi announced an extension to mid-Feb for the constitutional council to deliver, would be to get the new constitution passed by referendum in March, leading to new elections in April/May, in order to allow a new MB/Salafi government time to bed in and announce the IMF-agreed cuts budget for the Egyptian financial year starting 1 July next.

Of course, there's a few political hurdles to overcome first.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And the first act of the President after seizing plenipotentiary powers? Attacking the unions. Quelle surprise.

Without any formal announcement, President Mohamed Morsy ratified on Saturday a law that allows the government to appoint its loyalists to the Egyptian Trade Union Federation.
[...]
This is the first law to be decreed by Morsy following his 22 November declaration, which granted his decisions immunity against challenges.

According to the new law, the manpower minister, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, may appoint workers who are members of the group in leadership positions that would become vacant in the ETUF, which has always been affiliated with the government.

The new law canceled Article 23, which allowed union membership without age limit [NB gives govt. power to forcibly retire union personnel over retirement age]. It also grants the minister the right to appoint board members of unions if the minimum required number of members is not attained for any reason, to fill the vacant seats on the board.

Labor activists fear the law paves the way for Brotherhood control of the federation.
[...]
State-controlled unions have monopolized the country’s trade union movement since 1957. However, the monopoly was weakened with the establishment of the first independent trade union in December 2008.

The 25 January revolution served to further dissolve this monopoly by giving workers the chance to establish independent unions.

But the ETUF still has a significant role in the country, since it represents about 2.5 million workers in 23 unions.
[...]
Kamal Abu Eita, head of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, said federation members would attend the Tuesday demonstrations to protest the new labor law, adding that they plan to confront the amendments with partial and all-out strikes.

Abu Eita told independent daily Youm7 that the president had gone too far on using his legislative powers. He added that Morsy’s decision won him and the Brotherhood new foes, arguing that amendments to the labor law seek to "Brotherhoodize" trade unions.

Egypt Independent: Morsy issues law paving way for Brotherhood control of trade federation

No doubt part of the unofficial protocols of the IMF agreement.

jonthom

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4902320116914&set=a.4425275591099.2180320.1265284122&type=1&relevant_count=1

Freedom for our comrades in the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement! 3 court cases have been filed by the Muslim Brotherhood regime against anarchist activists, for inciting workers to strike and fabricated counts of vandalism. FREEDOM for our comrades Mohamed Serag El-Din, Mohamed Ezz and Ali El-Kastawy.

edit: some background from LSM:

Mursi's shaky system and it's allies, the corrupted capitalist looters, are panickingbecause of the enormous wave of workers struggle that is flowing across Egypt. So they decide to fight back workers and LSM members assuming that this will stop the flood of workers struggles. they accuse our comrade Mohamed Serag el-Din (workers in el-Max Salt Company) accusinG him of vandalism, Punishing him for his solidarity with his temporary employment colleagues and they actually sentenced him for one month, Also a report has been filed against comrade Mohamed Ezz (college student) accusing him of inciting Pirelli workers to strike and protest, Punishing him for his efforts to support the workers during their strike against their management, and last the accusation that is fabricated against comrade Ali el-Kastawy (struggler and workers lawyer) for the same reasons.

Mark.

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Egypt Independent:
Labor activists: New decree eyes 'Brotherhoodization' of unions

Jano Charbel

A controversial labor decree issued by President Mohamed Morsy on Sunday has been denounced and met with resistance from both the state-controlled workers’ federation and from independent unions.

Morsy’s decree No. 97/2012 was issued shortly after he also put out a constitutional declaration on 22 November, claiming a sweeping range of powers for himself which insulate him from accountability and judicial oversight.

Decree No. 97 stipulates that board members of the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) over the age of 60 are to be replaced by newly appointed members. This decree also stipulates a six-month extension to the ETUF board-members’ term of office, or the issuing of a new trade union law to replace Law 35/1976 and determine the date of elections — whichever comes first.

The ETUF’s last elections were held in October-November 2006. Its five-year term means that ETUF elections should have taken place in October-November 2011. However, in light of parliamentary and presidential elections, the union elections were postponed for a year — and now for another half year.

Morsy’s most recent decree contradicts announcements issued by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khaled al-Azhary, now serving as minister of manpower, who in September declared that ETUF elections were to be held in October-November 2012.

Decree No. 97 is “an attempt by the Brotherhood to control the union structure which had previously been monopolized by the Mubarak regime,” comments Wael Habib, a caretaker board member of the ETUF.

Habib adds, “This is merely an attempt to replace old members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) with newer members from the now-ruling regime: the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party.”

“This decree has been tailored to fit only the Brotherhood and FJP. It ignores our demands for a minimum and maximum wage, the right to strike, the issuing of the Trade Union Liberties Law — which was prepared over a year ago and shelved ever since — and other demands,” says Habib.

“Morsy has proven to Egypt’s workers that the regime of dictator Mubarak was much more concerned with workers’ rights than the Brotherhood,” Habib argues. “Morsy has again shown that the Brotherhood is seeking to hijack the ETUF and the Manpower Ministry, along with the rest of the country.”

Habib explains that Decree 97 directly targets tens of ETUF unionists over the age of retirement, 60 years, “not because of their age, but because of their political affiliations and associations with the Mubarak regime.” Habib adds that most of these older unionists were members of the NDP. “Morsy is not seeking workers’ rights as he claims. He is only settling scores with the old regime.”

The ETUF’s elections, according to the provisions of Law 35/1976, are indirect elections whereby workers only get to vote for their local union committees — around 2,000 workplace unions nationwide. Meanwhile, the boards of the ETUF’s 24 general unions are selected through appointments and default elections.

Prior to the 25 January revolution, the ETUF’s executive board consisted of 22 NDP members out of 24, most of whom were over the age of 60. However, in early 2011 then-Minister of Manpower Ahmed Hassan al-Borai appointed tens of caretaker board-members to replace certain ETUF executives. Borai also presided over the drafting of the long-anticipated Trade Union Liberties Law. However, Borai’s initiatives appear to be in the process of being sidelined by the Morsy regime.

“We will never accept this new decree under any circumstance,” Habib says. The ETUF caretaker, who hails from the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company in Mahalla, says that workers’ protests against Morsy’s decrees would be staged at Al-Shaun Square in Mahalla on Tuesday and the ETUF would also organize rallies, marches and sit-ins.

Decree 97 has also been denounced by the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU). Fatma Ramadan, executive board member of the EFITU, says, “Morsy’s first decree, following his complete takeover of state powers on 22 November, is a labor decree. This is a clear indicator that Morsy is seeking to monopolize the labor movement by first ‘Brotherhoodizing’ the Ministry of Manpower, and now the ETUF.”

“Morsy is clearly preparing a systematic crackdown against Egypt’s union movement, against the right to strike, against the right to organize and against union plurality,” Ramadan argues. “Morsy is attempting to put on a mask of democracy as he points out that the ETUF leadership was appointed by the Mubarak regime. Yet he is not seeking democracy in the ETUF, he is only looking to fill the federation’s seats with members of his own regime.”

“The Brotherhood-controlled Ministry of Manpower is now in the process of facilitating this takeover of the ETUF,” the organizer adds. “This is a blatant and unwarranted intervention in union affairs from the state.”

She went on to add that the right to establish independent unions is protected by international law — specifically the International Labor Organization’s Conventions No. 87 and 98 — which the Egyptian state ratified in the 1950s.

“We will never remain silent against these transgressions,” Ramadan says. “At the EFITU we are standing against Morsy’s takeover of the state and against the Ministry of Manpower’s takeover of the ETUF.” She adds that the EFITU has pitched two tents in Tahrir Square and is participating in the open-ended sit-in “against Morsy’s dictatorial decrees.”

Weeks earlier, the EFITU had threatened to resort to the administrative courts over Morsy and Azhary’s anticipated decisions. However, the president’s constitutional declaration on 22 November served to insulate his regime from such judicial appeals.

A host of NGOs, including the Center for Trade Union and Workers’ Services, the Egyptian Democratic Labor Congress, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Land Center for Human Rights, have also issued statements denouncing Morsy’s constitutional declaration and Decree 97.

According to Karam Saber, director of the Land Center, “If Morsy was genuinely concerned about union plurality and democracy, then he would’ve issued the Trade Union Liberties Law to guarantee these rights."

“Instead he is simply removing old members of the NDP and appointing younger members from his Brotherhood and FJP.”

Saber explains that over 80 percent of ETUF executives are over the age of 60 and are former members of the NDP or Mubarak loyalists.

“If Morsy was genuinely concerned about democracy within the ETUF, then he would’ve called for trade union elections so that workers can democratically vote for their representatives,” he says. “Instead he has postponed these elections even further, while he seeks to handpick his own representatives.”

According to Saber, the Brotherhood wants to expand its sphere of influence beyond professional syndicates — white collar unions such as the lawyers, doctors or engineers — into the blue collar workers’ unions.

“I believe that the Brotherhood is exclusively interested in taking over the ETUF along with its workers’ bank, holiday resorts, workers’ university and its cultural centers across the country,” Saber says. “Not only do they want to Brotherhoodize the state, they also want to Brotherhoodize and monopolize the union movement.”

Yousry Bayoumi, a Muslim Brotherhood caretaker board member of the ETUF, could not be reached for comment. Attempts to reach Khaled al-Azhary were unsuccessful, as were attempts to contact Alaa Awwad, the ministry’s spokesperson.

https://twitter.com/JanoCharbel

Mark.

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardian: live updates

Ahram online: live updates

Good morning, we open our coverage of mass protests expected against President Morsi's recent "power grab." Starting on Cairo's Tahrir Square, continuing clashes  between protesters and police enter their eighth day.
[…]
opposition parties and groups have called for 'million-man' marches and are currently staging an open-ended sit-in on Tahrir Square since Friday, in protest at President Mohamed Morsi's Thursday declaration which "gives the president Pharaoh-like powers,” according to protesters…

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AA: Brotherhood about-face in Alexandria: they will march with hardline Islamists in support of Morsi

The Brotherhood will participate in mass marches on Tuesday with hardline Gamaa Al-Islamiya and Salafist Call, confirmed Anas El Qady, official spokesman of Brotherhood in Alexandria on Monday evening as thousands of Gamaa Al-Islamiya members gathered in support of President Morsi's controversial constitutional declaration.

Opposition parties and organisations called for mass rallies and million-man marches on Tuesday in protest over the consitutional declaration, which they decry puts Morsi and Islamist-led parliament and Constituent Assembly out of judicial reach.

The group, which had announced alternative rallies across the country in support of the president's decrees, later said they would postpone them to a later date, in order to avoid possible clashes with opponents of the decree. Yet, in a further about-face, the Brotherhood's Alexandria spokesman said they would in fact march in Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, which on Friday witnessed anti-Morsi demonstrators breaking into the headquarters of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, and ransacking it.

Looks like the Alexandrine Ikhwan want a show-down with the opposition after last Friday's humiliation.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good opinion piece from Egypt Independent

Revolutionaries must resist Morsy, but also the feloul

[...]
It is not in the interest of the revolutionary movement to bring Morsy down with a coup, as it will result in an even worse dictatorship whose chief goal will be to eliminate all opposition "to save the country from an imminent danger."

But nor is it in their interest to see Morsy crush his opposition and secure his grip on power. That would be like a weak man winning a bet to become dictator, similar to what happened with former President Anwar Sadat.
[...]
The real problem is with the structure of Morsy's opposition. Due to the absence of a major coherent revolutionary bloc, Morsy's opposition is a mishmash of powers that belong to the corrupt former Mubarak regime and other centrist-liberal-reformist-populist powers — which can be collectively termed as "civilian powers," regardless of the exact meaning of that term.

Regrettably, since those civilian powers are not revolutionary and have an indistinguishable centrist character, they tend to reconcile, and even ally, with former regime supporters in their battle against Morsy, believing he is their arch-rival.
[...]
The revolutionaries' mission is tough, but inevitable. They should engage in a battle against the non-revolutionary and confused Brotherhood's dictatorship without falling into the trap of allying with other enemies of the revolution.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The MB have announced that their planned demo for tomorrow, originally annouced to take place in Tahrir, will now be at Cairo University. i.e. they have backed down from an inevitably violent confrontation with the anti-Morsy protestors still occupying the square (and probably the ultras).

Also, another change of plan is the constitution delivery timescale. In the "constitutional" declaration, Morsy originally extended the deadline for delivery of the constitution for a further two months, putting it back to mid-February. Under the pressure of events, the islamists remaining on the constitutional council (the non-islamist members have mostly withdrawn under protest) staged an 18 hour marathon session yesterday to go through the charade of passing the new constitution, which will be delivered to Morsy this Friday afternoon. The announced schedule is that he will proceed straight away to calling the referendum on it for mid-December. Clearly the Ikhwan are desperate to try and switch political momentum back towards an electoral process, where their dominance has been shown in the past. Also it conveniently hits the deadline of the December 19th IMF meeting to approve the $4.8 bn loan (and the other $10 bn or so, tied to it).

AA: Egypt constitution finalised as opposition cries foul

Mark.

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Arabist

Taking a break from translations from the press, we offer you this week an impassioned Facebook missive by Karim Ennarah, a human rights activist reacting to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s controversial decree. Ennarah offers a critique of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of the revolution to legitimate what many see as a power-grab, whereas its record shows it collaborating with the old regime and protecting it from revolutionary justice...

In translation: dismantling the Brothers' revolutionary self-image

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RT: Morsi flees as angry crowd storms palace in Cairo, battles riot police
[youtube]rsBJ7gPoRmw[/youtube]

redsdisease

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]rsBJ7gPoRmw[/youtube]
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=294627

Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Morsi's drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on Dec. 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall.

The crowds had gathered nearby in what organizers had dubbed "last warning" protests against Morsi, who infuriated opponents with a Nov. 22 decree that expanded his powers. "The people want the downfall of the regime," the demonstrators chanted.

"The president left the palace," a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed

redsdisease

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Damn, beat to it by ocelot...

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Heh. Don't you just hate it when that happens? tbf a com re-shared it on FB, and looking on Twitter it looks like we're at least 3-4 hours behind the breaking. Still, trust RT to put a hyper-ventilating spin on the story.

Bloomberg filed this slightly less exciteable (and marginally more informative) at 8:32 GMT.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AA: Violent clashes possible as Islamists plan 'massive' counter-demonstrations

[...]
The leading FJP member also revealed that the group and its Islamist allies are to hold "massive" demonstrations in support of the president in front of the presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district at 4pm on Wednesday. Later on Wednesday, official Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan made an official statement confirming the decision to demonstrate.
[...]
The FJP source shrugged off the possibility of clashes between Morsi’s loyalists and the dozens of protesters who have been holding a sit-in front of the presidential palace since Tuesday night. It was unclear, however, whether the Islamist group did not believe that such clashes might actually take place, or if they were unconcerned that they might. "Let what may happen, happen," the FJP source told Ahram Online.

sounds pretty clear to me.

The source also confirmed that the FJP would take part in pro-Morsi demonstrations on Friday, which had been announced late Tuesday night by Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, following a meeting of Islamist political forces at the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo’s Muqatam district.

The recently formed opposition coalition group the National Salvation Front, for its part, had called for a new round of demonstrations, both in iconic Tahrir Square and in front of the presidential palace for what they have named "Red Card Friday." The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies’ choice of the same day for counter-demonstrations seems to further underline the possibility that the group, from which President Morsi hails, is no longer concerned about avoiding potentially bloody clashes between loyalist and opposition protesters, both of whom have proven capable of bringing tens, even hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

(same source)

So assuming the Ikhwan/Salafi mob rout the few dozen campers still hanging around the presidential palace this afternoon, the stage looks set for a head-on confrontation after prayers on Friday.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

where's the Kaiser Chiefs when you need 'em?

Egypt Indy: Clashes erupt outside presidential palace, Brotherhood announces rival sit-in

Clashes have erupted between anti-Morsy protesters and Islamists in front of the presidential palace, privately-owned TV channel Al-Nahar has reported.

The TV channel, in live reports from the scene, said that Morsy supporters boxed opposition protesters in from two sides, leading to scuffles.

The clashes come after both the Popular Current, led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, and the Muslim Brotherhood called for rival demonstrations outside the presidential palace Wednesday, raising the specter of clashes between both sides.

The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau announced on Wednesday that its members will also start a sit-in in front of the presidential palace until the constitutional referendum is successfully held.
[...]

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hum. 5 dead and over 400 injured after hours of rioting was a good deal more intense than I was expecting. Friday could be brutal.

EI: Five confirmed dead in palace fighting overnight as morning calm prevails

A tentative calm had settled on the Heliopolis streets surrounding the presidential palace by early Thursday after a night of rock throwing and fighting between the president's supporters and opponents.

At least five people have been confirmed dead, according to doctors and state news sources. State-run MENA news agency reported 446 injured.

Several armored personnel carriers and tanks were deployed in the area Thursday morning as about 2,000 Muslim Brotherhood members continued to chant pro-Mohamed Morsy slogans, eyewitnesses told Egypt Independent.
[...]
Fighting quickly broke out when Morsy's Islamist supporters joined the ongoing demonstration Wednesday and vowed to stage a sit-in until the constitution is approved.

Physician Charles Hanna estimated that the makeshift clinic set up at the evangelical church near the protests had treated more than 40 injured protesters who sustained fractures, injuries from stone throwing and birdshot and deep cuts from knives.

"There were all kinds of arms used in this battle, very scary," he said, adding that the volunteer doctors treated the wounded from both sides.
[...]
Pro-Morsy protesters are manning checkpoints at the entrances to the streets leading to the palace to prevent opposition protesters who are now based in Roxy neighborhood from approaching, according to MENA.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

“It was a brutal, brutal mess,” says Abdel-Rahman Hussein [Al Masry Al Youm/Egypt Independent journo] in Cairo after witnessing pro and anti-Morsi supporters throw stones, petrol bombs and trade gun shots with each other in overnight clashes.

It was Morsi supporters who escalated the violence by using birdshot and it was opponents of the president who bore the brunt of the injuries, he said.

Morsi is not expected to make concessions in his speech today and his pronouncement are unlikely to diffuse the crisis, Abdu said.

I don’t think anything he says will have that much relevance any more because now there is death and now there is blood, the situation has shifted. It is entirely different, it is not a political spat [any more].

The opposition insists that dialogue with the president is only possible if he revokes his new powers, but it may be too late for even that concession, Abdu argues.

The paradigm has shifted. Once there is death and blood everything changes. Opposition forces cannot now be seen to hold a dialogue with Morsi, because their supporters will say ‘no, our people died and so there is no talking’.

Expect massive protests on Friday and for the death toll to rise, Abdu said.

The resignation of several of Morsi’s advisers highlights how isolated the president and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters have become, he added.

But the deployment of tanks outside the presidential palace raises questions about whether the army has become involved in the political standoff, Abdu said.

I would surmise that is in the interest of the army to defend Morsi because the constitution that he is trying to pass through, cements their privileges that keeps them a state within a state.

I think they have learnt their lesson not to intervene too overtly in politics again. But their interests lie with the draft constitution.

Guardian liveblog

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Gigi Ibrahim's reporting the death of a RevSoc member:

I just want to say that @abojan25 is 1 of the pure revolutionary journalists i've met. long time activist & journalist.he is clinically dead

Also:

Friend's relative talked to #Ikhwan in the streets yesterday. Most said they were told protesters were atheists and supporters...of gay marriage. The rest had no idea why they were there and hadn't read the constitutional draft

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've no doubt most of the pro-Morsy guys will believe that they're fighting to save the country from a conspiracy of feloul, atheists, commies, queers, copts and feminists bent on either restoring NDP power or destroying Islam and selling the country to the Israelis or whatever. Just as the majority of those fighting them probably believe they are defending the country from a Taliban-style theocratic dictatorship or a new US-backed Mubarak-style dictatorship only with Islamic window-dressing (actually that last one is not quite so far fetched imho, but anyway...). That's always the way in civil wars, each side thinks they're defending decency and ordinary folks against a pack of devils.

Still there are some signs of disquiet amongst the ranks of the Ikhwan and not just the various presidential aides and advisors who have announced their resignation today and yesterday.

"The trouble is that Morsi went too far with the constitutional declaration; he was trying to abort what seemed to be an inevitable ruling by the administrative court to dissolve the constitution-drafting committee and the Shura Council – but he could have done it differently," said a Muslim Brotherhood member who asked for his name to be withheld.

He added that such a ruling would in effect derail the process of transition and "keep the country in a state of stagnation."

According to this young member of the country's oldest and most influential Islamist group, the way the constitutional declaration came out, and the way the political management has been run since, is not to the liking of all the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and "not to the liking of the Muslim Brotherhood youth" – the latter being the young Brotherhood cadres who chose to join the 25 January protests in their early days before the group's leadership had endorsed them.

For the younger generation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's political choices dovetail with what they perceive as the group's negative image as political opportunists. For some members of the group's leadership, according to this same source, the current confrontation with Morsi amounts to a de facto confrontation with political Islam – and it is unlikely to serve the interests of political Islam.

AA: Peaceful resolution of Egypt's political crisis unlikely in short term, observers fear

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This actually from last night. Just by way of confirming a suspicion that the intensity of round 2 yesterday evening couldn't have been sustained without them.

AA: Ultras Ahlawy on their way to Egypt presidential palace

Hundreds of hardcore fans of Ahly football club, the Ultras Ahlawy, are on their way to the presidential palace in Cairo's Heliopolis, to aid anti-Morsi protesters who were attacked by the president's supporters in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a number of marches organised by different political groups are also on their way to the presidential palace.

Supporters of the president headed to the palace and attacked protesters who have been holding a sit-in following Tuesday's mass protests against the president's controversial constitutional declaration and the draft constitution.

caulfield32

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The remarkable thing about dictators is how dumb they can be. Saddam did not have to lose his position of power, nor did Mubarak or Omar, Amine or even Hitler for that matter. All they had to do was play in cool and not get over impressed with themselves nor overestimate their power. But then, that is a good thing.
Cheers,
David

luckysafehaven

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Egypt has lots of Problems like what Nation does not have similar problems including National Identity.. Who is really in charge over there? Stop the violence you all need to decide Nationally who will lead you.. Any one in their right mind that wants the job with so many sides that do not agree. You live in a Violent Society what do you expect freedom with no cost or Blood shed that's how you Roll... Surprise the World and create a New Government from Trust find a Neutral Leaders I am sure there are many Good Trustful People that can help Egypt someone needs to STEP UP.. Someone that is a real Leader not a from background of the former Military or someone already connected with the old regimes!! Take time Think about your future Sit Down engage in real talks peacefully!! Engage invite the General Public as part of this Process, Time to heal forgive forget move on too many mistakes to correct.. As soon as you bring up the past everyone gets too emotional and loose sight forming your New Government..Keep Focused on your Goals!! Freedom Independence Nation Security? Life is too short to keep fighting over the same issues that never get resolved..Start Spending more the National Funds on taking care of your people, instead buying more weapons!! Fighting Violence is Out Dated, We the people want NO MORE WARS or Violence!. Tough Sell when all the Video Games are about fighting..Accept each other Learn to work together no matter how difficult, you all live together!! . Stop the Violence never resolved any thing.. Peace on Earth Good Will To ALL....

radicalgraffiti

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

lucksafehaven you appearer to have no conception of how power works, what states and nations are, that random capitalisation don't make you posts more convincing, or that this is anarchist site.

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k8papn

FJP offices raided in Maadi (forgive the hateful tone of the article).

Reddebrek

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]ef_bFzClPAg[/youtube]

It appears the pro Morsi faction of the MB has been stirring up trouble but doesn't have the numbers in Cairo and Alexandria to win the street clashes outright.

Auto

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This from the Guardian:

The Guardian Liveblog

UPDATE: Protesters in the industrial city of Mahalla have ejected the city council and announced their autonomy from the “Muslim brotherhood” state, Sara Abou Bakr of Egypt Daily News reports, among others:

“We no longer belong to the Ikhwani state,” they announced from the city council.

Mahlla is known for its clashes with the police in 2008 which some analysts consider to be the spark of the January 25 2011 revolution.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting backgrounder

EI: Blog: Cheese and other contentions at the presidential palace clashes

[,,,]
Many in the pro-Morsy camp believe that their opponents are alcohol drinking moral degenerates who are funded by Western powers. Two men told us that they had found dollars in the possession of protesters they had captured. They believe also that local media is in conspiracy against them, and that Tuesday’s newspaper strike is evidence of this.

Class is an important factor here, too - perhaps as important as the religious divide ostensibly separating the two camps. The pro-Morsy camp visible yesterday was mostly made up of middle-aged men from a lower to middle class background in sturdy practical dad slacks or galaleeb. They jogged into battle, breathlessly chanting, some of them who had come straight from work holding plastic bags and suits.

The antis were a diverse mix including hip youngsters, women in jeans and so on as well as protesters who looked exactly like the other side.

In addition to claiming their monopoly on Islam, the pro-Morsys seem genuinely to believe that there exists only one version of the “real” Egypt and that they are it. It explains their bafflement over opposition to the constitution and the lack of diversity amongst its drafters.

There is a video online of the moment Morsy supporters attacked the palace sit-in.

An incensed man is seen waving a box of processed cheese he found in a tent in the air while he rants, “Hamdeen Sabbahi! (leftist [Nasserist] former presidential candidate) ElBaradei! Processed cheese you scum!?!”

The exact link between processed cheese and Egypt’s opposition is a riddle known only to this gentleman, and he was perhaps in an overexcited state, but it exemplifies this suspicion of the familiar as something alien and nefarious.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A bit of a backwards scramble re the new taxes agreed with the IMF for their bailout deadline of 19th Dec. Presumably if the referendum passes by Sunday, the taxes will be re-announced by Monday (17th) in time for the deadline. But a U-turn in under 24 hours looks like evidence of panic, nonetheless.

AA: Egypt president Morsi halts tax hikes, calls for dialogue

In a statement in the early hours of Monday, the Egyptian President suspends the implementation of tax increases announced Sunday afternoon
Ahram Online, Monday 10 Dec 2012

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi has retracted his Sunday decisions to increase tax burdens on the Egyptian people, and ordered the government to carry out a "social dialogue" on the measures before implementation.
In a statement issued on his official Facebook page at around 2 am on Monday, Morsi said he had put on hold the measures of raising sales taxes on a wide range of consumer goods and services that were made public Sunday afternoon.

“[The President] does not accept that the Egyptian citizen carries any extra burdens without consent. His Excellency has decided to halt the [tax raising] decisions until the degree of public acceptance is made clear,” the statement read.

The measures represent the implementation of an economic programme that Egypt has proposed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to be eligible for a $4.8 billion loan. They are aimed at reducing public deficit through increasing state revenue.

Morsi has already reduced subsidies on butane gas and electricity as part of a government austerity programme.

Among other products, sales taxes were increased on steel, cement, soft drinks, beer and cigarettes as well as a variety of services, including mobile-phone services, air-conditioned transportation, and cleaning and security services.

Egypt has already secured a preliminary (staff-level) approval for the loan and the IMF board of directors is expected to approve the facility on 19 December.

The timing of the measures, less than a week before the 15 December scheduled referendum on the draft constitution, was seen as inappropriate by many observers given that the new taxes were expected to incur public anger.

For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), from which Morsi hails, issued a statement Sunday evening denouncing the President’s decisions and demanding they be put on hold.

“[The party] calls on the head of the government [Prime Minister Hisham Qandil] to halt these decisions until they are submitted to the People’s Assembly after its formation,” the FJP said in a statement.

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AA: Egypt-IMF loan agreement postponed

Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to delay its approval of a $4.8 billion loan until next month due to domestic political circumstances, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said at press conference on Tuesday.
"The government asked the IMF to postpone its decision concerning Egypt's $4.8 billion loan," he said.

"In light of the unfolding developments on the ground, the Egyptian authorities have asked to postpone their request for a Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF," an IMF spokeswoman confirmed in a written statement.
[...]
Some analysts have said the move to delay the loan is a result of President Morsi's decision on Monday to reverse his previously announced tax rises and subsidy reductions on butane gas and electricity which were part of the IMF loan deal.

The Egyptian government has been in negotiations with the IMF about the loan since October 2011.

follow the money

Iskra

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Does anyone have more information on Mahalla? What's going on in there? How did people organise? How did government reacted? I basically know that they've announced "independence", but nothing there's more about it....

ocelot

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was an article in yesterday's Libération (French & paywalled, unfortunately), but that didn't really say much apart from people threatening a (local) general strike and the local Mayor laughing off the suggestions that he had been ousted. Reaction in other parts is also fairly cynical (see this piece in the Egypt Daily News).

So, apart from the recent fighting between the Islamists and the Mahalla Club Ultras and other pro-rev forces (including textile workers union types), not much of significance appears to have actually happened. Certainly it's not something the army have bothered to dispatch any forces to. But I stand to be corrected on this.

Entdinglichung

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/hands-initiatives-grow-fighting-sexual-harassment-tahrir-and-elsewhere

Melnitz

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jano Charbel on "independent" Mahalla:

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/opposition-morsy-mahalla-declares-autonomy

ocelot

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ties in pretty much with what I've seen from other sources. No dual power in Mahalla so far, basically.

Entdinglichung

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/egypte-le-chaos-politique-sapprofondit/

Iskra

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This one looks interesting: http://oreaddaily.blogspot.it/2012/12/the-mahalla-soviet.html

jonthom

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In response to the indictments in Alexandria

Last Sunday, during the Alexandria court hearing which was to pronounce a verdict on police officers accused of killing protesters during clashes in January 2011, the police in charge of guarding the court began to provoke the victims' families and activists who had come to support them peacefully as they had done for previous hearings. After the provocation, the police charged the crowd violently. The charge quickly became a race to grab any person in the vicinity, and there were beatings and arrests everywhere. Thirty-one people were arrested and transferred to the notorious Al Gharbanyat prison in the region of the city of Borg El Arab (45 km south of Alexandria) without allowing those arrested to contact their relatives or lawyers.

Among the arestees are four of our comrades, although they did not participate in the support rally outside the court or in the clashes with the police. These comrades are:

Mohammed Izz al-Din
Amir Assad
Mohammed al-Badri
Mohammed Hussein

They were having coffee after their usual distribution of leaflets, which leads us to believe that their arrest was not improvised but premeditated. Because these comrades are amongst the most active members of the LSM, they are present at every strike and every demonstration and the intelligence services know them very well. The charges against the 31 are: conspiracy to commit vandalism and the destruction of public property, as well as the use of violence against the forces of law and order.

This Wednesday, 23 January, there was a hearing to request that the holding period be extended, though the police were objecting to the prisoners being transferred, on the pretext that moving them would involve security problems. The prosecutor validated this absurd decision of the police and postponed the arraignment to Wednesday, 30 January at Borg El Arab court and not the Mansheya court (Alexandria) where the clashes took place. This decision condemns those arrested to stay another 10 days in jail without any legal justification. Despite this, the media and human rights organizations are silent.

We accuse the Ministry of the Interior of abuse and revenge against our comrades and the other arrestees, both for the violent repression and for their imprisonment without fixed charges for 10 days in prison under close surveillance, when they are merely supposed to be "on remand".

We also accuse the fascist Muslim Brotherhood government of being behind this repression against any person and any popular committee which claims its rights, as well as those who support them against the government and its acolytes.

Despite the indictment of our comrades, we will not resign ourselves to accepting the State's tyranny, and we appeal for solidarity from all anarchist and revolutionary organizations around the world. We ask that you show your support for our comrades at Egyptian embassies and consulates.

Our struggle will continue until the State and capitalism have been abolished.
Libertarian Socialist Movement, Egypt

jonthom

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Egyptian Anarchist Movement Emerges with Wave of Firebombings and Street Fights

Anarchists have been present in Egypt before, during, and after the revolution, but until today, they have yet to organize a mass grouping under the banner of anarchism. The Ultras of Egypt’s football clubs have for years been associated with anarchist ideas and actions, and they are widely credited with having initiated the level militancy that brought down the Mubarak government in February of 2011.

Last night, anarchism left the graffitied walls, small conversations, and online forums of Egypt, and came to life in Cairo, declaring itself a new force in the ongoing social revolution sparked two years ago with multiple firebombings against Muslim Brotherhood offices. Later, the government shutdown the “Black Blocairo” and “Egyptian Black Bloc” Facebook pages, but they were soon re-launched.

“Wait for our next attacks as we respond to the closing of our official page…” they posted in a statement posted online this morning (translated below).

Today, the black bloc made its first mass-appearance in Tahrir Square, and, shortly after, firebombed the Shura Council (Egyptian Parliament), tore down a section of the protest-barrier walls leading from Tahrir Square, and, with others, engaged in fighting against security forces.

These statements and actions are in preparation for tomorrow’s second anniversary of the revolution, and for what some are calling “a whole new level” or protest in Egypt.

Anarchism and the black bloc concept has grown in recent months across Egypt, Stemming from various anarchist grouping/circles that coalesced during the revolutionary period. A massive distrust among the youth of all political parties, a sharp critique of the role of religion within governance, and the inspiration of anarchist resistance around the world (largely symbolized by the late-2008 revolt in Greece) have helped it catalyze.

d

Below is the statement of Black Blocairo in regards to the removal of their websites, their firebombing attacks against government offices, and their calls for revolt:

“Yesterday and after we finished our event, we met some of the revolutionary movements and we decided to unite together in our next attacks, hence we did our first two attacks, as we told you yesterday:

1- Setting fire to Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) online office.

2- Setting fire in the Ikhwan office in Al-Manial street in Cairo.

And we announced our revolution since today in Al-Tahrir Square untill Egypt and it’s people get their rights back! Life, Freedom and social justice!

Black Blocairo, The Hooligans

Wait for our next attacks as we respond to the closing of our official page…”

Ambrose

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Finally! The army's use of lethal force on crowds has finally provoked people to actually shoot back.

NannerNannerNa…

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

WOOT! We're causing some trouble! The people of Egypt stood up to Mubarak and won and now they're standing up to Morsi!

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian state is such a paper tiger, it's only a matter of time before mere democracy is off the table.

Mark.

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some Egypt based bloggers wondering what to make of the Black Bloc:

Zeinobia: Black Bloc and its enigma

Black Bloc is the new black in Egypt! Since their announcement that they do exist in Egypt and since their parade last Thursday as well their role last Friday in the clashes, the media, the government and the MB could not stop speaking about them up till now!

Suddenly the anarchic group is spread like fire across the country through out the governorates. Since when anarchism is popular in Egypt let alone how a group like that to plan and organize itself in this way! There is something not clear or correct.

Now we got two Facebook pages speaking on behalf of the enigmatic group: Revolution Black Bloc and Black Bloc Egypt'

Amazingly the last page is using verses from the Holy Quran in its posts and FB cover. I do not know but we are speaking a new anarchism if it is truly anarchism in the first place…

Now the MB and its members and supporters are crazy with that new group. As I hinted it is the new black, it is their new bogey man…

Zeinobia: Black Bloc in Egypt

The Lede: A 'Black Bloc' emerges in Egypt

Sarah Carr: Back to the squares, without the Brothers

Mark.

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Last Sunday, during the Alexandria court hearing which was to pronounce a verdict on police officers accused of killing protesters during clashes in January 2011, the police in charge of guarding the court began to provoke the victims' families and activists who had come to support them peacefully as they had done for previous hearings. After the provocation, the police charged the crowd violently. The charge quickly became a race to grab any person in the vicinity, and there were beatings and arrests everywhere. Thirty-one people were arrested and transferred to the notorious Al Gharbanyat prison in the region of the city of Borg El Arab (45 km south of Alexandria) without allowing those arrested to contact their relatives or lawyers.

Among the arestees are four of our comrades, although they did not participate in the support rally outside the court or in the clashes with the police. These comrades are:

1. Mohammed Izz al-Din
2. Amir Assad
3. Mohammed al-Badri
4. Mohammed Hussein

They were having coffee after their usual distribution of leaflets, which leads us to believe that their arrest was not improvised but premeditated. Because these comrades are amongst the most active members of the LSM, they are present at every strike and every demonstration and the intelligence services know them very well. The charges against the 31 are: conspiracy to commit vandalism and the destruction of public property, as well as the use of violence against the forces of law and order.

This Wednesday, 23 January, there was a hearing to request that the holding period be extended, though the police were objecting to the prisoners being transferred, on the pretext that moving them would involve security problems. The prosecutor validated this absurd decision of the police and postponed the arraignment to Wednesday, 30 January at Borg El Arab court and not the Mansheya court (Alexandria) where the clashes took place. This decision condemns those arrested to stay another 10 days in jail without any legal justification. Despite this, the media and human rights organizations are silent.

We accuse the Ministry of the Interior of abuse and revenge against our comrades and the other arrestees, both for the violent repression and for their imprisonment without fixed charges for 10 days in prison under close surveillance, when they are merely supposed to be "on remand".

We also accuse the fascist Muslim Brotherhood government of being behind this repression against any person and any popular committee which claims its rights, as well as those who support them against the government and its acolytes.

Despite the indictment of our comrades, we will not resign ourselves to accepting the State's tyranny, and we appeal for solidarity from all anarchist and revolutionary organizations around the world. We ask that you show your support for our comrades at Egyptian embassies and consulates.

Our struggle will continue until the State and capitalism have been abolished.

Libertarian Socialist Movement, Egypt

24 January 2013

http://www.anarkismo.net/article/24774

Ed

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Loads of videos on youtube of the fighting in Egypt.. here are a couple basically at random..
[youtube]2gdw5n5dko0[/youtube]

[youtube]bAaUdZW9KLk[/youtube]

Ed

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some more videos from Al Jazeera on the situation in Egypt..

Also, I haven't watched this video yet but it looks pretty interesting..

ajjohnstone

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An interesting read from Al Jazeera here on Egypt's anarchism

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201322103219816676.html

Guerre de Classe

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We are the “Class War Group”. You can visit our blog on http://autistici.org/tridnivalka/. Most of our materials are published in Czech, however many are also in English as well as in French.

We translated in Czech the text “Egypt. Like the sea” you can read here below. This text translated in Czech can be downloaded on our blog (http://autistici.org/tridnivalka/egypt-jako-more/).

Since the beginning of the so-called “Arab spring”, we already published three leaflets in solidarity with the struggles of our class brothers and sisters in this region of capitalist world called “Middle East”:

Class struggle in Maghreb and Mashrek… Class struggle worldwide… (April 2011 in Czech, English, French, German, Italian);
Greetings to proletarians in struggle in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia… and all over the world! (February 2012 in Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Spanish… and Arabic);
• And last but not least Again and again more Blood-Baath in Syria (August 2012 only in Czech, English, French).

Internationalist solidarity!
Email : [email protected]

----------

http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/egypt-2/

Social revolution is like the sea. Its waves chase one another, crash against the obstacles they encounter, crushing them or backing down. With all the violence of an indomitable rush, they destroy, blow after blow any trace of power, of exploitation and oppression. A first wave, immense and unexpected, swept away the dictatorship of Murabak. A second one put the army that was about to take over power on its knees. A third one is rising today against the new order that the islamists are trying to impose.

The real revolutionary storm does not obey any party, any boss, any power. On the contrary, these are its irreconcilable enemies. They will be swept away as the storm intensifies. Between the social revolution that will subvert any relation based on exploitation and power and the impostors, the bosses, the masters, the political parties, the capitalist and the authoritarians of any shade, there cannot be anything other than struggle til the bitter end. Because freedom and the end of exploitation, imply the destruction of capitalism and of any power.

It is not surprising though that those aspiring to power try to ride the revolutionary wave that is crashing through the land of the Nile; it is not surprising that the new leaders try to impose themselves through lies and deception, aided by the media and by the local governments who talk about the “opposition”; it is not surprising that the authentic revolutionary rush cannot be translated into any party program, into any referendum, into any flag or that it is not recognized by any stronghold of power around the world. Certainly those who are fighting today in Egypt against the current power do not make up a homogeneous bloc, just as not everyone aspires to real social revolution.

The ongoing struggles are crossed by thousands of contradictions: between those in opposition who demand for a constituent assembly without an overwhelming islamist influence and those who do not see any salvation in parliamentary democracy; from those who are fighting for wage increases and improved work conditions to those who want to do away with all the bosses; from those who struggle without ever putting into question their prejudices, the dominant morals, the traditions which have brought thousands of years of oppression to those who struggle in the same way against the suffocating power of the state and against the suffocating weight of patriarchy in one battle; from those who wave the national flag to those who tie their own struggle with the one of the exploited from any latitude… Perhaps it’s exactly here where the revolutionary strength of the current revolution in Egypt is found: beyond all contradictions, it is born in the guts of the exploited and the oppressed. It is here that we can find real struggle.

What is happening in Egypt can find echoes everywhere in the world where people are struggling. While for years the islamists of any tendency have presented themselves as social fighters in front of millions of people around the world, perhaps their mask will now fall in Egypt, as it is now happening in other countries (for example in the south of Tunisia). The social revolution in Egypt will be the tomb of the islamists and religious reactionaries that are disguised themselves as struggling for alleged social emancipation.

At the basis of international revolutionary solidarity there is one’s own recognition in the battles that are unleashed elsewhere. Remaining spectators of the insurrectional surges in Egypt can only contribute to its isolation and its suppression. To sustain and reinforce the real revolutionary surges over there, those who want to end with any exploitation and dominion, we need to act. Joining the fray armed with the idea of freedom, the real one.

We think, therefore, that it is appropriate to make a call out to pass to the attack, to support, where we stand, with our ideas and our means the current revolutionary wave in Egypt. If in Cairo, Alexandria, Malhalla, etc. thousands of people are jumping into the fray because they aspire to a new world, let’s make sure that every representative of the Egyptian state and capital everywhere in the world finds this conflict brought to their front door. That every statist, capitalist and servant of the world-order feels on their necks the breath of the social revolution.

Let’s sow the bonds of action among the insurrectional hotbeds in the whole world!
For the destruction of all power!

Source : anarchistnews.org

Guerre de Classe

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-Morsi protesters attack governorate HQ in Egypt's Nile Delta

Clashes are re-ignited in restive Nile Delta city of Mansoura after demonstrators stage rally to protest detention of fellow activists

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Feb 2013

Dozens of protesters attacked the Daqahliya governorate headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura on Wednesday evening to protest the state prosecution's decision to detain for four days those arrested in recent clashes with police.

Part of the governorate caught fire prompting a fire truck to rush to the scene, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported.

The fire was eventually extinguished and calm restored to the area. Security has also been stepped up and attempts remain ongoing to clear the streets on which protesters had converged.

Clashes between anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters and security forces in Mansoura intensified on Tuesday evening, leaving dozens injured and arrested.

Hundreds of security personnel cracked down on protesters who had blocked Suez Canal Street near the governorate headquarters.

The clashes followed calls on Sunday for a civil disobedience campaign in Mansoura to protest against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group from which he hails.

Protesters accused Brotherhood members and security forces of attacking them on Monday as they attempted to close down the Daqahliya governorate building.

Port Said, situated on Egypt's Suez Canal, has been subject to a ten-day-long civil disobedience campaign after death sentences were handed down to 21 local residents for their roles in last year's Port Said stadium disaster .

In Mahalla, located in the Gharbiya governorate, hundreds went on strike, blocking the main routes into the city on Sunday as part of the ongoing civil disobedience campaign against President Morsi.

VIDEO: Civil disobedience calls spark demos, clashes in Egypt's Daqahliya

Protesters are met with violence after calling for campaign of civil disobedience in Nile Delta city of Mansoura, while government employees seem to support their demands

Osman El Sharnoubi, Wednesday 27 Feb 2013

Attempts by activists to bring the Egyptian city of Mansoura, capital of the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahliya, into an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience has led to two nights of intense clashes between police and protesters.

The area around Mansoura's governorate headquarters was hit with torrents of teargas fired by the police at protesters over the course of the past 48 hours.

The clashes have left dozens of protesters and several police officers injured since Monday.

Protesters also clashed with another group of citizens who they claimed were members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Mansoura saw a spate of major protests on the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution in January, in which protesters demonstrated against the government and the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which President Mohamed Morsi hails.

Opposition protesters across Egypt accuse Morsi and the Brotherhood of adopting Mubarak-era tactics to quell calls for achieving revolutionary goals. The anniversary protests quickly turned into clashes that left over 50 dead in several cities.

Protesters in Mansoura told Ahram Online that Brotherhood members were trying to abort their civil disobedience campaign. They say that local Brotherhood members had come to protect governorate employees from allegedly "violent" protesters.

"Brotherhood members came Monday while we were urging governorate employees to join the civil disobedience campaign and started the violence by beating two women," protester and Egyptian Popular Current member Mahmoud Abdel-Aleem told Ahram Online.

"After that, we clashed with them as security forces stood idly by."

Employees at the governor's office helped protesters drive off the attackers, Abdel-Aleem told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

After the attackers had fled the scene, he recounted, Central Security Forces (CSF) fired large amounts of teargas at the peaceful protesters. This led to clashes that lasted throughout the night.

Head of criminal investigations in Daqahliya Atef Mahran denied that police had unjustly attacked protesters. He told Ahram Online that security forces had only responded to attacks on the governorate building and had attempted to separate the clashing parties.

Government employees show signs of sympathy with protesters

Some employees interviewed by Ahram Online corroborated the protesters' accounts, saying they had seen "bearded men" – allegedly Brotherhood members – beat two female protesters attempting to engage them in conversation. This reportedly enraged protesters, sparking the ensuing clashes.

Governorate employees, although continuing to go to work, appear sympathetic to protesters' calls for civil disobedience .

As Ahram Online was interviewing protesters chanting against the government at the governorate headquarters, a sign bearing the word "Leave" was hung out of a window. The demand was directed at President Morsi.

Signs of solidarity with the protesters became increasingly apparent as employees finished their working day and stood among the protesters .

"Why did the Brotherhood come, to protect us?" governorate employee Ahmed Abdullah asked. "We don't need protection; the protesters are peaceful and if we needed protection we can protect ourselves."

Abdullah told Ahram Online that he had stood with the protesters during the clashes. He criticised the Morsi administration, saying: "They have brought nothing but murder and destruction to the country."

"They [the Brotherhood] are liars, while the president doesn't take a decision without rescinding it shortly afterward. Everyone has had it with them," Abdullah said.

An employee who refused to give her name told Ahram Online that "everyone is working" and that there was no strike or intention to join the civil disobedience campaign. Another employee, however, who also preferred to remain anonymous, said: "The governor isn't allowing us to leave our offices, but we're all supporting the calls for civil disobedience."

Governorate employee Ahmed Abu Dahab told Ahram Online that there had been a decision by the governor to eschew any form of solidarity with the protesters. The governor had said that anyone who went against the decision would risk being brought before a disciplinary board, said Abu Dahab.

His colleague Abdullah denied this, saying he had not received any memo to this effect, only to be interrupted by Abu Dahab, who said the governor's alleged decision had been given verbally.

Another employee leaving the building after working hours yelled to a group of nearby protesters, saying: "We're with you; just don't engage in acts of thuggery."

Asked why employees were still coming to work despite their alleged sympathies with protesters' calls, Abdullah said it came down to material reasons. "Employees are poor citizens," he said. "They can't afford not to work."

A forced campaign?

The Muslim Brotherhood's Daqahliya website reported that a group of "thugs" had prevented employees from entering the governorate building "by force."

A Brotherhood member quoted on the website said on Tuesday that Egyptians were mature enough to know the difference between peaceful protesters and thugs. He said that employees were going to work normally and didn't care about what "those thugs" were saying or doing.

"We didn't force anyone not to work; we only called on the employees to join us," protester Wesam El-Shahat told Ahram Online. "They lie in the media, saying we forcefully prevented the employees from entering the building, which isn't the case."

Waleed Abu Samra, a protester who says he is also a member of the National Salvation Front opposition group, said the civil disobedience campaign had been called for in Mansoura as a "last resort" to realise revolutionary demands for "bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity" – demands, he said, which were far from being achieved by the current government.

"The government is working on 'Brotherhoodising' the state; this is its primary concern. But this wasn't a demand raised in Tahrir Square during the 25 January revolution," Abu Samra said.

Abu Samra added that civil disobedience was the "final stage of peaceful political dissent." He insisted that protesters in Mansoura had not prevented anyone from working, since this would represent a violent act and thus – by definition – contradict the concept of civil disobedience.

Abu Samra said that, even though employees were still going to work, they were supporting the civil disobedience calls. He pointed to the employees peering out the governorate building's windows and asked: "Do they look like they're working?"

"We will continue," he added, removing barriers to traffic on a main road that had been put in place by some of the younger protesters, arguing that blocking the road forcefully contradicted their cause. The road was eventually opened to traffic.

Attempts to start a campaign of civil disobedience in Daqahliya were first launched following a similar campaign in Port Said.

A 26 January court verdict sentencing 21 Port Said residents to death led to clashes that left over 40 dead, mostly civilians, in the restive canal city. A curfew was subsequently declared on the city, which prompted citizens to defy it and launch a civil disobedience campaign that was partially answered by local residents.

In September of last year, a civil disobedience campaign was also launched in the village of Tahsin in the Daqahliya governorate to protest government neglect and deteriorating infrastructure.

On Sunday, hundreds went on strike and blocked the main roads in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla in the adjacent Gharbiya governorate as part of a similar campaign of civil disobedience.

"God willing, we'll have an even more organised civil disobedience drive than the one now going on in Port Said," El-Shahat said.

Ed

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently there have been more protests in Egypt recently, with one planned for June 30th, calling for Morsi to step down:

Egypt army vows to step in to prevent unrest
Opposition groups are planning a major protest on June 30 to mark the one-year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration and demand his resignation.

There are widespread fears that the demonstrations could turn violent: At a pro-government rally on Friday, several speakers threatened to "crush" the opposition. Two people have already been shot dead in clashes over the weekend.

ajjohnstone

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Apparently there have been more protests in Egypt recently, with one planned for June 30th, calling for Morsi to step down"

The SWP, supported his election. "Vote Muslim Brotherhood" (without illusions of course.)

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=28611

How often do they need proved wrong. The SWP lesser evil turned out to be a more evil and did it require a crystal ball to predict?

ajjohnstone

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Open letter by the Egyptian activist collective ‘Comrades from Cairo’

http://roarmag.org/2013/06/from-tahrir-and-rio-to-taksim-the-smell-of-teargas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+roarmag+%28ROAR+Magazine%29

".....None of us are fighting in isolation. We face common enemies from Bahrain, Brazil and Bosnia, Chile, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Sudan, the Western Sahara and Egypt. And the list goes on. Everywhere they call us thugs, vandals, looters and terrorists. We are fighting more than economic exploitation, naked police violence or an illegitimate legal system. It is not rights or reformed citizenship that we fight for.....We are not advocating to unify or equate our various battles, but it is the same structure of authority and power that we have to fight, dismantle, and bring down. Together, our struggle is stronger.

We want the downfall of the System."

baboon

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AJ's post on the SWP position supporting Morsi is interesting. It's not the first time that this nationalist, British party has supported elements of Islamic fundamentalism and this ties in with US and British support for the Morsi regime. Though details are hard to come by the British bourgeoisie are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in and around the imperialist carnage in Syria - what the SWP call the "Syrian revolution". It's not unusual for the SWP and the British Foreign Office to be on the same side.

redsdisease

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/protesters-ransack-muslim-brotherhood-hq-demand-morsis-resignation/2013/07/01/f3f79698-e23c-11e2-a11e-c2ea876a8f30_story.html

“If the demands of the people are not met within the given period of time, [the military] will be compelled by its national and historic responsibilities, and in respect for the demands of Egypt’s great people, to announce a roadmap for the future, and procedures that it will supervise involving the participation of all the factions and groups.”

I wonder how popular the idea of a military coup is on the ground there. A lot of articles have been saying things like "protestors are hoping the military will force Morsi to step down" like it's a point of fact.

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whoops!

5.16pm BST

Security forces have arrested 15 bodyguards of Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater "after an exchange of fire in which no one was injured," Reuters reports based on "security sources":

Shater's family telephoned Al Jazeera television station to report that his home was under police attack.

The sources said security forces were involved in an exchange of fire with the guards after going to arrest them for alleged unlawful possession of firearms.

Shater's whereabouts were not immediately known. He is widely regarded as the strongest personality in the Islamist movement, but who was barred from running for president last year because he had been jailed under toppled ex-President Hosni Mubarak's authoritian rule.

That's a pretty unambiguous move...

edit: from Grauniad liveblog

teh

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

SWP do a 180 on MB - http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/33754/Egypts+Revolutionary+Socialists+call+for+general+strike+until+the+fall+of+the+regime

Thats not a SWP thing. Most if not all of the political parties of the left in Egypt as well as the liberals that apparently are staging a military coup right now supported or were allied with the MB at one point or another. Its not a 180, they have been spinning in circles ever since the protests against Mubarak began.

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To be fair, the SWP have had a relationship with the MB going back to the Stop the War Coalition in 2003 and later formalised by their alliance with the Muslim Association of Britain in the Respect coalition. It predates the Feb 2011 overthrow of Mubarak.

Ed

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Shit blowing up..
[youtube]SRhgHw1Dkv8[/youtube]

Interesting quote from one of the people interviewed, something along the lines of "no one called us out, we're all drivers or manufacturers and we don't want the Muslim Brotherhood... it's either us or them"..

Khawaga

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[quote\ocelot]To be fair, the SWP have had a relationship with the MB going back to the Stop the War Coalition in 2003 and later formalised by their alliance with the Muslim Association of Britain in the Respect coalition. It predates the Feb 2011 overthrow of Mubarak.[/quote]

Not only that, but together with the Revolutionary Socialists and the Muslim Brotherhood they organized the series of Anti-imperialism conferences in Cairo. Pretty much just like any other SWP event.

Mark.

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview from yesterday (before the ultimatum from the army)

How are anarchists organizing within this particular moment. I got the sense that some of you were involved with Tamarod, but are you playing a particular role?

No, anarchists didn’t sign onto the Tamarod declaration. Tamarod is not revolutionary at all. It was just obvious that the movement connected with millions of Egyptians, so we joined the protests. The protesters yesterday were against the idea of an Islamic dictator, but at the same time, most of them are okay with a civil or military dictator. Fuck any dictator. We’ll never forget. We’ll never forgive.

And you’ve got an anarchist tent in Tahrir, right now?

Yes. We’ve got four tents, actually.

Are you doing anything particular from those spaces?

Right now, we’re working to ensure old regime supporters don’t take over the sit-in.

Like physically stopping them? Are there felool [people nostalgic for the former regime] in the square?

A lot of them.

Are they attacking protesters, or just trying to infiltrate the movement?

They’re trying to convince people to let the SCAF [Egypt's military council] take power again.

There are uprisings happening in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria and Chile right now. There was brief indication that it was spreading to Indonesia and Paraguay as well, and of course there is the ongoing struggle in Bahrain. Egypt has been a huge inspiration for a lot of these movements. When you overthrew Mubarak, Tunisia had happened, but not much else. Does it feel different, this time? Do you feel a part of something global?

It’s different, for sure. Now, the fear comes from the possibility of civil war. Mubark was shit, but he never played the civil-war card. Morsi is so stupid that he doesn’t even seem to grasp that we could very likely wind up killing each other in the streets. Things are happening now that never happened before, like people attacking bearded men on the street and insulting them.

I feel like this generation of youth around the world is powerfully revolutionary, and now we have the ability to share tools, and to broadcast ideas.

What are you hopeful for, right now?

I hope that people have learned something from what the Brotherhood did, and I hope it’s the beginning of the end for political Islam, or any kind of faith in religious parties.

...

Read it in full at Tahrir ICN

blackstone

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BREAKING: Egypt's military chief says president is replaced by chief justice of constitutional court. Morsi has been overthrown.

Ed

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So I guess the question now is whether the army will run the gauntlet of popular protest and make a grab for power itself; or whether it will actually try to sort out new elections to get some stability again.. tbh, I have no idea.. I'm highly doubtful as to how much the army/this interim leader (who was a judge under Mubarak!) really believe in the principles of democracy, but maybe in the interests of regaining some kind of stability in Egypt (and therefore stability for capitalism in Egypt) then they might actually try to sort out new elections.. though they might also try and sort out stability in the way military coups often do it..

Any thoughts?

Ablokeimet

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The generals show what they think of criticism:

Egypt's military shuts down news channels:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/2013740531685326.html

And the hypocritical "liberals" support them:

Speaking to Al Jazeera English, National Salvation Front spokesman Khaled Dawoud defended the move.

"Unfortunately these are exceptional circumstances," he said.

"I don't believe closing down any newspaper or any channel is a useful measure ... but we are going through a very critical time here, the situation is dangerous.

"I hope this is an exceptional measure that will last only for a few days, but when you have a critical time of change like this and you have some other people who are trying to incite supporters to go and fight I don't think it is useful to have these channels working at these critical hours."

The army made itself unpopular really quickly last time. The generals were hailed (ignorantly) by many as national heroes when they gave Mubarak the boot, but they didn't take long before they were seriously on the nose themselves. They made a smart decision and allowed elections to happen. Morsi got elected and has proceeded to make the Brotherhood seriously unpopular. Indications are that the Salafists have also stayed in the same boat, so they suffered as well. Now the generals have stepped in again - and only a fool would believe that their popularity will last long. Their best chance is to follow through on their initial promise and organise prompt elections - so the winner can carry the can for unpopular decisions.

What's going on, then? Well, in the immortal words of Bill Clinton, "It's the economy, stupid".

Egyptian capitalism is in deep doo-doo. There is a massive budget deficit, military spending is untouchable and much public spending goes on inefficient things like subsidising petrol and other consumer items (petrol being a particularly poor choice, because the greatest benefits go to the small percentage rich enough to run cars). The IMF is imposing tough conditions on an important loan (surprise, surprise!). Given that the people of Egypt are fed up with neo-liberalism after a decade or two of it from Mubarak, whoever holds power can expect to cop serious unhappiness.

To ram through the unpopular program necessary to restore the health of Egyptian capitalism (or at least to give it a shot at returning to health, global financial crisis willing and the creeks don't rise), the capitalist class needs one of two things:

(a) A government with a strong popular mandate and credibility in the eyes of the electorate; or

(b) A military strongman who has a clear program and will brook no opposition, forcing the working class to pay the cost of the crisis.

Option A has been blown out of the water by Morsi's tenure in office. The Brotherhood was the only political party that had a credible chance of accumulating the necessary credibility to take difficult decisions, but Mursi has demonstrated that they are vicious, mendacious and bumbling. Having come to power with 52% of the vote on a 52% turnout, and facing an opponent who was effectively a Mubarak stooge from Central Casting, Morsi has done everything wrong.

Option B, however, is also in doubt. The only thing that is known to unite the generals is the desire to retain a political veto and an unlimited military budget. There is no evidence as yet that anyone in the military has an economic program that could possibly succeed, let alone that person being able to unite the military behind him. The fact that the military have immediately decreed early elections is a sign that, at least at this stage, they have no firm program to implement. They would rather have a civilian politician put up a program and take the heat.

The social crisis will intensify. A couple of days ago, after the generals laid down their ultimatum but before the coup, I decided that the slogan had to be "Morsi out! Generals stay out!" Now that the generals have stepped in and the liberals are backing them, it is up to the working class movement to take an independent position. We have to be in clear opposition to all wings of the capitalist class and stand forthrightly for workers' power. There is not the time to build an opposition to the new elections the military have announced and it is also not necessary to campaign against them. The new politicians will discredit themselves in short order. What is necessary is to build institutions of workers' power in the workplaces, so that when the new government, whatever its political persuasion, tries to make the working class pay for the crisis, they fail. And we, the workers, can put forward our own solution - libertarian communism.

Ablokeimet

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist

ablo: are you from egypt

No. Click on my username for more info. My use of the first person plural is because I am trying to adopt the perspective of the global working class.

bastarx

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ablokeimet

iexist

ablo: are you from egypt

No. Click on my username for more info. My use of the first person plural is because I am trying to adopt the perspective of the global working class.

Don't, it makes you sound like a x admin: no flaming .

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Further to arresting Morsi, issuing warrants for arrest of top 300 MB leaders and shutting down their press, etc, it now appears the army have opened fire on an MB demo outside the place where Morsi is supposedly being held, killing at least one.

BBC: Egypt troops kill pro-Morsi marcher

At this rate we could be heading into an Algerian-style nightmare. All very depressing.

I would agree with Ablo's post above in the sense that the underlying pressure is economic and there doesn't appear to be any political force or actors on the immediate horizon that have any will or capacity to address that in anyway. Which makes Egypt different from Brazil or Turkey where the economic capacity to address popular grievances actually does exist. At least that's how things appear from a distance of 4000 kms away...

baboon

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think that the army has ever been away in Egyptian politics and I think that their open support for the protests was the result of a pragmatic contingent decision by the Americans. The leader of the US Chief of Staffs, General Dempsey, was on the phone to his contacts in the Egyptian army last Sunday. I agree that the root of the protests are economic, bread and jobs, and that the social crisis can only intensify. That demands more than the combativity and solidarity of the protests and a move to organisation and consciousness - at whatever minimal levels to begin with and even with all the attendent confusions the working class has to get involved as a class to take this situation forward.

There's a tendency for capitalism's wars to become more and more irrational and fragmented, as Syria shows. One can't predict here but my opinion here is that the bourgeoisie will do everything they can to keep Egypt integral and the working class on its side could have a say in this - even with the dangers of nationalism. On Newsnight July 3, an ex-US ambassador to Egypt pointed out what none of the BBC reporters on the ground had mentioned and that was that there were as many anti-American slogans and banners as anti-Morsi. Though anti-Americanism in itself can be limited, many of these slogans said things like 'US - backers of terrorism' which, given the US and British backing of the Muslim Brotherhood to maintain order in the region, are not far from the truth.

The protests and the removal of Morsi are a blow to the growing imperialist role of the Brotherhood, its backers in Qatar (including al-Jazeerah) and particularly to its British and American backers and advisors. Assad in Syria and Qatari's Saudi rivals have both expressed favourable reactions to Morsi's removal showing what a nest of diverging imperialist vipers the Middle East is. But, as divergent as its interests are here, no one, not the "international community" of the west, the Russians, nor the Iranians, want to see such protests on the streets. I don't know how this will pan out but my first instinct that in these protests there is the potential for positive developments - with pain of course.

Harrison

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist

Can anyone give me links to info about anarchists in Egypt

theres a bunch about on the first egypt thread, also here
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/19666
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/egypt-libertarian-socialist-movement-30052011

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AJE blog says military have arrested Al-Shater

baboon

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A couple of other observations:
I think that, whatever their specifics, whatever their weaknesses and so on, these movements in Egypt are part of an international wave of struggle that has a very strong working class component. There's a lot of vapid talk about the "middle classes" joining the protests but the bourgeoisie calls any worker who is not living in abject poverty "middle class". So I'd defend the international nature of this movement against misery, oppression and unemployment and I'd also defend its class constituent - even if the workers are getting involved mainly as individuals at the moment. I think that this movement began in France 2006 amongst youth which quickly brought in older generations of workers and it has since appeared in the Americas, Europe, particularly Spain, the Middle East and Asia. It is an international phenomenon and it has seen old, young, religious, non-religious, men, women, fighting side by side against the state.
The second observation I want to make is that of a military coup in Egypt. For a coup to happen the army must step in but it's never stepped out. I exaggerate somewhat, for dramatic effect, but the closest to a "coup" in this situation was the Pentagon overruling the State Department and the latter's support for Morsi. I think that the US army acted adroitly in its "advice" to the Egyptian military. This advice was well-taken because over time, Morsi and his clique has been more concerned with the politics of the Muslim Brotherhood than with the national interests of the Egyptian state. He'd just consolodated Hamas, for example, into the Qatari-led British and US backed anti-Assad, anti-Iranian front and has been more concerned with issues like this rather than the economy.
Open repression against the protesters, a favoured strategy of the MB, would have opened up the situation for even wider and deeper protests.
The reactions from Erdogan and Tunisia show the potential fault lines across the region.
The situation is dangerous in Egypt but it's not entirely negative.

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is not good.

AJE: Massacre in Cairo deepens Egypt crisis

A deadly shooting at the site of a sit-in by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo, demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, has left dozens of people dead.

The Egyptian health ministry said at least 42 people had been killed and more than 300 injured in the incident early on Monday morning.

Mohamed Mohamed Ibrahim El-Beltagy, a Brotherhood MP, described the incident during dawn prayers after police had stormed the site, as a "massacre".

About 500 people were also reportedly injured.

A doctor told Al Jazeera that "the majority of injured had gunshot wounds to the head".[...]

Entdinglichung

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

according to http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/aegypten-buendnis-des-alten-regimes-und-der-salafisten-a-910189.html the new ruling bloc is a coalition between old Mubarak supporters and Salafists backed by the military ... the same forces which ruled before 2011

Mark.

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview: anarchism, Tamarod and sexual violence in Egypt

-----

Signs of post-coup repression affecting the anti-Morsi side:

Police used teargas to disperse Zamalek's hardcore fans from outside the Supreme Court in Cairo on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Zamalek's Ultras White Knights (UWK007) gathered outside the court near Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand the release of the group's leader, Sayed Moshagheb, who was detained on Friday.

"Sayed is still being detained after 24 hours and we don't know where he is or why he was arrested," read the latest statement on the group's Facebook page which has over 300,000 fans.

"We will not leave until we know where Sayed is. Our demonstration is peaceful. We call on all fans to gather to pressure the authorities.

"We will not allow any political party to use our protest for their own interests. This is a continuation of the January 25 Revolution and its principles."

Some arrests were made at the protest, according to media reports.

Source

teh

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Interview: anarchism, Tamarod and sexual violence in Egypt

Noteworthy that when vacillating about the causes of the latest massacre the interviewee mentions the view that this is exactly what the Ikhwan did in the Maspero massacre. The army defense for their shootings of Christian protesters then was verbatim to its defense now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maspero_demonstrations#Response .

Also when asked about the Tamarod the interviewee says:

"My problem with Tamarod, is that they had time to come up with some sort of alternative after overthrowing Morsi, but they never did! They had no clear plan of what would happen once he was out."

But Tamarod did have a plan and it was exactly what the army carried out. From about a week before the coup:

Opposition political and revolutionary forces, led by the "Rebel" (Tamarod) campaign, launched Wednesday the 30 June Front, a coordinating political body to organise planned protests Sunday, as well the political demands of the protests.....

The political roadmap proposed by the Front includes full authorities afforded for an independent prime minister who represents the January 25 Revolution on the condition that he does not run in the first upcoming presidential or parliamentary elections.

“The independent prime minister will head a technocratic government whose main mission is to put together an urgent economic plan to save the Egyptian economy and to expand social justice policies,” said Abdel Aziz.

He also hinted that the premier would not be from drawn from among well known politicans.

“The head of the High Constitutional Court would be assigned the duties of the president according to protocol when all executive powers are assigned to the prime minister in a six-month transitional period that ends by presidential elections judicially supervised and monitored internationally, followed by parliamentary elections,” the Tamarod co-founder added.

Dissolving the Shura Council, suspending the current constitution and drafting a new constitution are steps in the roadmap proposed by the newly founded Front.

According to the proposed roadmap, the prime minister will call on the National Defence Council to do its job in keeping with the national security needs of the country.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/75034/Egypt/Politics-/Tamarod-launches--June-Front,-proposes-postMorsi-r.aspx

"Honestly, had it not been for the army intervention, it would have been much, much worse." is especially problematic as is - in response to a question on their opinion of the events after the 30th - "I think it's one step toward ridding ourselves of a scenario driven by fanatics."

bastarx

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is the army trying to start a civil war?

Entdinglichung

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

a few voices from the Egyptian left: http://links.org.au/node/3424

Ablokeimet

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

a few voices from the Egyptian left: http://links.org.au/node/3424

17 million people on the streets! That comes out at 20% of the population. This demonstrates two things:

(a) The coup was an act of self defence by the military. A movement this large would have broken the Army if the Generals had sided with Morsi.

(b) The Muslim Brotherhood are finished as a political force and a massive blow has been delivered against political Islam.

There is much that is still up in the air and the military repression will undoubtedly be turned on the labour movement in due course, but as I said before, the Egyptian economy is in deep doo-doo and nobody seems to have a program to fix it.

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

a few voices from the Egyptian left: http://links.org.au/node/3424

Wow. The different pieces from the Revolutionary Socialists in that collection (quite apart from the failure to acknowledge their own participation and support for both the National Salvation Front and the Ikhwan) are completely contradictory and incoherent. The last one is just mad:

Occupy the squares: stand firm in the face of the conspiracy by the Brotherhood and America
Statement from the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt

July 6, 2013 -- During days that rocked the world, millions of Egyptians poured into the streets and forced their institutions to remove the failed president. Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood had betrayed the principles of the 25 January 2011 revolution and overthrown its goals.

But the stubbornness, stupidity and criminality of the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Badie, its General Guide, open the terrifying horizons of civil war. [...]

So... it's a US-(Zionist)-MB conspiracy... don't mention the army...

ocelot

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AJE

[...]Meanwhile, one of the leading critics of Morsi's government, the United Arab Emirates, has pledged $3bn in loans and grants to Egypt's new government.

The Gulf state alleges that Islamist groups backed by the Muslim Brotherhood have sought to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

Saudi Arabia also approved a $5bn aid package to Egypt, which is to include $2bn in central bank deposits, $2bn in in energy products and $1bn in cash.

Guardian: Egyptian state media backs military action as rival organs attacked

Foreign media outfits perceived as being sympathetic to Islamists are being attacked, with CNN and al-Jazeera TV singled out for hostility. The US news network has been vilified by protesters as being pro-Brotherhood, partly because it described the military's move as a coup.

In one very public display, al-Jazeera Arabic's Cairo director, Abdel Fatteh Fayed and his crew were ejected from an army press conference on Monday after Egyptian journalists in the room chanted "Out! Out!". The Qatari-owned satellite TV network has long been accused of partiality towards Islamists across the Arab world.

Later 22 employees of its Cairo bureau announced their resignation after security forces raided the premises. Wesam Fadhel accused the channel of "lying openly" about events in Egypt. Anchor Karem Mahmoud said the staff had resigned in protest against "biased coverage."

Although it's a bit of a side issue, one of the things that has been interesting since the coup, has been the public appearance of clear blue water between Qatari, on the one hand, and Saudi and UAE policy, on the other.

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ocelot writes:

one of the things that has been interesting since the coup, has been the public appearance of clear blue water between Qatari, on the one hand, and Saudi and UAE policy, on the other.

That is not new. On the Syrian war, we see something similar. Qatar tends to support the Brotherhood which is a force within the Free Syrian Army and the opposition coalition connected through that. Saudi Arabia distrusts the Brotherhood, and tends to support independent - generally even more openly Islamist/Salafist) groups. There seems to be a rivalry between Qatar ans Saudi Arabia how to influence events in the region in and after the Arab Spring wave of protests and revolts: frontally opposing it (the Saudi line) or trying to take it over through the Brotherhood (the Qatari line, wich Aljazeera as megaphone). Now, that divergence had reached Egypt as well, apparently.

Khawaga

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

(b) The Muslim Brotherhood are finished as a political force and a massive blow has been delivered against political Islam

Erm, not even close. The MB has been, and will most likely continue to be the largest and most well organized group in Egyptian civil society. Their organization is massive and is essentially a copy of a Leninist party with good cadres. While they've been weakened no doubt, the MB will continue to be a player. Indeed, if they are allowed to run in new elections they would be one of the largest parties if not the largest. They are far from being finished as a political force.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Tahrir ICN (edited slightly):

No MB, no army: the revolution continues

So you are confused? Maybe because the complexity of every society is confusing, especially in its turning points and the process of change. Anyway let’s try to answer some questions and accusations which emerge now and provide another perspective on the current situation.

First. Was it a revolution or not? Yes, it was and still it is. When you see 30 million highly motivated people on the street, you cannot talk just about the isolated decisions of power holders. Tamaroud is a grassroots movement, even though its aims are reformist and it gained the quick support of main opposition players which each wanted to gain benefits from changing the situation (it is obvious and was obvious, we exist in reality), and without this support the movement wouldn’t be so successful. It was Tamaroud which pushed society and political parties to take more radical steps against the Muslim Brotherhood. It was the will of people to depose Morsi due to his failure to deliver on any of the promises of the revolution. And even though it has turned into a military coup, it was the will of people who push the army to change its position and declare itself against Morsi.

Second. Was it legal to depose Morsi, or not? What is this question! From an anarchist perspective it is irrelevant. Our aim is for direct
 democracy, about freedom of the people to emancipate themselves from the oppressive structures of power that seek control and dominate them. It is not about occasionally celebrating freedom of choice among offers given to us from the elites and then granting them a temporary immunity for doing their businesses. Again, there were 30 million people on the street wanting Morsi to step down, and people have the right to kick out whoever they want, whenever they want. They don’t need to wait four years for another day of artificial freedom of choice.

Third. Conspiracy theory. It’s boring. It’s boring repeating the same scandalous scheme, of people masturbating themselves with finding another evident proof to discredit whatever happens as the result of secret manipulation. It’s nothing to be excited with. Power holders will always seek to co-opt and control the course of events to serve their own interests and maintain their hegemony and dominance. Arabs not only have to face the reality of years of European colonialism and US imperialism but also face new local struggles as regimes which have been in power for decades are toppled and new actors via for power and control over the people. The reality of the strength of US imperialism in the region, also precludes the possibility of any one coming to power without making a pact with the devil (US) which will seek to benefit from the situation emerging on the ground in any way possible. But to be honest we are sick of these Western-centric and somewhat racist arguments thats Arabs cannot be agents of their own destiny without the US dictating the course of events. The simplistic  vision of the world of conspiracy theorists brings with it a deeply hidden  belief in the lack of ability of people to decide by
 themselves and present them as just marionettes activated by strings held by a few influential demi-gods playing their virtual game. It also brings defeatism putting into question all efforts undertaken to change the world. So better stay at home? For when you go out for sure USA will use it.

Fourth. Was it a military coup? Again the question is largely irrelevant, what is clear is that the army has seized power (although it was never really out of power in the first place). Although we stand firmly against the army, we have to admit that the  intervention of  the army was cheered by the people, for a number of reasons. Taking the streets on 30th June, people, while motivated to stay until the fall of Morsi, expected nothing but blood, felt risk of civil war, and confrontation with Islamist militias, so  the army entering onto the scene gave them some relief. We can accuse them, of course, but if you prefer a picture of people storming the presidential palace by themselves, go there and die. Also, although people united themselves against Morsi, it doesn’t mean that this people are really united, that they are not fractured, that there is no contradiction in goals between various groups and even hostility. So ceding the job on the
army was also seen  as preventing this unity from being broken by running for particular interests before finishing the fight against Muslim Brotherhood. Finally also, like in any other country, the majority of the society do not want a deep change but slight reforms and will cling to any opportunity to ease themselves from the political burden and return to their private home lives. For revolutionaries, they just cannot fight at the same moment both with Islamists and the army. It would be a suicide. To confront the Islamists it was necessary at least  to keep the neutrality of the military forces. Making them a target now would prompt the army to keep its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and all the people’s movement would be crushed. It should be seen just as another stage of the revolution. The people fight the Islamists today, and soon it will be the time for the army. The revolution continues.

Fifth. Was Tamaroud movement revolutionary? Of course not. It was obvious since the beginning. They were clear in their goal – just a new election and new constitution. And despite having  respect for their ability to mobilize the people this «crown of the youth» does not want to go further than classic democracy. As it was said before, most people just want reforms and it is exactly due to its non-radicalism that Tamaroud could gain the support of such a wide section of the people. And exactly because of this it got a support from all the main opposition parties who just saw for themselves an opportunity to get their seats in the parliament quicker than they could have done otherwise. It was also not surprising their support for the army. In the end all parties want just  to seize power and to achieve  it  they need their apparatus of repression and they needed a deal with the army. Yet, just as it was needed for the Muslim
Brotherhood to come to power, to discredit political Islam in Egypt and possibly for the region, now it is time for people to see that oppositional parties or control of the army cannot provide any positive change in their lives. Hopefully the people will come to see that no form of representative democracy can bring bread, freedom and social justice.

Sixth. Fuck the SCAF! We will never forgive. We will never forget. Now again we have the rule of the army. Actually the rule which was never broken and was just temporarily shared with Muslim Brotherhood. The army again dominates the street presenting its executive power though arial acrobatic displays supposedly in the name of the people.  We remember the abuses of the army against all who expressed their disappointment or even simply dared to show themselves on the street. We remember the battles of Mohammed Mahmoud St., forced virginity testing, brutally beaten the Blue Bra girl and military trials. It is not lost on us the irony that 2 years to this day, millions of Egyptians were in the squares across the country trying to reclaim the revolution and calling for the military junta to go. We do not cheer the army’s crack down on Islamists. The attacks which the army carries out on Islamists today will be attacks on anyone not comfortable enough for the regime tomorrow. All those  who call themselves anti-authoritarians, should oppose state brutality whenever and against whoever it occurs. It is a false that all Muslim Brotherhood supporters are peaceful demonstrators, many came to streets with weapons and attacked the people. But likewise it is not true that all Muslim Brotherhood supporters are crazed thugs that throw children from rooftops. Women and children are at pro-Morsi demonstrations too, they feel disenfranchised that their vote means nothing. At the end of the day, political Islam may (or may not) have now been defeated as a political force, but the reality is that it still has many supporters and we need to find a way to avoid conflict which could lead to a bloody civil war. In a longer perspective, this what Islamists have to face today, will work for them tomorrow and crushing them unconditionally down will produce in them feeling of victimness and veneration of martyrs which will after explode with much much more power than now.

The army is the strongest institution in Egypt and its the most difficult pillar to overcome. There was no time for this now, but without
 overthrowing the military junta and destroying all its structure, will be no change in oppressive character of the state, both internally and externally. The last agreement of cooperation between the Egyptian and Israeli armies in the Sinai and destruction of the tunnels to Gaza show that there is no will to change Egypt’s politics in Middle East. The new power in Egypt has turned away both Palestinians entering the country and Syrians who are seeking desperately needed refuge. We cannot talk about freedom and justice until Egypt stops its shameful participation in oppression against Palestinians.

But the revolution is not finished yet. There is no point to announce its death or to count  1st, 2nd or even 3rd ones. This is all part of the same revolution with its stages, turning points and complexity. It is only during the first days of any rebellion that people unite as one happy family. After, all diversities will come to the surface again. Egypt has 80 million  people and a rich political, religious and ideological diversity and even within the revolutionary camp there are a lot of contradicting, intertwining and overlapping goals and ideas. There are no chocolate box revolutions. Struggle is a complex, long and often brutal process. The best use of our energy is not to dissect all the competing power struggles at play and intellectually pontificate over them. But to give support to the anti-authoritarian tendencies within that process in the hope that they will strengthen and grow. Yes, the revolution is confusing. But it’s normal. To have a clear vision wait 100 years to get your schoolbook.

Khawaga

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist

How likely is a 3 way Egyptian Civil War:

anti MB and anti army masses (anarchists, socialists ETC) vs military and "liberals" vs MB

The scenario you're describing is unlikely, but a civil war of some sorts is somewhat likely. Already there's trouble in Arish in northern Sinai, though nothing new there really, but what is happening there will like start happening in Upper Egypt. A repeat of early 90s when Jihad I groups fought against the Egyptian govt. is the most likely civil war scenario. Plus bombs in tourist locations since it severely hurts tourism.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Spanish version of Vice magazine has an interview with the Black Bloc:
Qué significa la destitución de Morsi para el futuro del black bloc en Egipto (which translates as 'what the overthrow of Morsi means for the future of the Black Bloc in Egypt'). From this it's clear they don't take an explicitly anarchist position, as is spelt out in an earlier interview:
El Bloque Negro de Egipto no quiere ser tu amigo.

What does the Black Bloc represent ideologically?
The Egyptian Black Bloc has diverse opinions and and does not adhere to a specific ideology. Obviously a similarity exists with the European black blocs, and we share some of their basic ideas.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Entdinglichung

a few voices from the Egyptian left: http://links.org.au/node/3424

Wow. The different pieces from the Revolutionary Socialists in that collection (quite apart from the failure to acknowledge their own participation and support for both the National Salvation Front and the Ikhwan) are completely contradictory and incoherent. The last one is just mad:

Occupy the squares: stand firm in the face of the conspiracy by the Brotherhood and America
Statement from the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt

July 6, 2013 -- During days that rocked the world, millions of Egyptians poured into the streets and forced their institutions to remove the failed president. Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood had betrayed the principles of the 25 January 2011 revolution and overthrown its goals.

But the stubbornness, stupidity and criminality of the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Badie, its General Guide, open the terrifying horizons of civil war. [...]

So... it's a US-(Zionist)-MB conspiracy... don't mention the army...

Interview with Gigi Ibrahim from the Revolutionary Socialists. She seems soft on the coup...

[youtube]XKWxLlCi_z4[/youtube]

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CAIRO — The streets seethe with protests and government ministers are on the run or in jail, but since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, life has somehow gotten better for many people across Egypt: Gas lines have disappeared, power cuts have stopped and the police have returned to the street.

The apparently miraculous end to the crippling energy shortages, and the re-emergence of the police, seems to show that the legions of personnel left in place after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 played a significant role — intentionally or not — in undermining the overall quality of life under the Islamist administration of Mr. Morsi.
[...]
Working behind the scenes, members of the old establishment, some of them close to Mr. Mubarak and the country’s top generals, also helped finance, advise and organize those determined to topple the Islamist leadership, including Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire and an outspoken foe of the Brotherhood; Tahani el-Gebali, a former judge on the Supreme Constitutional Court who is close to the ruling generals; and Shawki al-Sayed, a legal adviser to Ahmed Shafik, Mr. Mubarak’s last prime minister, who lost the presidential race to Mr. Morsi.
[…]
Mr. Sawiris, one of Egypt’s richest men and a titan of the old establishment, said Wednesday that he had supported an upstart group called “tamarrod,” Arabic for “rebellion,” that led a petition drive seeking Mr. Morsi’s ouster. He donated use of the nationwide offices and infrastructure of the political party he built, the Free Egyptians. He provided publicity through a popular television network he founded and his major interest in Egypt’s largest private newspaper. He even commissioned the production of a popular music video that played heavily on his network.

“Tamarrod did not even know it was me!” he said. “I am not ashamed of it.”

He said he had publicly predicted that ousting Mr. Morsi would bolster Egypt’s sputtering economy because it would bring in billions of dollars in aid from oil-rich monarchies afraid that the Islamist movement might spread to their shores. By Wednesday, a total of $12 billion had flowed in from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. “That will take us for 12 months with no problem,” Mr. Sawiris said.

Ms. Gebali, the former judge, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that she and other legal experts helped tamarrod create its strategy to appeal directly to the military to oust Mr. Morsi and pass the interim presidency to the chief of the constitutional court.

“We saw that there was movement and popular creativity, so we wanted to see if it would have an effect and a constitutional basis,” Ms. Gebali said…

Source

ocelot

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rooieravotr

Ocelot writes:

one of the things that has been interesting since the coup, has been the public appearance of clear blue water between Qatari, on the one hand, and Saudi and UAE policy, on the other.

That is not new. On the Syrian war, we see something similar. Qatar tends to support the Brotherhood which is a force within the Free Syrian Army and the opposition coalition connected through that. Saudi Arabia distrusts the Brotherhood, and tends to support independent - generally even more openly Islamist/Salafist) groups. There seems to be a rivalry between Qatar ans Saudi Arabia how to influence events in the region in and after the Arab Spring wave of protests and revolts: frontally opposing it (the Saudi line) or trying to take it over through the Brotherhood (the Qatari line, wich Aljazeera as megaphone). Now, that divergence had reached Egypt as well, apparently.

This AMAY article is interesting in this context:

Qatar losing Mideast ground to Saudi diplomacy: experts

The ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsy last week by the army and the election by the Syrian opposition of Saudi-linked Ahmad Assi Jarba as new leader stripped Qatar of strong influence in both countries.

"Qatar had tried to take a leading role in the region but overstepped its limits by openly backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, and other Arab Spring states," said Kuwaiti political analyst Ayed al-Manna.

Jonathan Eyal, head of international relations at Britain's Royal United Services Institute, argued that Qatar's regional politics have failed.

"Qatar's Middle Eastern diplomacy now lies in ruins: it failed to produce dividends in Libya, backfired in Syria and has now collapsed in Egypt," local Emirati daily The National quoted him on Tuesday as saying.

Realising the damaging effects of their policies, Manna noted, "the Qataris sought to cut down on their commitments" which were already affected by the emir's abdication and the sidelining of the influential prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jabr al-Thani.

As a result, "Saudi Arabia, a historical regional US ally, regained its role" in coordination with other oil-rich Gulf monarchies, said Manna.

[...] the two countries, whose relations have been historically tense or at least marked by mistrust, support two different approaches of political Islam that emerged strongly in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Qatar sides with political parties linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose experience was cut short despite the strong media support they enjoyed from the influential Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia promotes Salafist groups that focus less on politics and more on implementing Shariah Islamic law on daily life matters such as forcing women to wear a veil and prohibiting the mixing between sexes.

Looks like the US have rowed in behind Saudi and the Salafis.

klas batalo

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anyone else notice the "Tamarod" copycats in Tunisia, Morroco, Palestine, etc???

is this the Occupyzation of the movement? or perhaps another Optor?

baboon

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with the posts above that defend the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is far from finished. It remains a formidable organisation, well-structured and an organised base with a popular (to its constituency) welfare programme.

I reject the idea that it's racist to see imperialism at work in the Middle-East in the form of the actions of the major powers. Britain particularly has been backing the Muslim Brotherhood and the Obama administration backed the Morsi government. Given the role of the major powers in Egypt, the imperialist war in Syria and their machinations throughout, it's one more element pointing to the fact that the enemy is at home, ie, Britain, France, the US, Russia and so on. This internationalist perspective is the opposite of racism.

This is a blow to the MB though and the $12 billion that they provided to the Egyptian regime last year has now been replaced by another twelve made up of Saudi and UAE money (see The Guardian today). The longer term perspective is the confrontation with Iran but, given the nature of imperialism, that doesn't stop the Iranian rivals from falling out with each other.

bastarx

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

klas batalo

anyone else notice the "Tamarod" copycats in Tunisia, Morroco, Palestine, etc???

is this the Occupyzation of the movement? or perhaps another Optor?

*Otpor. I was thinking there were some similarities with the fall of Milosevic as well. And btw the SWP were big boosters of Otpor.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview from Tahrir ICN

The morning after the June 30 uprising that brought down Mohammed Morsi, I did an interview with Mohammed Hassan Aazab as he helped hold down four anarchist tents in one of Cairo’s major sit-ins. Shortly thereafter, the military stepped in, removed Morsi from office, and set about rounding up Islamists and shuttering media outlets deemed to be partial to the Muslim Brotherhood. In some cases they shot party members under arrest, even massacring a number of supporters during prayers. Islamists have responded by blocking the airport road and carrying out low-scale warfare in scattered parts of the country.

For anarchists and others in Egypt who remember the last period of military rule after Mubarak’s ouster, a complex situation has emerged: The Islamists they sought to oust are in retreat, but they’re at the hands of a military that could just as easily put other grassroots movements in its sights. The time seemed right to resume my conversation with Aazab.

It’s been nearly two weeks since the 30th. What’s the view, from where you are?

Well, as we all expected, the old regime has started to rear its head again. The Brotherhood loses popularity every day. No new government has been formed, though, so it’s not clear at this point what’s likely to happen. Once a government is formed, we'll know where the next fight’ll be.

Now it seems you’re basically stuck between the army and the Ikwhan [Brothers].

And the old regime. We’re in deep shit. There’s almost nothing to do but laugh.

It seems like the military  — especially its leadership — would be more favorable to the old regime. The generals control something like 30 percent of the economy, right?

Yeah, that’s right. The army is at the center of our economic problems. And there’s less chance of addressing that now than there was before, probably, because at the moment people see the army as having prevented a civil war. So, they’re basically beyond reproach. They can do pretty much anything, and no one will ask questions. And if anyone protests, they’ll be deemed traitors.

The other day, when we were talking, you seemed to be personally struggling with your own feelings about the army’s actions against the Ikhwan. What’s your feeling about that now?

Well, I hold two feelings, you know? If we allow the Ikhwan to be the army’s victim today, we’ll be the victim tomorrow. On the other hand, part of me feels like the Ikhwan deserves everything that happens to them. They’ve been playing the civil war card up to now. So it’s incredibly difficult to sort out, emotionally. I’m scared my hatred of the Ikhwan could ultimately cost me my humanity. When I saw the photos of the Brotherhood supporters killed at the Raba’a Adwyia mosque the other day, I didn’t feel anything. I remembered how Islamists had found excuses for the army to kill us on Mohammed Mahmoud.

At the same time, I’m afraid that we’ll never see justice over the Ikhwan’s actions and we’ll regret the day we didn’t eliminate them all. They threw kids out windows of tall buildings in Alexandria the other day for supporting the protests. Before I went up there, I was in the clashes with Islamists on the October 6th Bridge here in Cairo — they were shooting at us with machine guns, and all we had were fireworks and molotovs. Five people were killed. There’s violence happening against Christians in Upper Egypt, and neither the interim government nor the opposition — or even the international community — is talking about it. The media only seems to care about what’s happening in the big cities. Christians are dying and their homes are being torched. The Islamists need to be stopped, they are so dangerous in Upper Egypt.

Is any sort of defense of Christians possible, by means other than the army?

No, they’re just leaving their villages.

It’s interesting hearing you say you’re worried about losing more of your humanity to a hatred of the Brotherhood — the idea that the impulse to eliminate them could make you someone you don’t want to be. Do you feel like that impulse could make Egyptian society — or any society in a revolutionary moment — an unhealthy foundation for any new society?

Yeah, no doubt. We have enough social problems, we can’t afford that.

What’s the way forward, in your mind?

The key problem is the disconnect between our generation and the older generations. Young people need to represent the revolution. We don’t need old faces anymore. As we say in Egypt, they are burned cards; we have no use for them.

What do you think that looks like? Student organizing? You don’t seem optimistic about unions…

I’m very optimistic about the student movements. In the last year there has been a huge student movement, especially in the private schools. The Brotherhood’s first loss was in the universities, actually. They couldn’t challenge the revolutionary movements there.

What was the struggle there about, exactly?

It varies, actually. Generally it was around students’ rights and fighting the management of the universities, often with the Brotherhood students supporting the management. That was happening in all the universities, and ultimately the student movements won those struggles — even when violence resulted, as with the German University in Cairo.

At Ain Shams University, the movement was combatting thugs and the corruption of the security forces on campus. At Misr International University, it was about the safety of the main road, after two students died. At Elshorouk, it was about medical care, after a student died in the university clinic. At El Nile University, it was over a building the government was trying to seize — something happening at many universities, actually.

Like a student center?

No, I wish. They wanted to take a classrooms building. They were actually trying to seize educational space.

How did these victories affect the movements? Are students still active?

Yeah, they are. And now they’ve started forming a union of the students’ movements all over Egypt. They’re working hard, a lot of meetings and activities.

What are the major issues at this point?

Releasing students arrested going all the way back to the January 25 revolution, the right to decent dorms in the universities, and kicking security out of the political life of the university.

Are students leaving universities radicalized?

It depends on the student. It’s probably impossible to say, one way or the other.

Among anarchists in particular, are there aspects of this revolutionary process that you have all felt connected to, beyond taking down Mubarak?

Real organizing didn’t really even begin until after Mubarak’s ouster. We started gathering, talking to people, printing up writing about our ideas, and organizing meetings in downtown cafes in front of whoever was there. Then in the clashes on Mohammed Mahmoud Street, we found ourselves actually fighting beside each other.

I imagine that was a fairly traumatic experience. I found just walking past the murals creepy. Did that shape anarchists?

Of course. After removing Mubarak, working in the streets was incredibly difficult. Horrible things happened in Tahrir, and no one believed us. People believed the army and the Islamists. This last year and half, after removing Mubarak, there’s a way in which you could say we were actually fighting our own community, and by the time Morsi took office we were just utterly dispirited.

That was why you told me you’d given up on politics when we met?

Yeah, exactly. I’ll tell you something as an example. At this point, 90 percent of Egyptians don’t believe that the army shot people with live rounds in Tahrir during the clashes outside the prime minister’s headquarters after Mohammed Mahmoud. A lot of us were there and four of our friends died in front of us, and people act as though we’re lying. Shit like that just crushes you.

teh

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mubarakism Without Mubarak- The Struggle for Egypt by Joseph Massad

Ever since Muhammad Mursi was elected president of Egypt in democratic elections marred by his Mubarakist opponent Ahmad Shafiq’s electoral corruption and bribes, a coalition of Egyptian liberals, Nasserists, leftists — including socialists and communists of varying stripes –and even Salafist and repentant Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members began to form slowly but steadily, establishing an alliance with Mubarak’s ruling bourgeoisie and holdover politicians from his regime to oust him from power, fearing that he and his party were preparing a “Nazi-like” takeover of the country and destroying its fledgling democracy.

The scenario they fear is the one that brought the Nazis to establish a totalitarian state in 1933. In July 1932, in the German Reichstag (parliamentary) elections, the Nazi party received over 37 percent of the vote, becoming the largest party in parliament. On 30 January 1933, German President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Reich Chancellor, wherein Hitler headed a cabinet with a minority of Nazi ministers. A month later, on 27 February 1933, arsonists burned down the Reichstag building in Berlin. Hitler blamed the communists and accused them of a plot to overthrow the democratically elected parliament and asked the President of the Weimar Republic to grant him emergency powers to suspend civil liberties so that he could chase the communists, imprison them, dissolve political parties and close down the press. This came to be known as the Reichstag Fire Decree. On March 23, the Reichstag conferred on Hitler dictatorial powers, establishing the Nazi totalitarian regime and state.

The anti-Mursi alliance, which began to form in earnest in August 2012, started out bashfully but would become proud and assertive by November 2012, after Mursi’s infamous Constitutional Decree, which centralized political power in the hands of the President. With the aid of Mubarak’s judges, the Mubarakist bourgeoisie and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which had ruled Egypt for a year and four months after Mubarak’s ouster, had already dissolved the post-uprising democratically-elected parliament, which was composed of a majority of Islamists, on technical grounds, before Mursi’s election. They did so to the cheers of liberals and leftists who claimed that they were the real leaders of the 25 January uprising that overthrew Mubarak and who feared the elected Islamists whom they depicted not as part of the uprising but as encroachers on their “revolution.” A few days before the elections, the military also issued a constitutional decree constricting the powers of the elected president and concentrating it in the hands of the military.

The liberals’ and the leftists’ fear was that the MB was Egypt’s Nazi party –they pretend to be democrats until they get elected and then they will refuse to leave power and will eliminate the democratic process and establish an Islamist dictatorship. That the Mubarak-appointed judges were the ones who dissolved the democratically elected parliament seemed not to bother the liberals and the leftists much, but they were horrified when Mursi issued his Constitutional Decree, which aimed to take away the power of Mubarak’s judges whom he had tried to depose unsuccessfully. Indeed the Constitutional Decree was seen as a sort of Reichstag Fire Decree, which it could very well have been. Mursi would soon reverse himself and would cancel the Decree in response to popular uproar. He would more recently express regret for having issued it.

Mursi’s Record

The Mursi government seemed surprisingly pliant and friendly to Western interests, including towards Israel, whose president Shimon Peres was addressed by Mursi as “my dear friend” in an official presidential letter. Contrary to expectations of a burgeoning friendship with Hamas, under Mursi’s government, the Gaza border in Rafah was closed more times than under Mubarak, security coordination with Israel became more intimate than under Mubarak, and to make matters worse, Mursi, with the Egyptian army and the help of the Americans, destroyed the majority of the underground tunnels between Gaza and Sinai which the Palestinians had dug out to smuggle in food and goods during their interminable siege since 2005 and which Mubarak had not dared demolish. Mursi even went further by mediating between Israel and Hamas during the latest Israeli attack on Gaza, vouching that he would guarantee that Hamas would not launch rockets against Israel but not the other way around. It is true that Mursi refused to meet with Israeli leaders but even Mubarak had refused to visit Israel for years before his ouster and had recalled his ambassador in protest against Israeli policies. One of Mursi’s more major acts before his recent ouster was not the closure of the Israeli embassy, as friends and enemies of the Islamists threatened he would do, but closed down instead the Syrian embassy in support of the ongoing rightwing Islamist insurrection in that country.

While in power, Mursi and his government continued Mubarak’s policies of contracting the public sector and social spending in a continuing war against the poor and downtrodden of Egypt, who are the majority of the population, and pushed forth neoliberal economic policies that favored the rich and powerful, including an IMF deal (which was never finalized for no fault of Mursi’s), which would increase the already existing austerity measures against the poor. Indeed, he did nothing to change the existing labor and tax laws that favor the rich and oppress workers, middle class employees, and the poor. Mursi neither prosecuted army generals for crimes of which they stood accused (he rather bestowed on them major state honors and awards and made those whom he retired into advisors to the President), nor tried the Mubarakist thieving bourgeoisie in the courts for its pillage of the country for three and a half decades, let alone the security apparatus that continued to repress Egyptians under his rule.

On the contrary, as a president who came out of the rightist and neoliberal wing of the MB (compared to the more centrist ‘Abd al-Mun’im Abu al-Futuh who also ran for the presidency and lost), he was interested in an alliance between the Islamist neoliberal bourgeoisie, whose most visible member is Khayrat al-Shatir (who was barred from running for the presidency by the Mubarakist courts), and the Mubarakist bourgeoisie. Unlike al-Shatir who is the son of a rich merchant and who made his own fortune in Egypt, many among the Islamist rich, though not all, made their money in the Gulf. They were mostly kept out of a share in the pillaging of Egypt, restricted to the close businessmen friends of Mubarak, now wanted a place at the table to partake of the ongoing pillage of the country. While Mursi won the favor of the military with the US vouching for his good behavior, at least until last week, hard as he tried to convince the Mubarakist bourgeoisie to allow the Islamists to partake of pillaging Egypt, the Mubarakist bourgeoisie would not budge.

The Response of the Mubarakists

The Mubarakist bourgeoisie’s response was that Egypt was theirs to pillage alone (though they have always been happy to include the Americans, the Saudis, the Emiratis, and of course the Israelis) and that they would not allow some Islamist upstarts to move in on their territory. Having shunned Egypt’s poor, its peasants and workers, its low income middle classes, while courting the rank and file of the MB, the Islamist and Mubarakist bourgeoisies, and the military, Mursi had no one but the MB to fall back on when the army abandoned him and the Mubarakists and the coalition plotting with them intensified their attacks on him.
.......

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jano Charbel: And where do the workers stand?

Shortly after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces deposed Morsi on July 3, the presidency of the EFITU issued a statement praising the Armed Forces and their role in the “June 30 revolution,” while also calling on workers to forfeit their right to strike. EFITU President Kamal Abu Attiya wrote that “workers who were champions of the strike under the previous regime should now become champions of production.”

But Abu Attiya, named the new minister of manpower on Monday by interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, isn’t the only representative of the independent unions movement.

On July 10, EFITU council member Fatma Ramadan issued a rebuttal to Abu Attiya’s statement. Ramadan insisted that “Egypt’s workers must never sacrifice their right to strike.”

Ramadan told Mada Masr that Abu Attiya unilaterally issued his statement without conferring with other EFITU council members…

-----

https://twitter.com/JanoCharbel

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hossam El-Hamalawy: Is the Egyptian revolution aborted?

So for the supporters of the Egyptian revolution abroad: What you can do is to keep circulating information about the abuses of the army that are taking place here. This is not something that we should cheer or salute. We also need the independent labor unions abroad to issue solidarity [statement] with the Egyptian strikers who are striking in the factories over both bread-and-butter issues as well as over the purge from the companies of the old corrupt figures that belong to the Mubarak dictatorship. And maybe here I should also refer to the disgraceful position of the Independent Federation of Trade Unions in Egypt, which had played very positive political and economic roles on so many occasions before. But, the Federation leadership—which is influenced by Nasserism—has decided to compromise with the military, and they decided that they will be suspending strikes as well as pushing the workers in order to “produce more”—which is this kind of nationalistic propaganda that is against the strikes and actions in order to improve the social standards of the Egyptian workers. Thank God that the Federation, actually a bureaucracy, does not have much control over the militant base cadres within the Federation and the Federation still does not control, or still is not in the leadership position of, the Egyptian labor movement. Most of these strikes that were happening, they were neither happening because of nor organized by the Federation or by any political group. There were spontaneous locally organized grassroots activists in those factories, and I expect them to continue...

.

Egyptian liberals embrace the military, brooking no dissent

In the square where liberals and Islamists once chanted together for democracy, demonstrators now carry posters hailing as a national hero the general who ousted the country’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Liberal talk-show hosts denounce the Brotherhood as a foreign menace and its members as “sadistic, extremely violent creatures” unfit for political life. A leading human rights advocate blames the Brotherhood’s “filthy” leaders for the deaths of more than 50 of their own supporters in a mass shooting by soldiers and the police.

A hypernationalist euphoria unleashed in Egypt by the toppling of Mr. Morsi has swept up even liberals and leftists who spent years struggling against the country’s previous military-backed governments.

An unpopular few among them have begun to raise alarms about what they are calling signs of “fascism”: the fervor in the streets, the glorification of the military as it tightens its grip and the enthusiastic cheers for the suppression of the Islamists. But the vast majority of liberals, leftists and intellectuals in Egypt have joined in the jubilation at the defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood, laying into any dissenters.

“We are moving from the bearded chauvinistic right to the clean-shaven chauvinistic right,” said Rabab el-Mahdi, a left-leaning scholar at the American University in Cairo.
[…]
Many on the left are still locked in a battle of semantics, trying to persuade the world — and perhaps one another — that the overthrow of Mr. Morsi was not a “coup” but a “revolution.”
[…]
Ahmed Maher, a founder of the left-leaning April 6 group, initially joined a small volunteer team that tried to enlist Western support for the ouster. But after the arrests and shootings of Brotherhood supporters, he began to recall the generals’ long hold on power after mass protests drove President Hosni Mubarak from office two years ago.

Mr. Maher put his worries about the generals in a Twitter message to another activist: “If we assume it’s not a coup, and I tell people it’s not a coup, when they screw us again like they did in 2011, what would I tell people?”

His allies responded by trying to drum him out, not only from the volunteer team but also from the April 6 group…

.

Reza Pankhurst: Liberal hypocrisy no laughing matter

Wael Gamal: No jasmine tea for the square

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Egypt's failure

I've spent the last year railing against the Brotherhood's increasing bigotry, bullying, incompetence. They failed, on strategy and substance. They don't have the vision or the guts or the skills or the decency to govern Egypt and make something better of it. And the divisiveness the country suffers from now is largely their fault -- they could never represent anyone beyond themselves, and they could never believe that there were so many who they did not represent at all.

But that doesn't mean one should support unwarranted retaliation agains them, or countenance the dehumanization (and murder) of their supporters. And that doesn't mean one should celebrate now -- quite the contrary, I fear. Since June 30, on social and old-fashioned Egyptian media, I have found a startling lack of lucidity. The endless denunciations of US meddling -- the alleged American backing of the Brotherhood, CNN’s biased coverage -- and the endless aspersions cast on all Islamists are pathological, a way to change the subject, to use indignation as a rhetorical and psychological feint. The denial of the pivotal, dangerous role played by the army and the police in what happened (a role that continues to be documented in greater detail) is, as one observer puts it, "a delusion so outlandish that it must be willfully self-induced, a device to conceal the enormity of a shameful choice."

From far away, there was something troubling, almost immediately, with Egypt's "second revolution." Now, as activists admit that retired army generals asked them not to chant against the military or the police; as gas shortages and power cuts suddenly end; as the entire Egyptian media, state and private, spews propaganda; as charges are brought against the Brotherhood that would make them responsible for both the violence of protesters and the police during the original 18 days (hence proving there was no raging animosity on one side, no criminal wrong-doing on the other); now my misgivings have congealed.

Ed

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So just re-read this 1978 article from Khamsin #5 last night, The Development of class struggle in Egypt, and was struck by this passage about the period of struggles after WW2 up til 1952 (Nasser's overthrow of the monarchy).. how much do people feel it holds for the situation today? It really made me think of that Marx quote about history repeating itself, (1st time tragedy, 2nd time farce).. dunno if anyone else has that impression..

Under the rule of the latifundia-owning and comprador bourgeoisie, with an industrial bourgeoisie that was weak and unable to gain power, the crisis spread daily. The more the crisis expanded, the less the ruling class was able to check the ever-growing conflict in the cities and in the country: the revolts of the wretched peasants and agricultural workers, the industrial workers' strikes in Shubra El Khaima, Kafr El Dawwar, Elmahalla Elkubra – and the demon­strations of the police themselves against the regime. In 1952 Cairo burned. But the opposing class forces were equally balanced, so that the continuation of the struggle could only have led to a long civil war which would have left all possibilities open.

Faced with that twofold inability: the inability of the bourgeoisie to keep social peace and the inability of the popular masses – in which the urban proletariat was a negligible minority – to bring down the regime immediately, the army, the only relatively coherent, armed and organised power, moved to depose the king from the throne, which in any case was only half-occupied. The emergence of Nasserist Bonapartism through the coup d'etat in 1952, was not essentially a historical transformation from a regressive social class to a progressive one. Rather it was a slight renovation of the same fatigued social class, by deposing its leadership, without any historical in­terruption.

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Ed: interesting comparison. I think the broad support for the army has to do something with the hope that they can do a Nasser-turn again (parts of the protest movement consider themselves explicitly Nasserist, by the way). Difference: in the fifties, there was considerable more space for reforms through statist means. The life of workers and especially peasants DID improve a bit in the fifties and sixties. I don 't see much space for such improvement under the current military leadership - which may be a reason why the generals want to hand over power quickly to a formally elected leadership - which may get ther blame if things go from bad to worse, which is likely...

mikail firtinaci

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rooieravotr

@Ed: interesting comparison. I think the broad support for the army has to do something with the hope that they can do a Nasser-turn again (parts of the protest movement considers themselves explicitly Basserist, by the way). Difference: in the fifties, there was considerable more space for reforms through statist means. The life of workers and especially peasants DID inprove a bit in the fifties and sixties. I don 't see much space for such improvement under the current military leadership - which may be a reason why the generals want to hand over power quickly to a formally elected leadership - which may get ther blame if things go from bad to worse, which is likely...

This comment is spot on.

A warning about Bonapartism comment though: this manner of explanation have been used a lot by also liberals even in Turkey, which has a slightly similar history. According to that, the army by hindering the further escalation of class struggles, actually regressed the historical process. So, for instance today the left liberals in Turkey (one of whose publishing house recently published 18 Brumaire) claim that the Islamists coming to power is actually a sign of progress. According to that logic, AKP in turkey and MB in Egypt actually represent the analogous of the native bourgeois elements whose coming to power would eventually bring democracy since these can only rely on popular forces against the bonapartist army. Further, their conjectural weaknesses will force to them to make concessions towards workers and eventually these moderate islamic forces will be tamed.

What is absent in these kinds of analysis is the clear fact that, even the islamic bourgeois elements which are politically repressed by the military-secular elites, are economically tied to the state. Unlike it was the case in the 18th century France, today world market is largely shared and not-expanding. So the state is the main consumer which every faction of the bourgeoisie is tied to the neck to a certain extent. They don't have any independent interest than that of the state. So the only concession that islamists might give would and could eventually be towards the state and the army and NOT to the "civil society" or the working class.

Alf

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with that. The arguments of the liberal left, which seems to be very influential in Egypt, need to be fought because they do seem to be taken up by so many in the broad social movement. The degree of support for the army coup among the people gathered in Tahrir is a very grave warning of the danger inherent in the current situation: that Egypt will head towards the Libya/Syria outcome, where social revolt is engulfed by inter-capitalist faction fights, ultimately by inter- imperialist warfare. The working class in Egypt is much stronger than in these two other countries, which is why there is still a great deal of hope in the situation - plus the fact that there is a new wave of rebellion internationally.

This to me makes it even more vital that communists outside Egypt try to engage in discussion with all those inside the country who are critical of the illusions in the army and in democracy generally. The leaflet signed 'Cairo comrades', produced before the coup, seemed to express a class standpoint and it is referenced in the lead article on our website and paper at the moment (http://en.internationalism.org/worldrevolution/201307/8946/egypt-highlights-alternative-socialism-or-barbarism). Does anyone know more about these comrades?

The interview with the Egyptian anarchist published by Mark above is also interesting because he is clearly reflecting on the difficulties of the situation, but he also admits (understandably) to such a deep hatred for the Islamists that it could tempt him off the path. I would say that the anarchist movement there is bound to be very shaky on a number of key issues, not least the whole Israel-Palestine question, any one of which could led some of them towards unholy alliances with the 'left' factions of the ruling class. This is why debate with them is all the more important.

S. Artesian

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part of the admiration for the army is the holdover, nostalgia for the Nasser period (which is not coincident with the 1952 coup, but develops from that point and begins to emerge in 1954). Part of the admiration is based on Sadat's crossing of the Nile and defeat of the Israelis in 1973. It's hard to overestimate the significance of that event in the public consciousness.

Of course, it would be nice if people also remembered that the first acts of the military council after taking power in 1952 was to break the strikes in the areas outside of Cairo where workers were in fact appealing to agricultural laborers to join them in struggle. The military summarily executed the strike leaders.

And of course, there's Nasser's repeated arrest, imprisonment, repression of Marxists, big C Communists, with their periodic release ever time he wanted to "tack left."

Anybody have any contact with any group inside Egypt arguing "No military, No Muslim Brotherhood"??

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

The leaflet signed 'Cairo comrades', produced before the coup, seemed to express a class standpoint and it is referenced in the lead article on our website and paper at the moment (http://en.internationalism.org/worldrevolution/201307/8946/egypt-highlights-alternative-socialism-or-barbarism). Does anyone know more about these comrades?

I don't really know any more, except that they've produced some previous statements:

2011- To the Occupy movement – the occupiers of Tahrir Square are with you

2011- Comrades from Cairo respond to OWS Egypt delegation

2012- Egypt's elections: join our resistance to the counter-revolution

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There’s violence happening against Christians in Upper Egypt, and neither the interim government nor the opposition — or even the international community — is talking about it. The media only seems to care about what’s happening in the big cities. Christians are dying and their homes are being torched. The Islamists need to be stopped, they are so dangerous in Upper Egypt.

Is any sort of defense of Christians possible, by means other than the army?

No, they’re just leaving their villages.

Sectarian attacks on Copts since the coup, also here

Does anyone know if these attacks are being directly organised or encouraged by the Muslim Brotherhood?

Khawaga

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More likely salafi groups, but the MB has been whipping up sectarian tension for some time. There's also a lot of confusing tribal and family tensions in Upper Egypt.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]xrmhe5JuuNc[/youtube]

Ablokeimet

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A coup or continuation of the revolution? My brief assessment:

(a) There is a revolutionary process occurring in Egypt;

(b) This process was building up into a push to overthrow the Brotherhood's President;

(c) The Army and the feloul decided "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and decided to join the push to depose Morsi in order to lead it, staging a coup; and

(d) So far, their decision seems to have been spectacularly successful, but economic events will determine the eventual fate of the Army's regime.

S. Artesian

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's a coup. The military took power, expelling the previous government. The masses didn't take power. Those demonstrating didn't take power. The same officers who were put in place by Mubarak, and who expelled Mubarak-- and that was a coup also-- are in control the government apparatus. Call it what you want, call it ice-cream if you like, but it's still a coup.

Agent of the I…

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How can we call what's happening in Egypt a revolution? Can we do so because there are large numbers of people protesting? Can we do so because they want to switch political regimes? Most of these switches have been orchestrated by state actors. It wasn't the work of the Egyptian proletariat. And nor could it have been that way. I mean, what are they supposed to do? Construct a participatory democratic state to administer Egyptian capitalism?

Their won't be a genuine revolution in Egypt until the vast majority of the proletariat there consciously unite on the basis of a communist program. And that's the thing. It doesn't seem to be on the agenda there. They don't have too many alternatives. It just seems to me that for a while, regimes are going to go back and forth with the complete dissatisfaction and disappointment of the masses. Unless a class perspective is infused into the consciousness of the populace, to not just provide some direction, but provide an alternative to what they have now: Islamism or secularism.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement by the Libertarian Socialists (just a machine translation, I think)

-----

Statement from Fatma Ramadan of the EFITU

My comrades, the workers of Egypt are struggling for their rights and for a better Egypt. Egypt’s workers dream of freedom and social justice, they dream of work at a time when thieves who are called businessmen close down factories to pocket billions. Egypt’s workers dream of fair wages under the rule of a governments that are only interested in promoting investment at the expense of workers and their rights, and even their lives. Egypt’s workers dream of a better life for their children. They dream of medicine when they are sick, but they do not find it. They dream of four walls in which they can take shelter.

Since before the 25th of January and you have been demanding your rights, and your strikes and demonstrations for the same unanswered demands continued after Mubarak’s overthrow. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the military have negotiated left, right and centre, not once having in mind your demands and rights. All they have in mind is how to put out the sparks you have lit with your struggle in times of darkness, even these sparks all burned in isolation from each other.

Did not the military forcibly end your strikes in Suez, Cairo, Fayyoum, and all over Egypt ? Did not the military arrest many of you and subject you to military trials just for practising your right to organize, strike, and protest peacefully? Have they not adamantly worked to criminalize this right through legislation banning all Egyptians from organizing peaceful protests, strikes, and sit-ins?

Then came Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who followed in Mubarak’s footsteps with dismissals, arrests, and smashing strikes by force. It was Mursi who sent police dogs against workers at Titan Cement in Alexandria, acting through the Minister of the Interior and his men. The same police and army officers who are right now being carried shoulder-high are killers, the killers of honest, young Egyptians. They are the authorities’ weapon against us all – and always will remain so unless these institutions are cleansed.

The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are planning crimes against Egyptian people on a daily basis, which have caused the killing of innocent people, while the army and the police are facing these with brutal violence and murder. But let each of us remember, when do the army and police intervene? They intervene long after clashes have begun and are almost coming to an end, after blood has been spilled. Ask yourselves, why don’t they prevent these crimes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian people before they start? Ask yourselves, in whose interest is this continuation of fighting and blood-letting? It is in the interest of both the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military together. Just as the poor are cannon-fodder for wars between states, Egypt’s poor, workers and peasants, are fuel for internal war and conflict. Has not the doorman’s innocent son been killed in Mokattam, and in Giza as well?

Today, we have been asked to go out and authorize Al-Sisi’s killing spree, and we find all three trade union federations in agreement: the government’ Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress (EDLC), and the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) (of which I am a member of the Executive Committee). I debated with members of the EFITU executive committee in order to convince them not to issue a statement calling on its members and the Egyptian people to go down on Friday, confirming that the army, the police, and the people are one hand as stated in the statement. I was in the minority, winning four other votes versus nine votes, and thus all three trade union federations called for workers to join the protests on the pretext of fighting terrorism.

We are thus faced with jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The Muslim Brotherhood committed crimes and it must be held accountable and prosecuted for them, just like police and army officers and men of the Mubarak regime must be held accountable and prosecuted for their crimes. Do not be fooled into replacing a religious dictatorship with a military dictatorship.

Workers of Egypt, be aware, for your demands are crystal clear. You want work for you and your children, you want fair pay, laws that protect your rights against the laws that the businessmen of Mubarak have designed to protect their interests against your rights. You want a state which has a real plan for development, opening new factories in order to absorb a growing labour force. You want freedom, freedom of all kinds, freedom to organize, freedom to strike. You want a country where you can live as free citizens without torture or murder. You have to specify what stands between you and these demands. Do not be fooled and let them take you to battles not your own. Do not listen to those who ask of you today and tomorrow to stop pressing for these demands and rights on the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Fatma Ramadan

Member of the Executive Bureau of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions Friday, July 26, 2013

teh

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are planning crimes against Egyptian people on a daily basis, which have caused the killing of innocent people, while the army and the police are facing these with brutal violence and murder. But let each of us remember, when do the army and police intervene? They intervene long after clashes have begun and are almost coming to an end, after blood has been spilled. Ask yourselves, why don’t they prevent these crimes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian people before they start? Ask yourselves, in whose interest is this continuation of fighting and blood-letting? It is in the interest of both the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military together. Just as the poor are cannon-fodder for wars between states, Egypt’s poor, workers and peasants, are fuel for internal war and conflict. Has not the doorman’s innocent son been killed in Mokattam, and in Giza as well?

This has been the line of the civilian face of the current junta, like El-Baradei, since the coup- the MB are sending people out to their deaths, as if mass shootings are a natural consequence of holding a sit-in or blocking a major bridge to traffic. And there is a difference between people killed in street fighting between the MB and its opponents and the army shooting hundreds in the past weeks.

The "where are the army and police" remark is also a common refrain to call for "stability". For instance literary hours before the Saturday army mass killings in Cairo prominent RS member Gigi Ibrahim wrote on her twitter:

Why is the army and police that everyone is cheering now not stopping or intervening in the bloodshed I Alex? 3 were killed so far :(— Gigi Ibrahim (@Gsquare86) July 26, 2013

5 were killed in Alex and the army nor the police intervened, while the squares around #Egypt are calling for Sisi's mandate to end violence— Gigi Ibrahim (@Gsquare86) July 26, 2013

Also worth noting on a related note that the president of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, Kamal Abu Eita, has been appointed Labor (or manpower) Minister. He was one of the founders and president of the first independent trade union in Egypt (of the tax collectors). The former Labor Minister under military rule before Mursi Ahmad El-Borei has also been given a ministry. http://www.ituc-csi.org/egypt-labour-minister-appointment?lang=en The head of the ITUC quoted in that article calls on "the international community and progressive forces around the world [need] to show solidarity to help the interim authorities to tackle the crisis” to fight "terrorism." The ITUC participated in the founding of the EFITU and they have close ties.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

teh

Also worth noting on a related note that the president of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, Kamal Abu Eita, has been appointed Labor (or manpower) Minister...

Already quoted above but maybe worth repeating as it refers to this, and also a split in the EFITU executive:

[quote=Jano Charbel]

Shortly after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces deposed Morsi on July 3, the presidency of the EFITU issued a statement praising the Armed Forces and their role in the “June 30 revolution,” while also calling on workers to forfeit their right to strike. EFITU President Kamal Abu Eita wrote that “workers who were champions of the strike under the previous regime should now become champions of production.”

But Abu Eita, named the new minister of manpower on Monday by interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, isn’t the only representative of the independent unions movement.

On July 10, EFITU council member Fatma Ramadan issued a rebuttal to Abu Eita’s statement. Ramadan insisted that “Egypt’s workers must never sacrifice their right to strike.”

Ramadan told Mada Masr that Abu Eita unilaterally issued his statement without conferring with other EFITU council members.

“As a union federation our role must be to uphold all workers’ rights, including the right to strike. Workers can reclaim their rights and freedoms only if they retain their right to strike — as a weapon by which to confront labor violations and employers’ abuses,” Ramadan says. “As unionists, we cannot possibly call on workers to protect the interests of businessmen by forfeiting labor rights under the pretext of bolstering the national economy.”

Ramadan views the June 30 movement as “an uprising-turned-coup. It lacks both a unified leadership and clear aims. SCAF, along with right-wing elements and remnants of the Mubarak regime, appear to be taking over this movement, and may turn June 30 from an uprising to a counter-revolution.”[/quote]

[quote=On Friday, July 26, Fatma Ramadan]Today, we have been asked to go out and authorize Al-Sisi’s killing spree, and we find all three trade union federations in agreement: the government’ Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress (EDLC), and the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) (of which I am a member of the Executive Committee). I debated with members of the EFITU executive committee in order to convince them not to issue a statement calling on its members and the Egyptian people to go down on Friday, confirming that the army, the police, and the people are one hand as stated in the statement. I was in the minority, winning four other votes versus nine votes, and thus all three trade union federations called for workers to join the protests on the pretext of fighting terrorism.[/quote]

So the majority of the executive are backing Kamal Abu Eita - and the army.

Alf

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These developments show how difficult it is to defend a position of class autonomy in the present situation. Ramadan's reaction is interesting but he's clearly in a minority and the evolution of the 'Independent Trade Union' towards backing the army has an air of inevitability about it.
It's good that Mark linked to the statement by the Libertarian Socialism Movement. It does seem to be openly and equally against both Morsi and the army. The rejection of calls to mobilise for civil war is particularly important. It's difficult to say given the horrible machine translation but it has some noticeable 'chinks in the armour', such as the idea that the bourgeoisie is betraying the revolution (which might have made sense in 1848) and worse still betraying the 'homeland'. This would make the group highly vulnerable to attempts to mobilise against the 'Zionist enemy' - which has been a strategy of the Egyptian ruling class (and of leftism) in previous periods of class upsurge, such as the 1970s.
Does anyone know anything more about the group that calls itself the 'Third Square', which has organised small demos critical of both the army and the Muslim Brotherhood?
http://www.france24.com/en/20130729-egypt-third-square-activists-reject-army-mohammed-morsi

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf:

Does anyone know anything more about the group that calls itself the 'Third Square', which has organised small demos critical of both the army and the Muslim Brotherhood?

It does not seem top be a well-defined group, more an iniotiative of those who are against botg Morsi and the Army.

The group announced via Facebook that they are not against the army but against the military rule because the army has a greater role in protecting the nation and its borders and fighting terrorism.

They aim to create what they believe to be a third square to stand against religious fascism and military rule, calling for a civil state. They are also planning to return to Sphinx Square at 9pm as a part of a series of planned demonstrations.

"The Third Square" group includes members of Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail's Hazemoon, Revolutionary Socialists, the April 6th Youth Movement and Salafyo Costa group as well as independent activists.

Source:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/77475/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Third-Square-protesters-denounce-army,-Mors.aspx

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's a report by Sarah Carr about Third Square here.

Also:

[youtube]ZCmrCQvD9Ow[/youtube]

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/middle-east/between-tahrir-and-rabaa-third-square

twice now - once on Friday and again on Sunday - a grassroots group of young revolutionaries from a number of groups involved in the January 25, 2011 uprising have gathered at the Sphinx Square in Giza to voice their disapproval of both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

and

While the numbers at the group’s earlier Sphinx Square protest don't begin to compare the number of people seen at Tahrir Square or the sit-in in Nasr City, it is starting to gain some attention. Its Facebook page has over 11,000 "Like" and is growing.

rooieravotr

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More pleasantries from Siss 's new regime

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/29/egypt-restores-secret-police-units

Egypt's state security investigations service, Mabahith Amn ad-Dawla, a wing of the police force under President Mubarak, and a symbol of police oppression, was supposedly closed in March 2011 – along with several units within it that investigated Islamist groups and opposition activists. The new national security service (NSS) was established in its place.

But following Saturday's massacre of at least 83 Islamists, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced the reinstatement of the units, and referred to the NSS by its old name. He added that experienced police officers sidelined in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution would be brought back into the fold.

Mark.

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A new rash of strikes across the Egyptian textile industry shows the challenges faced by the military-backed government installed in the wake of Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow.

The new government has been in power less than a month, but workers’ protests are already on the rise. This is the result of the continuation of the same anti-worker policies which pushed Egyptians into organising the largest number of protests anywhere in the world last year and was the main factor behind the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood regime.

Workers at Nasr Spinning and Weaving Company in Mahalla walked out on strike on 31 July in protest at delays in paying their wages, and the failure to pay 3 months of their annual profit-sharing bonus in time for Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the same demands are behind a twelve-day strike by workers at Stia Spinning and Weaving Company, while protests by workers at Misr Spinning and Bayda Dyers in Kafr al-Dawwar have reached day four. In Damietta, workers and the Damietta Spinning Company walked out over the same demands.

http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2013/08/01/egypt-textile-strikes-put-pressure-on-new-government/

Workers at the giant Misr Spinning complex in Mahalla al-Kubra staged a lightning strike today, demanding 2 days paid holiday over the Eid-al-Fitr festival and the payment of part of their annual profit-sharing bonus. The strike was sparked by a notice from the publicly-owned mill’s management, restricting the Eid holiday to 1 day, and refusing to pay out the bonus.

Within 8 hours, management had climbed down, agreeing to pay one and half months of the profit-sharing bonus and increasing the Eid holiday to 5 days.

According to Kamal al-Fayyoumi, one of the leaders of the strike, workers also raised wider demands in a memorandum submitted to the military governor in Mahalla two weeks ago. These included the dissolution of the official union in the factory, which is run by State Security, the dismissal of Fuad Abdel-Alim, chair of the Textiles Holding Company and the return of the company to management by the Ministry of Industry.

The current wave of strikes in the textile industry poses a major challenge to the military-backed government led by Hazem al-Beblawi, which took office after the downfall of Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi. The new Minister of Labour, Kamal Abu Aita, was until a few weeks ago, president of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions. Despite his promises of far-reaching social reforms, workers in the textile industry have found their pay cut or delayed just as they did before Morsi’s overthrow. So thousands have taken matters into their own hands in order to force their bosses to back down.

http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2013/08/01/egypt-mahalla-workers-win/

armillaria

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's kinda sorta like that time the U.S. military overthrew their own puppet regime in Vietnam and let Diem get assassinated, to try and diffuse popular rage so they could keep controlling things from behind the scenes, but then got their asses kicked anyway. (Except, by a guerrilla movement that wound up being dominated by Stalinists.)

Khawaga - could you point me towards reading that would explain more about how the MB has its cadres organized?

Entdinglichung

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

don't know how accurate this is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood_in_Egypt#Organization ... a friend who had studied Middle Eastern history said, that many Islamist orgs do combine features of a modern "western" cadre party with features of the more rigidly organized Sufi tariqahs

Khawaga

9 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga - could you point me towards reading that would explain more about how the MB has its cadres organized?

You know what, it's been such a long time ago since I was studying these things that I can't remember exactly. It may have been in some of Oliver Roy's work (e.g. the Failure of Political Islam), but could also be a specific article from some journal I can't remember. I do remember, however, that the reason the MB took such a shape was because very early on islamists, while in universities, would brush shoulders with leftists organizations. Not only did organizational structures rub off, but also a lot of the terminology. If I remember correctly, there was no word/concept of "revolution" (as we understand it) in Arabic until quite recently (whether that is the case for "al thawra", what I know as revolution, I do not know). Indeed, the islamists apparently invented a whole vocabulary based off the Marxist-Leninist dictionary. So sorry, not much help there. But I think a decent social history of the MB should cover it.

What Entdinglichung said and what's on that wikipedia page chimes with what I remember from researching political islam during my undergrad and while living in Egypt.

Mark.

8 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement of principles from the Libertarian Socialists:

The Libertarian Socialist Movement organizes anarcho-communists who believe in class struggle as a way to overthrow capitalism and oppressive state power. The LSM adopts the aspirations and demands of the working classes, industrial workers, small farmers, wage earners, proletarians, and anyone who does not have ownership over the power of his work and sells it without control to the production process.

We believe in the practice of direct democracy in neighborhood assemblies and communes and in the boards of commissioners of cities and provinces on the basis of mandated temporary powers, not authorized decision making powers, but within the framework of decisions taken in advance in the neighborhood assemblies and communes.

We are against the capitalist ownership of the means of production, and against all forms of paid work, we strive for the development of production units under the self-management of workers run for the benefit of society as a whole, including the full needs of the community.

We believe in a network of enclosed cooperatives linking productivity and self-managed production units, consumer cooperatives and community-based managed services including elimination of the parasitic activity of intermediate trade.

We believe in the right of the community to full control of all natural and financial resources in order to achieve their needs.

We believe in the right of society to create self-protection units, management and local accountability.

Our main program is: liberation of the workers from the yoke of paid work: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

(Translation by Tahrir-ICN)

From here

Entdinglichung

8 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2013/08/12/egypt-appeal-for-solidarity-after-steel-workers-arrested-by-army/ & http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/78832.aspx

Egyptian police arrest 2 workers in Suez for inciting strikes
Egyptian army prevented striking steel workers from blocking a key highway following the arrests

Police arrested two workers at a Suez steel company on Monday who have been accused of leading strikes, a company official told Ahram Online.

Following the arrests, the striking workers tried to block a key highway from Suez to Ain Al-Sokhna, but were prevented by the Egyptian army.

The two workers arrested were part of a group of fifteen accused by company management of inciting workers to strike, said Mohamed Soliman, head of legal affairs at the private sector company.

The workers have been on strike at their factory in Al-Ataqa industrial zone in Suez for three weeks, demanding higher bonuses and allowances.

Suez Steel is a private sector company which employs 2,200 workers on contracts and another 2,000 day workers, according to Soliman, who added that the workers' syndicate committee had resigned after failing to mediate between the workers and company management.

Last week, the company threatened to cut down its workforce in response to the strike, claiming profit losses worth LE925 million over the past three years.

Suez Steel was established in 1997 and was 80-percent owned by Banque du Caire.

The company was privatised in 2007 and purchased by Solb Misr which is owned by Gamal El-Garhy, a prominent Egyptian businessman.

Currently, Solb Misr owns subsidiaries Misr National Steel and Egyptian Company for Iron & Steel Products alongside Suez Steel.

Solb Misr, along with Beshay Steel and Egyptian Steel share 35 percent of the market.

Ezz steel is the dominant steel producer in Egypt and MENA with around 55 percent of the local steel market.

Steel imports represents the remaining 10 percent.

Solb Misr's steel production capacity stands at two million tonne per annum.

ocelot

8 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So the army went in this morning, guns blazing. Reports on casualties at the moment range from 13 (Health Ministry) through 40 (Guardian, BBC), 94 bodies counted by Al Jazzeera and figures ranging from 800 - 2000 from various Ikhwan sources. 13 seems unlikely.

AJ: Security crackdown kills scores in Egypt

Security forces have moved in on two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi, launching a crackdown that quickly turned into a bloodbath with dozens dead.

Conflicting reports have emerged over the number of people killed. However, Al Jazeera's correspondent counted 94 bodies in Rabaa al-Adawiya's makeshift hospital, while some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have put the figure up to 2,200, with about 10,000 injured.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the Brotherhood's figure.

The Health Ministry has put the figure at 13 people killed, including six members of the security forces, and a further 98 people injured. At least 66 security forces were injured.[...]

Reports of clashes in other cities around Eqypt and police stations and government buildings attacked in Cairo. Very much rumours and fog of war effect at this moment.

ocelot

8 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BBC report, unintentionally hilarious

There has been strong international reaction to the storming of the camps.

The European Union called the reports of deaths and injuries "extremely worrying".

Gosh! That is strong. Any more of this sort of thing and the EU might escalate alll the way up to tutting, or in extremis, some hand-wringing.

Ablokeimet

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Death toll now at 525, according to Health Ministry:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-15/death-toll-passes-400-as-egyptians-emerge-from-curfew/4890466

El Baradei has resigned, to distance himself from the slaughter.

Apart from capital and the feloul (who knew what they were getting into), those who backed the Army to power were fools. The Brotherhood are no friends of the workers, but the Army has just demonstrated how it deals with opponents who are mostly unarmed. Its answer to criticism is blood and anything it does to the Brotherhood it will do with even greater vigour to the workers - if it is permitted to.

If I was in the Libertarian Socialists in Egypt, I'd be thinking seriously of preparing to go underground.

baboon

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know where I read it but there are recent reports that General al-Sisi is thinking of proposing Murad Mowafi, intelligence boss appointed by Murabak and sacked by Morsi, as a presidential candidate. This would lead to a similar situation where Murabak and his western-backed spy boss, Omar Sulieman, ruled the Egyptian roost and weren't averse to fueling attacks on Christians.. Scores are being settled in blood now between the two factions of the ruling class, army and Brotherhood, with the US still appearing to back the army as "reflecting the popular will". In the last week there has been unprecedented cooperation between Egyptian and Israeli forces against the jihadis gaining ground in the Sinai. This could be another factor underlining American support for the army takeover.

Mike S.

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can someone point me to a reputable article that explains the situation from a communist perspective. I'm getting too many different interpretations of whats going on. Thanks in advance.

Mike S.

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

Pennoid

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tahrir-ICN is Libertarian (Anarcho)- Communist, check them out, yo!

Ablokeimet

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Egypt: Revolutionary Socialists on the latest massacre in Cairo - 14 Aug 2013

From the statement:

"The Revolutionary Socialists did not defend the regime of Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood for a single day."

That's funny. I could have sworn I recalled this mob calling for votes for the Brotherhood earlier on. No doubt they find it embarrassing to admit it, but they shouldn't stoop to lies.

baboon

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Didn't the British SWP call for a vote for the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi?

The Saudi's have welcomed the Egyptian crackdown on the MB ("terrorists") and, not surprisingly, Bahrain and the UAE have followed suit. This will have wider implications for the region particularly the war in Syria where Qatar backs its own Brotherhood "rebels", with Saudi favouring its own fighting factions. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have now picked up the $12 billion tab for Egypt that Qatar was giving to the Brotherhood government of Morsi. It looks like Egypt, Israel and the Saudis have decided to settle things with the MB; Hamas has been left high and dry after throwing in their lot with Qatar and this could be one explanation for the "revived" Palestinian talks with Israel.

rooieravotr

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Baboon:

Didn't the British SWP call for a vote for the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi?

Yes, they did, scandalously. Some proof: Anne Alexander, in Socialist Worker, 12 June 2012:

Despite revolutionary activists’ anger at the Brotherhood, voting for Mursi and against Shafiq is an important step in building a revolutionary movement beyond the elections.

As the Revolutionary Socialists put it recently, “The question is which of the two would we rather fight? A general who will call in the tanks or an opportunist Muslim Brother who is vacillating under the pressure from below and who can be exposed before his own rank and file and the masses?”

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art/28271/Egypt%3A+Debates+rage+on+the+streets+and+at+the+ballot+box

And Phil Marfleet, Socialist Worker, 29 May 2012:

In fact the choice is clear. A vote for Shafiq would be a vote against the revolution.A vote for Mursi is a vote against the legacy of Mubarak and for continuing change. Revolutionary activists will not enjoy voting for Mursi. If they do not do so, however, they are likely to experience the real nightmare scenario—a president cloned from the dictator they overthrew last year.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art/28119/Revolution+continues+beyond+the+poll+in+Egypt
***
And I would not be surprised if they would re-discover this alliance, now that the milityary/ old regime forces seem to get the upper hand, in a new enactment of their favourite dance: the Flip Flop.
---

Edit: forgot to add the year of the articles: 2012, not 2013. Added now.

Caiman del Barrio

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ablokeimet

ocelot

Egypt: Revolutionary Socialists on the latest massacre in Cairo - 14 Aug 2013

From the statement:

"The Revolutionary Socialists did not defend the regime of Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood for a single day."

That's funny. I could have sworn I recalled this mob calling for votes for the Brotherhood earlier on. No doubt they find it embarrassing to admit it, but they shouldn't stoop to lies.

I saw Jano Charbel talk in Berlin last week, before the latest army offensive. His talk was very interesting, but one highlight that sticks in my mind. It was in response to a particularly obnoxious & irritating British Trot (who some Libcom Colchester ex-pats will know) going on a boorish & pointless meandering 'intervention' about Kerensky & how Islamists are OK really & how all they need is 'politicisation':

Sounds to me like you're talking about a vanguard. Well, there is a vanguardist group in Egypt called Revolutionary Socialists. they are a puppet of the Socialist Workers' Party in the UK and I certainly don't wanna be led by them. In fact, I want to see them excluded from every arena of public life

(May not be an exact quote, lol)

ocelot

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guess who's back...

It's not just a coup, its a counter-revolution RT @jmalsin: Lawyer expects Egypt's Mubarak to be freed this week http://t.co/buGnaJdONA— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) August 19, 2013

Esty

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2013-08-17/the-egyptian-proletariat-between-the-hammer-and-the-anvil-of-the-bourgeoisie

Entdinglichung

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

found on facebook:

Statement by the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement

Authoritarian methods, used today by [General Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi, are an example of state terrorism against the people. Claiming that this excessive violence is directed against a certain segment because of its ideology is intellectual nonsense. This terrorism was practiced by the military and police forces not only against the [Muslim] Brotherhood, but days before military forces attacked workers in Suez, and charged them with incitement to strike, as if the right to strike has become a punishable offence. We are now back to the same emergency law [as before].

The Army and the police now give the pretext for the party of parties to exercise violence against the various segments of society, including also the state and its agencies in the game, working in collaboration with the media to create an image for the people that there is a monster to destroy, so to kill him becomes a community’s mission.

But the parties involved in the massacre of today seek only their own advantage. The conflict, since its inception, between the two parties was for seats and positions in the state, and both parties do not care about the blood, both parties play the poor against the poor in the skit of distraction and claim their rights from the remnants of the businessmen and statesmen. That polarization does not only serve the owners of capital and owners of high-level positions in the state.

THERE IS NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR! DOWN WITH THE STATE! DOWN WITH THE MILITARY! DOWN WITH THE POLITICAL SYSTEM! DOWN WITH CAPITALISM!

Pennoid

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Does anyone know of any groups in Egypt to contact to co-ordinate some kind of solidarity? I know an Independent Trade Union Federation was set up and MENA is the supposed workings of co-ordinating between the UK and that group. Anything more radical (aren't the UK cats trots or something similar? Sorry if I'm wrong!)

Mark.

8 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jano Charbel

Security crackdowns against two labor strikes — at the Suez Steel Company and Scimitar Petroleum Company — and a potential one at the Misr Textile Company in Mahalla, have been eclipsed by news of crackdowns against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Receiving negligible media coverage, these industrial actions were crushed by police and the Armed Forces within the span of less than one week...

http://madamasr.com/content/labor-politicized-or-politicized-labor

Tyrion

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

al-Akhbar

An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered its assets seized, in the latest blow to the Islamist movement of deposed president Mohammed Mursi.

The court also banned "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood," the official MENA news agency reported, possibly restricting the movement's political arm the Freedom and Justice Party.

The ruling comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood and more than a month after hundreds of Islamist protesters died in a police operation to disperse their Cairo sit-ins, sparking a wave of nationwide violence.

A judicial source told AFP the court ruled that a government committee should be created to manage the Brotherhood's seized assets.

The Cairo court "ruled to ban all activities by the Muslim Brotherhood organization, the group emanating from it and its non-governmental organization," MENA reported.

The ruling may be appealed and overturned by a higher court.

Formed in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned for decades before a popular uprising overthrew its arch foe president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

It dominated subsequent parliamentary elections and won the presidential election in June 2012 through its candidate Mursi, who himself was overthrown by the military on July 3.

The new military-installed government now accuses the Islamist movement of "terrorism," and police have arrested at least 2,000 members including most of senior Brotherhood leaders.

In the past three years, the movement set up headquarters in a multi-storey building in Cairo and opened offices across the country for its Freedom and Justice Party.

All these buildings are likely to be seized under the court order, which can also if upheld criminalize membership with the movement.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/egypt-bans-muslim-brotherhood-seizes-its-assets?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlAkhbarEnglish+%28Al+Akhbar+English%29

vicent

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

did the army attack the MB to create a civil war between secularists and islamists, thereby transforming the political struggle into a secterian struggle?

vicent

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

it seems that 2011 was largely due to economic hardship, and Morsi continued the neoliberalist agenda, that he wasnt a reformist led to the people being disilusioned, and still in poverty and returning to the streets in 2013. the military could not grant the same improvements as nasser did as nasser got much of his funds from unmatured USSR loans and the nationalisation of confiscated foreign assets, so they followed asads lead and transformed the political struggle into a secterian struggle, because the people were so close to revolution

Mark.

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview in Spanish with Mohamed Ezz from the Libertarian Socialists:

http://www.diagonalperiodico.net/global/19980-la-represion-del-ejercito-alcanza-toda-la-sociedad.html