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The move has been long-anticipated by the progressive factions of the Feb 2011 movement, who have progressively withdrawn from the consultative council charged with drawing up the new constitution, denouncing it as a right-wing islamist stich-up between the MB and the Salafis.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
Apparently Tahrir square is
Apparently Tahrir square is filling up again. Security Forces firing tear gas at the protesters.
Seconds out, round two?
It'll be interesting to see.
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.
The chant going around Tahrir
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.
Video of the Ultras turning up at Tahrir.
(Also, how do you embed videos on here?)
google translate from the caption:
That pic made starting this
That pic made starting this thread worthwhile. :D
Looks like it's spread to
Looks like it's spread to El-Mahalla. Reports that the Muslim Brotherhood HQ has been surrounded.
Have you got a link to that
Have you got a link to that Auto? Cheers if you have.
There was a tweet re-posted
There was a tweet re-posted on the Guardian live blog at 12:21 gmt
Also mentions on Al Ahram
Also mentions on Al Ahram live blog part 1
NB current Al Ahram live blog is part 2 here
edit: Al Ahram times gmt+2
@Baboon: The source I read
The source I read was a tweet from Daily News Egypt:
The Daily News Egypt
I also find it interesting
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.
Britain and the Muslim
Britain and the Muslim Brotherhood: Collaboration during the 1940s and 1950s
March 2012 press release for the updated edition of Mark Curtis' book Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam
more stuff: http://juralib.noblogs.org/category/la-liberte-est-le-crime-qui-contient-tous-les-crimes/linsurrection-egyptienne-et-ses-suites/
in a similar vein Quote: A
in a similar vein
AA: Prominent Muslim Brother condemns Morsi decree
Quote: Morsi to meet judges
This from last Tuesday gives
This from last Tuesday gives some background on the financial and economic timelines.
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.
And the first act of the
And the first act of the President after seizing plenipotentiary powers? Attacking the unions. Quelle surprise.
Egypt Independent: Morsy issues law paving way for Brotherhood control of trade federation
No doubt part of the unofficial protocols of the IMF agreement.
edit: some background from LSM:
Egypt Independent: Labor
Labor activists: New decree eyes 'Brotherhoodization' of unions
Guardian: live updates Ahram
Guardian: live updates
Ahram online: live updates
Tahrir live stream from
Tahrir live stream from Reuters
AA: Brotherhood about-face in
AA: Brotherhood about-face in Alexandria: they will march with hardline Islamists in support of Morsi
Looks like the Alexandrine Ikhwan want a show-down with the opposition after last Friday's humiliation.
Both MB and anti-Morsi
Both MB and anti-Morsi protestors claim Damanhour slain teen as their own. Leading to most uncomfortable funeral ever...
AA: The battle for the 'martyr' of Damanhour
Good opinion piece from Egypt
Good opinion piece from Egypt Independent
Revolutionaries must resist Morsy, but also the feloul
MENA: Independent union
MENA: Independent union federation rejects president’s power grab
Foreign Policy: Egyptian labor between Morsi and Mubarak
3arabawy: Morsy has failed
3arabawy: Morsy has failed even in the simple bread and butter issues
Another photo of that flag
Another photo of that flag flying from the MB offices in Alexandria
The MB have announced that
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
Egypt Independent: Thousands
Egypt Independent: Thousands converge on Tahrir
Ahram Online: live updates 1 ------ live updates 2 ------ photos
Arabist wrote: Taking a
In translation: dismantling the Brothers' revolutionary self-image
Sarah Carr: Uncle Morsi
Sarah Carr: Uncle Morsi
RT: Morsi flees as angry
RT: Morsi flees as angry crowd storms palace in Cairo, battles riot police
Damn, beat to it by ocelot...
Damn, beat to it by ocelot...
Heh. Don't you just hate it
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.
Hmm. I guess we know Al Ahram
Hmm. I guess we know Al Ahram are feloul media, still the demonstrators they choose to picture in their gallery look pretty prosperous to me,
AA: Violent clashes possible
AA: Violent clashes possible as Islamists plan 'massive' counter-demonstrations
sounds pretty clear to me.
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.
where's the Kaiser Chiefs
where's the Kaiser Chiefs when you need 'em?
Egypt Indy: Clashes erupt outside presidential palace, Brotherhood announces rival sit-in
Hum. 5 dead and over 400
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
Quote: “It was a brutal,
Gigi Ibrahim's reporting the
Gigi Ibrahim's reporting the death of a RevSoc member:
I've no doubt most of the
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.
AA: Peaceful resolution of Egypt's political crisis unlikely in short term, observers fear
This actually from last
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
The remarkable thing about
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.
Egypt has lots of Problems
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....
lucksafehaven you appearer to
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.
FJP offices raided in Maadi (forgive the hateful tone of the article).
It appears the pro Morsi
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.
This from the Guardian: The
This from the Guardian:
The Guardian Liveblog
Interesting backgrounder EI:
EI: Blog: Cheese and other contentions at the presidential palace clashes
A bit of a backwards scramble
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
AA: Egypt-IMF loan agreement
AA: Egypt-IMF loan agreement postponed
follow the money
Does anyone have more
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....
There was an article in
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.
Jano Charbel on "independent"
Jano Charbel on "independent" Mahalla:
Ties in pretty much with what
Ties in pretty much with what I've seen from other sources. No dual power in Mahalla so far, basically.
This one looks interesting:
This one looks interesting: http://oreaddaily.blogspot.it/2012/12/the-mahalla-soviet.html
In response to the
In response to the indictments in Alexandria
Egyptian Anarchist Movement
Egyptian Anarchist Movement Emerges with Wave of Firebombings and Street Fights
Finally! The army's use of
Finally! The army's use of lethal force on crowds has finally provoked people to actually shoot back.
WOOT! We're causing some
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.
Recopilation of some
Recopilation of some interesting articles:
About the repulse of the IMF loans:
Last article in Al-Jazeera about the protests:
Al-Jazeera: Talk with a young protester bloger and a yankee analist.
Al-Jazeera Photo gallery of the riots in El Cairo (mentioning the blac block).
Some Egypt based bloggers
Some Egypt based bloggers wondering what to make of the Black Bloc:
Zeinobia: Black Bloc and its enigma
Zeinobia: Black Bloc in Egypt
The Lede: A 'Black Bloc' emerges in Egypt
Sarah Carr: Back to the squares, without the Brothers
Quote: Last Sunday, during
Loads of videos on youtube of
Loads of videos on youtube of the fighting in Egypt.. here are a couple basically at random..
Some more videos from Al
Some more videos from Al Jazeera on the situation in Egypt..
Also, I haven't watched this video yet but it looks pretty interesting..
An interesting read from Al
An interesting read from Al Jazeera here on Egypt's anarchism
We are the “Class War Group”.
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).
Email : [email protected]
Anti-Morsi protesters attack
Anti-Morsi protesters attack governorate HQ in Egypt's Nile Delta
VIDEO: Civil disobedience calls spark demos, clashes in Egypt's Daqahliya
Apparently there have been
Apparently there have been more protests in Egypt recently, with one planned for June 30th, calling for Morsi to step down:
"Apparently there have been
"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.)
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?
Open letter by the Egyptian
Open letter by the Egyptian activist collective ‘Comrades from Cairo’
".....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."
AJ's post on the SWP position
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.
Quote: Egypt's Brotherhood is
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.
Whoops! Quote: 5.16pm
That's a pretty unambiguous move...
edit: from Grauniad liveblog
SWP do a 180 on MB -
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
Ah. And now the helicopters.
Ah. And now the helicopters. That's usually not a good sign either.
ocelot wrote: SWP do a 180 on
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.
To be fair, the SWP have had
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.
Shit blowing up..
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"..
[quote\ocelot]To be fair, the
[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.
Interview from yesterday
Interview from yesterday (before the ultimatum from the army)
Read it in full at Tahrir ICN
BREAKING: Egypt's military
BREAKING: Egypt's military chief says president is replaced by chief justice of constitutional court. Morsi has been overthrown.
So I guess the question now
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..
The generals show what they
The generals show what they think of criticism:
Egypt's military shuts down news channels:
And the hypocritical "liberals" support them:
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.
iexist wrote: ablo: are you
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.
Ablokeimet wrote: iexist
Don't, it makes you sound like a x admin: no flaming .
Further to arresting Morsi,
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...
I don't think that the army
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.
iexist wrote: Can anyone give
theres a bunch about on the first egypt thread, also here
AJE blog says military have
AJE blog says military have arrested Al-Shater
A couple of other
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.
This is not good. AJE:
This is not good.
AJE: Massacre in Cairo deepens Egypt crisis
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
Interview: anarchism, Tamarod
Interview: anarchism, Tamarod and sexual violence in Egypt
Signs of post-coup repression affecting the anti-Morsi side:
Mark. wrote: Interview:
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:
But Tamarod did have a plan and it was exactly what the army carried out. From about a week before the coup:
"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."
Is the army trying to start a
Is the army trying to start a civil war?
a few voices from the
a few voices from the Egyptian left: http://links.org.au/node/3424
Sarah Carr: On sheep and
Sarah Carr: On sheep and infidels
Entdinglichung wrote: a few
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.
Entdinglichung wrote: a few
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:
So... it's a US-(Zionist)-MB conspiracy... don't mention the army...
AJE Quote: [...]Meanwhile,
Guardian: Egyptian state media backs military action as rival organs attacked
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.
Ocelot writes: Quote: one of
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.
Quote: (b) The Muslim
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.
From Tahrir ICN (edited
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.
iexist wrote: How likely is a
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.
The Spanish version of Vice
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.
ocelot wrote: Entdinglichung
Interview with Gigi Ibrahim from the Revolutionary Socialists. She seems soft on the coup...
Quote: CAIRO — The streets
rooieravotr wrote: Ocelot
This AMAY article is interesting in this context:
Qatar losing Mideast ground to Saudi diplomacy: experts
Looks like the US have rowed in behind Saudi and the Salafis.
anyone else notice the
anyone else notice the "Tamarod" copycats in Tunisia, Morroco, Palestine, etc???
is this the Occupyzation of the movement? or perhaps another Optor?
I agree with the posts above
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.
klas batalo wrote: anyone
*Otpor. I was thinking there were some similarities with the fall of Milosevic as well. And btw the SWP were big boosters of Otpor.
Interview from Tahrir ICN The
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.
KarmaMole: The crisis of mind
KarmaMole: The crisis of mind and morality in Egypt
A Cairo conspiracy
'Ceci n'est pas un coup'
Mubarakism Without Mubarak-
Mubarakism Without Mubarak- The Struggle for Egypt by Joseph Massad
Jano Charbel: And where do
Jano Charbel: And where do the workers stand?
Hossam El-Hamalawy: Is the
Hossam El-Hamalawy: Is the Egyptian revolution aborted?
Egyptian liberals embrace the military, brooking no dissent
Reza Pankhurst: Liberal hypocrisy no laughing matter
Wael Gamal: No jasmine tea for the square
On Egypt's failure
So just re-read this 1978
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..
@Ed: interesting comparison.
@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...
rooieravotr wrote: @Ed:
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.
I agree with that. The
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.
Part of the admiration for
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"??
Alf wrote: The leaflet signed
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
Quote: There’s violence
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?
More likely salafi groups,
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.
A coup or continuation of the
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.
It's a coup. The military
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.
How can we call what's
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.
Statement by the Libertarian
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.
Member of the Executive Bureau of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions Friday, July 26, 2013
Quote: The leaders of the
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:
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.
teh wrote: Also worth noting
Already quoted above but maybe worth repeating as it refers to this, and also a split in the EFITU executive:
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.
These developments show how
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?
Alf: Quote: Does anyone know
It does not seem top be a well-defined group, more an iniotiative of those who are against botg Morsi and the Army.
There's a report by Sarah
There's a report by Sarah Carr about Third Square here.
More pleasantries from Siss
More pleasantries from Siss 's new regime
Quote: A new rash of strikes
It's kinda sorta like that
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?
don't know how accurate this
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
Quote: Khawaga - could you
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.
Statement of principles from
Statement of principles from the Libertarian Socialists:
http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2013/08/12/egypt-appeal-for-solidarity-after-steel-workers-arrested-by-army/ & http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/78832.aspx
So the army went in this
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
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.
BBC report, unintentionally
BBC report, unintentionally hilarious
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.
Death toll now at 525,
Death toll now at 525, according to Health Ministry:
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.
Egypt: Revolutionary Socialists on the latest massacre in Cairo - 14 Aug 2013
I don't know where I read it
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.
Tahrir-ICN statement on
Tahrir-ICN statement on events in Egypt
Death toll now 638 according
Death toll now 638 according to AP
Can someone point me to a
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.
Tahrir-ICN is Libertarian
Tahrir-ICN is Libertarian (Anarcho)- Communist, check them out, yo!
ocelot wrote: Egypt:
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.
Arabist - It only gets worse
Arabist - It only gets worse from here
Didn't the British SWP call
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.
Baboon: Quote: Didn't the
Yes, they did, scandalously. Some proof: Anne Alexander, in Socialist Worker, 12 June 2012:
And Phil Marfleet, Socialist Worker, 29 May 2012:
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.
Ablokeimet wrote: ocelot
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':
(May not be an exact quote, lol)
Guess who's back... It's not
Guess who's back...
found on facebook:
Al-jazeera feature on
Al-jazeera feature on Mubarak's release:
Mahalla textile workers on
Mahalla textile workers on strike again
Mark. wrote: Mahalla textile
Facebook page of MENA reports, that tanks have entered Mahalla to suppress the strike
Does anyone know of any
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!)
Jano Charbel wrote: Security
al-Akhbar wrote: An Egyptian
did the army attack the MB to
did the army attack the MB to create a civil war between secularists and islamists, thereby transforming the political struggle into a secterian struggle?
it seems that 2011 was
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
Interview in Spanish with
Interview in Spanish with Mohamed Ezz from the Libertarian Socialists: