by Ronald León y José Welmowicki – IWL-FI
The fall of the Government of Mohamed Morsi is a fact that is of enormous importance not only for the Egyptian revolution but for the course of all revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. Without a doubt, it marks a new milestone in the revolutionary process.
At the same time, the issue is complex which justifiably generated doubts and controversies in a broad forefront of honest and militant activists of left.
This is because the overthrow of Morsi occurred from a combination of contradictory elements affecting unequally. It was a product, on the one hand, a colossal mobilization of millions of people who took to the streets and squares of major cities of the country demanding his departure from power and, on the other, a slam starring the dome of the army that his final dismissal.
This reality, of course, opens a series of questions. What is primary factor in the fall of Morsi: the mobilization of the masses or the military coup? It was a victory or a defeat; a step forward or a step backwards for the revolution? It was a victory or a defeat; an advance or a regression for the revolution? What do they express and what position must we take before the mobilizations of the Brotherhood? And what do we say when these are suppressed by the Army? What is the character and the politics of the new government? And what is the politics of the imperialism?
It seems very important to advance in the discussion to attempt to answer these important problems since their resolution depends not solely on the correct characterization of the events but fundamentally, determining precisely what position and policy revolutionaries in Egypt should have..
How did Morsi fall?
The vast majority of bourgeois media announced that a military coup would have overthrown the Morsi Government, the first civilian President since 1952 and that arose after the triumph of the first presidential elections that occurred after the fall of Mubarak.
For the press this means that the Egyptian military, after having lost power with the fall of Mubarak, they would have recovered it through this blow.
In the same manner, many analysts present the mobilizations of the Muslim Brotherhood followers, who demand the comeback of power of the ex-president Morsi, like a sector of masses that would be resisting the action of the participants in the streets.
If the international press were doing a correct analysis of the reality, as revolutionaries we would have to take the same position we took against the various coups In Latin America : facing the threats or the military coup, without giving Morsi any kind of political support , we would have proposed the widest unity in action with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Subsequently, in the same way, it would have been an obligation to join the demonstrations against the military, which the Muslim Brotherhood is spearheading.
In summary: in this process, we should have been with Morsi and brotherhood and against the struggle of the millions that filled the seats in the last June 30.
The reality, however, has little to do with this analysis of the bourgeois press
These sectors argue that those who overthrew Morsi was the military. This is correct from the formal point of view, but it is not the content of the process.
The decisive element that overthrew Morsi was the imposing popular mobilization, that destabilized all spheres of power and which the military were forced to intervene to save the regime.
For the military, the dismissal of Morsi represented an act of self-preservation, because they understood that if they did not, the people could advance also on them. It was a maneuver against their initial will, because the regime plan was that the Government of Morsi enjoyed sufficient stability to carry its mandate until the end.
In this way, the dome of the generals was forced by the mobilization of masses, to sacrifice other Government subservient to their interests: the first of Mubarak, now Morsi’s.
The prevailing military regime in the country, which achieved to survive Mubarak’s fall, although it was not destroyed, was hit by the action of the masses.
It had to change another fuse and the situation of the regime became more precarious, more fragile, although it still manages to maneuver. The result of this process is a growing instability in the regime, & the preventive blow does not close the process but it spurs it.
That is why we say that, regardless of the process in which it occurred, the overthrow of the government of Morsi (shortly after Mubarak) is a huge triumph of the revolution of the masses, which weakened the military regime and also the American imperialism that sustains the armed forces for more than 30 years.
The Military ‘’returned ‘’ to power?
It is also false that military “retook power” with this coup .They would had done this poorly, for the simple reason that they held the power since 1952 and never lost it.
Governments cannot be confused with the regimes. A government has to do with a group of people, while a regime has to do with fundamental institutions with which political power is exercised.
On these concepts, Nahuel Moreno explained that the political regime “is the different combination or articulation of state institutions that use the dominant class (or a sector of it) to govern” and that the governments are the men of meat and bone that, in certain moment, are at the head of the State and a political regime.” He also clarified that government “is not the same as the regime, because many governments can change without changing the regime if the institutions are still the same” (Revolutions of the 20th Century).
In Egypt, the military controls the country since 1952, when the called Movement of Free officers, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, demolished King Faruk I and finished with the monarchy. From that moment on regime whose main institution are the armed forces was introduce.
Within this military regime existed several Governments, of very different characteristics, but all of them were controlled by the army.
Four of these governments (Naguib, Sadat, Mubarak and Morsi) were demolished, something that never happened with the military regime, which remains to the present day.
However, it is necessary to see that there is a qualitative difference between the overthrow of the first two governments and the last two. Naguib was overthrown by an internal struggle in the military which resulted in the rise of Nasser and made possible a strengthening of the military regime. Anwar Al Sadat was assassinated by a group of Islamic jihadist in 1981, and from then on Mubarak succeeded , without the continuity of the military regime being affected.
On the contrary, the fall of Mubarak and now of Morsi, although it did not destroy the military regime, has meant two serious blows against him, because what is central to these major events was not an internal crisis in the military or the actions of a terrorist group, but the revolutionary action of the masses, which forced the military regime, against the impossibility of suppress and massacring millions of people, to dismiss their own governments. This is a qualitative difference in the political process that comes from 2011.
The contradiction of the process: why does the military leave with prestige?
Raised what is essential about the fall of Morsi (the action of the masses), we must understand what is and what are the implications of the contradiction of that process: the fact was that indeed it was the military who, – before the mobilization of the masses that was threatening the regime- knew how to relocate and intervene on time, giving an ultimatum and laying down of the presidency Morsi.
With such a move, the Army has usurped the masses and has taken the leadership of the process, avoiding that the mobilizing people continue to pour it.
Also, on having played this letter, they could present themselves and be seen by the wide masses sectors like “friends“ and “guards“ of the aspirations of the people.
To explain this contradiction, it is necessary to understand the reason for the confidence and the popular support of the military.
This has to do not only with its sudden repositions before the questioned governments of Mubarak and Morsi but much more deep and historical reasons.
Directly funded by the United States, from Camp David with Israel peace agreements, the prestige of the armed forces is contradictorily, based on his anti-imperialist past.
It is related with nationalism and Nasserist Pan-Arabism, which ousted the monarchy, confronted the imperialism and came to nationalize the Suez Canal. This measure, moreover, was defended militarily in 1956, during a war in which Egypt faced to Great Britain, France and Israel. The reputation of the military has to see, also, with the wars that were launched against Israel: the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur (1973).
The Pact with the Brotherhood
Nevertheless, this prestige has not stayed in intact. During the period of government of the Military Junta -between the fall of Mubarak and the choice of Morsi- a wide vanguard and also important sectors of the movement of masses made a more direct experience with the Army itself and deterioration of its prestige was produced.
Faced with this and the electoral victory of the Brotherhood – who narrowly defeated the direct candidate of the Board, Ahmed Shafik- the military accepted the brotherhood assumed the Government, provided that it would guarantee the foundations of the regime, namely:
1) The huge economic weight of the armed forces. (The simple effect of making us an idea, Egypt is the largest army of Africa, with more than 460,000 personnel and 1 million reserves). According to a cable leaked by Wikileaks, the US Government itself believes are “an almost commercial enterprise.” They possess vast areas of lands, properties and companies many of which are directed by retired generals that produce, in addition to weapon and provisions, many other consumer goods. Its companies are responsible for about 40 % of the GDP of the country.
2) The political and military agreements with the United States and Israel.
3) In addition to this, the brotherhood should fulfill the task of controlling the movement of masses
A Pact clearly counter-revolutionary, the brotherhood accepted willingly and that was maintained until the Morsi government stopped having the necessary utility for such purposes.
The government of the Brotherhood was quickly eroded, both by its neoliberal management as by their bonapartist measures. The Brotherhood tried to take seriously forward a project of Islamization of the society and of concentration of powers in the presidency. In this regard, a central element in the erosion of Morsi, not only with masses but with the important bourgeois sectors, was that “decree” that was investing him of full powers, in November, 2012.
This summed up to the impulse and the approval, without the participation of the people and not even those of the bourgeoisie opposition, of a Constitution that, aside from being anti-worker and anti-strike, was based on the “Sharia” (Islamic law), as “ main juridical source of the state”. Like this, the Brotherhood shows on the practice that their project was to come to an Islamic republic.
All of this, summed an economic situation on the board of collapse, made a popular discontent grow. Only in the month March of 2013, 1,354 manifestations developed and in April 1,462 protest (48 per day), from which 62% had economic character.
The campaign launched by the youth movement Tamarod (it means rebellion in Arab) offered an alternative that channeled the accumulated problems towards mass action, culminating on the 30th of June which was the turning point. The bourgeoisie opposition came to support this campaign, and the Military – in the midst of the crisis and in the negative of Morsi to sit and negotiate-, let the actions of Tamarod run.
The ultimatum of the top leadership of the armed forces, through the general Al-Sisi, occurred in the middle of a situation almost incontrollable, where the country was already taken by the manifestations, with confrontations in the streets between supporters and detractors of Morsi, it’s to say, when the fall of the government was only a question of time. Two days later Morsi was destroyed and arrested.
With these actions, as we saw, they managed to usurp the triumph of the masses, Due to the absence of a revolutionary direction with weight of the masses, the people ended trusting the ends which the military weaved to calm the popular mobilization
What position to take unto the mobilization of the Brotherhood?
During the Morsi government, , revolutionaries had to be in the streets, along with the masses, fighting against the government and making propaganda about the need to fight against the military and its regime.
This position must not change because of the intervention of the military, because this “coup” doesn’t mean a step back, like the change of a democratic bourgeoisie regime to a dictatorship. This was a coup” on the marks of the same military regime, where the military, against its initial plan, fulfilled the principal revindication of the movement of the masses in that movement: down with Morsi.
For that we are with the masses and against Morsi, despite the intervention of the armed forces. In the same form in which we are against the new government and the military regime and in favor of total progressive mobilization that questions them.
But this is not to say that is correct, for revolutionaries, to support any mobilization of mass independent of its character
In Egypt, when the Muslim Brotherhood came out to the streets defending the return of the Bonapartist government of Morsi, this protagonized a mobilization against the government and the regimen but of counter-revolutionary character, and because of this it’s not correct to defend any type of unity of action with these organizations.
Fighting for Morsi to take presidency means to fight for the sake of a government that defends a neoliberal project, pro-imperialist, Bonapartist, and theocratic. The return of Morsi, who was throughout by an ample majority of the people, it would be a set back to the revolution
To understand this, imagine if Mubarak, after being overthrown in 2011, would have called a mobilization of his followers to put him back in power while arguing that his fall was a consequence of a “coup”. It is hard to believe that someone would think of defending the “democratic rights” of that dictator against this to this counter revolutionary initiative.
The mobilization of the Brotherhood, for the meanwhile, has nothing progressive, even if thousands of people participated, who believe, wrongly, that that is how they “defend democracy” against a “coup”.
For weeks now, there are have been frequent mobilizations in favor and against Morsi. Since these mobilizations happen frequently between both groups, that even end with hurt and dead people, It is imperative that the popular organizations – that defeated Morsi – have plans and organisms for self- defense to implement the will of the masses against the reactionary Muslim Brotherhood, in a form in which they are not dependant of the military and police to do so.
The same is necessary to defend the participation of women in the mobilization, since they are commonly sexually attacked by organized groups to remove them from the revolutionary fight.
However, the fact that we are against the manifestations of the Brotherhood does not mean that we support any kind of repressive measure of the army.
For example, we denounce the attack that ended with the death of more than 50 members of the Brotherhood that were doing a protest in front of the Headquarters of the republican guard, in which all the images show that is was not an armed encounter but rather a shooting of the military against people, in their majority, unarmed.
We repute that attack for its unnecessary cruelty and because those deaths only serve to strengthen the attempt of the Brotherhood to return to power, taking advantage of the indignation that this event created in all sectors, including those that through Morsi .
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood continues calling their supporters to take to the streets and retake power, that is to say, to go against the will of the vast majority of the people and enormous conquest represented the overthrow of Morsi, we are not in favor of their rights of expression or manifestation. That’s why we demand neither the liberation of its leaders nor the rehabilitation of its channels of TV or other means of press, which were closed by the civic – military new government.
What are the politics of imperialism?
Imperialism supported the government of Morsi until almost the last moment, because it had served to maintain the military regime and implement the economic policy dictated by the IMF.
However, when this support became unsustainable – since his departure transformed into a necessity to attenuate the rise of the mass- imperialism withdrew its support to the Brotherhood and endorsed the military coup.
In fact, it was not possible to wait for another thing, as the change of government happened in the the same regime dominated by the Army, a direct agent of Washington in the region.
On the other hand, at regional level, there is notable the politics of some monarchies of the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Emirates) in the sense of supporting the new servile government to the military men and to the imperialism.
Without delay, their proceeding to “help” the new Egyptian Government for a total of $ 12 billion, amount which far exceeds the annual contribution of the United States ($1.5 billion) and the own loan that is being negotiated with the IMF (4.8 billion dollars), which undoubtedly provides an important oxygen to the new occupants of the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace.
The new Government: puppet military and imperialism
After Morsi’s fall, a new government headed by Adli Mansur- former chief of the Constitutional Supreme Court – was put into place. This judge will lead a “transition” that will set a referendum on amendments to the Constitution (there is no talk of convening a new constituency) and seeing the realization of new presidential and parliamentary elections, in principle for February 2014.
Among the first measures of Mansur, demonstrating its Bonapartist character, there is a decree that allows him to approve laws for executive route, dictate budgetary politics and declare the state of emergency, as it had been done by Morsi.
Due to the correlation of forces, the Army did not position in new government any of their strong men, as it could have been the general Al-Sisi, which now concentrated the charges as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, defense minister and deputy prime minister.
The military leadership had to invest another civilian as a new fuse in front of the Executive. The Prime Minister, Hazem Beblaui, former finance minister of Military Junta, is known for his conservative positions and pro-imperialist.
The head of the diplomacy is Nabil Fahmi, a former Ambassador to the United States.
The military leadership also included recognized leaders of the old bourgeois opposition to Morsi, as El Baradei, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and another man of imperialism, which took office as vice president of the internal government.
At the head of the Finance portfolio was Ahmed Galal, an economist doctorate at Boston University and former employee of the World Bank.
The new Cabinet does not incorporate Islamic sectors, neither Islamist sectors, nor The Nur, despite the fact that this political organization supported the Morsi’s departure. It was even called the Muslim Brotherhood and various positions were offered to them,, but it no recognition was declared to its new cabinet.
This new Cabinet, as it often happens in revolutionary situations, attempts to radiate a ‘popular’ image to respond to a victory of the masses. In this sense, was the appointment of the principal leader of the Federation Trade Union independent (EFITU), Kamal Abu Eita, as Minister of labor and immigration, thus adding the element of class collaboration.
It is necessary to have full clarity that this new Cabinet is and will be a Government of this same military regime and at the service of imperialism. Like the previous ones, it has the difficult task of stabilizing the country and of defeating the powerful revolution, the strategic problem that unifies the Egyptian bourgeoisie, the Army and the imperialism.
No confidence in the new government! Let’s face it independently!
By overthrowing Morsi, the main enemy of the mass movement, the new government installed by the military, responds, as did Mubarak and Morsi, to the same regime of the generals directly paid by imperialism.
It is a government that, moreover, shows its support to the imperialist politics in Palestine and Syria. The Syrian exiles are detained in Egypt, and the border with Palestine in Gaza is closed.They are looking for an approach with the dictator Assad, as well as with the monarchies of the Gulf, and attack the Palestinians using the fact that Hamas (that directs Gaza) is allied of the Brotherhood.With this, the current Egyptian government tries to justify a new isolation of the Gaza Strip, in connivance with the politics of the U.S. and Israel.
In this regard, it is necessary to explain patiently to the activists and the masses that this is not their government and that it does not deserve the slightest political support.
For this reason, the current tasks is maintaining absolute independence of class against the Government and the army and continue mobilizing to confront his plans, which are the same neo-liberal plans of Morsi.
Supported in the big conquest which means to throw Morsi out, it is necessary to maintain the mobilization to conquer full democratic freedoms, to punish the crimes and to confiscate the fortunes and properties not only of Mubarak but of the whole military dome, including those of Morsi and the leaders of the Brotherhood.
The mass movement should demand that the new military government, which is “guardian of the people”, give immediate implementation of a really democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly.
This Assembly should adopt a program that liberates Egypt of the dependence of imperialism, that breaks immediately the Treaty of Camp David and all the financial and political subordination of the Army with the USA and Israel, allocating those huge resources (only this year 5 billion dollars with interest must be paid) to an emergency plan to provide for public works that generate sources of workplace and to ensure the health and education for the poor people of Egypt.
In this sense, the fight must be against the new debt of 4.8 billion dollars with the bankers of Washington, which began to be handled by Morsi and that stays with the new Government.
The Assembly should also incorporate absolute religious freedom, ensuring that all the Egyptians -profess any religion or not, to have their rights respected. It cannot be imposed on the whole population, as it was tried to be done by Morsi, the designs of a religion, in this case, the Islamism. It was already seen in Iran the result of this type of theocratic dictatorial regime.
The democratic demands must be accompanied by the economic ones, like the general increase of wages, the implementation of an emergency plan and rescue of the people, to ensure employment and reduce the working hours without a reduction in wages.
To ensure all this, a radical change in the economy and in society is required. It is necessary to expropriate the economic power of the military leadership, expropriate the large national and multinational companies and the entire financial system, to put the economy and the riches of Egypt to serve the needs of the people.
For the triumph of the revolution, for the realization this real economic and social change in Egypt, an independent path of the people and the working class is necessary. This is the only guarantee of continuation for the revolutionary process.
At the same time, in the heat of battle, it is imperative to move forward in the construction of a revolutionary, internationalist, workers’ party, which might lead the mobilization until the destruction of the military regime, in the direction towards the only solution in the background: a working-class and popular Government that begins the construction of socialism in Egypt and across the region.
What is the Muslim Brotherhood?
“Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Qur’an is our law, Jihad is our way, the martyrdom in the name of Allah is our greatest desire”. This is the slogan in which the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928. Its founder, Hasan al Banna, was a teacher at school who proposed that the alternative against the British rule and the means to conquer the independence of Egypt was the struggle to establish a theocratic State based on Islamic law.
With this goal in sight, in the beginning, the founders of the Brotherhood created a network of health aid, educational and social outside the State, as a point of support for their political action.
Taking advantage of the neglect which had plunged the people, they saw in welfarism the most direct path to insert themselves in between the most poorest of the population. They built mosques, hospitals and schools in popular quarters. Of course, the beneficiaries had to declare themselves Islamic or be ready to get in the Mahoma religion. They were calling it “missionary causes”, since they had the clear purpose of advancing towards a society whose everyday life was governed by the prescripts of the Koran.
In addition, these mosques and community centers were always an important source of business around the purchase and distribution of drugs, food, and all kinds of inputs that can be included in welfare plans.
With this line, toward the end of the 1940s, it is estimated that the Brothers had two million followers in Egypt, and their ideas began to spread in the region.
This health care network has been maintained and is currently the strongest. With a score of hospitals and hundreds of schools, it is still the mainstay of the social base that follows the Brotherhood. “We focus on social change through aid and charity activities”, recently insisted the current spokesman for the Brotherhood, Gehad Haddad.
The Muslim Brotherhood, in the last eight decades, has gone through several phases in its relationship with Egyptian political regimes. If it is a fact that decades have passed being proscribed, and their having to move in clandestine, it is also true that over time they have adapted fully to the ruling regime in Egypt.
Pursued by the British occupiers, they supported the military coup led by Gamal Nasser that overthrew King Faruk in 1952. However, they quickly broke with the military, which defended a secular Constitution. A sector of the Brothers applied a line of action, including actions of individual terrorism. On October 26, 1954, during a speech of Colonel Nasser in Alexandria, a member of the Brotherhood shot eight times against him. Nasser was released unharmed and unleashed a strong repression against their attackers. It outlawed the Brotherhood, hanged six of its members and jailed thousands.
In fact, before this attack, Al Banna himself had written that the Brotherhood should be considered “at war with every leader, every match and every organization that does not work for the victory of Islam”. There were also those who followed this literally, and a part of the Brotherhood formed, since the end of the Decade of 1930, a secret militia: the “special apparatus ‘, that executed a series of a series of targeted assassinations in Egypt, among them was the prime minister Mahmud al Nukrashi Pasha, in December of 1948.
This line, which proposed the “holy war” through armed struggle and martyrdom, had among its main exponents to Said Kutb, who was imprisoned and executed during the reign of Nasser. Kutb went so far as to write, in 1964 in jail that “the hour had come that a Muslim gives its head to proclaim the birth of the Islamic movement”. His last words, before being hung in August, 1966, were: “I have done the yihad for 15 years before earning the right to this martyrdom”. Kutb died but its legacy inspired, some years later, and people such as Ayman al Zawahiri, who began its militancy in the Brotherhood later to break with it and to be one of the founders of The Qaeda, the organization that is now the leadership after the death of Osama
However, the Brotherhood never embraced the set orientation of individual terrorism and the assassinations. This was the cause of many sectors jihadists’ ruptures. Even being pursued during the Governments of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, the truth is that the Brotherhood experienced a marked process of moderation and adaptation to the military regime.
The Mubarak government, even though well maintained formally its prohibition, incorporated them into the regime by giving them the role of main opposition. Participating in the elections rigged by the dictatorship, the Muslim Brotherhood reached 17 seats in Parliament, in the year 2000. Five years later, this party was presented with the coverage of “independent candidates” and managed 20 % of the seats.
The vote that got the Brotherhood already reflected, although in a distorted way, the wear of the Mubarak Government. The Dictator realized, as it usually tends to happen, opened up certain opportunities – always in order to legitimize themselves – on how to stop running the Brotherhood, thus giving the appearance that there was some kind of “opposition”.
But this “tug of war” was always controlled by Mubarak. After the 2005 elections, Mubarak began a new campaign that imprisoned several leaders of the Brotherhood, in order to cut off the Brotherhood’s step towards a better result in the November 2010 elections. The Brotherhood, then called to boycott the second round of these elections, where the party of Mubarak, the National Democratic Party, was made with 80% of the seats in the people’s Assembly.
When the revolution explodes, in January, 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood does not join immediately the mobilizations against Mubarak. This is due to the fact that, this organization, as we saw, already was a part of the regime.. As main party of “opposition“, tolerated by Mubarak, that for years fulfilled a role of support and legitimization of military order.
This does not mean that the Brotherhood was not suffering, eventually, the repression of the military regime signified that its political action was not orientated to overthrow the regime but to agree with it. The Brotherhood sought to occupy increasingly spaces of power, always in the frames and to the extent that the military regime would accept it.
The Brotherhood Came to support, even, a succession plan that pretended to enthrone the son of Mubarak, Gamal, and a plan that came even before the outbreak of demonstrations.
For this reason, when the people went out to the streets and occupied the Tahrir Square to the scream of ¡Leave Mubarak!, the leadership of the Brotherhood, at first, joined with the line of the military to try to calm the masses with some promises of “cosmetic” reforms.
Only when Mubarak’s situation was untenable and when their own bases went out to the streets to demand his resignation, the Brotherhood was relocated. It changed position and joined the mobilizations. Overthrown Mubarak, as explained in other articles, the Brotherhood had no hesitation in agreeing with the Military Junta to assume the presidency and save the regime.
The weight of their social integration, through their welfarism, mostly in impoverished rural areas, coupled with the authority earned by being “opposition” to Mubarak, made it a dizzying rise. After Mubarak’s fall, it passed) to gain all the elections in which it participated. In the elections for the Lower House, between November, 2011 and January, 2012, it achieved 37.5 % of the votes. In those of the Shura, the Upper House, it obtained 45% of the votes. For the presidency, Mohamed Morsi won with 51.73 % of the votes in second round. In the referendum of the Islamist Constitution that Morsi pushed for ,although only 32,8 % of the electorate participated, the “yes” that the government proposed won with 63,8 % of the votes.
The Brotherhood is a bourgeois political party. Its program is neoliberal and it defends the Sharia (Islamic law) like “the only reference point to arrange the life of the Moslem family, the individual, the community and the State”.
During the year that they governed, along with the military men, they demonstrated to be deeply pro-imperialists, maintaining all the agreements with the USA and Israel and negotiating (almost begging) the loan for 4.800 million dollars with the IMF.
It is the largest Islamist party and ancient Egypt. It is estimated that between one hundred thousand and a half a million of the more than 80 million Egyptians are members or supporters of this organization. Between this social base, which is largely rural but has a large weight in the cities, it recruits armed gangs & fascists that attack the opposition demonstrations.
Its leadership is composed by representatives of an important sector of the Egyptian bourgeoisie, where businessmen can be found such as The Shater, a multimillionaire proprietor of a conglomerate of companies. He is the strong man in the organization and he was a candidate of the Party Freedom and Justice, the political arm of the Brotherhood.
Its structure is highly hierarchical. Its maximum leader is the ‘Supreme Guide’, a position currently held by Mohamed Badie. A “consultative body” Advisor to the 15 “Ministers”. The most important decisions are taken, however, by the Shura Council, an Assembly of about 100 members, which defines the policy of the Brotherhood and appoints the Supreme Leader as his advisers.
At the international level, the Brotherhood has influenced or originated several Islamist groups, such as the Palestinian movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. There are also other organizations linked to the Brotherhood in Jordan and Syria. In Syria, sectors related to the brothers were victims of the atrocious massacre occurred in Hama, in 1982, at the hands of Hafez Al-Assad, which killed thousands of civilians; currently they act in opposition to Bashar Al-Assad. In addition, it maintains relations with parties like Ennahda and the AKP, who rule in Tunisia and Turkey, respectively.
The fall of Morsi hasn’t destroyed the Brotherhood or even less. Nor, given its history, can a compromise be ruled out with the current Government. But at the same time, it cannot be denied, that with the advancement of the revolution, the important social and political weight of the Brotherhood has been hit hard. Although it maintains and can mobilize many followers, its management at the head of the government obtained a destruction as hasty as its ascent.
The alternative trade unionism and the new government
The working class of Egypt is one of the most numerous and organized of the region. It is believed that in the country there exist about 8 million workers, distributed in important industrial centers. Only at the state textile factory Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving 24.000 persons are employed. It is anticipated that the informal sector includes between 10 and 17 million workpeople.
This in a country with 85 million people, the most populous in the region, and who underwent an accelerated urbanization process in recent decades. Cairo went from 3 million inhabitants in 1960 to more than 20 million today. Alexandria has 5 million inhabitants. Cities such as Port Said, Suez or Mahalla have, more than half a million people. By placing this trend in a more regional context, it is noted that the 100 million who had the so-called Arab world in 1950, only 26% lived in cities; Today the urban population represents 66% out of a total of 350 million .
The Egyptian working class, mostly young and organized, played a very important role in the days that overthrew Mubarak. In the heat of the massive mobilizations of the youth, came on the scene the workers’ movement, that broke from the corrupt and governing Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) and formed the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU), which called for a general strike on January 30 of 2011, already in the middle of several sectoral strikes, such as the textile workers of Mahalla.
Struggles and strikes continued during the rule of the military Junta and against Morsi, to the point that when it is overthrown, there was a call for general strike of the EFITU and the Democratic Congress of workers in Egypt (EDLC) . As shown by boiling of the trade union movement, until June 30, a day where major demonstrations occurred against Morsi, there had been 3.817 worker protests, about 10 per day during his one year in office. 
Days before the June 30, once again, the Mahalla workers had staged a strong strike against the privatization plans for the company and threatened that they were “willing to take over the management of the factory if were not met their demands”.
The Egyptian revolution made possible, in this way, two major advances: 1) mobilized the working class as an important factor in the revolutionary process; 2) it generated a rich trade union reorganization process with detachments to the left of the traditional union apparatus linked to the regime, and with the formation of new trade union centrals and unions.
The fall of Morsi and the conformation of the new military Government pose new challenges and enormous dangers to all this process of reorganization that resulted in the revolution. The military regime has placed in the power a government that defends its interests and those of the imperialism but that, by the force of the revolution, it requires a “popular paw”. Even more the first fuse, the Brotherhood, has been burned in less than one year in office.
Unfortunately, this issue has divided the alternative and independent trade unionism. As we explained in the main article, the president of the EFITU, Kamal Abu Aita, the regime has capitulated and agreed to be appointed Minister of Labor. From his new post made the following call: “The workers, who were champions in strikes during the deposed regime, must now become the champions of the production” [ 4]
This fact, with good reason, generated a crisis in the EFITU. Fortunately, there exist sectors that questioned hardly the Kamal cooption. Fátima Ramadan, which took part in the Brazil of the Second Congress of the CSP-Conlutas, it expressed its rejection to the appointment of Abu Aita: “the attitude of Abu Aita was shameful (…) never consulted to the rest of the direction of the entity to emit that document”. Fatima obtained, on a total of 13 votes, 4 votes against to support the new Government and said: “the Muslim Brotherhood committed many crimes and must be processed by them, as well as officers of the police and army of Mubarak must be punished for their crimes. Make no mistake substituting a religious dictatorship by a military”.
In the end, he proposes correctly a new reorganization: “we’re trying to organize a coalition of willing workers to the fight, many of them are within the unions controlled by the different trade unions ( … ) in the middle of this complex scenario, this is our only way out.”
The dilemma in which is located the labor movement in Egypt is crucial: keep or not its political independence from the new Government which, as explained, responds to the military regime and maintains the pacts with imperialism. A Government that will not respond to the economic aspirations of workers, even to the democratic, such as the freedom of Association and the strike, officially remain governed by law 35 of 1976, which was approved during the Government of Mubarak.
In this regard, it is fundamental that workers and youth demand these leaders to renounce their positions and that they break from the new government, given that more than ever it is necessary to only trust the strength of the organization and the mobilization of the poor people and to maintain the political independence of the working class and the social movement to confront in the street the economic plans of austerity and selling out that drives the government post by the Egyptian military.
What to do before the call of the Military on a manifestation “against terrorism”?
On the 25th of June, general Al-Sisi made public a communication of the Armed Forces, called “the last opportunity”, in which it is announced a new ultimatum for the Muslim Brotherhood, where they are intimidated to “join the lines of the country” and accept the authority of the new government in a period of 48 hours. Otherwise, they threatened that the army “will change its strategy in dealing with violence”.
At the same time, Al-Sisi summoned “all the honest and honorable citizens of Egypt” to “complement the revolution of June the 30th” and come out to the streets to support the armed forces in a “probable fight against violence and terrorism”, in which they warned would proceed to “point their arms” against who implemented the “violence”. The chief of Military and minister of Defense finalized his call by saying “please, share our responsibility with me, with our army and with the police, and show your size and resolution before everything that is happening”.
What should be the position of the masses movement and that of revolutionaries onto this call? Yes well, to explain, we are against the mobilization of the Brotherhood who demands the return of Morsi and, at the same time, we coincide that, if the situation imposes, we must mobilize against them to defend, including physically, the conquest that represented the overthrow of Morsi, and this does not mean we support any type of mobilization “against the Brotherhood”.
The case of this call of Al- Sisi (which demonstrated being the one really running the country) has another character. The military apparatus directly calls this mobilization to strengthen the Military as an institutional power, reinforcing in the prestige won after concretizing the departure of Morsi.
It pretends to legitimize itself even more and to obtain more space for maneuvering to implement their plans against the people. That is to say, a mobilization that strengthens the regime, which was hit by the actions of the masses, and not the contrary. For this, in a cynical form, present their action as a measure to “deepen” the “revolution of the 30th of June”, in an attempt to capitalize even more the fall of Morsi and erase all the protagonism of the masses in this event.
As we explained, the fall of Morsi was a great victory of the masses, the fact that the military “gave the coup de grace” created a contradiction that allowed the generals to usurp that victory and maintain the control of political process. Calling the masses to mobilize, the armed forces tried, with a “shower of masses”, to strengthen their image as the “guardians of the nation”, which creates a more favorable situation to “identify” the “enemies of the country” and to be able to suppress, not only the Brotherhood but the whole movement of the masses, the future strikes, and the upcoming struggles. It’s to say, it’s a step forward in the sense of defeating the revolution and therefore we cannot support it.
For this reason, the workers movement, the Egyptian youth and revolutionaries cannot participate in these manifestations, & we must denounce the real intentions of the Military when enacting.
 Chastaing, Jacques: Egipto: la marcha de la clase obrera hacia su conciencia política
 Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress
 Chaimaa Abdel-Hamid: Egipto. Un infierno para los obreros. Viento Sur, 21/6/2013
 Sauda, Aldo: Uma traição para entrar na história