|STATEMENT of IWL(FI)|
|Written by IWL (FI)|
|Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:59|
The Egyptian people have been the protagonists of a powerful revolution ever since 2011. At first the power of the people’s mobilisation defeated the dictator Mubarak.
Although the military regime survived, this represented a great victory for the people and a severe blow to the leaders of the Armed Forces, because it was their government that fell. But it was also a blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, because when the mobilisations erupted they had an agreement with Mubarak that his son, Gama, would succeed him and ensure continuity of the regime, in which the Brotherhood would be the “tolerated opposition”.
When Mubarak fell, the military managed to manoeuvre and avoid their real counterrevolutionary face being seen, so instead of repressing the masses they adopted a different position at the last moment and demanded Mubarak’s resignation. In this way, they achieved considerable prestige in the eyes of the people. At the same time, the Brotherhood made a similar movement. In the context of the growth of mobilisations, continuing with Mubarak’s agreements made little sense, so at the last minute (and hypocritically) they also joined the mobilisations. This increased their standing in the eyes of a sector of the masses which they capitalised on later by winning the election. With the consent of the Armed Forces and with agreement to maintain the military regime the Brotherhood took over.
A second stage of the revolution arrived after experiencing the disastrous neo-liberal and Bonapartist-theocratic government of the Brotherhood, which led the masses to move again and defeat Morsi who they called “the new Mubarak” or “the new Pharaoh.” However Morsi, unlike Mubarak, refused to resign which forced the military, facing the mobilisations, to carry out a coup to remove him from power. Despite the contradiction, the fall of Morsi is configured as another huge achievement of the masses and a blow against a regime losing its second government in two and a half years, since the 2011 mobilisations.
From that moment on the Muslim Brotherhood went onto the streets to challenge the masses – that had defeated Morsi with their revolutionary actions – and the Army, with the intention of reinstating Morsi. This Brotherhood’s mobilisations – already explained in previous statements – have a totally counterrevolutionary character.
The army, with support from the population as a result of defeating Morsi and the hatred Muslim Brotherhood, began to unleash a totally unrestrained and disproportioned repression against the militants of the Brotherhood.
In six weeks they killed over 300 Brotherhood activists, which has now culminated in the demilitarization of Brotherhood camps in Cairo and a death toll of 638 according to the interim administration’s own report. The Muslim Brotherhood claims the number of dead to be 4,500 and 10,000 wounded.
It may appear that the only ones receiving this fierce repression by the military are the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi. But it is wrong.
If repression was only conducted against the Muslim Brotherhood, then the bloodbath perpetrated by the Army would not be necessary. Massive arrests or the arrest of the leaders would have been enough. Nor would it have been necessary to declare the state of emergency or even a curfew. Massive arrests would have been enough to illegalise the Brotherhood. The state of siege and the curfew as well as the reinstatement of the sinister Department of Research and Political Subversion, the law that empowers the military to arrest civilians or the persecution of Syrians by the closing “for an indefinite time” of the border with Gaza are not restricted to the Brotherhood. It affects the whole mass movement. The state of siege affects all who mobilise, including those who would move against the Brotherhood. This also was the case in the recent strike of the Suez workers.
So the army is using the prestige gained from the coup against the reactionary Brotherhood to also send a message to the entire population, “This is what you can expect if you dare to challenge the authority of the Armed Forces.”
That is, they have managed to usurp the triumph of the masses and use the repression against the Brotherhood (not unpopular with the majority) in order to make headway with a counterrevolutionary plan: to recover lost ground as far as people’s democratic achievements are concerned conquered in all that time since the fall of Mubarak.
On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood is also using repression against the masses. Firstly, they are using their followers as cannon fodder, because there is no news of any important leader being killed or injured in the brutal police-military repression. Secondly, since their counterrevolutionary struggle to bring Morsi back to power, they have been orienting their struggle against minorities such as the Coptic Christians. Recently, with their fascistic bands, they have attacked and set on fire several Christian churches and by this they have once more proven that their political project is reactionary and theocratic-confessional.
In these confrontations, neither the Army nor the Brotherhood deserves any confidence or support. They both have the same aim: defeat the revolution. Both are counterrevolutionary oriented against the mass movement and uphold the military regime that has been in power since 1952.
Has the revolution already been defeated?
In the face of the military coup and the slaughter executed by the Army, many left activists and militants in Egypt and abroad are justified in wondering if the revolution has already been defeated.
The IWL-FI does not see the current process as a defeat of the revolution. The contrary is true: what we see is a tremendous revolution: without doubt the most powerful in the history of Egypt. However, inside this revolution – as in every revolution – counterrevolution exists. From this perspective the attempts by the Brotherhood to retrieve power as well as the massacres and Bonapartist measures of the military are attempts to defeat the revolution.
Whether or not these initial counterrevolutionary attempts will be victorious, remains to be seen. It will be the Egyptian masses who will have the final say. It will be the people who defeated Mubarak and Morsi who will decide whether or not a “blank cheque” will be given to the military; if they will or will not allow the Army to retrieve lost ground and take away the achievements the masses have so far attained. It will be the Egyptian people who, when the new government controlled by the military fails to respond to the pressing economic demands, will decide whether or not to confront them. For now, there is no reason to believe that the people will stand idly by. They can be defeated; it has happened many times in history, but this will not happen without a struggle.
The Egyptian masses have not been defeated; far from it, they feel victorious and the Army as well as the Brotherhood and the entire bourgeoisie along with imperialism are fully aware of this. They know that, in order to return to the point before the fall of Mubarak, they will have to inflict a heavy defeat on the Egyptian people. That is what still remains to be seen.
Down with the counterrevolutionary plan of the Army and the Brotherhood!
In Egypt, the central and immediate task is to confront the measures taken by the new government. Thus, it is necessary to pose demands: No confidence in the new puppet government of the military and imperialism! An immediate end to the state of siege and of the curfew! No to full powers for the government and no authorisation for the military to arrest and judge civilians! Full democratic liberty for expression and organisation! Down with the military regime, repressive and servile to imperialism and Israel! Punishment for all the crimes of the military of Mubarak and of Morsi! Immediate election for a free and sovereign Constituent Assembly without the participation of the military or the Brotherhood.”
While we condemn the slaughter committed by the Army and all the Bonapartist measures taken, using the prestige gained for removing Morsi from office, we must now say very clearly: No to the return of Morsi! No to the confessional and counterrevolutionary mobilisations of the Brotherhood! No democratic rights or rights of expression for the Brotherhood and their political leaders while they mobilise for the return of Morsi! Total religious freedom for the people!
In order to make headway with the tasks posed by the revolutionary process, it is essential for mobilisations and public occupations to continue, along with strikes and a reorganisation of the working class and the struggle in general. But this must be totally independent of the Army and their new government, as well as of the Muslim Brotherhood. It must be a struggle against the whole military regime. And in the heat of this struggle lies the urgent need to construct and shape a revolutionary socialist, proletarian and internationalist leadership for the masses which can lead this immense revolutionary energy towards the seizure of power by the Egyptian working class and toiling masses and towards the construction of socialism on a national and international level.
Down with the state of siege and all antidemocratic measures!
No to the return of Morsi and mobilisations of the Brotherhood!
No confidence in the new government!
Down with the military pro-imperialist regime!
For an immediate Constituent and Sovereign Assembly to seize power, free from the military and Brotherhood participation!
International Secretariat of the IWL-FI
São Paulo 15th August 2013