Mubarak fell! Great triumph of the Revolution in Egypt!
Written by IWL-FI
Monday, 14 February 2011 01:17
Against the transition boosted by the bourgeoisie and imperialism: keep on demonstrating!
The glorious Egyptian revolution set a historic example for all the peoples of the world and a new and decisive step towards the expansion of the Arab revolution. Mubarak – the loathed dictator and the most important agent of imperialism and Israel – was ejected by the unwavering force of the masses, maintained during 18 consecutive days. That is why the overthrow of this dictator is an enormous triumph of the Egyptian and Arab toiling masses.
The revolution cornered the regime
The heart of this gigantic process was on the Tahrir Square (The Square of the Liberation) in downtown Cairo, the capital city, which soon became the centre of the protests that swept through the entire country. Millions of Egyptians demanded, Out with Mubarak and the regime! The occupation of the Square became the power expression of mobilised toiling masses as opposed to a regime and its institutions, which could no longer govern. The government ordered the Square to be cleared and nobody obeyed; they decreed a curfew, but the masses did not listen to them. The process galvanised the entire country and we could see massive demonstrations in great cities, such as Alexandria, Suez and Port Said and spread to all the corners of the country.
With the country paralysed, the government put up a counterrevolutionary attempt at violent attack against the demonstrators in order to defeat them and so drain the square. In spite of the passive attitude of the army and the cowardice of sending a raid of armed bands against the unarmed demonstrators, the occupants of the Square could not be cowed down and they bravely drove the bands, composed by policemen and mercenaries, off the square.
While launching this attack against the revolutionary movement, the government called for dialogue with the tolerable opposition and with the participation of the followers of El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood. In spite of the fact that these forces did not arrive at any agreement with the regime, their participation actually meant legitimating an attempt at a negotiated transition. As a result, only “constitutional reforms” and hollow promises of “concessions” were announced before the September elections. The masses did not believe these manipulations and continued demanding the immediate departure of Mubarak while they maintained the occupation of the Square in Cairo and in the main cities in the country.
Towards the end of the process, the working class began to join in a decisive manner wielding their most powerful weapon: the strike. This could be seen when the Suez Canal workers, of health service of Cairo as well as telecommunications workers and transport took the centre of the stage. Even press workers of organs as Al Ahram resolved to go on strike against the regime. This wave of strikes, which combined the demands for better working conditions with the demand that Mubarak must go paralysed Egyptian economy increasingly in a way that jeopardised the interests of the national and international bourgeoisie. Workers were making it clear that as long as Mubarak remained in the office, they would continue to the bitter end just to get what they wanted.
Faced with all this, the army was unable to repress the demonstrations directly and just remained watching the massive marches and the occupation of the Square. The constant contact of the soldiers and low officers with the demonstrators deepened the elements of crisis in the army and that made any possible order to repress massively even more risky for it could cause the immediate split in the army facing the revolutionary power of the Egyptian people.
Mubarak forced to resign
When keeping Mubarak became unsustainable, imperialism began the quest for a “safe transition” that would guarantee a “loyal government”, who would become in charge of “stabilizing” the country, uphold the main institutions of the regime granting a few democratic concessions. Imperialism bet on the army summit to carry out this task, bearing in mind the organic connection to imperialism, its importance as fundamental pillar of the regime and repressive force as well as certain prestige they still had in the eyes of the toiling masses.
After several announcements aiming at a possible resignation during the night of February 10th, Mubarak frustrated all the expectations with an address in which, instead of announcing his withdrawal, he announced his permanence in power with just a few transmissions on to Suleiman.
The furious reaction of the population at the Tahrir Square in Cairo and in the entire country indicated that the protest was becoming increasingly radical and more unrest was expected the following day, the 11th. That very same night, demonstrators surrounded such central spaces as the president’s palace and the state-run TV station heavily protected by the army. This situation was increasingly distressing, particularly for the army HQ for the possibility of a confrontation of demonstrators with the security forces. Bearing in mind the important elements of crisis inside the army, there was no guarantee at all that a possible seizure of these buildings by the population could be stopped by the armed forces.
Due to the overwhelming growth of the protest and the definite loss of the control by the regime, Suleiman was compelled to go to the TV station and announce telegraphically Mubarak’s resignation and the definite hand-over of the leadership of the country to the Central Command of the Army.
Mubarak’s exit was a tremendous achievement of the mobilized toiling masses and that is why it was received with real joy and emotion.
The centre of the agreement is bourgeois stability through the army
We share the enormous and fair joy of the Egyptian masses and the whole world for now we have got rid of a murderous and corrupt dictator. But we wish to issue a warning. The summits of the Egyptian army, who have just taken over as an alleged alternative to the Mubarak leadership, have always been the hard mainstay of the Egyptian dictatorship.
Actually, the high command of the army owns several companies in the different sectors of the economy (controlling between 30% and 40% of the Egyptian economy) and they have become rich in the shade of the dictatorship, at the price of the poverty of the people.
Apart from that, the army is the central pillar of the Mubarak regime and is the strategic ally of the USA and Israel in the region. This is expressed directly in the $2000 million a year in military aid for this institution.
This role of the armed forces could be seen when they shielded the pro-Mubarak hordes when they penetrated to crush the demonstrators on the 2nd and 3rd February.
With the crisis caused by the course of the revolution, the army top-notches will now try to take over the whole process directly getting rid of the embarrassing figure of Mubarak to continue with the privileges and with significant change in the country. The clearest expression of that was the appointment of Tantawi, Mubarak’s minister of defence for the past 20 years, to head the new government until the forthcoming elections.
The policy that imperialism and the army as a whole wish to impose on those who demonstrated during the last 18 days to remove Mubarak and to end the dictatorship consists in the acceptation of a controlled democratic opening, that the main pillars of the repressive regime are to remain untouched and that the fulfilment of political, economic and military agreements with imperialism and particularly with Israel are to be respected. In this process of controlled opening, sectors of the bourgeois opposition are getting ready to play a fundamental role. From this point of view, the sector headed by El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood have already emitted statements favourable to concocting a government of national unity with the military allowing for a negotiated transition until the forthcoming elections and are all for respecting the agreements with Israel and imperialism.
Only the independent mobilisation of the toiling masses can make the Egyptian revolution move on!
The great victory achieved by the Egyptian revolution when Mubarak was toppled is just the beginning and not the end of the struggle against the oppression.
Imperialism and the Egyptian bourgeoisie are trying to prevent the people from reaching an even greater victory than what has already been achieved and so to avoid the split with the former regime should go any further. The highest expression of this fact is that the man appointed to lead the new government is closely linked to Mubarak, whose ministry of defence he had headed for 20 years. And he is trustworthy for American imperialism. The army summit, deeply committed to the dictatorship will not see the proposal of any punishment for the crimes committed by repressors and torturers; nor will they allow any detriment to the interests of those who had thrived under the shade of Mubarak. They will not agree to any liberty for crimes of the dictatorships to be reported or for workers to enjoy trade union liberties and the right to strike, which would jeopardise the fabulous profits of the groups to which they are linked. A government integrated by Mubarak’s men is an obstacle for the revolution!
The dictatorship killed and tortured thousands of members of the opposition. During the 18 days of protests, 300 people were killed trying to topple Mubarak. In order to once and for all to split away from Mubarak, it is necessary to dissolve the repressive apparatuses that had maintained the terror of the dictatorship for over 30 years and to punish all those guilty of jailing, torturing and killing those who were fighting for their rights.
For the dissolution of the repressive apparatuses! Punishment for those guilty of torture and death!
It is also necessary to keep on with the mobilisation so as to ensure the immediate release of all political prisoners and total liberties of unions association, of party organisation and freedom of press.
We know that there is class division among the army rank and file. The co fraternisation and the incapacity of soldiers and middle rank officers to repress prove this to be true. It is necessary for soldiers and middle rank officers to get organised independently from their superiors and so to join the demands and expectations of the Egyptian working class, who have nothing to do with those of imperialism or of Mubarak’s generals.
For the immediate dissolution of the fraudulent Parliament! If we are to put an end to the Mubarak regime, it is not enough to make partial reforms in the Constitution which is what the new government and the bourgeois opposition are set on doing. A sovereign and fully empowered Constituent Assembly is to be summoned and nobody who has been part of the organisms of the Mubarak regime is to be there. Constituent Assembly to break the agreements with imperialism, to expropriate Mubarak’s wealth and of the entire bourgeoisie and to build a Socialist Egypt in the service of the workers and the people!
The oppression of the Egyptian people is not restrained to the dictatorship for it is deeply rooted in the exploitation and unemployment that doom most of the population to hunger and poverty. The revolution does not challenge the current regime alone. It affects the dominating imperialism directly and thus it is objectively a proletarian and socialist revolution. That is why, in order to split away from the old regime, it is essential to break the military and political pacts with Israel and imperialism. Out with imperialism from Egypt! For an immediate and total opening of the frontier with Gaza Strip!
For an immediate and general increase of all salaries and wages so that they should correspond to the cost of the family basket! For an economic emergency plan and immediate reduction of the working hours without any reduction of workers wages so that job for everybody can be ensured! For the expropriation of the great national and multinational corporations and of the financial system!
If the dearest yearnings of the toiling masses are to be met and a new Egypt is to be built, independent mobilisation is to be continued. It was the mobilisations of the toiling masses and not the army who toppled Mubarak. That is why we summon the Egyptian masses not to leave the fate of their revolution in the hands of the military men and to trust only in their own power.
The youth, who had played and extraordinary role as part of the vanguard of this mobilisation and displayed great heroism by staying at the Square all those days in spite of the repression, should keep on being organised and so impose their just demands. The working class, besides being in the centre of the battle against Mubarak, has already proved that they can stop the country.
As from this victory of those who occupied and held the Tahir Square, the need for boosting independent mobilisation and organisation of workers and of the youth has been on the agenda. There is urgent need to call for a meeting of the toiling masses to discuss a programme in the service of the people, opposed to that of the military top notches and to take power into their hands so as to be able to carry out this programme.
It is necessary to develop the Arab revolution!
After Tunisia, the Arab revolution achieved a great success with the overthrow of Mubarak. Let us extend this to the entire region! For the overthrow of all the dictatorships and reactionary monarchies in the Arab world and the Middle East!
Mubarak was a pillar of the order imposed by imperialism in the region, the centre of which lies in Israel. The Arab revolution will not be triumphant as long as the Palestinian people remain under the boot of Israel! All our support for the Palestinian people! For the destruction of the state of Israel!
This revolutionary process has another challenge to cope with: the confrontation of theocratic dictatorial regimes, as the one in Iran, which repressed the mobilisations against the electoral fraud two years ago and where the people are exploited in spite of occasional clashes with imperialism.
The Arab revolution has place the need to recover the unity of the Arab nation with the perspective of building a great Federation of Socialist Arab Republics!
São Paulo, 11th February 2011