|Written by Ronald León Núñez Fri. December 28, 2012 11:24|
|Sunday, 20 January 2013 04:29|
In the past weeks we have seen again thousands of Egyptians occupying the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo, performing impressive demonstrations in almost the whole country, confronting the cops with stones and overcoming an impressive military siege consisting of barbed wire, tanks and elite troops – who comprise the Republican Guard – in order to achieve and surround thepresidential palace gates in the capital.
Whenviewing these scenes one would assume they are the same scenes of the revolutionary mobilization which lasted 17 days, resulted in 800 martyrs and defeated the dictator Mubarak on February 11, 2011. The most chanted sloganin Tahrir nowadays is identical to that of two years ago: “The people want the fall of the regime!”
The difference now is that the Egyptian people and the working class no longer chant against Mubarak, the hated dictator who fell with their revolutionary struggle, but against the president Mohamed Morsi and the current government of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The agreement between the Brotherhood and the military forces
This has been happening because the Egyptian masses face a repressive and Bonapartist political regime that although without Mubarak, has kept what is essential due to the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood negotiated Morsi’s presidential inauguration with the military leadership demanding no-questioning on their immense economic and political power.
In this setting, this new popular uprising began when Morsi, strengthened by its prominent role in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, issued a decree with a “constitutional declaration” category that gave him an almost total concentration of powers by establishing that no presidential decision could be questioned in any judiciary instance. We must take into account that Morsi already concentrates the executive and legislative powers, after the former Military Board dissolved the Parliament last June.
Nevertheless Morsi went further. Shortly after this decree, he announced that the project for the Constituent Assembly Constitution – clearly composed of Muslim members – was finished and summoned a fast referendum for December 15th and 22nd in order to approve it.
The draft Constitution which Morsi and The Brotherhood advocate – with the support of the most fundamentalist Islamists sectors, known as Salafists – clearly has a Bonapartist and repressive character, is anti-worker and against strikes. It also undermines the rights of women and the religious minorities, as it is based on the Sharia law, or Islamic law. .
The core of the constitutional project is that it is made in order to comply with the military leadership desires, because it keeps intact the enormous powers and privileges of the armed forces in the Egyptian politics and economy.
No doubts allowed this draft constitution is a perfect tool to defeat the revolution and keep the Bonapartist regime, supporting the pact of the Brotherhood with the military forces counting onthe U.S. imperialism support. It is necessary to underline here that the current Bonapartist onslaught of the regime and the Egyptian government has the Washington approval, who deliberately uses Morsi as a stabilizing element in the region, as evidenced in the latest Zionist aggression in Gaza.
On account of all this, it is not a mere coincidence that the higher rank of the armed forces has not ruled against the decree and this constitutional project. The point is that Morsi has always scrupulously respected his vital interests. In his five months in office the Muslim President has been doing everything possible to keep good relations with the military leadership.
Morsi guarantees three crucial issues to the generals: a) maintain their full autonomy b) offer immunity to the military junta for the crimes and abuses committed during the dictatorship until the rise of Morsi c) keep their numerous businesses and properties – it is estimated that the military leadership controls no less than 30% of the country’s economy – and the maintenance of alliance with the United States, which directly finances the armed forces with over $ 1.3 billion annually, a situation that transforms the armed forces in the Army that receives the largest financial incentives from the imperialism after Israel.
So far all of this has been respected and protected. In fact, the constitution draft obliges that the Defense Minister must be always a military and grants to a Military Body, not to the Parliament, the power to draw up the budget of the Defense Ministry, as it was during Mubarak’s time. It also keeps the frightening Military Courts to judge civilians (social activists and opponents in general) and does not deny any kind of torture. Recently Morsi himself authorized the army to arrest any protester who faced him in the streets.
Attacks on organization and strike rights
The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) issued a statement denouncing Morsi’s decree and his constitutional project. About the decree, this federation asks: “How can the president enact laws, and work for its implementation, without anyone having the right to attend the courts to oppose to them?” “And if it is issued a decree banning all unions which have been created since the revolution?” “Nobody will be able to object to this decree?”
Referring to the project of Constitution, particularly the part related to the rights of the working class and their freedom of organization, they denounce: “(…) all projects that have emerged from the Constituent Assembly have been completely depleted of workers, peasants , fishermen, informal workers rights. The articles that mention workers and social justice do not commit anyone to an actual implementation, nor the government nor the employers. At the same time, such projects protect the interests of the factory owners and directors of companies: currently we met with employers who refuse to pay the workers’ salaries and lay off them or shut the factory down and drive workers out, even when they, business owners, enjoy privileges and tax exemptions.
Furthermore, these business owners have received bank loans and have never returned them… (…) “.
Elsewhere in its speech, this sector of Egyptian unions also opposes to Morsi speech made on last 23 November, in which he threatened that “he would use the law against either production disruption or blockage of roads, and thathe would prohibit by law the strikes and protests” in addition to announcing the effective date of a law  authorizing the President to intervene in the unions, when he could even replace the current officers. These Morsi’s attacks, as part of a Bonapartist offensive, are a clear response to a growing workers’ uprising in the Egyptian political arena, since even before the fall of Mubarak. Sectors of the working class, as the factory workers of Mahalla, the largest in the textile industry, were part of the vanguard that toppled the former dictator. Since his fall, workers of Mahalla Factory held a series of struggles and strikes. Recently, as a continuation of the struggle, they led an important march against Morsi’s reactionary measures.
All this comes amid a rich reorganization process in the Egyptian labor movement, with the establishment of new unions or federations. The Brotherhood’s government, an ally of the military, attempts to prevent this process by restricting all freedoms and democratic breaches that have been conquered with the fall of Mubarak. But it is still far from achieving this goal. The strength of the mobilization and the entrance on the scene of a sector of the working class has achieved a first triumph: Morsi was forced to withdraw his decree.
Defeating Morsi’s and the military’s Constitution!
However, Morsi has not given up his proposal for a constitution nor the referendum. It’s clear his intention to divert the fight to the ground that most favors the Brotherhood and then, consequently, to divert the revolutionary process and “legitimate” his Bonapartist and repressor political project: the electoral arena.
Given this whole process, the bourgeois opposition that opposes the Brotherhood teamed up in what they called the National Salvation Front. This is a broad front encompassing a number of parties that call themselves “secular and liberal” and even high rank members of the former Mubarak government are in. It is led by Mohamed el Baradei and Amro Musa, former foreign minister of Mubarak and former general secretary of the Arab League. But there are also other characters, as Hamdin Sabahi, a bourgeois nationalist who introduces himself as Nasserist and plays an important role at the trade union world and in some clusters of young people; not coincidentally it was the third most voted candidate in the last elections. To this broad front of opposition it has also come many youth organizations who were in the streets since the beginning of the revolution, as the well-known “April 6 Movement”.
The opposition front has decided to call to vote “no” in the constitutional referendum. We are completely against this constitutional project and believe that the fight against the Brotherhood government and the Bonapartist regime must immediately defeat this project for a Constitution which legalizes and legitimates the power of the military forces and reiterates all the connections of the country to the imperialism.
The fight against the Bonapartist offensive takes place in the streets right now and also in the electoral field. Therefore, maintaining the most absolute independence class, we firmly uphold firmly that it is necessary that the unions and the left implement a policy of broad unity of action in all sectors, including the bourgeoisie, in case theyare willing to confront the regime and the constitution that consolidates it. It is in this broad front against Morsi and the military forces that we must fight the bourgeois directions and to struggle to build a revolutionary leadership, since the current direction of el Baradei, Musa, etc, considering their unbridgeable class limitations, is and will be unable to lead the fight until the end.
Some demonstrations of that can be seen such as its openness to negotiate this or that question on the constitutional text and even about the specific mechanism of the referendum with the regime, to demobilize the whole process.
When we finished this article first round of the referendum was carried out and unofficial data give partial victory to the “yes”, with 57% compared to 43% to the “no”. However, in a militarized election day with another 120 thousand soldiers, the highlighted note is the triumph of “no” in several cities with significant urban and workers weight, like the very capital, where the rejection of the Brotherhood’s project won 57% of votes. In the second round, to be held on December 22, the rural towns of the interior will vote, where the Muslims have a much greater weight. Either way, even if the regime constitutional project is approved on the ballot – which is the most probable – it is far from achieving the legitimacy that the Brotherhood and the military claimed, since until now there was only 33% of participation and there are several accusations of irregularities during the elections.
The revolution is alive and advances
These huge mobilizations are an undeniable demonstration that the Egyptian revolution is not over and far less defeated. Instead, it remains alive the flame of struggle of exploited and oppressed masses, who, in these almost two years after Mubarak’s overthrow, have not seen their living conditions improve or their democratic aspirations been fulfilled.
The most positive and encouraging is that this new wave of revolutionary mobilizations directly confronts the Muslim Brotherhood government, thestrongest and better organized bourgeois party of the country. This 84-year-old political organization has always had a strong reputation among broad sectors of the masses, despite being one of Mubarak’s pillars and despite keeping their government making agreements with the murderous military leadership.
The growth of disappointment and popular opposition to the Brotherhood has to do with the direct experience that the masses are making with this government. The Brotherhood erosion has been much faster than had been expected. After taking office, less than half a year ago, with high popular approval ratings, now we see sectors of the masses comparing Morsi to Mubarak or to a modern Pharaoh and demanding in the streets “Morsi, Morsi, resign.” This comparison of Morsi to Mubarak until recently was unthinkable.
Now it is a fact. In different parts of the country, thousands of people have invaded and set fire to about 40 offices of the Brotherhood.
All of that is due to two circumstances: On the one hand, it is clearer that the Brotherhood is in the same authoritarian train that the military forces are and, secondly, Morsi has to apply economic plans which strike harshly the already plundered Egyptian people standard of living. Amidst this worker and popular resumption upsurge, Morsi had to change his mind – after having announced – in a plan for tax increases by up to 50% on staple products, as part of the package that the IMF demands to grant a loan of US$ 4.8 billion.
The main task at the moment is to complete the process that had as the first victory the Mubarak’s overthrow and move towards the complete destruction of the dictatorial regime controlled by the armed forces leadership and sustained by imperialism. This also implies, of course, in a more determined fight against the Brotherhood government, one of the regime’s guarantees.
To destroy the Egyptian Bonapartist regime – which now governs as though it were Islamic – and to conquer broad democratic freedoms is a fundamental task so that the revolution can advance to a worker’s, peasant’s and popular government, in order to start the construction of socialism in Egypt and the region.
Therefore it is urgent to deepen the popular mobilization demanding the call of a new, free and sovereign Constituent Assembly. This will be a struggle inevitably against Morsi’s government and against the entire military leadership that controls the political and economic power.
Therefore, the mobilizations for democratic and economic matters must be placed aiming at the overthrow of the Brotherhood government and the military regime, and immediately establish a workers’ government. It is only a government fulfilling these criteria that will be able to convene a really free and sovereign Constituent Assembly, based on the workers and the people’s interests, starting with a complete rupture of all political and economic pacts that subordinate Egypt to U.S. imperialism and to the Nazi-Zionist State of Israel. Only a workers’ and the exploited’s government can punish all Mubarak’s and the military’s crimes as well as to confiscate their properties and vast fortunes to put them at the people’s service.
The implementation of these tasks (destruction of the Bonapartist regime, rupture with imperialism and advance to the expropriation of the capitalists) are placed in the current reality. The revolution that is shaking North Africa and the Middle East, with the revival of the Palestinian struggle, the upsurge of workers’ struggles in Tunisia, the beginning of the masses’ struggles in Jordan, Al Assad’s regime increasingly isolated by the revolution and the civil war in Syria, give us reason to be optimistic about the revolution definitive victory in Egypt and throughout the region.
 The article2, which establishes the identity of the country and the role of Islamic law is the same as the 1971 Constitution and says: “Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation”.
 It is the law 97/2012 which modifies the law 35 of 1976.