Spontaneous mass protests shatter the military dictatorship of General Sisi
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23.09.2019, www.thecommunists.net
1. Events of profound importance are currently taking place in Egypt. Since Friday 20 September, spontaneous mass demonstrations are taking place in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria, Port Said, El-Mahalla El-Kubra and other cities. People have marched to the historic Tahrir Square, the central place of the Egyptian Revolution which resulted in the downfall of the Mubarak dictatorship on 25 January 2011. They are chanting slogans like "the people demand the fall of the regime" and "leave Sisi", “rise up, fear not, Sisi must go", and “there is but one God and Sisi is the enemy of God”. General Sisi, Egypt’s dictator who is currently in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, is visible getting nervous since he felt it necessary to issue a warning to international journalists “not to depend on social media platforms as sources of news, for fear of chaos, confusion, false accounts and fabrication.”
2. The regime tries to suppress the popular uprising by any means necessary. About 400-500 people have been already arrested in Cairo, according to the lawyer Amr Imam. A few hours ago, the police even detained Mahienour El-Massry, a well-known and award-winning human rights lawyer, after she had attended the investigations as a lawyer for several of those arrested during the demonstrations. The military dictatorship is a vicious enemy of the people. Since it came to power via a coup d'etat on 3 July 2013 it has killed thousands of people, raped numerous women in prison and thrown at least 63.000 people in the dungeons. On a single day alone – the 14 August 2013 – the army slaughtered up to 2,600 people demonstrating on Cairo’s Rabaa Square and other places! No doubt, this bloody dictatorship will struggle to keep its power and privileges with all its brutality.
3. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) wholeheartedly welcomes this popular upsurge and sends its warmest greetings to the courageous brothers and sisters who are defying the massive, armed to the teeth, state apparatus! This is a struggle for freedom against a barbarous dictatorship – it deserves the full and unconditional support of all socialists, democrats and righteous man and women!
4. The protests have been triggered by a series of videos published by Mohamed Ali who currently lives in Spain in self-imposed exile. He is a business man who worked as a military contractor for 15 years. As an establishment figure-turned-informer he accuses the generals, including Sisi, of numerous cases of corruption. Undoubtedly, most of his claims will be true as the whole country is aware that the military establishment and the Sisi family are corrupted through and through. Ali also addressed a letter to Defense Minister General Mohamed Zaki, calling on him to force President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to step down or arrest him in the event of rejection. While the exposure of these scandals is highly welcome, the RCIT strongly warns against any illusions in the perspectives advocated by this business man. His appeal to the military to dispose General Sisi represent the treacherous road of a coup d'etat which would only remove the tyrant but keep the army as the dominant force. However, it was one of the most important failures of the 25 January Revolution that it remained unfinished and left the generals in power.
5. While it is too early to say if this is already the beginning of the Second Egyptian Revolution, there can be no doubt about the profound significance of these events. Events could move very quickly but it is also possible that this is the beginning of a longer process until the fall of the regime (similar to Iran 1978-79). In any case, it seems that a psychological barrier has been broken down – the masses’ fear of the overwhelmingly repression apparatus. And this in itself is already a victory!
6. The importance of an overthrow of General Sisi’s regime cannot be overestimated. This dictatorship represents the most important pillar of the counter-revolutionary offensive which has been let off the leash by the ruling classes of the Arab states and the imperialist Great Powers in response to the Great Arab Revolution. The coup d'etat on 3 July 2013 not only smashed the democratic achievements in Egypt itself. It helped Israel to strangle Gaza. It helped the tyrant Assad to push back the Syrian Revolution. It strengthened General Haftar and his counter-revolutionary forces in Libya. Unsurprisingly, General Sisi received massive financial and political support by the authoritarian regimes of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Likewise, the military dictatorship was considered a reliable ally by all imperialist Great Powers. Just a few weeks ago, U.S. President Trumo literally called Sisi “My Favorite Dictator”! And the EU governments did roll out the red carpet for General Sisi less than a year ago as he guaranteed his European masters to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean by any brutal means necessary.
7. In other words, bringing down the Egypt dictatorship would be a massive blow for the Zionist state, for the ultra-reactionary Gulf monarchies, for Assad the butcher, for General Haftar, for Trump, Putin and Xi, as well as for the imperialist fortress EU! It would be an important victory for the popular masses in Egypt thirsting for freedom, for the heroic Palestinian people, for the ongoing glorious Syrian Revolution, for the Yemeni masses defending their country against the Saudi aggression, for the Libyan people defending Tripoli and for refugees desperately trying to flee war and misery. In short, defeating Sisi would mean a defeat for the all counter-revolutionary tyrannies in the Arab world as well as a defeat for all Great Powers!
8. At this point it is important to bring to mind that it was not only the imperialist Great Powers and regional ruling classes which welcomed General Sisi’s bloody grab for power six years ago. This killer regime was also hailed by numerous “left-wing” organizations like the Stalinist “Communist” Party of Egypt and its international friends as well as various pseudo-Trotskyist organizations (like the LIT, Alan Woods’ IMT, or, initially, the Cliffite RS/IST). They all hailed the coup d'etat as a “Second Egypt Revolution”, i.e. they shamefully glorified the bloody counter-revolution as a “revolution”! History will never forget this crime!
9. The RCIT has supported the resistance of the popular masses in Egypt against the tyranny of General Sisi from the very first hour. We participated in numerous solidarity actions of Egyptian migrants. It is crucial that the workers, youth and poor in Egypt finish the revolution this time, smash the whole repression apparatus and expropriate the whole business and military elite! We also call the workers and popular mass organizations around the world to demonstrate their international solidarity and to rally in support of the Egypt brothers and sisters! The RCIT calls all activists sharing our perspectives to join us in building a revolutionary party in Egypt and globally!
* Forward to the Second Egypt Revolution!
* Organize committees of action!
* Prepare for a general strike and a popular insurrection!
* For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!
* For a workers and poor peasants government!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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We refer readers to our website where the RCIT has published numerous booklets, statements and articles the revolutionary process and counter-revolutionary setbacks in Egypt and the Arab world. They can be viewed here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we draw attention to the following documents:
Report (with Photos and Video): Rally on the 6th Anniversary of the Rabaa Massacre in 2013, 14. August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/egypt-rally-at-anniversary-of-rabaa-massacre-14-8-2019/
Michael Pröbsting: EU Leaders Praise Egypt’s Military Dictatorship, 21.09.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/eu-leaders-praise-egypt-s-military-dictatorship/
RCIT: Algeria and Sudan: Two Important Victories and a Warning. No trust in the army command and the old elite! Continue the Revolution! 11 April 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/first-victories-in-algeria-and-sudan/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/