Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 8.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net
1. The Revolution in Egypt faces a new danger! After the heroic mass demonstration of 17 million workers and peasants against the Mursi regime on 30th June, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has organized a reactionary, pro-Western coup d’état on 3rd July. The popular masses must oppose this conspiracy of the army and organize mass resistance. Only the struggle for a general strike, for a revolutionary Constituent Assembly and ultimately a workers and peasant government based on worker and popular councils and militias offers a way out of the crisis.
2. The heroic masses have demonstrated their revolutionary determination on 30th June when roughly 17 million workers, peasants and youth (about half of the adult population!) marched in the streets against the bourgeois Islamist regime of Mursi. As we explained in the RCIT statement on 2nd July, the task of the day was to build action committees and self defense committees in order to organize “a General Strike to bring down Morsi government”. We called against any political support for the National Salvation Front and warned about the danger of a military coup d’état. (See RCIT: Tasks of the Revolution in Egypt, 2.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tasks-of-egypt-revolution)
3. Fearing an authentic popular revolution to bring down the Mursi regime and looking to exploit the situation for their own anti-people interests, a pro-imperialist coalition of the SCAF under General Commander of the Armed Forces Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, pro-Western forces around ElBaradei and the National Salvation Front, Naguip Sawiris (one of the richest tycoons of Egypt) and various feloul (remnants of the old Mubarak regime) has staged a military coup d’état and tries to expropriate the glorious Egypt revolution. Since then the SACF started a wave of repression. It arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) activists and took off the air four TV satellite channels that belonged to the MB or the Islamists, as well as two Al-Jazeera channels. On 8th July, the army massacred several dozens of pro-Mursi demonstrators who staged a sit-in in front of an army headquarter in Cairo.
4. The SACF won support for their coup d’état from the domestic liberal bourgeoisie and US imperialism as well as the public approval of the Saudi regime and the Assad regime in Syria. The Wall Street Journal, a central mouthpiece of US imperialism, supports the military’s coup d’état and call it to follow the road of the mass murder and dictator Pinochet in Chile who brutally ruled the country from 1973-89: “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.” (Wall Street Journal: After the Coup in Cairo. The U.S. shouldn't cut off aid to a new Egyptian government, July 4, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324399404578583932317286550.html#)
5. The RCIT denounces the petty-bourgeois left which is shamefully failing to oppose the SACF coup d’état. The bourgeois-dominated alliance NSF, of which the left-Nasserites around presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, the Egyptian Communist Party and the Revolutionary Socialists (sister organization of the centrist British SWP) are part of, openly support the coup d’état. The NSF stated “The Egyptian people should defend the legitimacy of the people and its will to end the oppressive rule. They need to support the democratic transition that started with the statement read out by the armed forces in response to the people's will to start a transition period guided by a civil institution that reflects all forces. The people need to aid the armed forces to guard this achievement.” Similarly Tamarod openly support the coup d’état and defended it as an act of “revolutionary legitimacy that has reflected the people’s will against the tyrants who do not want stability in Egypt.” (Both quotes from Ahram Online: Egypt's Rebel, NSF urge protesters to protect revolution as clashes erupt near Cairo's Tahrir, 5 Jul 2013, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/75806/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Rebel,-NSF-urge-protesters-to-protect-revol.aspx) Tamarod’s leaders appeared in press conferences together with SACF generals. It is currently involved in negotiations about a provisional government which will be nothing but a stooge of the SACF. The fake-Trotskyist Revolutionary Socialists – which only one year ago made a similar reactionary betrayal by calling to vote for Mursi in the presidential elections – too refrain from calling the military coup d’état by name, from denouncing the military’s actions and from calling for mass mobilizations against the military coup. All this equals the centrists implicit support for the military coup d’état. It shows once more that these centrist and reformist forces lack both a revolutionary program and a political compass and hence end up as political appendix of a section of the ruling class.
6. The central task now is to defend the gains of the revolution by organizing the struggle against the military and its puppet regime. The RCIT states that the working class must not lend any support for the military’s conspiracy and needs to organize independently of all bourgeois forces. Working class organizations must break once and for all with bourgeois alliances like the NSF. They must fight against the repression by the army – including against the oppression of the Mursi supporters. How can the socialist forces ever break the still existing mass support for the MB amongst sections of the poor and the lower petty-bourgeoisie, if they don’t defend them today against the army’s repression?! Combined with this, it is a central task to split the army along the class lines and to win the soldiers for a working class program.
7. Revolutionaries in Egypt need to organize around an Action Program which combines the struggle against poverty, super-exploitation by foreign imperialism with revolutionary-democratic demands and a perspective for working class power via a socialist revolution. A central slogan of such a program which can unite those who opposed Mursi as well as the new army-imposed regime is the call for a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly. Such an assembly should be elected with equal voting rights for all over the age of 12 (the age when youth in Egypt can enter job-training and a substantial number has a entered the labor force). It should have proportional representation and no threshold, and its delegates must be recallable by those who elect them. It must be protected by workers and popular militias against any interference by reactionary forces. Clearly such a program must be combined with the perspective of a workers government, based on the poor peasantry and the urban poor committed to the expropriation of the multinationals, big capital and banks under workers control as well as the replacement of the bourgeois state apparatus by workers and peasant organs! There will be no real democracy as long as Egypt is depended of and exploited by imperialist capital and powers, as long as the super-rich capitalists dominate the country and as long as the armed state apparatus related to the rich elite is not smashed.
8. It is urgent to build an authentic revolutionary workers party to fight against the disastrous influence of the petty-bourgeois left inside the mass movement. The revolution in Egypt can only succeed if the working class has built such a revolutionary leadership. The RCIT urges revolutionaries in Egypt to work out and unite around a revolutionary Action Program as part of an international struggle for the Fifth Workers International. An important step in building a revolutionary party will be the struggle to win the independent trade unions and other workers organization to break with the Nasserite and liberal forces and to form an independent Mass Workers Party. Authentic socialists would fight for a revolutionary Action Program as the basis of such a Workers Party We are willing to support any step which leads towards the formation of a Bolshevik organization.
In the present situation the RCIT raises the following slogans:
* Down with the military coup d’état! No support with the SACF’s puppet regime! No to the repression of Muslim Brotherhood supporters! But also no to a return of Mursi to power!
* Prepare for mass mobilizations and a general strike against the SACF and its puppet regime!
* For Action Committees in each factory, workers neighborhood and village to be organized on district and national level to coordinate the protest activities!
* For self defense committees! Split the army to win the soldiers for revolution!
* For a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly!
* Working class and socialist organizations: Break with the National Salvation Front!
* Cancel the debts!
* For a workers government, based on the poor peasantry and the urban poor committed to the expropriation of the multinationals, big capital and banks under workers control as well as the replacement of the bourgeois state apparatus by workers and peasant organs!
* Build a revolutionary organization! All Workers Organizations should break with the bourgeois opposition forces and form an independent Mass Workers Party based on a revolutionary program!
International Secretariat of the RCIT, 8.7.2013