Down with the army’s puppet-government! No political support for Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood! For independent working class mobilization with a revolutionary perspective!
By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 27.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net
Yesterday (Friday 26.7.2013) the Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the supporters of the military coup that deposed president Morsi held opposing demonstrations that clashed in different cities in Egypt. At least several dozen have died only in the last 24 hours. It is possible that the army will clamp down even more brutally in the next days.
The clashes came after mass protests were called for by the army chief and deputy Prime Minister General General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – the real strong man in Egypt since the coup on 3rd July – who urged them to strengthen a military "mandate" to stop "violence and terrorism took to the streets". The main banner stretched across the entrance to Tahrir Square where the pro-army rally was held read: “The people, the source of all power, mandate the army and police to purge terrorism” (1)
The pro-Morsi crowd has been rallying against the overthrow of the elected president since July 3.
Reports said Morsi was being detained for 15 days pending investigations on allegations of spying for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.(2) In reality his real crime was that he worked with the military, the police and with the imperialists against the revolution. This accusation underlines ones more the pro-imperialist and pro-Israeli character of the army and its puppet-government.
So far around 100 people, mainly supporters of Morsi, have been killed by the pro-imperialist army that has called to turn the weapons against Morsi supporters who are denounced as terrorists by the terrorizing army.
On Thursday, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, a spokesman for the Tamarod ("Rebel") youth movement that helped rally millions in anti-Morsi street protests before the army took over, said: "Tomorrow we will cleanse Egypt."
A setback for the Egyptian Revolution
According to media reports the army command used all means including the media to massively mobilize people to their pro-coup rally. However the turn-out was only a small fraction of multi-million demonstrations against the Morsi government on 30th June.
All these recent developments – the killing spree against the pro- Morsi demonstrators, the military bureaucracy claiming that “The people mandate the army and police to purge terrorism”, its supporters call “to cleanse Egypt”, the massive weakening of independent working class mobilizations – all this should make clear even to the most confused leftists:
* The pro-imperialist army command has staged a coup d’état and established a bonapartist regime controlled by the military.
* This coup d’état is a setback, a defeat for the Egyptian Revolution and not an advance.
* From this follows that the main task in the present political conjuncture is to rally in defense of democratic rights against the consolidation of the reactionary military regime.
The main enemy today is the army and its puppet-government!
The interest of the working class is to get rid of the army generals and its puppet-government by splitting the army along class lines and fighting for a workers’ and peasants’ government that will expropriate the major foreign and local companies and banks under workers control.
With this perspective in mind the first question to be asked is: Who is the immediate and more dangerous enemy of the revolution? Is it the army or the Moslem Brotherhood? The clear answer is: the army. It is in power and it has created a bonapartist regime. It will try break mass protests, strikes and any other independent mass actions. The military coup was organized to stop the massive mobilization of 15-17 million people – many of them workers and poor. (3)
The fact that the Tamarod is working with the army as well as the trade union bureaucracy and the Communist Party of Egypt shows once again that these middle class forces that so far have led the movement have taken the pro-imperialist side. These petty-bourgeois leaders form the worst possible popular front with the pro-imperialist army command similar to the Stalinists and liberals support for the bloody military coup d’état in Algeria in December 1991.
As we already explained in past articles, the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt and the British SWP failed to oppose the coup d’état of 3rd July but hailed it as an advance of the revolution. (4) After facing the bloody reality of the coup regime in power for three weeks, the Cliffites are coming under increasing pressure. As a result they called on the workers and the masses not to join the pro-Army rally on 26th July explaining that giving the army a popular mandate to finish off the Muslim Brotherhood will inevitably lead to the consolidation of the regime which the revolution arose to overthrow. However they refuse to call for mass mobilizations against the army-regime or to call for a united front with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a 180-degree turn around since only one year ago they opportunistically called for a vote for Mursi! (5)
We call on the workers movement and the left to break with the pro-army leadership and to mobilize for actions of resistance. (6)
There are already some, albeit small, signs for a break of a section of the workers movement with such a popular frontist orientation. For example Fatma Ramadan, member of the Executive Committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, denounced in a statement the support for al-Sisi pro-coup rally on Tahrir Square on 26th July by the majority of his trade union leadership as well as the government' Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) and the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress. She opposes both the Morsi government as well as the military regime. (7)
There has also been a small rally on 26th July in Cairo at the Sphinx Square to express their rejection of the army and Morsi. "Down with all those who betrayed: The army and the Brotherhood," read their signs. (8)
Revolutionaries in Egypt should call for mass mobilizations against the coup d’état. They should fight inside the workers movement as well as the youth organizations not to support the army command and its puppet government but instead to turn against it. Such a call for a united front for the practical purpose to defeat the coup d’état must also reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood – which at the moment is the main force on the street against the coup – without giving them any political support. Such a tactic aimed at defending democratic rights against the army command and at breaking workers and poor who still have illusions in bourgeois forces must be combined with propaganda for a revolutionary working class perspective.
One of the demands that can unite the anti-imperialist forces is for a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly defended by armed militias of workers peasants and the poor. The liberal pro-imperialist government imposed by the army must be replaced by a workers government supported by the peasants and the poor.
A coup in the service of US imperialism
Yesterday while I was in the weekly demonstration in Sheikh Jerah (in Jerusalem in Occupied Palestine/Israel) against the stealing of Palestinians houses by the settlers back by the Zionist apartheid state, the Palestinian leaders of the demo spoke against the coup and praised Morsi.
At the same time the left Zionists and those who call themselves post-Zionists supported the coup and made an analogy between the Allies and the Nazis during WWII. They argued that, like in the war when it was necessary to support the Allies, it was necessary to stand with the army in Egypt.
This line is wrong for a few reasons. First of all while the Muslim Brotherhood is a reactionary movement dreaming of returning to the old glorified days of Islamic rule (that indeed was more progressive than feudal Europe with their crusaders), it is not a Nazi movement nor was Morsi in power a fascist dictatorship. It was a bourgeois elected government in a religious form. The crimes it committed was in the service of capital. For this reason it is necessary to call for the release of Morsi without calling to reinstitute him in power.
Secondly while Nazi Germany was an imperialist state and for this reason the revolutionary position was for a revolutionary defeat for both camps and while defending the Soviet Union that was still a degenerated workers state, Egypt is a semi-colony of US imperialism. In a clash between an imperialist state and a semi-colony regardless of its regime the interest of the working class is to defend unconditionally the semi-colony. The Egyptian army trained and financed by US imperialism represents the interests of the real masters of Egypt – US-American imperialism. Those who took to the streets in support of the call of the army are acting – whether they understand it or not – in the interests of the imperialists. The army called on them to go out to the streets to attack the Muslim Brotherhood as a way to get support for the real imperialist masters of Egypt. The fact that the army that works with Israel is accusing Morsi of spying for Hamas by itself underlines once more that the Egypt army is a dangerous enemy not only for the Egyptian but also the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Build a Revolutionary Party!
As we have stated in our resolution on the coup d’état, it is absolutely 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 can build such a revolutionary leadership in time. 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 army’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 army command 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!
(1) Al-Jazeera: Egypt suffers night of deadly violence, 27 July 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/2013726223842190578.html
(2) Selim Saheb Ettaba: Dozens killed in clashes at Morsi rally in Egypt, AFP, 27.7.2013, http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/18170794/dozens-killed-in-clashes-at-morsi-rally-in-egypt/
(3) For the RCIT’s analysis and tactics for the mass mobilizations against the Morsi government see our statement: Tasks of the Revolution in Egypt, 2.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tasks-of-egypt-revolution
(4) For the RCIT’s critique of the capitulation of important sectors of the Egypt Left as well as the confusion of international leftists see our articles: Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: The U.S. Support for the Military Coup and the Left’s ignorance. Notes on the role of US imperialism in the military’s coup d’état and the failure of the Egypt left, 11.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-us-support-for-military-coup; Michael Pröbsting: The Military’s Coup d'État in Egypt: Assessment and Tactics. A reply to the criticism of the WIVP and the LCC on the meaning of the Military’s Coup d'État and the slogan of the Revolutionary Constituent Assembly, 17.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-meaning-of-coup-d-etat
(5) Statement from Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists: Not in our name! 25.7.2013, published by the Socialist Workers Party (Britain), http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/33983/Statement+from+Egypt%E2%80%99s+Revolutionary+Socialists%3A+Not+in+our+name! The right wing centrists of the IMT led by Alan Woods are also completely incapable of understanding the reactionary nature of the coup. They rather call it ‘The Second Egyptian Revolution’! “The Egyptian workers and youth are learning fast in the school of Revolution. That is why the June uprising was far broader, deeper, faster and more conscious than the First Revolution that occurred two and a half years ago. But they still lack the necessary experience and revolutionary theory that would enable the Revolution to achieve a rapid and relatively painless victory. (…) The open counterrevolutionaries of the Muslim Brotherhood have been driven from power but because of the limits of its purely spontaneous (i.e. unorganised) nature, the Revolution has failed to take power. On the one hand the Islamist reactionaries are organising a counterrevolutionary rebellion that threatens to plunge the country into civil war. On the other hand, the bourgeois elements, generals and imperialists are manoeuvring to rob the masses of the victory that was won with their blood.” (International Marxist Tendency: Egypt, Brazil, Turkey: Tremors of World Revolution, 24 July 2013, http://www.marxist.com/the-unfolding-process-of-world-revolution-the-masses-enter-the-scene-of-history.htm)
(6) See also the RCIT’s Statement: Egypt: Down with the Military Coup d’État! Prepare Mass Resistance! 8.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-down-with-military-coup-d-etat
(7) Fatma Ramadan: Al-Sisi's "Permission" is a Deadly Poison, 26 July 2013, http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2013/07/26/egypt-do-not-let-the-army-fool-you-independent-union-leader-speaks-out/
(8) Dahlia Kholaif: Jubilant mood among anti-Morsi demonstrators. Al Jazeera, 26 July 2013 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/2013726214714377337.html