Mass death sentences are handed down against hundreds alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood as General Sisi announces his candidacy for President. For a Workers’ Revolution to overthrow the reactionary Military Dictatorship!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28.3.2014, www.thecommunists.net
1. A court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya has sentenced to death 529 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood for the killing of one (!) police officer in clashes in August 2013. The trial lasted only two sessions, during which lawyers for the defense were not allowed to present their case for the accused; in fact, the defendants’ lawyers were not even allowed to enter the courtroom! This farce makes the Stalinist show trials in Moscow between 1936 and 1938 look like models of impartial justice! Even the pro-Western Amnesty International condemned the trial as “grotesque.” At the same time, an Egyptian court has opened and adjourned a second mass trial of 683 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, including their top leader, on charges of murder, incitement to violence, and sabotage. In addition, three journalists of for Al-Jazeera, including the acting bureau chief, are standing trial, accused of “belonging to or aiding a terrorist organization.”
2. The defendants cannot expect any justice from these kangaroo courts in which the judges are nothing more than henchmen for the military dictatorship of General Sisi. This regime came to power on 3 July 2013 following a coup d’état supported by all the great imperialist powers: the US, EU, Russia, and China, as well as by Israel and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Since then, according to the Egyptian Center of Economic and Social Rights, the regime’s armed forces have killed at least 4,482 people and imprisoned another 16,687. The regime has also closed the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip, completely isolating the 1.8 million persons residing there, and hence exacerbating Israel’s campaign of terror against the Palestinian people.
3. Western imperialism’s attitude to the Egyptian dictatorship is a paragon of hypocrisy. Imagine that it were not Egypt but Russia which had sentenced to death more than 500 members of the political opposition in a three-day trial! In such a case, it’s not at all difficult to imagine the endless flow of crocodile tears and protests that would be heard about “human rights violations”! Remember the outcry of the Western governments and media against the unjust convictions and sentencing of the Pussy Riot activists? However, quite in contrast to Putin’s regime in Russia, Egypt’s military dictatorship is a close ally of Western imperialism, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. So, while Western imperialism imposes economic sanctions on Russia, less than three months ago, in January 2014, the US Congress agreed to give $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to post-coup Egypt. Only Israel receives more US aid.
4. Symbolically, on 26 March, only two days after the mass death sentences, General Sisi announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections to be held in July. This is the next step in the dictatorship’s efforts to consolidate its power after it successfully staged the coup d’état last year, followed by the mass killings of thousands of opposition activists, and the rigged referendum on a new “constitution” in January 2014.
5. It is, sadly, typical that most of the centrist- and reformist-left in Egypt and internationally blindly denied the counter-revolutionary nature of the coup d’état and the dictatorship it brought to power. A good example of this is the position of the Revolutionary Socialists (closely affiliated with the SWP [UK] and the ISO [USA]). While they were forced, months later, to admit to the reactionary nature of the Sisi dictatorship, they still refuse to participate in and defend the mass mobilizations against the regime which are led by the Muslim Brotherhood. Even worse, from the day of the coup until now, the Communist Party of Egypt has hailed General Sisi’s seizure of power “as the more profound and mature second wave to correct the path of the revolution of January 25 2011.” This stand is no less reactionary than the support of the Iraqi CP for the US imperialist occupation forces after 2003, and demonstrates yet again the thoroughly counter-revolutionary nature of Stalinism in the guise of communism.
6. The RCIT has no sympathy for either the politics or program of the bourgeois-Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has many dedicated youth in its ranks, but its program and its leadership are inextricably linked to capitalism. Remember how Morsi, during his presidency, looked to make a deal with the army and the imperialist powers and didn’t dare to touch the wealth of the super-rich! Consequently, we supported the mass mobilizations against the government of the then president Morsi. However, today, the main enemy is the military dictatorship of General Sisi. We express unconditional solidarity with the anti-regime resistance. We support the workers’ strikes which have witnessed a new upsurge during the past few months. We defend the mass demonstrations, mostly organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, against the brutal repression by the regime. We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Egypt.
7. It is urgent that the international workers’ movements take actions in solidarity with the resistance against the dictatorship. One possibility is to sign the international petition protesting the mass death sentences in Egypt (http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/). However, actions in the streets and the workplaces are vastly more important. We call for international solidarity demonstrations and strikes against the repression in Egypt.
8. The central task in Egypt now is to organize a defensive struggle against the regime’s repression and against lower wages and unemployment. If the working class and youth organize and rebuild their forces in this struggle, this will enable them to prepare for the overthrow of the Sisi dictatorship via an armed insurrection.
9. What is fundamentally necessary is to build a mass workers’ party as a political alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood and rotten Stalinism. Such a party must be established on the basis of a revolutionary socialist program. We call for all revolutionaries in Egypt to unite in the adoption of an authentic revolutionary program and, with this aim in mind, to open a dialogue and collaboration with the RCIT. Onward to the formation of a revolutionary workers’ party in Egypt as part of the Fifth Workers’ International!
* Free all political prisoners in Egypt! Down with the show trials against resistance activists of the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations! For international solidarity demonstrations and strikes against the repression in Egypt!
* Defend the pro-Morsi demonstrations without giving political support to their leadership. For a broad united front (including Islamists) in defense of democratic rights! For mass action committees to organize the resistance! For armed self-defense units! Prepare for a general strike and an armed insurrection against the military regime!
* Advance the workers struggle for higher wages and against lay-offs! For the right to form independent trade unions! Fight inside the trade unions against the pro-regime bureaucrats!
* Down with the new reactionary Constitution! For a Revolutionary Constitutional Assembly elected and controlled by the working people and defended by armed popular militias!
* Prepare the struggle for a workers’ government, with the support of the poor peasantry and the urban poor, and committed to the expropriation of the multinationals, big capital, and banks, all to be placed under workers’ control, as well as the replacement of the bourgeois state apparatus by workers’ and peasant organs.
* Onward to a workers’ revolution to abolish, once and for all, the capitalist system – the root of poverty, unemployment, and repression! For a workers’ and peasants’ republic in Egypt as part of a socialist federation of the peoples of the Maghreb and Mashriq!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
For additional RCIT analyses of Egypt’s military dictatorship, as well as reports of solidarity activities, we refer readers to the following articles:
RKOB: Austria: Solidarity with the Resistance against the Military Dictatorship in Egypt! Report (with photos and video clips) of a rally on 25January to commemorate the third anniversary of the revolution in Egypt, 26.1.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/solidarity-rally-for-egypt/
RCIT: Egypt: Down with General Sisi’s pro-Army Constitution! Boycott the Referendum!, 12.1.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/boycott-egypt-referendum/
RCIT: Tasks of the Revolution in Egypt, July 2, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tasks-of-egypt-revolution/
RCIT: Egypt: Down with the Military Coup d’État! Prepare Mass Resistance! July 8, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-down-with-military-coup-d-etat/
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, July 11, 2013, http://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, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-meaning-of-coup-d-etat/
Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: Mobilize Resistance against the reactionary military regime! 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! 27.7.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-no-to-military-regime/
Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d'État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”. A Balance Sheet of the coup and another Reply to our Critics (LCC, WIVP, SF/LCFI), 8.8.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-and-left-army-socialism/
RCIT: Egypt: Appeal for solidarity after steel workers arrested by army, Aug 13, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-solidarity-with-steel-workers/
RCIT: Egypt: International Solidarity against the Army Crackdown! August 14, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-international-solidarity/
Nina Gunić: Austria: Solidarity Demonstration in Vienna against the military dictatorship in Egypt. Down with Al-Sisi! Long live international solidarity! Report on the demonstration in Vienna against the military dictatorship in Egypt, Aug 18, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-solidarity-demo-in-austria/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel and the Coup in Egypt. Israel’s primary concerns regarding Egypt are the possible fall of the military regime or a descent into civil war, Aug 21, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-and-egypt-coup/
Nina Gunić: Egypt: Solidarity Rally in Austria – Workers and oppressed unite! Down, Down, Down with Sisi! Freedom, Freedom for Egypt! Report from a Rally in Austria in Solidarity with the Resistance in Egypt, Aug 25, 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-solidarity-rally-in-austria/