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Egypt

Egypt’s revolutionaries fight the army, and win: eyewitness report and photo essay

[The following eyewitness report from Cairo's Tahrir Square was provided by Australian journalist Austin Mackell and first appeared at his website, Moon Under Water. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]

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Story, video and photos by Austin G. Mackell, Cairo

April 9, 2011 -- Moon Under Water -- The ongoing revolution in Egypt has taken a dramatic turn, with protesters successfully resisting an assault by the army on Tahrir Square.

Immanuel Wallerstein: The great Libyan distraction

By Immanuel Wallerstein

April 1, 2011 -- ZSpace -- The entire Libyan conflict of the last month -- the civil war in Libya, the US-led military action against Gaddafi -- is neither about humanitarian intervention nor about the immediate supply of world oil. It is in fact one big distraction -- a deliberate distraction -- from the principal political struggle in the Arab world. There is one thing on which Gaddafi and Western leaders of all political views are in total accord. They all want to slow down, channel, co-opt, limit the second Arab revolt and prevent it from changing the basic political realities of the Arab world and its role in the geopolitics of the world-system.

To appreciate this, one has to follow what has been happening in chronological sequence. Although political rumblings in the various Arab states and the attempts by various outside forces to support one or another element within various states have been a constant for a long time, the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2010 launched a very different process.

Egypt: 'A new political left is emerging'

By Alastair Beach

March 26, 2011 -- Al Masry Al Youm -- Gehan Shaaban has come a long way since her youthful days as a radical Trotskyist student. In the early 1990s she joined forces with a small group of far-left political activists in Egypt and founded an organisation called the Revolutionary Socialists. They were inspired by radical Palestinian-British politician Tony Cliff, who was born in 1917 to a Jewish family living in the Holy Land and became a fervent anti-Zionist after emigrating to the UK.

In those days, said Shaaban, things were very bad for the left. “There was no movement at all”, she said. “In the 1990s it was a time when you could not say the word “socialism” because it was the era of the new liberalism and the end of the USSR.”

But now things are beginning to change. With the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak a new political left is emerging in Egypt.

Left debates Libya: `The Arab revolution must stay in Arab hands' -- a reply to Gilbert Achcar

French navy technicians load a Mica missile, destined for Libya, under the wing of a Rafale jet fighter on the deck of Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

By Kevin Ovenden

March 28, 2011 -- Socialist Unity -- The Arab revolution has widened the left’s horizons. In the region itself there is now a historic possibility of a new radical politics: successful resistance to the hegemonic Western powers and to Israel fused with the movement of the young and propertyless masses against the corrupt and complicit elites. 

The fall of Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak shattered decades of Western policy, rocking them onto the back foot. They are now moving onto the front foot, as the regional despots raid their political and military arsenals to cling on.  

Communist Party of Egypt resumes open political activities

March 24, 2011 -- People's World -- On March 15, the Communist Party of Egypt announced that after many years underground because of repression, it will be assuming open, public political activities once more. The announcement came after "an extensive meeting with all of its bodies" and was unanimous.

The original Communist Party of Egypt, the Hizb al Shuvuci al-Misri, had been founded in 1922 when Egypt was still a monarchy and very much under the thumb of British imperialism. The last king of Egypt, Farouk, was overthrown by an uprising of young army officers in 1952. Out of that revolution came the 14-year regime of Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser, a radical nationalist who worked to break Egypt away from subservience to Western capitalist powers. In 1965, the Communist Party of Egypt merged into Nasser's own movement, the Arab Socialist Union.

Support the Libyan people! No imperialist intervention in Libya! Left solidarity with the Libyan people's uprising

March 9, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- International left organisations continue to express their solidarity with the Libyan people as they struggle to throw off the Western-backed dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. At the same time, they are rejecting moves by Western imperialism for military intervention to hypocritically take adavantage of the situation and try to reestablish a bridgehead in the oil-rich region. Below are statements by the Labour Party Pakistan, the US-based Kasama Project, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Municipal Workers Union. See also the statements by the Socialist Party of Malaysia and the Socialist Alliance in Australia. More will be posted as they come to hand.

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Support the Libyan people! No imperialist intervention in Libya!

Labour Party Pakistan statement on Libya

First Egypt, next Venezuela? The real threat to democracy in Venezuela comes from Washington

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is a hero in the Arab world. Lebanese and Palestinian students carry a picture of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as they protest Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, January 12, 2009.

"The Arab revolt represents both an 'economic revolt' and a 'democratic, nationalist and anti-colonial revolution', Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende said, that 'provides the socialist left and pan-Arabists in the region with an unexpected opportunity'. They said: 'the Arab people, who have returned to the world stage, need the support of their Latin American brothers'."

By Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes

Soundtrack to a revolution: interview with Asian Dub Foundation's Chandrasonic

February 23, 2011 -- British-born South Asian punk-dance band Asian Dub Foundation (ADF) released their latest album A History of Now just as the revolution in Egypt was starting to build. Someone unknown to the band edited news footage of the revolt to the album’s title track and stuck it on YouTube (above). 

The video, which set ADF’s brittle shards of guitar and searing eastern strings to images of hurled tear gas canisters and bloodied revolutionaries, built a following to rival the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to guitarist and band leader Steve Chandra Sevale -- who is better known as Chandrasonic for his habit of detuning all his guitar strings to one note and playing the instrument with a knife. Here is the interview in full.

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(Updated March 4) Zimbabwe: Socialists and Egypt solidarity activists charged with treason! Protest urgently needed!

46 arrested activists charged with treason, tortured

February 25, 2011 -- It has now been confirmed that detained labour movement activist and leading member of the International Socialist Organization Zimbabwe Munyaradzi Gwisai (pictured) and 45 other activists detained by the Zimbabwe state on February 19 have been charged with treason. If found guilty of treason, the activists risk a sentence of death or life imprisonment. They are being tortured to extract bogus confessions. The arrests followed a raid on a closed meeting that was discussing the implications of the revolutions in the Arab world. Gwisai is director of the Labor Law Centre and former Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP.

The food price crisis and the Egyptian revolution

Since 2008, rising food prices have resulted in 40 mass riots throughout the globe and the United Nations reports that 37 countries currently face a food crisis.

By Billy Wharton

February 14, 2011 -- Socialist Webzine -- Hidden beneath the spectacular street battles that forced the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak out of office was a trigger that exists in dozens of countries throughout the world – food. Or, more specifically, the lack of it. While commentators focus on the corruption of the dictatorship, or the viral effects of the Tunisian moment or the something akin to an Arab political awakening, the inability of the Egyptian regime to ensure a steady flow of food staples should be viewed as a critical factor driving this seemingly spontaneous movement for freedom.

Egypt: Much more than a `Facebook revolution'

February 18, 2011 -- There has been much written in the mainstream and even the alternative media -- much of it superficial -- about the uprising in Egypt, and previously in Tunisia, being a "Facebook revolution" and/or a "Twitter revolution". Rare have been analyses that try explain the deeper dynamics at play beneath the surface, which put the effectiveness of cyberspace organising tools into a political and class context. Exceptions to this are two very useful articles that appeared in the February 12, 2011, edition of the India-based left-wing journal, Economic & Political Weekly, which map the interaction between the build-up to the uprising in Egypt and developments in the labour and working-class movements, and how they influenced the technology-savvy young men and women of Egypt.

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Why Egypt's progressives win

By Paul Amar

Fidel Castro: The revolutionary rebellion in Egypt

By Fidel Castro Ruz

February 13, 2011 -- Several days ago I said that Hosni Mubarak’s fate was sealed and that not even Obama was able to save him.

The world knows about what is happening in the Middle East. News spreads at mind-boggling speed. Politicians barely have enough time to read the dispatches arriving hour after hour. Everyone is aware of the importance of what is happening over there.

After 18 days of tough struggle, the Egyptian people achieved an important objective: overthrowing the main United States ally in the heart of the Arab nations. Mubarak was oppressing and pillaging his own people, he was an enemy to the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the war-mongering NATO group.

France, WSF, Korea ... International left solidarity with the Egyptian people's uprising

Melbourne solidarity celebrations, February 12, 2011. Photos by Sue Bolton, beats from Al Aqsa Intifada by Rootsman and Muslimgauze, edited by Nick Fredman.

Below are a number of statements and reports of solidarity actions around the world following the overthrow of the US-backed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. They include a statement from organisations attending the New Anti-Capitalist Party congress in France, solidarity from the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, a statement by leaders of the Socialist Party USA and a report on trade union organised protests in South Korea. Check back for more.

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Statement from left organisations present at the New Anti-Capitalist Party congress

February 12, 2011 -- The overthrow of Ben Ali and Mubarak change the political situation not only in the Maghreb but on the international scale.

Egypt’s uprising: Not just a question of ‘transition’

Anti-Mubarak graffitti on a tank.Tahrir Square. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy.

By Adam Hanieh

February 14, 2011 -- The Bullet -- The events of the last few weeks are one of those historical moments where the lessons of many decades can be telescoped into a few brief moments and seemingly minor occurrences can take on immense significance. The entry of millions of Egyptians onto the political stage has graphically illuminated the real processes that underlie the politics of the Middle East.

It has laid bare the longstanding complicity of the US and other world powers with the worst possible regimes, revealed the empty and hypocritical rhetoric of US President Barack Obama and other leaders, exposed the craven capitulation of all the Arab regimes, and demonstrated the real alliances between these regimes, Israel and the USA. These are political lessons that will long be remembered.

Lessons from Asia: The real 'Egyptian Revolution' is yet to come

Army soldiers remove makeshift shelters and clear Tahrir Square in Cairo February 13, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis.

By George Katsiaficas

February 14, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Around the world, people are enthusiastically greeting the “Egyptian Revolution” — the astonishing victory won by the historic 18-day people’s power uprising. As events move more rapidly than anyone can anticipate, not only has Hosni Mubarak been deposed, his corrupt parliament has been dismissed and new elections are promised within six months. People’s ecstasy in the aftermath of these great victories belies the fact that Mubarak’s authoritarian system remains intact — nay, strengthened — by the ascension of Omar Suleiman and the military to supreme power in Cairo. While the world hails the Egyptian “revolution”, a more sober assessment of recent events would question the accuracy of that label, at least for now.

South Korea’s June Uprising

Sudan's communists: `In solidarity with Egypt's brave freedom fighters!'/تضامناً مع الثورة الشعبية في مصر

Below is the editorial of the Sudanese Communist Party's newspaper Al Midan on the victory of the people's revolution in Egypt. This is a "rough translation" by Abohoraira Ali, from the original article in Arabic at http://www.midan.net/almidan/?p=21194.

Solidarity with the people's revolution in Egypt

Al Midan, newspaper of the Sudanese Communist Party

February 13, 2011 -- Congratulations to the Egyptian people for their wonderful result in standing strong against the dictator Mubarak. We put our fists in the air in solidarity with the brave freedom fighters. They taught a big lesson to the security forces and police in the battles fought courageously by the people in Tahrir Square. Through the blood of martyrs, they shook the regime and forced Mubarak to step down.

Just the beginning! Statement from the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt

February 11, 2011 -- A statement issued by Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt

Glory to the martyrs! Victory to the revolution!

What is happening today is the largest popular revolution in the history of our country and of the entire Arab world. The sacrifice of our martyrs has built our revolution and we have broken through all the barriers of fear. We will not back down until the criminal "leaders" and their criminal system is destroyed.

Mubarak’s departure is the first step, not the last step of the revolution

The handover of power to a dictatorship under Omar Suleiman, Ahmed Shafiq and other cronies of Mubarak is the continuation of the same system. Omar Suleiman is a friend of Israel and America, spends most of his time between Washington and Tel Aviv and is a servant who is faithful to their interests. Ahmed Shafiq is a close friend of Mubarak and his colleague in the tyranny, oppression and plunder imposed on the Egyptian people.

The country’s wealth belongs to the people and must return to it

The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! special on Mubarak’s resignation

The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! special on Mubarak’s resignation

February 11, 2011 -- Democracy Now! --  As news of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation breaks, Democracy Now! broadcasts live reaction from Tahrir Square and beyond with senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous and correspondent Anjali Kamat.

"People are holding their hands up in victory", reports Kouddous. "This will be a day that no one will ever forget." We are also joined on the phone from Cairo by Egyptian activists Mona El Seif and Salma al-Tarzi, blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, feminist Nawal El Saadawi, acclaimed writer Ahdaf Soueif, and Egyptian Historian Khaled Fahmy, who tells Amy Goodman, "I never really thought I would see this glorious moment in my lifetime."

(Updated Feb. 13) Mubarak toppled! `We will ... celebrate, then start building our new Egypt!' + analysis by Tariq Ali

Tahrir Square. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy.

[Click HERE for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal's full coverage of the Egyptian revolution.]

By Hossam el-Hamalawy

February 12, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- Since February 11, and actually earlier, middle-class activists have been urging Egyptians to suspend the protests and return to work, in the name of patriotism, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies about "let's build new Egypt". "Let's work harder than even before", ... In case you didn't know, actually Egyptians are among the hardest working people around the globe already.

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