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Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt)
Egypt: 'Al-Sisi’s rule is clearly a period of counter-revolutionary offensive', say Revolutionary Socialists
By the Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt) political bureau
January 26, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Greetings to the comrades and colleagues among the revolutionaries who came out onto the streets yesterday. Their presence and their bravery in facing the security forces in the midst of the mobilisation for Al-Sisi was of the utmost importance.
It is natural that there will be feelings of frustration because we were not able to enter Tahrir Square, and that the regime’s supporters were able to take control.
However, our goal was not to occupy the square, but to develop a third alternative on the political scene, an alternative which can gather around it the tens of thousands who did not take part in the referendum [on the constitution] and rejected this farce, terrifying the counter-revolution. Our presence in the streets yesterday marks the beginning of such a task. Imagine if the day had passed with celebrations which were only challenged by Islamist demonstrations against the military. Then, certainly the sense of frustration would be stronger. Today, in spite of the darkness and oppression, we are charting a new course, and there are many who are anticipating that this will be a battle where we need to take a deep breath.
By Roger Annis
January 11, 2014 -- Truthout, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the permission and at the suggestion of the author -- The military-dominated regime that seized power in Egypt in July 2013 has escalated its attacks on freedom and democracy in the country. A series of pronouncements were issued in late December, including the banning of the country's largest political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. By all evidence, Egypt's economic and military elite are taking the country back to the darkest days of the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak or even farther into the abyss.
The regime's new measures have been accompanied by regressive court decisions and assaults on protesting citizens by police and soldiers backed by plainclothes thugs. A harrowing prospect threatens the country -- that of a violent war by the regime and its backers against the population, similar to the bloody war that was waged by Algeria's government and military against the people of that country during the 1990s and 2000s.
Rana Nessim and Rosemary Bechler interviewed Sameh Naguib (pictured above), a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, on October 24, 2013. The interview was published on the openDemocracy website on November 8. Nessim is associate editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page. Bechler is editor of openDemocracy. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has added subheads and abridged the interview for reasons of space. The full text is available at HERE.
* * *
Rosemary Bechler: Well a lot has happened since the last time we met, Sameh. How have you been and what is life like for the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt?
Haitham Mohamedain (pictured above) is a prominent member of the Egyptian organisation the Revolutionary Socialists and a leading activist.
* * *
By Haitham Mohamedain
December 6, 2013 -- Socialist Worker (UK) -- The revolutionary groups that called for, organised and participated in the Revolution of 25 January with the Egyptian masses are still mobilised. They are keeping alive the slogans of the revolution and calling for the realisation of its goals of bread, freedom and social justice.
They have fought against Hosni Mubarak’s regime, and the Military Council, so that every month of the year now brings with it the memories of revolutionary battles and mass uprisings.
The latest of these uprisings came on June 30 this year. The uprising would have happened whether the revolutionary forces took part or not, as the presidency of the dictator Mohamed Mursi had witnessed the greatest mass protests in the world.
Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt), Revolutionary Left Current (Syria), Union of Communists (Iraq), Al-Mounadil-a (Morocco), Socialist Forum (Lebanon)
August 31, 2013 -- Syria Freedom Forever -- Over 150,000 were killed, hundreds of thousands injured and disabled, millions of people displaced inside and outside Syria. Cities, villages, and neighborhoods were destroyed fully or partially, using all sorts of weapons, including warplanes, scud missiles, bombs, and tanks, all paid for by the sweat and blood of the Syrian people. This was under the pretext of defending the homeland and achieving military balance with Israel (whose occupation of Syrian land is, in fact, being protected by the Syrian regime, which failed to reply to any of its continuing aggressions).
Yet, despite the enormous losses mentioned above, befalling all Syrians, and the calamity inflicted on them, no international organization or major country – or a lesser one – felt the need to provide practical solidarity or support the Syrians in their struggle for their most basic rights, human dignity, and social justice.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3498]
Declaración de: Socialistas Revolucionarios (Egipto) - Corriente de Izquierda Revolucionaria (Siria) - Unión de Comunistas (Iraq) - Al-Mounadil-a (Marruecos) - Foro Socialista (Líbano)
By John Riddell
August 20, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com -- The military massacres in Egypt are “part of a plan to liquidate the Egyptian Revolution and restore the military-police state of the Mubarak regime”, say the Revolutionary Socialists (RS) of Egypt in an August 15 statement. Their present analysis contrasts sharply with their previous positive appraisal the July 3 military coup that ousted Egypt’s elected government.
The RS, who enjoy a wide reputation as a revolutionary voice in the Egyptian struggle, are reconsidering the meaning of this experience. Socialists abroad should be rethinking it as well.
In the rich and varied world discussion of these events, contributions in the Green Left Weekly newsgroup (Australia) provide useful starting points for reflection, as do the reactions of several ALBA governments.
The army/police massacre is “a bloody dress rehearsal for the liquidation of the Egyptian Revolution”, the RS now states. “It aims to break the revolutionary will of all Egyptians who are claiming their rights, whether workers, poor, or revolutionary youth, by creating a state of terror.”
Supporters of toppled President Mohamed Morsi rally in Cairo (Gregg Carlstrom).
Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt)
August 19, 2013 -- Socialist Worker -- Terrible massacres and violent repression, a huge escalation in attacks on Egyptian Christians and churches, and the consolidation of the repressive military state continue apace. These are the momentous political developments we have experienced during the last few weeks.
They pose enormous challenges to the revolution, but they also contain opportunities to prepare for the coming waves of the revolution, which the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt can use effectively to build the movement, provided that we develop tactics capable of dealing with changing circumstances.
Revolution or military coup?
Down with military rule! Down with Al-Sisi, the leader of the counter-revolution!
Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt
August 14, 2013 -- The bloody dissolution of the sit-ins in Al-Nahda Square and Raba'a al-Adawiyya is nothing but a massacre—prepared in advance. It aims to liquidate the Muslim Brotherhood. But, it is also part of a plan to liquidate the Egyptian Revolution and restore the military-police state of the Mubarak regime.
The Revolutionary Socialists did not defend the regime of Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood for a single day. We were always in the front ranks of the opposition to that criminal, failed regime which betrayed the goals of the Egyptian Revolution. It even protected the pillars of the Mubarak regime and its security apparatus, armed forces and corrupt businessmen. We strongly participated in the revolutionary wave of 30 June.
Neither did we defend for a single day the sit-ins by the Brotherhood and their attempts to return Mursi to power.
A victim of security forces, who opened fire on protesters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo (Mustafa Ozturk | ABACA Press).
By Jadaliyya Egypt editors
July 27, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Since the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has become a battlefield of narratives. Each narrative has sought to appropriate and define the January 25 Revolution.
For more on Egypt, click HERE.
By Bassam Haddad
July 12, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Hossam El-Hamalawy is an Egyptian journalist and activist who maintains the popular site www.arabawy.org. He is associated with the Revolutionary Socialists group. Hossam El-Hamalawy starts by rejecting the "coup vs. revolution" debate, and addresses briefly the short and long history of the military's involvement in politics in relation to the June 30 events.
He then moves on to discuss in more detail the developments of the past two years, revealing that we cannot assume that "what we had was an 'Ikhwani' [Muslim Brotherhood] regime; it was still the Mubarak regime, but they gave a share of the cake to the Islamists". The army assumed they can use the opportunistic leaders to stabilise the streets, according to Hossam.
Egypt: A victory for revolution or counterrevolution? Views from the Egyptian left (updated July 22)
Protesters fill Tahrir Square calling for Mohamed Morsi's resignation.
July 5, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below are a number of articles from the left on the massive protests and military intervention that toppled the government of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt on July 3, 2013. For more on Egypt, click HERE.
* * *
On the fall of Morsi -- live from Cairo
The following interview with Egyptian activist Hannah Elsisi appeared at the IS Network on July 3, 2013.
Is today a victory for revolution or counterrevolution?
June 18, 2012 -- http://www.e-socialists.net/node/8845 -- The signatories to this statement announce their complete rejection of the Supplementary Constitutional Declaration. The declaration completes the process of the military coup which began on February 12, 2011, after Hosni Mubarak’s rule had been ended, and put down roots through the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 and the ludicrous and corrupt arrangements for the transitional period.
We therefore call on the Egyptian people to reject the Supplementary Declaration and to show their rejection by participating a mass mobilisation against it as an expression of their insistence that the revolution must continue and meet its objectives. We affirm that resistance to the coup demands the following:
The Egyptian military's December 16 attack on protesters provoked outrage.
December 23, 2011 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- The military regime that has ruled Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak has taken a harsh turn toward repression, symbolised by this month's barbaric attack against protesters outside the cabinet's headquarters.
Now the generals and their allies are singling out the Revolutionary Socialists among other leading voices of Egypt's left. In a pattern that activists say is consistent with past propaganda campaigns, the regime is trying to whip up a hysteria about the group, using videotape of a meeting at which leading members talked about the need for Egypt's mass movement to break the power of the state and the army. Clips from that meeting showed up on the Interior Ministry website, and on television stations run by the state and by hardline Islamists, known as Salafists, who now support the military.
In this statement, therespond to the smear campaign. [Below that, a range of political forces on the left also offer their solidarity.]
(Updated Nov. 24) Egyptian revolution enters new phase: Thousands protest military rule (Democracy Now! reports)
November 23, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Egyptian protesters continue to fill Cairo’s central Tahrir Square over the ruling military council’s refusal to immediately transfer power to a civilian government.
In a televised address on Tuesday, the head of Egypt’s military council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, said he has accepted the prime minister’s resignation and that the military is ready to relinquish power if Egyptians call for that in a referendum. But protests only intensified after Tantawi’s speech and security forces unleashed a barrage of tear gas. Over the past five days at least 38 people have been killed, thousands injured, and at least 15 journalists attacked as Egypt has witnessed the largest protests since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
By Ted Walker, Cairo
October 7, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Arriving in Egypt the day before the September 9 protests that brought tens of thousands into the street, marches to the Ministry of Interior and the Supreme Court, and then the storming of the Israeli embassy, certainly threw me in at the deep end! But arriving in Cairo at almost any point would have been like that.
For the last few months, Friday protests -- in Cairo's Tahrir Square and nationwide -- have been going on more or less every week. The week after September 9, there was a protest at Tahrir Square of around a thousand against the military trials; today there are "back to the barracks" protests demanding a quicker timetable for creating a civilian government.
Statement by Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt): Glory to the martyrs of Bloody Sunday. Shame on the military and the reactionaries
October 10, 2011 -- The Revolutionary Socialists send sincere condolences to the families of the peaceful demonstrators who were murdered by the bullets of the Central Security Forces and crushed by the military’s armoured cars after they came on the night of October 9 to defend the right of Coptic Christians to freedom and equality.
Dozens of activists gather at the military prosecutor's headquarters in Cairo on May 31, 2011, after Hossam el Hamalawy and Reem Maged are summoned after criticising the army on live TV. Filmed and edited by Simon Hanna.
STOP PRESS: May 31, 2001 -- "Hamalawy and Maged not questioned but asked to provide evidence of military police violations".
May 31, 2011 -- menasolidaritynetwork -- Journalists Hossam el-Hamalawy, Reem Maged and Nabil Sharaf al-Din have been summoned to appear before military judges on May 31. Mostafa Sheshtawy has a useful post here, which provides a translation of Hossam’s comments which have upset the military so much (he called for an end to the practice of military trials for civilians and said he held the head of the military police, Hamdy Badeen, responsible for the torture and mistreatment of detainees).
By Mohamed El Hebeishy
May 11, 2011 -- Ahram online -- Five Egyptian political parties and movements unite to form the Coalition of Socialist Forces, they announced in a meeting on May 10, 2011. The newly formed coalition is made up of the Social Party of Egypt, the Democratic Labour Party, the Popular Socialist Coalition Party, Egypt Communist Party and the Revolutionary Socialists. It aims to include under its umbrella other socialist movements in Egypt, which are considered fragmented.
“We [social political activists] are optimistic that the Coalition of Socialist Forces will bring a stronger socialist presence onto Egypt’s political scene”, said Gigi Ibrahim, a political activist.
During the May 10 meeting, there were intense discussions regarding the recent turn of events in the country and how it impacts the revolution.
The Coalition of Socialist Forces has appealed to all Egyptians, irrespective of their ideologies, to amass in Tahrir Square on Friday May 13 in a bid to protect the demands of revolution and for national unity.
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.