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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.

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.

Tariq Ali on upheaval in the Arab world: An Arab 1848: Despots totter and fall

By Tariq Ali

February 4, 2011 -- Counterpunch via Radical Notes -- He can’t stay any longer because the military has declared that they will not shoot their own people. This excludes a Tiananmen Square option. Were the Generals (who have so far sustained this regime) to go back on their word it would divide the army, opening up a vista of civil war. Nobody wants that at the moment, not even the Israelis who would like their American friends to keep their point man in Cairo for as long as possible. But this, too, is impossible.

Egypt: Independent workers' union leader: `This revolution will never stop until Mubarak goes'; Suez workers rattle regime

The US Navy counts on the Suez canal for rapid deployment of vessels from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.

[For background to Egypt's working-class movement see also "Egypt: Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement" and "Egypt: Workers hold key to uprising".]

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Kamal Abbas, director of the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services, interviewed by Jane Slaughter

February 9, 2011 -- Labor Notes -- Though all eyes are on Cairo and its Liberation Square, few could know that Egyptian workers have been protesting and striking in huge numbers for years.

Sudan: Northern regime tightens grip as protests flare

Heavily armed police patrolled Khartoum's main streets on January 30, as demonstrations broke out throughout the city demanding the government resign.

[See also "Sudan: Why the people of the south voted for independence".]

By Kerryn Williams

February 10, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- “The situation in Egypt is different than the situation of Sudan”, government spokesperson Rabie A. Atti insisted to reporters following January 30 anti-government protests. “We don’t have one small group that controls everything. Wealth is distributed equally. We’ve given power to the states.”

(Updated Feb. 11) Strike wave across Egypt: `The working class has entered the arena with full force'

February 10, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Reporting from Cairo, Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous says thousands of workers, including doctors and lawyers, have joined the protests in Tahrir Square. The demonstrators continue to flood the streets despite government threats and just one day before what is expected to the largest day of protests to date. Click here to read the transcript.
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[For background to Egypt's working-class movement see also "Egypt: Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement" and "Egypt: Workers hold key to uprising".]

Tunisia: Interview with Fahem Boukadous, member of the Communist Workers Party of Tunisia

Fahem Boukadous.

Fahem Boukadous, member of the Communist Workers Party of Tunisia, interviewed by Alma Allende, translated from the original Spanish by John Catalinotto

February 7, 2011 -- Tlaxcala -- Fahem Boukadous is a journalist who was in prison when the people of Tunisia forced the dictator Ben Ali to flee the country. A member of the Communist Workers Party (often also referred to as the Workers Communist Party) of Tunisia (PCOT), he does all he can every day so that the great opportunity opened by the revolution will not be lost.

Egypt: The danger to the revolution comes from Washington

Protesters stand in front of grafitti calling on the US government to stay out of Egypt's affairs, February 2, 2011. Photo by Matthew Cassel

By Ali Abunimah

February 6, 2011 -- The Electronic Intifada -- The greatest danger to the Egyptian revolution and the prospects for a free and independent Egypt emanates not from the baltagiyya -- the mercenaries and thugs the regime sent to beat, stone, stab, shoot and kill protesters in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities in early February -- but from Washington.

Egypt: Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement; Democracy Now! interview

February 10, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Egypt’s pro-democracy uprising is surging after striking workers joined in the protests nationwide. Thousands of Egyptian workers walked off the job February 9 demanding better wages and benefits. Strikes were reported in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and the Suez Canal. We speak to Stanford University Professor Joel Beinin, who, as the former director of Middle East Studies at the American University in Cairo, has closely studied the Egyptian labour movement for years. “This is huge, because there has been for the last 10 years an enormous wave of labour protests in Egypt”, Beinin says. “In the last few days what you’ve seen is tens of thousands of workers linking their economic demands to the political demand that the Mubarak regime step aside.” Click HERE for the program transcript. Intervew continues HERE.

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Uprising in Egypt -- Democracy Now! Two-hour special (Feb. 5, 2011); Al Jazeera's 'Egypt Burning'

On Saturday, February 5, 2011, Democracy Now! aired a two-hour "Uprising in Egypt". Watch above or here.

Highlights included:

Statement of the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt: `Glory to the martyrs! Victory to the revolution!'

Hossam el-Hamalawy explains the origins of the Revolutionary Socialists, and its associated Center of For Socialist Studies:

Starting in the late 1980s, small circles of Egyptian students, influenced by Trotskyism, gathered to study, eventually evolving in April 1995 into an organisation named the Revolutionary Socialists’ Tendency... From a handful of members in 1995, the Revolutionary Socialists grew to a couple hundred activists on the eve of the second Palestinian intifada. Their ranks then swelled thanks to their role in the Egyptian movement of solidarity with the Palestinians... The radicalising influence of the intifada among youth helped to reawaken the Egyptian tradition of street politics, which had been virtually smothered by the Mubarak regime’s fearsome security services.

The Revolutionary Socialists are aligned with the International Socialist Tendency, led by the British Socialist Workers Party. The group produces a newspaper, The Socialist, a copies of which can be found here and here.

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Eyewitness Egypt: Ahmed Shawki on `Day of Departure' demos -- `A tipping point has been reached'

February 4, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Video report: "Battle for Tahrir: An inside look at how pro-democracy activists reclaimed Tahrir Square after attacks by Mubarak forces. Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports live from Cairo.

International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the mass demonstration that shifted the balance away from the violence unleashed by the dictatorial Mubarak regime on February 2 and 3. Click here for Shawki's first-hand account of the attack by the regime's goons.

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February 4, 2011 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- Anti-Mubarak demonstrators gathered in their hundreds of thousands today, in Cairo's Tahrir Square, in Alexandria and in cities and towns across the country for a new day of mass protest against the regime.

(Updated Feb. 6) International left in solidarity with the Arab revolution


Socialist Alliance local councillor Sam Wainwright addresses a rally in support of the Egyptian revolution, outside Wesley Church, Perth, Western Australia, on February 5, 2011. Organised by the Egyptian Community in Perth.

February 4, 2011 -- Most trends in the socialist left internationally have rallied to offer solidarity to revolutionary upsurge in Egypt, Tunisia and the wider Arab world.

Fidel Castro: Mubarak's fate is sealed

By Fidel Castro

February 1, 2011 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s fate is sealed, not even the support of the United States will be able to save his government.

The people of Egypt are an intelligent people with a glorious history who left their mark on civilisation. “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries of history are looking down upon us”, Napoleon Bonaparte once said in a moment of exaltation when the revolution brought him to this extraordinary crossroads of civilisations.

After World War II, Egypt was under the brilliant governance of Abdel Nasser, who together with Jawaharlal Nehru, heir of Mahatma Gandhi; Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah; and Guniea's Ahmed Sekou Toure — African leaders who together with Sukarno, then president of the recently liberated Indonesia — created the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries and advanced the struggle for independence in the former colonies.

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