Egypt: 'Al-Sisi’s rule is clearly a period of counter-revolutionary offensive', say Revolutionary Socialists

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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.

So, greetings to the comrades who defied fear and repression and proved that there are revolutionary forces determined to take action. We need, however, tactics appropriate to the current political moment.

This day should not be compared with the day of the revolution in 2011, but with July 26, 2013, when Al-Sisi called for a “mandate” from the people. There is a difference, certainly, even among the large sections of the masses who did not come into the streets yesterday. Yes, martyrs fell and hundreds were arrested, but we have to grasp that freedom and resistance to the counter-revolution will require sacrifices which must be calculated and subject to evaluation.

There are opportunist forces, which do not want to move at all, either because they are allied with the military, or because they believe that we have no stake in the current political struggle. They believe that after the victory of the counter-revolution and the complete return of the security state they will be able to challenge the regime, and only need to wait for the elimination of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This logic, in addition to being supremely opportunistic, because it turns a blind eye to the massacres which are occurring on a daily basis, is also completely wrong, because if the new regime is consolidated without resistance, it will eliminate revolutionaries, workers and students.

Comrades, we know that great popular revolutions are like the tides of the sea: they ebb and flow, with victories and defeats, and with continuous battles from the first moment between the forces of revolution and counter-revolution. And at every moment the appropriate revolutionary tactics will be different.

The phase of Al-Sisi’s rule is clearly a period of counter-revolutionary offensive. The military, the police, Mubarak’s cronies and opportunist forces are in control. Yet Al-Sisi’s regime can only continue on the basis of killing, repression, incitement and distortion against the revolution and revolutionaries. Despite the fact that its base of support has relatively decreased, it does enjoy positive backing from some sections, mostly artisans, workers from small workshops and street vendors, as well as sections of the middle class who are desperate for “stability” and who have “had enough of the revolution”, in addition the old ruling party’s network of interests. More importantly, wide sections of the masses have been demoralised and are looking for a saviour.

At this stage therefore, we have to focus on cumulative work among students, workers and the popular masses, who will gradually discover the false nature of Al-Sisi’s claims and by degrees turn against him. We should not leap too far ahead of their consciousness, but link their issues and demands to the political situation and the actions of the regime. We must study revolutions and arm ourselves with the scientific education of revolutionary Marxism.

We must take all these steps in the face of counter-revolution, and not expose ourselves in a suicidal fashion. Our victory will be of real value when we can win tens of thousands to our ranks.

Once again, greetings to you, comrades, colleagues and revolutionaries.