As we have written before, Workers Campaign explores the possibility to establish a ”Freedom Fund” for collecting money for the liberation movements in the Arab world and adjacent countries. At this moment we follow Egypt with great attention. What we see in the shift of regime on July 3 are a few things:
Legitimate struggle, setback and new challenges
The revolutionary liberation struggle throughout the Arabic-speaking world is by no means over. All said about its death is totally divorced from reality. What we see is a chronic revolutionary crisis where freedom fighters and freedom executioners take turns in having the initiative. Nothing is settled. Neither the victory, nor the defeat.
The mass movement to remove the democratically elected president Morsi was legitimate. Morsi hade been elected on a mandate to meet the demands from the struggle against Mubarak but not fulfilled any of them. On the contrary. Many have testified that the dictatorship became more or less re-installed during Morsi. The collection of 22 millions signatures, gigantic million marsches demanding his resign and early elections and a de facto general strike, were the means of the population to make its voice heard and say; you have forfeited the confidence. Any responsible leader faced with such mistrust sets his resignation and announces elections.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military are both factions of the Egyptian subdivision of the bourgeoisie and have common class interests. During Morsi presidency the politics for rent seeking and plundering of the resources have continued and the working class struggle have, according to observers, never been so intense with constant strikes and protests. When the lack of basic good such as gasoline and electricity, ever-growing unemployment and price hikes, coincided with a galloping crisis in public finances and a currency in free fall, it became clear that democracy could not deliver. Whether to the struggling masses of the population, nor to business owners and bureaucrats.
The fact that the Egyptian military, which controls 30-40% of the Egyptian economy, now has acquired all domestic appliance and political power in the country, is a setback. What takeover mainly shows is that the lack of new leadership still dominates politics and that the blind faith in parliamentary democracy, have created a political vacuum in the revolutionary camp. If the workers and slum urban dwellers had been capable of building an option on their own terms, the situation would have been different. Nothing good can come out of the military’s monopoly of power. They are the immediate antagonist to popular relief efforts and the movement must now get equipped to remove them.
Prepare motion for a workers government for survival
To equip the liberation movement in Egypt, it is now important to form a cohesive workplace and neighborhood-based movement that formulates an emergency program for the country and prepare its own workers government for survival. Such a movement can not advance without fighting both the Muslim Brotherhood and the military (SCAF), it needs to organize its self defense and not fear the underground struggle during the military dictatorship. To make sure that the emergency program not leads the movement into the same dead end that democracy has done, it must be extended to meet social needs; investment for the industry and for the food, water, electricity and energy security, jobs for the unemployed in community construction, stop for the circus of debt in banks and so on. This in turn requires that the working class in all major industries of Egypt take the political lead of a counter-power that could pave the way out of the spiral which the country now is spinning around.
Such a reversal in Egypt would become the force that the fight for freedom in the Arab world needs to come together and to strengthen all fighting fronts, to establish a regional workers and poors federation equipped with the necessary strength to expel the agents of global capital and freedom executioners.
Solidarity is our responsibility
In Europe’s labor movement, we should begin by directly taking a stand for the workers- and youth movement in Egypt and the region without, for example, ogle at the risk of increased gasoline prices, shortage of for example oranges or cancelled all-inclusive weeks at the Red Sea.
We can build support committees and freedom funds for the Arab struggle for freedom and start raising demands on our own governments to break with the regimes and denounce the Euro Mediterrainian Free Trade Agreement so we can replace it with joint and solidarity exchanges with the Arab world.