On Tuesday more than 80 people came to discuss the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt. This event was organised by the Marxist tendency Der Funke and the newly formed marxist*in (Marxist Initiative in the Young Socialists Vienna).
Speakers on the platform were Imed Garbaya (former left, pan-Arabic student activist from Gafsa, Tunisia), Lis Mandl (trade unionist from the social and health care sector, and Der Funke supporter, who lived for a long period in Palestine) and Ramin Taghian (Perspektiven). The meeting was introduced and moderated by Neva Löw (of marxist*in).
After the speakers gave their introductory statements there was a lively and instructive discussion on the floor about a wide range of topics: the effects of the revolutions on other countries in the Arab world, the role of the youth and the working class, the role of the military, the recent strike wave, the role of the committees (which evolved as self defence committees in neighbourhoods, but are now taking over economic, social and cultural tasks), the role of leadership and the subjective factor, etc. Imed at one point said: “The revolution began on the 17th of December in Sidi Bouzid, but will not end at Tahrir Square.”
All agreed that these movements are also an inspiration for workers and youth in the whole world. And as one comrade put it: the best way to help these movements is to get organised in our own countries, because the repressive regimes in the Arab world are heavily financed by imperialist nations in Europe and North America, and put an end to the dictatorship of Capital.