Egypt

We received this report from Cairo, written last week just after the big November 27th demonstration. While it was being written, several thousands of demonstrators were still in Tahrir Square after the big demonstration of 27th. Hundreds of thousands had gathered in this square, the symbol of the Egyptian Revolution, shouting “Revolution”, “Oust the murshid government” (murshidis the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood).

Anger was simmering on Tahrir Square yesterday as hundreds of thousands poured in to the square to protest against Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Across the square large banners were inscribed with slogans such as “The Muslim Brotherhood has stolen the revolution” and “The Muslim Brotherhood are liars”. Throughout the day a seemingly never-ending stream of marches reached the square from all over the ancient city. In size and radicalism yesterday’s protest was equalled only by those that overthrew the hated dictator Hosni Mubarak in January 2011.

Two funeral processions turned into mass protests on the streets of Egypt today. Over the last 5 days thousands of people have taken to the streets in order to protest against a decree announced by the Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, allowing him to rule more or less autocratically. The events have publicly displayed the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood who once claimed to be representatives of democracy in Egypt. At the same time these events show that none of the contradictions which led to the revolution have been solved and that under the surface a new wave of revolution is being prepared.

The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Mursi has won Egypt's presidential election with 51.73% of the vote. Ahmed Shafiq, the candidate of the military, got 48.27%, according to the election commission. However these figures should be treated with caution.

The Egyptian revolution has taken a new turn in the last few days. The ruling Military Council (SCAF) has launched a number of very serious attacks on the revolution. The military police can now arrest civilians at will and parliament has been dissolved. The generals have also announced additions to the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 which give them virtually unlimited powers. What was supposed to have been the first democratic presidential elections in the history of the country has ended in a farce and a power struggle between two rival factions of the Egyptian bourgeoisie: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Armed Forces.

Writing from Cairo on Wednesday 06 June Robert Fisk, an honest and perceptive journalist published an article entitled: Revolutions don't always pan out quite as we wanted. As far as Egypt is concerned, the title is an understatement. He further asks: Is Hosni Mubarak's ghost going to be reinstalled, substituting a security state in place of democracy?

Comrades, thousands upon thousands of youth, workers, and genuine revolutionaries, not only in Egypt, but throughout the Arab world, have had their eyes on and pinned their hopes on the Revolutionary Socialists. We ask that you to renounce your position of supporting Morsi and take to the streets, factories, universities, and neighbourhoods in order to explain to workers and youths the counter-revolutionary nature of both Shafiq and Morsi, that you expose the rotten and reactionary nature of Egyptian capitalism. [in Arabic]

One of the main features of a revolutionary situation is the suddenness with which the mood of the masses can change. The workers learn quickly on the basis of events. And the events of the last 24 hours show that the workers and youth of Egypt are learning fast.

The second round in Egypt's fraudulent presidential elections will be taking place on June 16 and 17. In the election, Ahmad Shafiq, one of Mubarak's old ministers, will face Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Marxists can offer no support to either of these candidates, both of whom represent the forces of counter-revolution. However, the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt have decided to do just that, and it is a grave mistake.

February 11 marks the one year anniversary of the fall of Mubarak. Summer, autumn, and winter have passed since the beginning of the “Arab spring”, and the Egyptian masses are still taking to the streets. Despite all that has happened over the past 12 months, nothing has fundamentally changed for the majority of ordinary Egyptians. There have been a series of victories and defeats for the workers and youth of Egypt, but now, with the anniversary of the Revolution, the movement is entering a new phase.

On Friday more than a million Egyptian youth, workers and poor yet again assembled in Tahrir Square. The masses have once again risen in an attempt to remove the remnants of the Mubarak regime, which are still in power. Not far from Tahrir, in Abbassiya Square, not more than a couple of thousand people gathered in a pathetic demonstration in support of the SCAF. To the sceptics who did not believe in the revolution, this should be a clear demonstration of the real balance of forces. But at the same time the revolution clearly faces obstacles, not from external forces, but in its own internal contradictions.

Events in Egypt are developing at lightning speed. Similarly to the last days of Mubarak in February this year, we see daily battles on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere. The Egyptian masses are determined to see the revolution carried through to the end. The clash between revolution and counter-revolution is provoking a crisis inside all political forces, as the rank and file instinctively move towards revolution and the leaderships vacillate and try to hold the masses back.

As these lines are being written revolution and counter-revolution are facing each other on the streets of Egypt. Cairo's Tahrir Square has once again become the focal point of the revolution. Over the weekend, clashes broke out once again in Tahrir Square as the police tried to clear it of activists who were demanding the end of military rule. Driven by the whip of the counter-revolution tens of thousands of revolutionaries are retaking their positions in the square where the revolution had played out its first acts.

Faced with ever increasing contradictions, the military rulers in Egypt have looked to cut across the recent wave of class struggle by attempting to divide the workers and youth along religious lines. This is the context in which the recent deaths of 24 Coptic Christian Egyptian protestors must be seen.

With the re-introduction of the emergency law, the military junta is desperately trying to strangle the revolution and return to the “normality” of the Mubarak era. But the workers are on the move. The recent upsurge in strikes and protests could spell the end for the SCAF regime.