Egypt

The euphoria amongst the Egyptian masses that followed the fall of Mubarak in February has disappeared. The hard reality of the situation – in which political, social, and economic conditions have barely changed – has set in. The revolution has not ended, however, but has, after a brief lull, transitioned from the streets to the workplaces. The working class in Egypt – the motor force of the revolution – is organising and is on the move.

Almost seven months after the fall of Mubarak, the revolution in Egypt is far from over. The old regime is still in power and the masses can feel the revolution slipping through their fingers. Everything has changed, and yet everything remains the same. However, the anger of workers and youth has not gone away as the recent spate of strikes indicates.

Friday 8th July saw the largest protests since the departure of Hosni Mubarak as tens of thousands took to the streets of Cairo, and thousands more came out to protest in other cities across Egypt, such as Alexandria and Suez. Material conditions have not improved for the workers and youth of Egypt, and Tahrir Square has once again become a visible epicentre of the revolution.

On March 19, Egyptians voted by a large majority in a referendum in favour of a series of amendments to the Constitution. However, it would be wrong to see the results of this vote as an endorsement of the policy of the Army Council to contain the revolution and return to capitalist normality with as few changes as possible.

The mighty power of revolution has been demonstrated with the resignation of Mubarak. It has shown that the staunchest, most vicious and stubborn of despots can be overthrown when the masses enter the arena of struggle and their resolve becomes absolute. But the most unique feature of this movement is that even after the tyrant has gone it refuses to relent.

We republish here a statement from the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution of the south Cairo neighbourhoods of Maadi, Besatin and Dar el-Salam. Such CDRs were established during the revolutionary uprising which led to the overthrow of Mubarak and they exist in several Cairo neighbourhoods, but also in other cities, including the industrial centre of Helwan.

Despite appeals by the Army Council that strikes should stop, Egyptian workers, emboldened by the revolution, have continued to take mass action to solve their long held grievances. We publish here two reports we have received about the growing movement of the Egyptian working class.

The Egyptian military top brass have taken over the running of the country and, while they are promising a transition to “democracy” at some stage, they are more concerned in the short term about what they see as “chaos and disorder”. That is, not just the rallies that have gripped all of Egypt’s major cities, but something far more dangerous in their view, the growing strike wave.

An example of the militancy of the Egyptian workers is this statement issued by the higher coordination committee of the Petrotrade workers, calling on workers at the company for an open ended strike until their demands are met.

Contrary to what the bourgeois media claim, revolutions are not made by individual agitators or small groups. They are made by the mass of people and they are prepared for years by the decay of the old system which is no longer able to take society forward. On the other hand, when a society is ripe for revolution, that is, when all the contradictions have accumulated to a critical degree, a small force can play a large role in the events that are about to unfold.

The tyrant has fallen! As I write these lines, Hosni Mubarak has resigned. This is a great victory, not just for the people of Egypt, but for the workers of the entire world. After 18 days of continuous revolutionary mobilizations, with 300 dead and thousands injured, Hosni Mubarak's 30-year tyranny is no more.

There are situations in which mass demonstrations are sufficient to bring about the fall of a regime. But Egypt is not one of them. All the efforts of the masses to bring about the overthrow of Mubarak through demonstrations and street protests have so far failed to achieve their principal objective.

The masses have once again taken to the streets in the biggest demonstrations yet seen in Egypt. They call it the "Day of Departure". Already this morning Al Jazeera showed an immense crowd of people thronging Tahrir Square. The mood was neither tense nor fearful, but jubilant. The very instant Friday prayers finished the masses erupted in a deafening roar of “Mubarak out!” The few Mubarak supporters who were slinking on the streets outside the Square like impotent jackals could do nothing.

We have just received a statement by the revolutionary youth on Tahrir Square in Cairo. The marvellous movement of the workers and youth of Egypt is an inspiration to the whole world. It gives new hope to the exploited and oppressed, not only in the Middle East but everywhere.

One of the salient features of a revolution is that the masses conquer the fear of the state and repression. This has been graphically demonstrated on the streets of Egypt. At the same time the surge of a mass upheaval breaks the taboos in the psychology of the soldiers and the army begins to cleave on a class basis. A rare fraternity between the security forces and the masses, whom they are supposed to crush, develops as the revolution blossoms.