Saturday, 12 February 2011

The amassing people of Egypt

There is much warranted rejoicing on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other cities today, as millions of Egyptians savour the sweet taste of an important historic victory.

These extraordinary events are a turning point of such importance not only for Egypt, but for the entire world, for indeed the social power of the working classes has been shown.

The triumphant gallantry of the masses of the Egyptian people in the face of torture, arrests and repression are an inspiration for us all and wherever we live on the Earth.

Mubarak’s resignation was a humiliating about-face from his speech, delivered less than 24 hours earlier. It was also a blow to the military establishment and we should remember that they issued a statement on Friday morning supporting the transfer of authority to Vice President Omar Suleiman, the long-time friend of both the US and Israel and who headed the Egyptian intelligence agency.

The departure of Mubarak is a devastating setback for the Arab bourgeoisie or upper classes, who must now fear with trepidation the spread of revolution beyond Egypt; for the Israeli state, whose policies of repression and military terror depend on the suppression of working class struggle both in the Arab countries and in Israel itself; and above all for US imperialism, which for 31 years was the main financier and backer of the Mubarak dictatorship. Washington, the US having complete and utter complicity, involved with crimes and many offences of the regime, including the widespread use of torture against political opponents.

As we pointed out yesterday, the revolutionary upheavals now gripping North Africa are the first major response of the world working class to the conditions created by the global economic crisis of capitalism. In bringing down Mubarak, in Egypt, is but the first volley in a world struggle against economic exploitation, the suppression of democratic rights, and social inequality defended by governments not only in Egypt, but around the world and here in Britain the birthplace of world capitalism.

As significant as the resignation of Mubarak is, however, it is only the beginning of this struggle. Mubarak may be gone, with power now in the hands of the officer corps that has been the anchor of the capitalist dictatorship in Egypt for decades.

The Egyptian people know they have only begun to settle accounts with their exploiters - the secret police, the bribable Egyptian generals, and Mubarak himself.

We will be looking at what happens next, the grab for power, the role of the army and the emerging players both in Egypt and on the so-called world stage. But for the time being today and this weekend belongs to the amazing and amassing people of Egypt - we solute you!

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