de position -
Massacre of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Egypt
The only road forward for the proletariat is the independent class struggle and no confidence in the bourgeois army!
More than 600 killed in Egypt according to official figures (over 2000 according to the Muslim Brotherhood), reestablishment of the emergency act (repealed in 2012 after being in force for 60 years), statements by the Minister of the Interior according to which "security" would be restored to what it was before the fall of Mubarak, this is the initial balance-sheet of the savage intervention of the Army on August 14. While some saw in the overthrow of the Morsi government a "new stage of the revolution", or others think that the repression would only affect the Muslim Brotherhood, by the massacre of Islamists demonstrators, the Army wanted to demonstrate to everybody that it intends at all costs to strengthen the iron heel of the bourgeois order. Since Morsi proved to be unable to do that, he was swept out of power; and his supporters who refused to submit to the Army were crushed in blood.
This the Egyptian proletarians should make no mistake about: they are in the crosshairs of the military killers!
The removal of Egyptian President Morsi (who believed right up to the end that he was supported by the Americans) (1), ecumenically blessed by the Coptic Patriarch and the Rector of Al-Azhar Mosque, was warmly welcomed by the Cairo stock exchange which soared by 7% – its largest increase since ... Morsi's election victory! This demonstrates the disappointment of the capitalists faced with the incapacity of the government of the Muslim Brotherhood to solve the grave problems of the country. It was also loudly applauded by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf oil monarchies, and discreetly by Israel. The first promised financial aid of $ 12 billion without delay to Egypt, which was desperately needed, while the Israelis rejoiced over the reestablishment of the blockade of the Gaza Strip by the Egyptian Army; and they allowed the deployment of Egyptian troops in the Sinai to "restore order." (Since the “Camp David Accords” in ’78 no deployment of Egyptian troops in this part of the country is possible without the agreement of Israel).
After lengthy negotiations, a provisional Government was formed in Cairo; the Salafist party Al Nour (far-right Islamist), the second-largest party in the Parliament, who some weeks ago had joined the opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood, was itself opposed to the appointment of the democrat El Baradei, backed by the secularist parties , to the post of Prime Minister; he was deemed too "secular": therefore an honorary position of "vice-president" was created for him (which he resigned after the massacres of 14 August).
The new government perfectly illustrates the orientation of the forces who, riding on the wave of protests, were the authors of the overthrow of Morsi. Supported by the "left" bourgeois democratic parties , it includes, in addition to traditional politicians, including those from the Mubarak period, ministers of the Morsi government, starting with the defense minister, General Al Sissi – the author of the coup – and the Minister of the Interior, although he was widely denounced for the brutality of the police he leads. The message was clear: the repression and antisocial measures demanded by the capitalists will continue and escalate. Skillfully, the Salafists turned down any participation in a government which will not be slow in disappointing the expectations of the masses; they are preparing to divert the inevitable discontent into their reactionary impasses.
Despite the bloody repression they suffered, the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to withstand the shock; they were able to mobilize tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo behind the flag of violated democracy and they displayed an unexpected resistance to the military. Therefore they appeared to the Egyptian bourgeoisie and imperialism as a possible recourse for the – predictable – failure of the new government. If the negotiations that, before the killings, took place behind the scenes between them and the Army ended without success, imperialism will push for their resumption, both the Americans and Europeans fearing that the bloody military crackdown will lead to a long period of instability ( 2).
But the key to the evolution of the situation is to be found in the reactions of the workers.
Since the overthrow of Morsi, the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions has called for an end to strikes, writing in a communiqué that "the heroes of the strikes must become the heroes of labor and production" (3)! During the formation of the government, the president of this Federation of lackeys of capitalism was appointed Minister of Labour...
EFITU was formed after the fall of Mubarak as an alternative to the former official trade unions, the Egyptian Trade Union Federation hated by workers (the ETUF still exists and it obviously also called for suspension of strikes, for one year, and called on workers to support the new government). It is in no way an independent class organization; its staff come from the ETUF and its constitution was assisted by U.S. imperialism through the AFL-CIO (The american trade union federation regularly used by CIA for its activities abroad), the first stones were laid even before the fall of Mubarak to attempt to control workers' agitation.
But EFITU appeals have not had the expected success. A new wave of strikes has broken out, mainly in the textile industry, but also in other sectors. Most of these strikes were lead outside the unions and the distrust of workers towards the existing political parties is underlined by Egyptian newspapers. For instance in July 31, workers at Misr Spinning the giant textile enterprise which is a kind of center of workers' struggle in Mahalla (northern Egypt) scored a victory over the management: after a few hours of striking they agreed to maintain the Eid holidays and to the payment of a premium; among the demands was also the dissolution of the union official (ETUF) in the plant, which is run by the State Security. According to press reports, before the military crackdown, workers in Mahalla were pushing for a general strike against the new government that they accuse of following the same anti-labor policy that Mubarak and Morsi.
The struggle of the Egyptian proletariat against capitalism and all the bourgeois forces who defend it, Islamists, the Army and others, is just beginning. This struggle is that of the proletarians of the whole world!
(1) Le Monde of 6 July published an exchange of Morsi with Al Sissi who announced his eviction to him; Morsi answered that the Americans would not tolerate his overthrow, then he told the general that since it was he who appointed him, he was able to dismiss him; Al Sissi answered that it was actually the Army that had designated him.
(2) The United States were inevitably aware of the coup in preparation and, by dropping Morsi, they gave it the green light. But they exercised pressure on the military (some suspension of arms shipments) to push them to negotiate some kind of agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Wall Street Journal, spoke straight-faced in its No. 29/7 about a "philosophical difference" between Washington and Cairo on how to treat them; but as a matter of fact, the "philosophy" of the Americans is to keep contacts with the Brotherhood in order to play this card if necessary to defend the stability of the country along with their interests.
(3) See http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/16585
International Communist Party
August, 15th 2013
Back to Statements
Back to Archives