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Paul Murphy sets record straight on "legal aid"

06/05/2016: Socialist MP threatened with jail for protesting against water charges responds to attacks in Irish parliament

  Video

South Africa
Zuma must go!

06/05/2016: Build a socialist mass workers’ party for a government of the working class

  South Africa

 Solidarity
Portuguese dock workers’ indefinite strike

05/05/2016: What we cannot do: leave the dockers alone

  Solidarity

Britain
90th anniversary of epochal general strike

05/05/2016: When workers tasted power

  Britain

Hong Kong
Racist smear campaign against refugees

05/05/2016: Socialist Action (CWI) initiates successful anti-racist march

  Aceh

May Day 2016
Rallies and marches mark international workers' day

04/05/2016: Photo gallery of CWI's global May Day participation

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Ireland
Water charges suspended

03/05/2016: Protest movement and boycott force huge Establishment parties climb down

  Ireland Republic

Britain
'Slow coup' against left Labour leader

02/05/2016: Anti-Semitism charges a cynical campaign by right-wing to ditch Jeremy Corbyn

  Britain

May Day 2016
The idea of May Day on the march

01/05/2016: "The brilliant idea of May Day is the immediate stepping forward of the proletarian masses"

  May Day

Israel/Palestine
The Marxist left, the national conflict and the
Palestinian struggle

29/04/2016: The necessity of a class approach and a socialist alternative

  Israel / Palestine

Austria
Stop the rise of the far right!

27/04/2016: Against Hofer, the government and the system of the super-rich!

  Austria

Greece
Athens bus cleaners hold solid 48 hour strike

27/04/2016: Workers resist inhuman working conditions and violation of working rights

  Greece

France
One-day strike set for 28 April

26/04/2016: A final stage before indefinite action against Hollande’s government?

  France

Germany
Huge protest against TTIP deal

25/04/2016: For decisive unions’ action to stop bosses’ plans!

  Germany

Britain
Jeremy Corbyn’s EU u-turn

23/04/2016: The bosses’ EU is no friend of workers

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Belgium
New major social conflict in the making

22/04/2016: Second action plan needed to stop the Michel government

  Belgium

US
The un-Democratic Primary

22/04/2016: Why we need new party of the 99%

  US

South Africa
Zuma & the ANC must fall

22/04/2016: Build a socialist mass workers party for a government of the working class

  South Africa

 Video
Paul Murphy speaks on Brexit referendum and for a socialist Europe

21/04/2016: Socialist Party TD (MP) exposes real nature of EU in Irish parliament

  Europe, Video

Iceland
Mass protests continue

21/04/2016: CWI’s programme explained

  Iceland

India
Workers oppose Modi proposals

21/04/2016: Eye-witness account of successful protest

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Peter Taaffe debates with Paul Mason on BBC TV

20/04/2016: Socialist Party General Secretary debates with author and journalist on revolutionary socialism today

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 Sudan
Solidarity from the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) - Nigeria with the student protests in Khartoum

20/04/2016: The ERC, the national student campaign linked to the DSM (CWI in Nigeria) is displaying its support for the student movement in Sudan

  Nigeria, Solidarity, Sudan

Poland
Anger at abortion ban plan

20/04/2016: Protests and a new spontaneous movement for abortion rights erupt

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 Sudan
Solidarity with the students’ protests!

19/04/2016: Free all arrested students now

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Iran
Jailed trade unionists announce start of hunger strikes on April 29

19/04/2016: Statement by Jafar Azimzadeh, a leader of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, and Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association

  Iran

Capitalism
a failing system

18/04/2016: A new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, analyses the downward course of the US economy – and the limits of the whole capitalist system

  Review, US

 Video
Socialist TV appearance ’goes viral’ in US

18/04/2016: FOX interview with Darletta Scruggs, Socialist Alternative member, viewed millions of times

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Cuba
Obama’s visit

16/04/2016: Easing of embargo to promote US capitalist interests

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Burma
Democrats have historic majority in parliament

16/04/2016: But army remains powerful force

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Belgium
Successful ‘Socialism 2016’ weekend event

14/04/2016: Inequality, war and insecurity show the urgency of the struggle for socialism

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Review
’Militant’ by Michael Crick

14/04/2016: Lessons of Militant vital for anti-austerity struggles today

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Britain
Panama Papers reveal corrupt system of the 1%

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Egypt

50,000 protest ruling military junta’s new sweeping powers

www.socialistworld.net, 20/06/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Escalation in struggle for power between old regime and Muslim Brotherhood

Niall Mulholland and David Johnson, edited article from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales)

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood stated the revolution is facing ‘a life and death moment’ after it claimed victory in presidential elections but now faces an attempt by the ruling military junta to impose a ‘constitutional coup’.

The official results of the second round presidential elections will not be known until Thursday 21 June. However, on a low turnout, unofficial tallies suggested that Mohammed Mursi, the presidential candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), won with 52% of the vote. It is likely that no matter who the election commission names as winner, his rival will claim it is a fraud, opening the way to further confrontation.

Just as polls closed the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) gave itself new sweeping powers in a ‘constitutional declaration’. This effectively binds the hands of the incoming president and increases military dictatorship in the post-Mubarak era.

It gives the generals powers to initiate legislation, control the budget, appoint a panel to draft a new constitution, postpone new parliamentary elections until the constitution is approved and strips the president of any authority over the army.

It also formalised the army’s ability to detain civilians and to bring troops onto the streets during “internal unrest”.

This follows a ruling by the High Constitutional Court on 14 June - stacked with Mubarak-era supporters - that decreed parliamentary elections held earlier this year were unconstitutional, leading to the dissolution of the Islamist-led parliament.

On Monday morning, 18 June, soldiers prevented MPs from entering parliament. The court also supported the right of Mubarak’s last prime minister to run for president.

The concerted moves by the High Court and generals mark a serious escalation in the struggle for power between the old regime and the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood.

More importantly, it is another assault by the Mubarak-era forces against the working masses and revolutionary opposition.

Since the ‘25 January revolution’, last year, over 1,200 protesters have been murdered by the regime, 8,000 maimed and 16,000 court-martialled. Thousand are in military jails, with many of them on hunger strike.

In a leaflet distributed in Tahrir Square last year, published on the day of Murbarak’s forced resignation, CWI supporters warned: “However the battle is not over yet, dangers still remain. The unelected vice-president Suleiman, the Mubarak police state’s former head of intelligence, announced that the former president handed over power to the ‘High Council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country’. The new head of state, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, has been defence minister and the armed forces Commander-in Chief since 1991, nearly two-thirds of the time that Mubarak was in power. A BBC correspondent commented that ‘The army takeover looks very much like a military coup … because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership’.”

( http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4844)

Reports that ousted president Hosni Mubarak was transferred from Torah prison hospital to a military hospital, late last night, where he is on a life support machine, will raise tensions in society. It will further infuriate many youth and workers who regard the revolution under attack. Although sentenced to a life prison sentence, Mubarak is given preferential treatment by the ruling military regime and security and military officials.

‘Nasserist’ candidate

The two presidential candidates, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi and Ahmad Shafiq, a former minister in Mubarak’s regime, each gained only about 25% of the votes in the first round.

Hamdeen Sabbahi

Despite the strong show of support for Hamdeen Sabbahi, the radical ‘Nasserist’ candidate whose vote was just 3% behind Mursi and 2% behind Shafiq in the first round, there was no candidate for president to represent the interests of the working class and the poor.

Shafiq was backed by Scaf which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak’s downfall. This is the same regime that ruled before the 25 January 2011 revolution, minus Mubarak, his sons and a few other henchmen. Shafiq stands for the continuation of rule by this pro-big business regime, with Scaf retaining power behind the scenes.

Shafiq made the need for security and ‘law and order’ his main campaign issue. He tried to exploit the “chaos” of recent months, which was due to the machinations of the ruling military, including their ‘divide and rule’ policies, but also because the revolution has no clear direction or socialist leadership.

But behind talk of the need to cut crime is the clear threat to clamp down on the rights to protest, to organise independent trade unions and to strike. After 18 months of revolutionary turmoil, Shafiq stood for counter-revolution to end the challenge to the ruling classes’ right to exploit the rest of society.

Mursi’s share of the vote was almost half what his FJP had won in the parliamentary elections earlier this year, falling from ten million to 5.8 million.

He tried to portray himself as the candidate to defend the revolution against the restoration of the old regime. That is not easy for him given the MB’s role before, during and since the revolution.

For years, the MB leadership avoided direct confrontation with the Mubarak regime, despite frequent arrests and imprisonment of its leading members.

At first, the MB opposed the 25 January uprising. It was only after large numbers of MB youth ignored these ‘leaders’, joining other youth in Tahrir and other city squares, that the MB leadership was forced to change its tune and declare its support for the revolution.

After the downfall of Mubarak, the MB leaders cooperated with Scaf until November. Coming under massive pressure from below, they then supported a demonstration called for 18 November but continued to avoid outright confrontation with the generals.

MB leaders have continued to swing between cooperation with Scaf and opposition, depending on whether they have felt under greater pressure from the generals or the masses. The MB leaders opposed independent working class action and, in particular, strike action.

They represent the interests of a section of the capitalist class who were excluded from political power under Mubarak’s regime. They use right-wing, political Islam to build a base of support among the most conservative layers in society. Since their election to parliament, MB MPs have been trying to remove women’s and children’s rights.

In the second round presidential elections, many of the exploited in society, for want of a class alternative, voted for the MB as a ‘lesser evil’, in opposition to the Mubarak-era forces and the rule of the generals. Others voted for Shafiq, not because they want to see the rule of the generals, but because they feared political Islamists imposing their will on society.

Most tellingly, however, were the millions who decided not to vote at all, in effect boycotting the election. Some areas reported voter turnout as low as 15%.

The Scaf is relying on repression and intimidation, as well as widespread exhaustion and a craving for stability among big parts of Egyptian society, in order to maintain their rule. The so-called months of “democratic transition”, under the control of Scaf and with imperialist backing, is clearly revealed to the Egyptian masses as a complete fraud.

Following the outcome of the presidential elections and the military’s coup there may be a feeling of demoralisation among some workers and youth.

It is also possible that the crude intervention of the pro-Mubarak Courts and Scaf’s new repressive legislation, can act as the ‘whip of counter-revolution’, provoking new mass protests and an upsurge in revolutionary struggles. Some 50,000 protesters, reportedly mostly Islamists, massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, on 19 June, chanting slogans in support of Morsi and denouncing the Scaf entrenchment of its power. Other protests were reported in Alexandria, the port city.

Whatever the timing and course of new mass resistance, the MB cannot be relied upon to lead it in the interests of working people.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood called this week for mass protests across Egypt to demonstrate against sweeping new powers taken by the ruling military council, it remains to be seen how far the leadership is prepared to lead a real struggle.

While coming under pressure from below to fight for more democratic rights, the MB, in or out of power, will primarily act on behalf of the ruling class, or at least that faction they represent. As the MB has shown before, despite its rhetoric against military rule, it can end up making a rotten compromise with the generals.

Independent working class alternative

As the revolution last year showed, to win democratic and social gains, the working class can only rely on its own collective power and methods of mass struggle, including general strikes, and by building a strong, independent political alternative to all pro-capitalist parties.

A working class alternative can draw behind it those rank and file MB supporters who are opposed to the military and want to see real democracy and social justice.

If Mursi takes office in the current circumstances, he will be without any real powers. However, as the Guardian points out (19 June), it may be in the interests of Scaf to see “a weak civilian president who can be blamed when the economy deteriorates further”.

As well as the political and ‘constitutional crisis’, Egypt’s economic crisis takes centre stage. Currency reserves are falling by about $600 million a month, as the rich take their money out of the country and income from tourism remains low.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a loan on condition that there is ‘broad political support’, meaning that politicians of all governing parties sign up to their programme of tax rises and public spending cuts, especially on food and fuel subsidies.

Whether it is tax rises and spending cuts, or rising inflation and growing unemployment, the price for workers and the poor is the same – a massive attack on already desperately low living standards.

A Mursi presidency, even if largely toothless, can end up being blamed when workers’ living standards and their newly-won democratic rights come under renewed attack. This will lead to disillusionment among Muslim Brotherhood supporters and splits among its base. But unless the Left offers a clear socialist alternative, the more right-wing political Islam of the Salafist Nour party can gain.

Even the limited reforms promised by the Nasserist candidate Sabbahi - including raising the minimum wage and unemployment benefit for youth and opposing austerity measures - will require a major struggle.

They must be part of more far-reaching measures, including nationalising all the big corporations and banks, under democratic workers’ control. This would enable the economy to be democratically planned in the interests of the vast majority of society.

New revolution

The 25 January revolution marked the entry of the masses onto the stage of history and led to the overthrow of Mubarak. But the rule of the capitalist class and their army generals continues.

A second revolution is needed to change society – a socialist revolution in which the working class leads the poor, the small farmers, middle classes and youth to take power from the bankers, big business and Scaf. A mass movement with a socialist programme could win the ranks of the armed forces away from the generals.

The most important task facing revolutionary workers and youth in Egypt is to organise and build independent trade unions and a mass workers’ party that can unite workers, youth and the poor together to fight for their interests.

Increasing attacks on living standards and attempts to withdraw newly-won democratic rights by whatever regime is in power will inevitably result in new waves of struggle, sooner or later.

There will be many opportunities to build workers’ organisations and for workers to learn the need for a second, socialist revolution. Part of this struggle entails workers fighting for real, lasting democratic rights and social change, including the convening of a genuine constituent assembly and for a workers’ government to fundamentally change society.



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NEWS

Video: Paul Murphy sets record straight on "legal aid"
06/05/2016, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP threatened with jail for protesting against water charges responds to attacks in Irish parliament

South Africa: Zuma must go!
06/05/2016, Editorial from Izwi Labasebenzi (WASP - CWI South Africa) :
Build a socialist mass workers’ party for a government of the working class

Solidarity: Portuguese dock workers’ indefinite strike
05/05/2016, Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal) Statement:
What we cannot do: leave the dockers alone

Hong Kong: Racist smear campaign against refugees
05/05/2016, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Socialist Action (CWI) initiates successful anti-racist march

France: Striking workers join students and youth in mass demonstrations
04/05/2016, Naomi Byron, Paris (first published in The Socialist):
Build a general strike movement!

May Day 2016: Rallies and marches mark international workers' day
04/05/2016, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery of CWI's global May Day participation

Ireland: Water charges suspended
03/05/2016, Katia Hancke, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Dublin:
Protest movement and boycott force huge Establishment parties climb down

Britain: 'Slow coup' against left Labour leader
02/05/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary :
Anti-Semitism charges a cynical campaign by right-wing to ditch Jeremy Corbyn

May Day 2016: The idea of May Day on the march
01/05/2016, CWI socialist greetings/Two articles by Rosa Luxemburg :
"The brilliant idea of May Day is the immediate stepping forward of the proletarian masses"

Austria: Stop the rise of the far right!
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Against Hofer, the government and the system of the super-rich!

Greece: Athens bus cleaners hold solid 48 hour strike
27/04/2016, Apostolos Kasimeris (Board Member of OASA’s Athens Bus Workers’ Union) and Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) :
Workers resist inhuman working conditions and violation of working rights

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For decisive unions’ action to stop bosses’ plans!

Britain: Jeremy Corbyn’s EU u-turn
23/04/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary:
The bosses’ EU is no friend of workers

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Second action plan needed to stop the Michel government

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22/04/2016, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI in South Africa):
Build a socialist mass workers party for a government of the working class

Video: Paul Murphy speaks on Brexit referendum and for a socialist Europe
21/04/2016, socialistworld.net:
Socialist Party TD (MP) exposes real nature of EU in Irish parliament

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CWI’s programme explained

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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Britain: 90th anniversary of epochal general strike
05/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) general secretary:
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Israel/Palestine: The Marxist left, the national conflict and the
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Renewed economic crisis, wars, political polarisation & class struggle perspectives

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08/02/2016, Socialistworld.net:
CWI 11th World Congress document