The following is the text of a CWI leaflet which is translated into several languages and distributed internationally, to mark the first anniversary of widespread actions by workers and youth, on 6 April 2009, protesting for democratic and union rights.
Egyptian workers and youth are protesting on 6 April against the repressive regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Millions of Egyptians live in desperate poverty while a small group of wealthy businessmen make massive profits from their misery. These property developers, industrialists and bankers live lives of luxury, which they share with their friends, Hosni Mubarak, and his son Gamal.
Last year, on 6 April, many workers and students stayed away from work in protest. There were violent police attacks on workers in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla, with many arrests.
This year, the ‘April 6th Youth Movement’ have over 73,000 signed up to their Facebook site. They and others are calling for:
- A minimum wage of LE1200 a month
- Unemployment benefits
- Price controls and food and gas
- End privatisation of banks, health services, education and transport
- End security police repression and police brutality. End the 27-year long State of Emergency. Stop rigging elections.
- Stop the selling of cheap natural gas to Israel
The Committee for a Workers International (CWI) supports those workers and youth in Egypt who bravely challenge the regime. We support and work for the building of independent trade unions and a workers’ party.
The working class in Egypt has the power to challenge Mubarak’s regime. Students and youth need to build real links with those workers who have taken strike action recently. While taking united action with other genuine democratic forces, the working class can only rely on itself to defeat Egyptian capitalism – the system Hosni and Gamal Mubarak defend. A socialist society with democratic planning is needed to enable Egypt’s wealth and resources to be planned for the benefit of all and for genuine democratic rights to exist.