Freedom Socialist Party: U.S. Hands Off the Arab Revolution

Statement by the Freedom Socialist Party
February 2, 2011

Since January 25, the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez have been
occupied by ever-growing crowds of protesters demanding the end to the
despotic 30-year regime of U.S-backed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Fed up
with repression, political corruption, high unemployment and rising food
prices, Egyptian students, unemployed youth, workers, and women are
facing down police (in and out of uniform) and trying to win rank-and-file
soldiers to their side. The rebellion that was touched off in Egypt by the
overthrow of the Ben Ali dictatorship in Tunisia is today spilling over into
other Arab nations; among these are Jordan, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon,
Yemen, and Algeria.

As the days pass and the Egyptian rebellion gains steam, it becomes
more and more critical for those outside the Middle East who favor
workingclass freedom to show their support for this inspiring popular
uprising by holding demonstrations and issuing public statements that
demand “Hands off the Arab Revolution!”

This is especially true in the U.S. and Europe since without the support of
imperialism, many of the henchmen ruling Arab countries today would not
last a minute longer. The fact that Egypt is second only to Israel as a
recipient of U.S. military aid — $1.3 billion — tells the whole story in a few

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who never
condemned the overthrow of democratically elected Honduran president
Manuel Zelaya by military forces tied to the U.S., now hypocritically call for
an “orderly transition” to democracy and a “national dialogue” that will lead
to “free and fair elections.” But it’s much too late for this. Clearly the
Egyptian people are not listening; their dialogue with Mubarak has a life of
its own.

The great challenge facing the Egyptian rebellion is to cast out Mubarak
and his cronies and to replace them with a workers state that will provide
for the poor (half of all Egyptians — 40 million people — live on less than $2
a day). This means rejecting the advances of bourgeois leaders, such as
Mohamed ElBaradei, who put themselves forward to negotiate in the
name of the people. ElBaradei is a Nobel winner and the former top
nuclear inspector for the U.N. who has been living in exile in Vienna for all
of Mubarak’s 30-year reign. He has returned to Egypt since the uprising
began and is proposing to put together a transitional government to rule
until previously scheduled elections in September.

Egyptian workers hold the key to the success of this revolt. Over the last
five years, they have fought difficult union battles in the textile industry and
in the port city of Suez, a major industrial center. They also waged and
won a court battle to overturn Law No. 100 which effectively placed the
unions under state control and prevented fair elections.

On January 30, a group of independent unions announced the formation of
a new alliance — the Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions (FETU) — and
called for a general strike. In its new constitution, they noted that “Labor
struggles paved the way to today’s peoples revolution. That is why
Egyptian workers and employees totally refuse that the governmental
general federation [of unions] represents them and speaks in their name,
because it often denied their rights and claims and even issued the
famous statement on January 27 claiming to oppose every single protest
action during this period.”

In addition to demanding “the right to dignity, freedom and social justice,”
the FETU calls for freeing all detainees arrested after January 25 and
protecting the right to organize as well as immediately instituting
unemployment compensation, a minimum wage tied to inflation, social
security, health care, housing, free education, and pensions. The
federation also urges workers “to create civil committees in order to
defend their workplaces, [other] workers and citizens during these critical
times and to organize protest actions and strikes … to realize [the]
Egyptian people’s claims.”

The situation in Egypt today is extremely fluid and no one knows where it
will end. On January 29, it was reported that Bedouin tribesman had taken
control of two towns in the Sinai Peninsula. These towns are the closest
to the Gaza Strip and right next to the border with Israel. There were
reports that Bedouin tribes had also laid siege to a police station in Suez
while protests there had spread. Ending the Mubarak dictatorship’s control
of this region is key to winning a workers’ revolution.

As the world watches this unfolding revolution, we in the Freedom
Socialist Party will be in our unions and on the streets and the Internet
letting the Obama administration know we stand as workers, as feminists,
as internationalists and socialists with the Arab Revolution.

Mubarak out now!

Free Egypt’s political prisoners!

End U.S. military intervention and aid to the dictators of the Arab world!

All power to the Egyptian working class!


Freedom Socialist Party

U.S. Section
4710 University Way NE, #100
Seattle, WA 98105

Australian Section
PO Box 266
Brunswick, VIC 3055

3 thoughts on “Freedom Socialist Party: U.S. Hands Off the Arab Revolution

  1. Gene Berkman

    The reason more than half of Egyptians live on a pittance is the massive state and the control it exerts over economic activity in Egypt.

    When Nasser and his Arab Socialist Union were in power, and most Egyptians were poor, Western Marxists applauded “Arab Socialism.”

    The current state is an outgrowth of that, still poor, but the elite is richer because the Egyptian state has the USA, China and Saudi Arabia aiding it, rather than the Soviet Union, which was Nasser’s big support.

  2. Mashed Potato with a Twist

    Good point, Mr. Berkman.

    Fascism looks a lot like state socialism in practice. When you have a boot on your neck, whether it is the right or left boot makes little or no difference.

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