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The Socialist 16 February 2011 |
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Egypt: What next after the overthrow of mubarak?
Following the dramatic overthrow of both the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators, protest movements have spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa as the working and poor masses seek to remove repressive regimes. In Iran, Bahrain, Algeria and elsewhere, as well as across the world, workers and youth are drawing lessons and ideas from the events.
Mubarak's removal, and the attempt by the military high command to safeguard the essence of both the old system and capitalism, has naturally sparked off a lively debate in Egypt on what should happen next. In these discussions the Committee for a Workers' International, the world socialist organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated, is arguing for:
- No trust in the military chiefs and no participation in any government with leaders or officials of the Mubarak dictatorship.
- Immediate lifting of the state of emergency. Immediate freeing of all political detainees and prisoners. No prosecution or victimisation of activists in the revolution.
- Full political freedom. Freedom to publish and organise. Democratic control over and opening up of state media to publish the views of all political trends supporting the revolution.
- No restriction of the right to strike and take other industrial action. Full freedom to form trade unions and conduct trade union activity. For democratic, combative trade unions.
- Arrest and trial before popular courts of all those involved in the Mubarak police regime's repression and corruption. Confiscate the assets of the looters and the corrupt elite.
- Urgent formation of democratic committees of action in the workplaces and neighbourhoods - particularly in working-class and poor neighbourhoods - to coordinate removal of all remnants of the old regime, maintain order and supplies and, most importantly, be the basis for a government of workers' and poor people's representatives.
- Formation of democratic rank and file committees in the armed forces and police to ensure the officers cannot use these forces against the revolution.
- No to rule by the military chiefs or the elite. For a government of the representatives of workers, small farmers and the poor!
- No to a constitution approved or drawn up by the military. For the rapid election of a real democratic parliament, a revolutionary constituent assembly, which not only agrees rules for elections but also a programme to change the conditions of the Egyptian masses. Such a parliament can only be convened - if it is really to represent the majority of the population - under the control of democratic workplace and neighbourhood committees. Representatives of the workers and poor farmers should form the majority in this parliament or constituent assembly.
- For a genuinely democratic socialist Egypt. For the nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy under democratic workers' control and management to enable a socialist plan to be drawn up to raise living standards for the vast majority of Egyptians in the cities and the countryside.