Egypt in revolt

Egypt: murder that rocked the regime

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The heartbreaking murder of a young woman activist has exposed the fragility in the rule of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a well respected member of Egypt’s left wing Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was shot in the chest by riot police as she was preparing to lay a wreath in Tahrir Square on the fourth anniversary of the revolution.

Egyptian student protests spread

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The new university year in Egypt kicked off with a series of demonstrations by students angry at draconian anti-protest laws passed by the goverment of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Students across the country are demanding the removal of the private security firm Falcon Guards from campuses as well as an end to new laws banning protests.

Bread, Freedom, Social Justice

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This much-anticipated and authoritative book by Anne Alexander and Mostafa Bassiouny tracks the role of the Egyptian working class movements in the 2011 Revolution. It is a closely argued, detailed and thorough examination of the dynamics of the revolution and the potential for workers to make a profound change in Egyptian society.

Alexander and Bassiouny begin with the definition of the Egyptian military — not a neutral body standing above society mediating between different interests, nor is it simply a charmed circle of personalities, but a brutal agent of class rule.

Egypt: tactics for a revolution in retreat

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"We have seen a massive turnout at the polls culminate in Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's election as president with 93 percent of the vote in the midst of massive popular celebrations."

This is the picture which the counter-revolution's media is falsely presenting to summarise the presidential elections.

The reality is more complex. It is necessary for revolutionaries at every moment of the struggle, whether during a period of upturn or retreat, to analyse the situation and set the tactics needed to advance towards revolution, and towards building the revolutionary party.

Do revolutions always fail?

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The counter-revolution in Egypt, together with the confused outcome of the upheavals in Ukraine, has revived the old argument that real popular power is impossible. John Molyneux explains why this is wrong.

The state of the world - with climate change, poverty, wars, racism and much else - is such that it is not easy for our rulers to persuade people that everything is alright. But they don't need to. All they need to do is persuade people that there is nothing they can do about it. This is why, when it comes to justifying capitalism, inequality and war, the mantra of: "But you can't change human nature" has always been popular with the powerful and drummed into the heads of ordinary people.

Class, power and the state in the Arab Spring

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This month marks the third anniversary of the start of the Egyptian revolution. Simon Assaf examines some key lessons while Anne Alexander spoke to three Egyptian revolutionaries.

At the forefront of the Arab Spring were the movements that took to the streets in vast numbers. The revolutions drew in diverse social forces - workers organisations, youth movements, left wing parties, liberals as well as Islamists - that have over the past three years battled to put themselves at its head. The revolutions have revealed the shortcomings of the established opposition parties, as well as the ability of the state and old ruling classes to adapt and survive. They have thrown up powerful street movements, but also forces of sectarianism and reaction.

Workers and the Arab revolutions

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On the third anniversary of the Arab Spring the revolutions stand at a crossroads. Over the next three months Socialist Review will be exploring the politics and development of these popular revolts. Anne Alexander open this series with an assessment of the nascent workers' movements in Egypt and Tunisia.

"The Russian bourgeois revolution of 1905-07...was undoubtedly a real people's revolution, since the mass of the people, its majority, the very lowest social strata, crushed by oppression and exploitation, rose independently and placed on the entire course of the revolution the impress of their own demands, of their attempts to build in their own way a new society in place of the old society that was being destroyed."

(Lenin, The State and Revolution, 1918)

Egypt: Revolution contained?

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The 30 June military coup marks the gathering strength of the counter-revolution in Egypt.

Egypt is under threat from "terrorists" and "murderers", says General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Justifying the army's assault on the Muslim Brotherhood in August, he used rhetoric familiar from decades of repression under ex-president Mubarak. Blink, and it could have been Mubarak, with his talk of national unity and a mission to act as "guardian of the people's will", coupled with chilling threats about the fate of those who resist.

Egypt's rebels

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Like many of the things which have changed history, the "Rebel" campaign in Egypt started with a very simple idea. At the beginning of May, a group of young revolutionary activists launched a drive to collect signatures on a statement withdrawing confidence from president Mohammed Morsi and calling for early elections. They announced that their goal was to have more than 15 million signatories by the anniversary of Morsi's inauguration on 30 June.

Few can have expected the idea to get very far - its initiators had no organisational machine to turn slogans into reality, and did not even share a common political platform.

Yet within days the campaign was spreading like wildfire. In just over a week the first two million signatures had rolled in. By the beginning of June they had reached the half-way mark: 7.5 million. A week before the 30 June deadline, campaign organisers announced they had hit the target of 15 million.

Egypt: the Muslim brotherhood under pressure

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In recent months thousands of Egyptians have protested against President Mohamed Morsi. Sameh Naguib, a leading Egyptian revolutionary socialist, argues that the liberals and Muslim Brotherhood are losing their influence over the movement in the streets and workplaces

The starting point for our analysis has to be the crisis which has engulfed the Muslim Brotherhood and the so-called "secular" liberal opposition forces. In part, this crisis stems from both camps' misunderstanding of the nature of the Egyptian Revolution. Liberal writers, for example, refer to the democratic transformation which took place in Spain in 1974, or the democratic transition in Eastern Europe and the "colour revolutions".

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