Egypt in revolt

Egypt: State in flux

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The waves of strikes that have swept Egypt since the overthrow of Mubarak have fractured the state machine, giving a boost to reformist forces. Anne Alexander looks at how revolutionaries should relate to these new forces, especially those emerging around Hamdeen Sabahi.

The stifling heat of summer makes Cairo hell for its poorest inhabitants. The rich turn up their air conditioners, while hundreds of thousands in the "informal" neighbourhoods suffer water shortages and power cuts. This year the people of the Saft al-Laban area took matters into their own hands. On 22 July, after weeks without water, they stormed the Giza governorate buildings and locked the gates. On 11 August they took their protests to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation. At one point protesters cornered the minister, putting down a glass of filthy brown water in front of him.

Under pressure

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After Mohamed Morsi's victory in Egypt Phil Marfleet looks at the fractures in the Muslim Brotherhood's base and the challenges that face the left

Egypt has a new civilian president, but one shackled by the army and the Mubarak state. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood takes office without a parliament and with the country's generals breathing down his neck. He is also under intense pressure from the revolutionary movement, which expects results promptly from an elected leader.

Women and revolution

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International Women's Day, 8 March, was established by socialists to celebrate the struggles of working class women. We look at how the fight for women's liberation and revolution has gone hand in hand with three great revolutions - in Russia in 1917, Spain in 1936-37 and Egypt today


Egypt 2011-2012

Socialist Review spoke to Dalia Mostafa about the role of women in the revolution in Egypt today

The workers' movement in Egypt

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A call for a general strike in Egypt on 11 February didn't produce the desired effect. Yet the current strike wave shows no signs of abating. Anne Alexander looks at the strengths and weaknesses of Egypt's new workers' movement and the different forces attempting to shape it

Just over a year after the fall of Mubarak, the landscape of the Egyptian workers' movement has changed dramatically. The strike wave shows little sign of running out of energy: the numbers ebb and flow but each month brings new explosions of action. The old state-run union federation has been wounded and weakened but not destroyed.

Revolution, sanctions and US imperialism

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Sarah Ensor and Mark L Thomas spoke to Tariq Ali who gives his take on the revolutions and rebellions in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, the threat of war with Iran and US imperialism after Iraq

What is the balance sheet on Iraq for US imperialism? How far has US dominance been damaged?

The generals, the Islamists and the Egyptian Revolution

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After the recent election Egypt's parliament is dominated by Islamists, especially representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood. But, argues Phil Marfleet, the Brotherhood faces immense pressure from Egyptians to deliver real change and break with the military

Egypt's new parliament, which convened on 23 January, is overwhelmingly Islamist. Seventy three percent of the People's Assembly, the lower house, is composed of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nour Party. This suggests a stunning electoral performance by the Islamists and a tricky time ahead for revolutionary activists who do not embrace their agendas. But the picture is much more complicated - as Islamists discovered only 48 hours after the Assembly convened.

'The union is a shield and our sword is the strike'

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The left and the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian Doctors' Union

A rank and file slate, including socialists, won major successes in recent elections to Egypt's Doctors' Union, long a bastion of the Muslim Brotherhood. Anne Alexander spoke to Mohammed Shafiq, an organiser of this electoral campaign and a doctor at Manshiyet al-Bakri hospital in Cairo

We took 25 percent of the seats on the general council of the Doctors' Union. We had no seats at all before. And we took at least 50 percent of the local union branches. The strongest branches of the union are the Cairo branch and the Alexandria branch, followed by Giza. In Cairo we took 14 out of 16 seats and in Alexandria ten out 12 seats, although we lost in Giza. Around 50 to 60 percent of Egypt's doctors are in those three governorates. The rest are not very significant.

Egypt's revolution conquers new ground as strikes spread

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A massive new strike wave has thrown into doubt the hopes of Egypt's ruling army council (SCAF) that elections to parliament, currently planned for late November, would allow a return to stability and order.

The strikes have involved postal workers, teachers, sugar refinery workers, university staff, bus drivers, airport staff, doctors, workers from the irrigation ministry and many others. Economic demands and calls to dismantle the institutions of the Mubarak state machine that penetrated into every workplace are the twin drivers of the strike wave.

Briefing: The main currents of Egypt's Islamists

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Salafis

Salafis have been concerned mainly with details of ritual, dress and personal morality. They are often referred to in Egypt as "Sunnis", with the implication that they are concerned overwhelmingly with the Sunna ("the way"/"the path") associated with key traditions of Islam and with the practice of the Prophet Muhammad. They are followers of the salaf (predecessors or forefathers) - the Prophet and the founding community of Muslims of the 7th century AD.

What is permanent revolution?

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Regi Pilling looks at what Leon Trotsky meant by permanent revolution and if it still has relevance today.

At the start of this year the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades, was toppled by mass protests and strikes. But today we see the military violently retaking Tahrir Square, protesters attacked and strikes outlawed. Should the revolution stop now that Mubarak has gone? Could it move beyond political changes to economic and social transformation? Could socialism be brought about?

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