The revolution put to the test

Egypt's revolution has reached a new stage. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power after Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February, is attempting to expand the reach of its repression with a new crackdown on strikes and political demonstrations. It has found support among some liberals who supported the rebellion against Mubarak, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations. But the workers and peasants are taking action to continue the revolution.

The Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt issued this statement on June 9 taking up the new questions facing the struggle--and the road ahead.

To our popular masses: Continue to rise up and revolt!

THE GOVERNMENT of the Military Council continued to muzzle the voices and besiege the popular revolution in order to prevent it from developing into a movement to transform the capitalist mode of production into one that meets human needs. To do this, the military council is using autocratic policies toward anyone who opposes it, from judges to liberals. It has restricted freedom to establish parties, tried to circumvent the demand for a new constitution for the country, arrested political activists and passed a law criminalizing some strikes.

On June 8, officers of the Ministry of Interior, with the support of central security forces arrested 10 peasants, workers and students who were protesting on Kasr Al-Aini Street, and beat them up in front of the People's Assembly Building. The District Attorney of Qasr al-Nil decided to hold them in custody for four days pending an investigation after accusing them of assaulting a police sergeant, disturbing the public peace and possessing wooden weapons.

Moreover, the prime minister has stressed that the government will implement articles of the penal code, including articles 86 and 88, which criminalize strikes and disabling production. These articles mandate prison sentences ranging between five and 25 years for violations.

The military prosecutor had decided the previous week to extend custody of five workers from Petrojet who were accused of illegal protesting. Meanwhile, investigations are being conducted against physicians in many provinces for taking strike action.

The Council has passed many resolutions clarifying the extent of its allegiance to businessmen and investors. This week alone, the government has backtracked from imposing taxes on capital gains.

The government has also announced a pathetic and insufficient minimum wage. Moreover, it has concluded agreements with the International Monetary Fund to obtain more loans, and at the same time, it continues its preparations to extend gas exports to the Zionist entity.

The Egyptian revolution accomplished a lot. It has succeeded in breaking the tyrant Mubarak and opened the door for the popular masses to demand a new society under the banners of justice and equality. But the lords of capital, in alliance with the military junta and the U.S. and major European countries, are terrified by this development, and seek in every way to stop it--sometimes with attempts of containment and at other times with outright repression.

However, the masses, driven by deep economic crisis and the tremendous confidence generated by the Egyptian revolution, continue to struggle and challenge them. For onethe workers at Beni Suef Cement continue their sit-in for more than a week, teachers continue to protest in front of the Ministry of Education, and the Megatex textile workers in Sadat City have just succeeded in forming a new independent union. At the same time, poor peasants have joined the line of protests--alongside workers, they are a tremendous force that will be hard to stop.

All political forces aligned to the working class and all salaried workers and poor peasants must organize the widest campaign possible to support and assist this social struggle, confront these autocratic decisions and demand the release of all detained peasants, workers and students: the troops of social revolution to come.

The continuation of our revolution is being put to a test today. The struggle is wide open. Victory will be an ally of those more organized at the grassroots, trade union and political level.

Down with the Military Council!
Long live the struggle of workers and poor peasants!

Revolutionary Socialists
June 9, 2011