Egyptian socialists answer the state’s attack

December 23, 2011

The military regime that has ruled Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak has taken a harsh turn toward repression, symbolized by this month's barbaric attack against protesters outside the Cabinet's headquarters.

Now the generals and their allies are singling out the Revolutionary Socialists among other leading voices of Egypt's left. In a pattern that activists say is consistent with past propaganda campaigns, the regime is trying to whip up a hysteria about the group, using videotape of a meeting at which leading members talked about the need for Egypt's mass movement to break the power of the state and the army. Clips from that meeting showed up on the Interior Ministry website, and on television stations run by the state and by hardline Islamists, known as Salafists, who now support the military.

In this statement, the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt respond to the smear campaign.

ACCUSATIONS ARE being leveled against the Revolutionary Socialists in certain quarters--chief among them the Ministry of the Interior's website and a number of satellite television channels, which are showing a clip from a video of a meeting which the Center for Socialist Studies organized recently in the wake of the massacre on Mohammad Mahmoud Street, with the title "What is the road to revolution?"

At this meeting, Kamal Khalil, Hossam el-Hamalawy and Sameh Naguib spoke. The clip showed a section of the meeting where Sameh Naguib talked about how the revolutionaries want the downfall of the state to build a new revolutionary state, and that the military council does not protect the interests of the Egyptian people, but instead protects the interests of the 1,000 richest families in Egypt, of the Pentagon, the U.S. government and the Zionists.

The aim of the clip is to raise a storm against us for being in favor of overthrowing the state.

Our reply is that it is no indictment to say that we want the downfall of the oppressive state and the creation of a just state--it is the goal we are fighting for.

Protesters hang a banner at the entrance to Mohammad Mahmoud Street renaming it "Martyrs Street"
Protesters hang a banner at the entrance to Mohammad Mahmoud Street renaming it "Martyrs Street" (Hossam el-Hamalawy)

As Umm Kulthum sang--and millions sang with her 60 years ago: "The oppressive state is erased--by my own hand." It remains our dream to eradicate the corrupt state, which has spread like a cancer through the body of Egypt.

Yes, we are seeking to overthrow the state of tyranny and poverty that has ruled us for the last 30 years, and continues to rule us today--the state that has killed thousands of fighters in its prisons, the state which has looted and stolen from the poor to increase the wealth of the rich.

This is the state which backs the bosses in their confrontations with workers. This is the state which refuses to renationalize the companies it sold off cheaply, even though the courts ruled in favor of the workers' campaign to return them to public ownership--demonstrating that for this state, the power of capital is more important that the authority of the judiciary.

This is the state which allows the capitalists to sack and starve workers, peasants and the poor in their thousands, but then issues laws making their protests a crime. This is the state which discriminates between its citizens on the basis of religion, gender and race. It is the racist state which slaughtered Sudanese refugees in 2005 and sexually assaulted women in 2006 and 2011. It is the sectarian state which conspired to burn churches and persecuted poor Coptic Christians, and finally murdered 24 of them in October this year.

What you can do

Contact Egyptian government officials to demand that the assault on socialists and activists stop immediately. For Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, call 011-20-22-291-6227, fax 011-20-22-5748-822, and e-mail [email protected]. For Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzoury, call 011-20-22-793-5000, fax 011-20-22-795-8048, and e-mail [email protected].

This is the state which deceives the people through its media. It demands austerity and calls on the people to tighten their belts and keep the "wheel of production" turning, while at the same time announcing palaces and resorts to secure the future of "our children."

Yes, we want to overthrow the state. We want the downfall of its health policies which have made health and medical treatment commodities to be bought and sold by those who can afford to pay, while the poor die in their hundreds because the public hospitals have been ruined. We want to overthrow its education policies, which teach lies and distortions to our children in classrooms that are collapsing over their heads because there is no money for building schools, so that pupils can barely speak Arabic by the time they leave education.

We want the downfall of the Ministry of the Interior, its minister and criminal officers who killed more of our sons and daughters than have died in natural disasters. We want to overthrow the policies of systematic impoverishment which have pushed over half our people below the poverty line. And the list goes on...

THIS OPPRESSIVE state is protected by an army under the leadership of Mubarak's military council. So that is why we want to end this military junta's rule, which in less than a year has stolen the lives of more Egyptians than Mubarak managed to during his 30 years in power.

Yes, we want to put the corrupt leaders of the army on trial. For 20 years under Mubarak, more than 30 percent of the economy came under their completely unmonitored control, in the form of factories, hotels, housing projects, farms, arms deals and other parts of the state budget, taxes and the subsidies we provide them through the forced labor of our young men on these kind of projects during military service, without any protection for their rights. These are the leaders of the army who opened fire on us and imprisoned thousands of our free young people after unjust military trials.

We believe that sooner or later, this army will produce patriotic leaders who will join the ranks of the revolutionaries, as has happened in all revolutions across the course of history.

Yes, we want to overthrow this regime and its state, together with its corrupt men, its opportunistic allies and its military council, which rules the country at the behest of the deposed president. We swear to continue the struggle with the revolutionaries in the Tahrir Squares across the country, despite smear campaigns and intimidation, until it falls and the people seize the power and wealth which is theirs by right...until the victory of the revolution which the people ignited.

Yes, the people still demand the fall of the regime and its corrupt and tyrannical state. Glory to the martyrs! Victory to the revolution! Power and wealth to the people!

Revolutionary Socialists
December 21, 2011

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