A revolutionary front in Egypt
Egyptian security forces killed more than 50 protesters on October 6 in one of the bloodiest days of the ruling military's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. The new violence is the latest effort by Egypt's transitional government--backed up by the ever-present iron fist of the military--to crush all opposition.
After the June 30 mobilization of the Tamarod (Rebellion) campaign exposed the complete collapse of support for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government, the Egyptian military stepped in to depose Morsi--and attempt to rehabilitate itself after ruling for three decades under the auspices of U.S.-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Since the crackdown, many figures and organizations among liberals and the left have fallen into line behind the military. In this context, left forces committed to the revolution that overthrew Mubarak in February 2011 have launched a new unity effort in an urgent effort to advance the goals of the revolution. Here, we republish the founding statement of thewhen its collaborative effort to defend and extend the revolutionary transformation of Egypt was announced in late September.
TWO-AND-a-half years after the outbreak of revolution, Egyptians still have not realized their dream to construct a new nation and to realize their dream--the rule of democracy and the values of justice and equality.
Millions took to the streets twice in pursuit of that dream: first in January 2011, to topple the regime of Mubarak because of its corruption and dictatorship, its subservience and distortion of popular consciousness, its subversion of the will of the people. And second in June 2013, to force Mohamed Morsi to step down after he squandered his credibility in a failed attempt to secure the hegemony of the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt's political life and to rebuild the system of tyranny by exploiting the Brotherhood's victory in the first legitimate election--at least from a procedural standpoint--that had occurred in Egypt in decades.
We have now returned to the starting point. And because of this, the struggle for the dream still exists, just as the will of the people that burst forth during the revolution persists. The various forces of revolution have at last organized themselves into a unified front to secure the demands of the revolution and to deploy all possible peaceful means to prevent the revolution from being hijacked again, which is especially important at this moment when the confrontations between the transitional authority and supporters of the deposed president have provided an opening once again for the return of repression, clashes and other violent means of repression.
This is the context in which we announce the founding of our joint effort: the Revolution Path Front "Revolutionaries," in order to struggle alongside the people for radical reforms, especially the redistribution of wealth for the benefit of the Egyptian people, the poor and the downtrodden; for the building of a popular participatory democracy; a front that will include every person who is conscious of the fact that without such reforms, it will be impossible to achieve the revolution's demands for "bread, freedom, dignity and social justice;" a front that aims to restore the gains of the revolution and to confront the challenge of counterrevolution; a front to resist the repression of the military transitional authority; a front to resist authoritarianism, violence and the sectarianism of the Muslim Brotherhood.
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IN LIGHT of these goals, the goals of our struggle can be summarized by the following principles:
-- The redistribution of wealth in order to achieve social justice. This includes a transformation of the government's budget priorities, the increase of state revenue by means of a more progressive tax structure, the expansion of public services, and better wage and employment regulations. Without these bedrock changes, stability is impossible.
-- The end of political dictatorship. This requires a democratic redesign of the basic state institutions and a deepening of electoral accountability so that citizens can truly participate in democratic decision-making and oversight of state institutions. At the heart of this is reform of the judicial system, the restructuring of the police and security apparatuses, the broadening of the scope of local government and the purging of its apparatuses of dictatorial forces, the restoration of the right to freedom of association, and the removal of restrictions on the media.
-- The implementation of complete equality before the law and opposition to all forms of oppression and discrimination. We stand against the incitement of sectarian conflict, violence against women, and we further oppose oppression on the basis of ethnicity, geography, religion, culture, or class.
-- The establishment of a clear path for transitional justice. We demand accountability for all those implicated in crimes against the people, including reform of the security apparatus and a commission to prevent the return of repressive practices.
-- The adoption of a foreign policy based on the interests of the people, including national independence and an end to constraints of political and economic dependency. We seek to build bridges of support and solidarity with all movements seeking revolutionary change, democracy and freedom. We aim to place the Egyptian revolution at the forefront of a global revolutionary wave aiming to produce a more just and free world for all peoples.
The Front declares its commitment to the fight to achieve these goals and to immediately launch a number of campaigns open to all who wish to participate, including:
-- The issuance of a Document Regarding the Rights of Egyptians for the purpose of stimulating community debate on the subject. The goal is to gather 1 million signatures on a document that sets out civil, economic, political and cultural rights for all Egyptians to be included in a future constitution.
-- Study and research regarding a broader set of social and economic rights, including more rights- and justice-based clauses, to establish the fundamentals necessary for the satisfaction of the demands of the revolution, including the mobilization of forces that are essential to insure that these rights are incorporated in future constitutional reforms.
-- "Don't Borrow in Our Name": The goal of this campaign is to review foreign debts and debt-service payments in order to continue the repayment of only those loans that benefit the majority of Egyptians--as opposed to the noxious debt owed to foreign entities that further entrench the impoverishment and marginalization of Egyptians and were entered into by the Mubarak regime and its brokers. This campaign also demands greater transparency with respect to domestic and foreign borrowing, the burden of which is borne by future generations of workers and the poor.
The call to participate in these campaigns entails no conditions other than a commitment to the revolution and its goals. Indeed, it is the participation of the broad masses in these campaigns that will be the guarantor of the achievement of these demands and that will enable us to prevail despite the efforts to restrict the will of the people by placing one obstacle after another in the path of the revolution.
Translation by Jess Martin