Mobilizing against the military

June 20, 2012

With rumors flying about the reported death of ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak, masses of people descended on Tahrir Square on Tuesday, June 19, in a show of resistance against the military's dramatic assault on the revolution.

Last week, with days to go before a run-off presidential election pitting the regime candidate Ahmed Shafiq against Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) re-imposed large parts of the repressive Mubarak-era emergency law. A day later, the Supreme Constitutional Court not only upheld Shafiq's place in the run-off, but invalidated previous parliamentary elections and ordered the body dissolved. Then, shortly after the polls closed for the run-off on Sunday, the SCAF issued an "addendum" to the interim constitution giving it sweeping new powers, including legislative authority and veto power in writing a new constitution.

Morsi appears to have won the presidential vote by a narrow but clear margin. But if he is allowed to assume the presidency, the SCAF's latest declaration will strictly limit his powers.

Those who participated in the January 25 revolution against Mubarak recognized the SCAF's moves for what they are: a "soft coup." Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood called for demonstrations against the dissolving of the parliament they dominated and the SCAF's constitutional annex. They were joined by a host of liberal and left organizations who called for a mass mobilization to Tahrir to defend the revolution.

Egyptians responded to the call to action in the tens of thousands, filling the famed symbol of the uprising against Mubarak. Ahram Online reported that a popular slogan was: "The law of the revolution, not the military law." A smaller crowd gathered at the parliament building, as members of the People's Assembly attempted to enter, only to be blocked by riot police.

Meanwhile, after reports that Mubarak had been declared dead in a military hospital, government officials claimed he was still alive, but unconscious and on life support.

Here, we reprint the joint statement of a group of left-wing organizations denouncing the military's grab for power and calling for the mass mobilization in Tahrir on Tuesday.

THE SIGNATORIES to this statement announce their complete rejection of the Supplementary Constitutional Declaration. The declaration completes the process of the military coup which began on February 12, 2011 after Mubarak's rule had been ended, and put down roots through the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 and the ludicrous and corrupt arrangements for the transitional period.

We therefore call on the Egyptian people to reject the Supplementary Declaration and to show their rejection by participating a mass mobilisation against it as an expression of their insistence that the revolution must continue and meet its objectives.

We affirm that resistance to the coup demands the following:

A mass mobilization completely rejecting the Supplementary Declaration

A declaration by the president-elect stating his definitive rejection of the Supplementary Declaration, by refusing to take the oath of office in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court and refusing to swear that he will uphold the Constitutional Declaration and its amendments, because this will legitimize the Supplementary Declaration completely.

Tahrir Square was filled again in protest against the military's assault on the revolution
Tahrir Square was filled again in protest against the military's assault on the revolution

Parties, political movements and the main trade unions to elect a Constituent Assembly on the basis of consensus in order to block the military's attempts to intervene in the formation of the assembly.

The president-elect must issue an immediate order calling on the military to return to its barracks and cancelling the powers granted to the military police to arrest civilians.

The president-elect must issue an immediate amnesty for all civilians detained by the military and form a committee to investigate the crimes committed against the revolutionaries and to punish the killers of the martyrs.

The president-elect must cancel the exceptional measures which restrict the exercise of democratic rights, and especially the criminalization of strikes.

We therefore call on you to participate in the first protests against this tyrannical declaration in a march from Talaat Harb Square to Tahrir Square, Tuesday, June 19, at 5 p.m.

Glory to the martyrs and victory to the revolution!
Down with the military coup!

The National Front for Justice and Democracy
The Popular Committees to Defend the Revolution
The Revolutionary Socialists
The Revolutionary Forces Alliance
The Free Egyptians Movement
The Liberty Front for Peaceful Change Youth for Justice and Liberty
The National Assembly for Change
The Second Revolution of Rage
Revolution Continues Bloc (Helwan)
The Suez Youth Block

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