All Eyes on the Uprising – Mubarak Must Go

[This post appeared here at Militant Student]

For a blogger to suggest that what is happening in Egypt right now was not caused by Facebook or Twitter is perhaps slightly heretical – but when 40% of people in a population of 80 million live on less than $2 a day, it is clear many are struggling to afford food, never mind a laptop or internet connection, as George Galloway made clear in his Stop the War Coalition speech just a couple of days ago.

This is a revolution which has grown from solidarity with Tunisia but has now surpassed the scale of that revolt, and today, Friday, we watch as what is expected to be the largest demonstration in Egypt’s recent history takes place. The Day of Departure. Whether it will result in a popular overthrow of the government, or bloodshed is a frightening question. But whatever happens, Egypt has inspired the world to fight back against the forces of oppression and capital. Mubarak’s membership of the Socialist International means nothing – his has been a regime propped up by Western powers to protect private interests, and only under the sheer scale of the mass revolt is the US and UK admitting Mubarak must step down.

Students take note. 90% of those unemployed are under 30. The movement in Egypt is one against an economy that lets millions of young people be condemned to an existence without a future or any hope. And while the IMF and WTO have been pushing for decades to end food subsidies in Egypt (despite the massive malnutrition rates) , world food prices are at the highest recorded since records began.

We must not underplay the role of organised labour in these revolutions. The general workers union in Tunisia, the UGTT, was instrumental in organising general strikes and keeping the movement going – in fact, organising it altogether – until Ben Ali stepped down. The unions in Egypt should and are doing the same.

Revolutions are contagious. And there are no blueprints. What has happened in other countries may happen elsewhere, but never in exactly the same manner – democracy, after all, is about the people choosing how to run things. And my mind is almost changing – if millions do take to the streets and demand something, I would say their demands against poverty, against tyranny, against the brutal fist of capitalism should be met. “One unstoppable mass of humanity” was how one observer describes the current events in Egypt. Humanity as a whole must now embrace the historical inevitability that is an irreversible shift in power from the rich to the workers, the unemployed and the downtrodden.

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2 comments

  1. It’s a very good point about social media, people seem to forget it is a tool of communication not communication itself.

    I appreciate your revolutionary zeal, but if there is one thing to be taken from Egypt it is that organisation is key. Simply demanding the end of the dictator and the ancein regime is not enough without a clear political alternative and organisation to deliver it. It strikes me that Egypt is a revolution without revolutionaries, there seems to be no political movement ready to seize power. There is a lesson for all those that want change there, and it is that protests have to be part of change they are not change in themselves.

    I will of course admit that what I know comes form the media and I amy well be wrong to what is actually happeneing in Egypt but that’s my view.

  2. Sadly there is nothing inevitable about change from the rich to the poor. We are presented with opportunities for change, but it is just as likely that the capitalists will organise better than us and win.They usually do and they are in Britain at the moment because we do not have the leadership to defeat a very cunning and determined enemy.The British ruling class has been around for hundreds of years and is the best in the world at it’s job. Sadly it can count the leadership of the Labour party in its ranks. The level of resistance is nowhere near enough right now. It’s difficult to see the Labour Party leading the kind of change we have seen in Egypt. Imagine Ed Milliband on a plinth in Trafalgar Square throwing bricks and petrol bombs at the police.No way, We have to build from below and hope new leadership of our class emerges.

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