Home | International Communist Bulletin 11 | 

Workers Solidarity with our Class Brothers in Port-Said !

We reproduce below a political statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency whose immediate analysis and whose political orientations we agree with and support.


The Events in Port Said
(Internationalist Communist Tendency)

We are publishing this position statement about what is happening in Port Said, Egypt with the warning that the news about what is going on is limited [ignored internationally by the official media] and not entirely consistent even if all the sources consulted agree on the fact that the Egyptian city is in ferment.

Information is still scarce but some facts speak for themselves. After street protests, anger erupted following the 21 death sentences handed down for the massacre in Port Said. During a spontaneous protest against this Morsi's police left 40 more victims on the streets. After that the police were forced to abandon the city leaving it in the hands of the protesters. At the moment, all public order, traffic and production linked to the Suez Canal are in the hands of the insurgents. Port Said has become a kind of free zone where the state has had to temporarily raise the white flag. If it is true that the death sentences on the 21 youth and the subsequent forty victims were the tragic triggers immediately provoking the rebellion, it is also true that the devastating consequences of the economic crisis and the arrogance of the reactionary Islamist Morsi government have been a decisive element.

Finally, after two years of tensions on the streets, of managed elections, of fraud and betrayal of the most basic expectations, something has snapped. The main fact, if confirmed, is that workers of Port Said were the first to trigger the revolt; including the port workers, those in transport and workers from other factories. Marine traffic has halted, factories have closed and the mobilisation of the city seems to be general and definitive. The movement, as well as guarding against the inevitable government reaction, must also deal with a number of internal problems

A first danger is the risk of isolation. The workers of Port Said must actively ask for practical militant help from all Egyptian workers, from the factories of Cairo to those of Alexandria, Ismailia and Assiut. The only way to avoid the risk of isolation and the ability to continue the fight is to widen the struggle and open up greater opportunities. Any bourgeois government can wait. It can wait until the anger is exhausted in some act of protest, however powerful and violent, and then take back by force the situation that previously got out of hand. The manoeuvre is much simpler and more effective if the uprising is isolated, if it concerns only a sector of production or a geographically small area. Breaking this isolation, asking for proletarian solidarity is not only tactically necessary but it is the condition for the fight to continue, otherwise the axe of repression will fall heavily on the demonstrators.

The more the struggle continues on the lines of a frontal attack, away from the conservative siren calls of reformism, whether secular or religious, the more it can serve as a model for proletarians in the whole area of North Africa, in the hope of giving an initial sense of class to the failure of the "Arab Spring ". At this point, the proletarians of the Egyptian Canal Zone must not fall into the trap of believing that reform can be a different way of managing public affairs within the framework of a capitalism that is everywhere around them. It is not only by demanding the fall of the Morsi government and respect for democratic freedoms, or by operating within the political framework of civil disobedience that things will radically change. The movement that has had the strength to rebel against the murderous authoritarianism of the Islamist government, to free itself from the chains of the traditional political forces, which is trying to present itself as politically autonomous, must continue on the path without falling back on the options that radical reformism offers, or be drawn back into the old worn-out democratic game.

The European proletariat, which suffers the same exploitation on the other side of the Mediterranean, should do its part. Class solidarity, which despite a few episodes of struggle has recently sensationally absconded everywhere, has expressed itself here and there. It should now take this opportunity to reappear on the international scene. Europe’s streets have every reason to be full of disturbances against the various policies and heavy sacrifices demanded of us. If they do it should not be in single sectors or under the umbrella of this or that union policy, of this or that "left reformist" political force, but on the basis of real class solidarity, beyond nationalist boundaries and particularism, and this seems to be a good opportunity to start.

One last point. Spontaneity, the determination of a struggle that arises immediately against a government, against its police, is doomed to failure if it does not elaborate a tactic, a strategy and a programme that goes beyond the traps of capital, to build a real social alternative, which is another way of producing and distributing that wealth of which the Egyptian proletariat, like the international working class, is the only creator. However, if we stay on the ground of civil disobedience, if the movement sets as its objective just the overthrow of the Morsi government in favour of "true democracy", subject to all the pressures of capitalism, as the movement in Tahrir Square did with Mubarak, the results will be the same, if not worse.

FD, 6 March, 2013 (Battaglia Comunista).

Home | International Communist Bulletin 11 |