José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
The Sharraf government resignation bluff will not stop the people’s struggle in Egypt
Update from Tahrir, Cairo
The struggle all over Egypt has escalated over the past days and the people are demanding real change now, an end to repression and to military rule. The SCAF has responded with brutal repression, killing some 25 people in the clashes since Saturday and leaving over 1,500 wounded who have received some medical care in improvised hospitals in Tahrir and other squares all over the country. People have been shot with Italian-made birdshot and with US-made teargas bombs. Some people are wondering if the Occupy Wall Street protestors are being suffocated with the same teargas grenades as them in Tahrir! On Monday 21st, in the face of this heavy-handed repression, the Sharraf government offered its resignation to the military council, the SCAF, which has not been ratified, even though the international media is talking of the “fall” of Sharraf’s government. No doubt the sole intention of this move is to calm the people down and stop the protests from escalating to their logical conclusion: a complete revolution of the people. Some liberals, led by El Baradei, have urged for the formation of a National Rescue Government to rescue the capitalist system and its State from the genuine people’s revolution that is looming. While all this is going on in the government offices, the people out there on the Square and its side streets keep demanding an end to military rule and to repression.
Once again, we had the chance to talk last night (1am) with comrade Yasser Abdullah, of the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement who gave us a first hand account of the struggle taking place right now on the streets of Egypt. The images of repression that go with this interview were all taken by Lilian Wagdy, who has been in Tahrir since Friday.
What is the real meaning of the fall of Sharraf’s government?
Sharraf has not fallen yet. He sent his resignation to the Military Junta (SCAF), but the SCAF has not accepted it yet… for me, but also for most of the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square , Sharraf is just the errand boy of the SCAF. If you revolt against the manager you don’t care about the little errand boy… I think the SCAF just sent a test balloon to Tahrir, to see if we accept this or not. Secondly, the SCAF is now trying to hide behind what they call the “National Rescue Government”, demanded mainly by El Baradei and his front. For us, this so called “Government” would be worse than Sharraf’s, for it would be nothing short of Fascist rule with velvet gloves. Thirdly, all of those parties have escaped from Tahrir because they only care for their parliamentary seats and now they’re trying to harvest what the people have sown.
What are the main demands of the people now?
The main demands now are:
the SCAF to step down;
the trial of the police criminals who shot all those martyrs, and who are still shooting at us.
What are the main demands of the anarchist communist movement?
We have released an urgent statement “All power to the people” calling for civil disobedience all over Egypt and for a general strike by the Egyptian workers. We think that the only solution is the anarchist one… we are now facing a classic revolutionary crossroads: the people demand their power, on the one hand, and the SCAF and all the political parties on other hand want to retain their power. The people have no trust in any party, but at the same time they don’t want a military regime any more, so the only solution for the movement as we see it, is to form and strengthen people’s councils all over the country, to rule it collectively from the bottom up.
What is the role of the international community? the USA and the EU say they support the democracy movement and Qatar and Saudi Arabia are trying to shift the Arab Spring into their direction as well, what do you think of this?
You can get a good grasp of the role of the international community by seeing their ammunition being shot in Tahrir at us. Over the last few days there have been tear gas bombs from the USA and birdshot from Italy in the EU being used against protesters. I think the international community will defend the Military Junta until its last breath… for them the SCAF and the Egyptian Military-Industrial compound is a good business opportunity for USAid, for their dirty military business, for the military black market, and at the same time, it represents the biggest Egyptian cartel. As for the role of Qatar, you can watch Al Jazeera to find out its position… the next uprising shall not be a colour revolution or a FaceBook revolution they can adapt to. The next revolutionary wave is a genuine one, so Qatar and Al Jazeera are trying to hold the stick in the middle: get the people in Tahrir shot but not all of them… well, the clashes are not in the square itself, the clashes are in a side street called Mohammed Mahmoud Street. I think the next uprising could open up a phase of revolutionary potential for the whole world.
Long live Tahrir Square
Long live the Martyrs
Long live the Anarchist Revolution