Socialist Alliance, Asian left back Arab revolt

January 29, 2011
Egyptian protesters defy tear gas to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Photo: Sudan
Egyptian protesters defy tear gas to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Photo: Sudanese Online.

Support the Egyptian people solidarity protests:

Brisbane: Friday February 4, 5pm. Brisbane Square (top of Queen St mall, outside Casino)
Sydney:Saturday 5 February, 12-3pm at Town Hall. Called by Egyptian community.

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Socialist Alliance: In solidarity with the people of Tunisia, Egypt and the Arab world

January 29 statement by the Socialist Alliance, Australia

The Socialist Alliance applauds the courage and tenacity of the Tunisian people, whose protests for democracy and economic and social justice, now in their second month, have ended the 23-year rule of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The Tunisian revolution has inspired ordinary people across the Arab world and protests have broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and, most dramatically, against the United States-backed dictatorship in Egypt.

The overthrow of Ben Ali was achieved by the Tunisian people without any outside help. The regime, on the other side, was supported by the Western powers, in particular France and the United States, right until the moment Ben Ali fled to refuge with the West’s closest ally in the Arab world, the Saudi monarchy.

In Egypt, hundreds of thousands of people are in the streets standing up to the violence of the security forces of Hosni Mubarak, dictator since 1981.

While more than 40 million Egyptians live on less than US$2 per day and more than 1 million children live on the street, the people are denied free elections and a legal parliament, and suffer severe repression for any expression of dissent.

The tragedy of Iraq has demonstrated the falsehood of Western claims that its interference in the region is to bring about democratic regime change. The people of Tunisia and Egypt are showing where genuinely democratic regime change will come from — the people themselves.

The Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings are not just against Western-backed dictators. They are against an unjust global economic system based on the plunder of the human and natural resources of poor countries by Western corporations.

The policies of multinational institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, faithfully implemented by Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, create poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity for ordinary people.

On December 17, the twin evils of poverty and dictatorship in Tunisia became too much for Mohammed Bouazizi when he suffered police brutality and the confiscation of the fruit cart from which he eked out a living — a marginal living typical of the young, rural people who are the majority of Tunisians.

His desperate response, burning himself to death in front of local government offices, catalysed a revolution.

After Ben Ali fled, Tunisians took out their anger on the mansions of his corrupt cronies and relatives.

Tunisian workers, in enterprises from banks and insurance companies to airlines and the media, have literally thrown out managers who were close to the regime and taken over the enterprises themselves.

While the dictator has gone, the interim government is largely comprised of ministers who served under Ben Ali.

The Tunisian people are now calling for the resignation of all ministers associated with the previous regime. In provincial towns, the regime has been challenged by the establishment of democratic councils based on participatory mass meetings.

Western leaders, while pretending since their dictator fled to be in favour of democracy in Tunisia, have demanded that the current interim government remain to oversee the transition to democracy.

The Socialist Alliance expresses its full solidarity with the Tunisian people’s demands for a new, representative government.

The Socialist Alliance calls for:

  • No Western interference in Tunisia. The Tunisian people have shown that it is they, and not the Western empires, who know what democracy means.
  • The West to stop propping up the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, the second-largest recipient of US military aid in the world (after Israel).
  • An end to the ongoing Western military occupation of Iraq, and other Western military interference in the Arab world and the neighbouring region, including the occupation of Afghanistan and covert operations in Yemen and Somalia.

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Solidarity with the People's Uprising in Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East

January 29 statement released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) would like to express its solidarity with the revolutionary masses in Egypt, as well as in Tunisia and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, for their courageous struggle against repressive regimes which are mostly backed by US-led imperialist powers.

January 28, 2011, is a historical day for the Egyptian people, when thousands of them filled the streets across Egypt on that "Friday of Anger". Inspired by the recent Tunisian uprising, which brought down a repressive regime, the struggle is still going on.

The people of Egypt also took to the streets to protest against poor living conditions, unemployment, food inflation, lack of housing, low wages, corruption, suppression of freedom of speech, police brutality and a state of emergency since the US-backed Hosni Mubarak regime came to power 30 years ago.

The ordinary people of Egypt defied a nationwide curfew to participate in the intensified struggle against Mubarak's regime. The Egyptian government has sent in tanks to the streets to quell the mass protests. It also suspended internet access and the SMS network nationwide in its effort to cling on to power.

The flame of anger and people's power is spreading in North Africa and the Middle East, and this has made the ruling regimes in the region tremble in front of the rising of massive revolutionary waves.

The Tunisian revolution which sparked off in December 2010 has put an end to the 23-year rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who came to power through a coup d'état. Ben Ali has implemented pro-Western capitalist policies and economic development that concentrated wealth into the hands of ruling elites and the comprador bourgeoisie clique.

After overthrowing Ben Ali's regime, working people and youth are continuing to fill the streets to fight against the provisional government that only serves to protect the interests of ruling elite and imperialist powers.

There will only be real sustainable change when the ordinary people take charge of political and economic affairs.

While in Egypt, for the last 30 years, Mubarak has embraced pro-US policies and Egypt has become a close ally of US in its domination over the Middle East region.

The working people and the poor in Egypt have been forced to endure economic hardships and poor living conditions as a result of privatisation policies. There have been mass struggles over the years against repressive measures, imperialist war and poor living conditions.

Besides Tunisia and Egypt, there are also massive waves of protest sweeping across Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and other parts of the Arab world. These people's struggles deserve our solidarity.

All repressive regimes and those who collude with imperialist powers must go. The people of Tunisia and Egypt have shown the way and more nations will follow their footsteps.

Like the past revolutions which have brought dramatic change to the world and the ongoing revolutionary struggles in Latin America, the people's revolution in Tunisia and Egypt will continue to inspire people around the world to revive their fighting tradition and stand up against powerful ruling elites who collude with imperialist powers, and to build a better world from below.

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Solidarity with the people of Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East

January 29 statement by Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines.

The progressive movement and peoples of the Philippines stand in solidarity with the Egyptian people and the mass movement in the streets in these critical moments in their struggle for the ouster of the dictatorial Mubarak regime.

We salute them for their tremendous courage in fighting a vicious regime, which has an infamous reputation for the brutality of its police and security forces, and that has been responsible for arbitrarily arresting and cruelly torturing government opponents.

We support the people’s message that Mubarak must go and that the people no longer want his government and system.

We also salute the upsurge of the Tunisian peoples in overthrowing the US-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, and how their victory has electrified and inspired the people of Egypt and the Middle East, while dictators shake with fear.

We stand with them in sorrow and anger at the deaths of protesters, ordinary people, who have now become the martyrs of the movement.

We note that the bullets that killed them and the tear gas used against the protesters are financed by the United States, which provides billions of dollars of funding to the Egyptian regime, for military equipment and “security” purposes.

Despite Washington’s rhetoric about democratic rights, the Mubarak regime has been a key ally of the United States and has been propped up by the US for decades. Mubarak is Washington’s man in the region.

We understand the tremendous odds faced by the Egyptian people struggling in the streets today.

However, we also know, based on our own experience in ousting the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, that people’s power can be victorious and prevail against the most cruel regimes backed by the mightiest powers on Earth, in this case the United States.

Revolutionary flames are sweeping across the Arab world. Yesterday Tunisia removed a barbaric dictator. Today is for Egypt. Tomorrow is for Palestine and all those in the Middle East struggling against dictatorships and exploitation and oppression.

Long live the revival of genuine people's popular power in the Middle East! Long live the revolution in the Middle East!

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