Tag Archives: EgyWorkers

Elections under play

17 Jun

Elections Under SCAF

When I would get ready to attend a protest before the revolution, my father would tell me, “nothing will ever change, Mubarak and his regime will stay the same forever, you are just wasting your energy and risking your life for nothing.” I would respond, “every little demonstration is a stepping stone in a long-term process called a revolution that will end this regime.” I still believe that every mobilization is an essential piece of the puzzle to topple the regime.  The revolution started and without one single group leading it, we managed to kick it off. What will take to achieve the revolution’s goals is another important question that we must start answering. We, revolutionaries, spent a year and half boiling our energy in reaction, in mobilizing to achieve the goals we set out on 25 January 201, yet only few things have been achieved. One sure gain is that Mubarak is out, put on trial, and now in Tora prison facing a life sentence. Even though nothing less than death to the dictator would have satisfied my anger, I can’t say that I am not happy to see him suffer his last days in a prison hospital.  As for the rest of the murderers who are free, their day shall come when they will suffer just like they tortured many Egyptians.

Elections are finally finishing up with major expected disappointments and setbacks on the political road to “democracy.” I never expected any elections under military rule to achieve any results satisfying the revolution. Elections engineered and constructed by SCAF (Supreme Council for Armed Forces) can never produce revolutionary or even reformist accomplishments, only will result outcomes that would suit counter-revolution and its allies. History tells us too soon of elections are always used to bury revolutions. We are not the first by any means. Whether Romania, Chile, Portugal, or Bolivia, we can draw parallel where military junta institutionalized militarization and strengthened counter-revolution. We can go back and assess where “we went wrong” or where we could have done better, but one thing is clear, elections were inevitable since the regime is still in place since 1952.  Sooner or later elections would have happened, conducted by the same old regime, benefiting the organized groups sufficient enough to run and win elections. In the case of Egypt; the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Democratic Party (the regime’s political arm).

The truth is the revolution has no machine, no organized group, no political party sufficient enough to adopt the revolution’s goals and capable of fighting the two most organized and biggest threatening machines to the revolution, the NDP & MB and SCAF. This is partially our fault yet partially out of our control for the many decades we were politically silenced under Mubarak. Many of the revolutionaries got politicized with the revolution or slightly prior to the revolution giving a major lead to the organized groups already existing under the repressive regime.  This explains the great success of Islamists in parliamentary elections and in the first round of presidential elections despite their decreasing popularity on Egyptian streets due to their reactionary and opportunistic agenda that clearly contradicts with revolutionary goals.

What is to be done? We organize. Aside from fighting for civil liberties, constitution that reflects revolution principles, and for ending military authority in daily life, we must build our alternative power, our machine that will and can topple this regime once and for all.  As a revolutionary socialist, I believe that the only group of society that has the power to topple this dictatorship is the workers.  We must organize the working class. For this revolution, it is a matter of success or defeat. When I am talking about the working class, I am not only referring to the traditional blue collar worker at a factory, but I am referencing anyone who sells his or her hours to earn a wage. This includes doctors, teachers, public and private employees, those who have the power to put the country at a halt like the last 3 days of the 18 days in the revolution. The workers were the final bullet in Mubarak’s chest, and are the only ones who can finish off SCAF.

Police Corporals Take Tahrir to MOI

28 Oct


Police corporals
have taken Tahrir to their work place not only demanding the unfulfilled 200% raise, but most importantly calling for the restructure of the ministry out of the corruption & the management belonging to the ousted & imprisoned ex-minister Habib El Adly. The videos show some low-rank officers during the sit-in in front of MOI speaking about their demands, against military trials, and against Habib El Adly, who recently undergone eye surgery at the Police Hospital even though he is a prisoner. My brief talk with them gave me the final conclusion that low-rank police officers are the bottom of the police business pyramid, so they are exploited the most and now they are speaking, organizing, and acting as workers not as policemen who harass us everyday. Our solidarity is needed because any striking worker is the backbone of this revolution.

EgyWorkers Against Privatization

14 Jul

EgyWorkers from companies that were privatized under Mubarak’s regime staged a protest during their court case calling to return these companies back to the public sector. I spoke mostly with workers from Ghazl Shebin, where 1000s of jobs were lost their jobs and 1000s of money stolen in this corrupted privatization process. The workers are demanding all companies to be nationalized since contract conditions were violated. The case was postponed to September 11th.

About Ghazl Shebin Textile Company

Ghazl Shebin textile company was privatized under the authority of the ex-minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieldin in 2006 to Indorama Corporation, for 122| million EGP. This Textile company of 5700 workers used to be one of the leading exporting textile factories to Europe with net profit of 9 million EGP in 2005-2006 alone, and the main competitor to Indorama Corporation. With the help of Nazif’s cabinet including Youssef Bourtros Ghali (ex-finance minister), Osman Mohamed Osman (ex-economy development minister), Rashid Mohamed Rashid (ex- business & industry minister), Farouk Okda (ex- head of central bank), and Esha Abdel Hady (ex-labor force minister), the factory now has 1200 workers.

The working conditions have deteriorated tremendously in addition to the thousands of workers that were laid off with no compensation. Some of the workers that have been hired back are hired under very strict contracts, where they are fired every year for 2 months and hired back so the employer can avoid paying pensions & benefits to the workers.

The amount of corruption that goes into this so called “privatization” process is unacceptable. Privatization here literally means the stealing of the hard-working Egyptian workers’ money. What “privatization” good will it do to the people who don’t have jobs and those who are being deliberately exploited for the money-hungry businessmen & politicians? A7aaaa!

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Visualizing the Revolution

15 Jun

This video has been one of the most moving and inspiring visuals that I have played over and over, probably every night, prior to the January 25th revolution. Ever since I came across Nasser Nouri‘s powerful images especially from Mahalla, I became totally inspired. The Mahalla up-rise on April 6th 2008 not only inspired youth movements like April 6, but most importantly it visualized the revolution; gave us hope that it is possible. Three years later and this video could’ve been in Tahrir. Thank you Mahalla, thank you brave Egyptian workers, and thank you Nasser Nouri for making many believe that revolution is possible.

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