The situation in Egypt continues to deteriorate, threatening to descend into civil war. Below I reproduce, first, a statement by some Egyptian anarchists regarding the current crisis. The original statement can be found here. Then I set forth a statement by Tahrir-ICN. In Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included an earlier analysis of the initial promise of the popular movements in Egypt.
Statement by the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement
Authoritarian methods, used today by [General Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi, are an example of state terrorism against the people. Claiming that this excessive violence is directed against a certain segment because of its ideology is intellectual nonsense. This terrorism was practiced by the military and police forces not only against the [Muslim] Brotherhood, but days before military forces attacked workers in Suez, and charged them with incitement to strike, as if the right to strike has become a punishable offence. We are now back to the same emergency law [as before].
The Army and the police now give the pretext for the party of parties to exercise violence against the various segments of society, including also the state and its agencies in the game, working in collaboration with the media to create an image for the people that there is a monster to destroy, so to kill him becomes a community’s mission.
But the parties involved in the massacre of today seek only their own advantage. The conflict, since its inception, between the two parties was for seats and positions in the state, and both parties do not care about the blood, both parties play the poor against the poor in the skit of distraction and claim their rights from the remnants of the businessmen and statesmen. That polarization does not only serve the owners of capital and owners of high-level positions in the state.
THERE IS NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR! DOWN WITH THE STATE! DOWN WITH THE MILITARY! DOWN WITH THE POLITICAL SYSTEM! DOWN WITH CAPITALISM!
Tahrir-ICN Statement on the events in Egypt
The events of the past couple of days are the latest step in a sequence of events by which the military can consolidate its hold on power, aim towards the death of the revolution and a return to a military/police state.
The authoritarian regime of the Muslim Brotherhood had to go. But what has replaced it is the true face of the military in Egypt – no less authoritarian, no less fascist and for sure more difficult to depose.
The massacre carried out by the army against pro-Morsi supporters in Nadha Square and Raba’a has left around 500 killed and up to 3000 injured (Ministry of Health figures- the reality is likely much higher). It was a pre-orchestrated act of state terrorism. Its aim is to divide the people and push the Muslim Brotherhood to create more militias to revenge and protect themselves. This in turn will enable the army to label all Islamists as terrorists and produce an “internal enemy” in the country which will allow the army to keep the military regime in an ongoing state of emergency.
They go after the Muslim Brotherhood today, but they will come after anyone who dares to criticize them tomorrow. Already the army has declared a state of emergency for one month, giving the police and military exceptional powers, and a curfew has been declared in many provinces for the same amount of time from 7pm to 6am. This gives the army a free hand to crack down on dissent. It is a return to the days before the revolution, where emergency law had been in place since 1967 and it provided the framework for wide-spread repression and denial of freedoms.
The character of the new regime is clear. Just a few days ago 18 new governors were appointed, the majority of which hail from the ranks of the army/police or even remnants of the Mubarak regime. There has also been an ongoing attack on workers who continue to strike for their rights (such as the recent army attack and arrest of steel workers on strike in Suez). The military regime is also hunting for revolutionary activists, journalists have been beaten and arrested, foreigners have been threatened against being witnesses to events. Both local and global media have told half truths and built narratives supportive of a political agenda. The counter-revolution is in full flow and it knows how to break the unity of the people in its effort to divide and conquer.
In the past two days there has been a rise in sectarian reprisals, with up to 50 churches and Christian institutions attacked. The army and police were not seen protecting these buildings of the Christian community. It is in the interests of both the army and the Muslim Brotherhood to stoke tensions and create fear and hatred in the people. They will fight for their control of the State as people’s blood fills the streets.
We condemn the massacres at Raba’a and Nadha Square, the attacks on workers, activists and journalists, the manipulation of the people by those who vie for power, and sectarian attacks. For the revolution to continue the people must remain united in their opposition to the abuses and tyranny of power, against whoever it is directed.
Down with the military and Al-Sisi!
Down with the remnants of the Mubarak regime and business elite!
Down with the State and all power to autonomous communities!
Long live the Egyptian revolution!