Published on Pambazuka News, by Comrades from Cairo, June 7, 2012.
The Egyptian revolution is important for all struggles against militarized power, exploitation, class stratification, and police violence. Join the resistance to the counter-revolution.
To you at whose side we struggle: From the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, the powers that be have launched a vicious counter-revolution to contain our struggle and subsume it by drowning the people’s voices in a process of meaningless, piecemeal political reforms. This process is aimed at deflecting the path of revolution and the Egyptian people’s demands for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’.
Only 18 days into our revolution, and since we forced Mubarak out of power, the discourse of the political classes and the infrastructure of the elites, including both state and private media, continues to privilege discussions of rotating ministers, cabinet reshuffles, referendums, committees, constitutions and most glaringly, parliamentary and now presidential elections.
Our choice from the very beginning was to reject in their entirety the regime’s attempts to drag the people’s revolution into a farcical dialogue with the counter-revolution shrouded in the discourse of a ‘democratic process’ which neither promotes the demands of the revolution nor represents any substantial, real democracy. Thus our revolution continues, and must continue … //
… We must make clear that despite the fact of the international political establishment’s praise of the ‘democratic’ nature of the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections, we strongly and categorically reject the outcome of these elections for they do not represent the desires of the Egyptian people that fought in the January 25th Revolution.
Furthermore, we categorically reject the elections themselves in principle, for the following reasons:
- 1. Even by the standards of the deceased and irrelevant systems of representation that once existed in the Global North, no ‘free and fair elections’ can take place under the supervision of a power-hungry military junta, vying relentlessly for continued political domination and the protection of their vast economic empire, so relentlessly, indeed, that no constitution exists to define the powers of any presidency. How can we tolerate a military dictatorship’s supervision of any political process when thousands of Egyptians continue to languish in the dungeons of military prison after undergoing arbitrary arrest, campaigns of systematic torture, and exceptional military tribunals.
- 2. The abuse of law in favour of the power mongering of the ruling military generals: in order to run the junta’s preferred candidate, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission has simply and blatantly disregarded the law of political exclusion recently passed in order to ban the candidacy of any members of Mubarak’s regime from running in the presidential elections.
- 3. The absurdity of unlimited power concentrated in the hands of an electoral commission made up of central figures from the Mubarak era who are meant to supervise a ‘democratic’ process.
- 4. The vague programs marketed by the most strongly backed candidates fly in the face of the values and object of the revolution, the very reason why we are even having these elections today and the cause for which over a thousand martyrs gave their lives: ‘bread, freedom and social justice’.
If these elections take place and are internationally recognized the regime will have received the world’s stamp of approval to make void everything the revolution stands for. If these elections are to pass while we remain silent, we believe the coming regime will license itself to hunt us down, lock us up and torture us in an attempt to quell all forms of resistance to its very raison d’etre.
We continue on our revolutionary path committed to resisting military rule and putting an end to military tribunals for civilians and the release of all detainees in military prisons. We continue to struggle in the workplace, in schools and universities and with popular committees in our neighbourhoods. But our fight is as much against the governments and systems supporting the regime that suppresses us.
We are determined to audit loan agreements that did and continue to occur between international financial institutions or foreign governments with a regime that claims to represent us while thriving from exploiting and repressing us.
We call on you to join us in our struggle against the reinforcements of the counter-revolution. How will you stand in solidarity with us? If we are under attack, you are also under attack for our battle is a global one against the forces that seek our obedience and suppression.
We stand with the ongoing revolution, a revolution that will only be realized by the strength, community and persistence of the people; not through a poisonous referendum for military rule. Comrades from Cairo.