On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America express solidarity with the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt.
Since December, popular uprisings have spread across Northern Africa against repressive regimes backed by American dollars, removing one corrupt leader from power and threatening to remove a second. As revolutionary socialists and anti-imperialists, we support these uprisings against imperialist-backed regimes.
In Tunisia, the masses faced with rising unemployment and food inflation, coupled with declining living conditions and civil liberties, rose up in protest against the corrupt regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fording him to resign his presidency and flee the country after 23 years in power.
Ben Ali and his family ruled Tunisia for their own financial benefit while being supported by the United States government. The US knew full well how corrupt Ben Ali was, as the release of diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks revealed. This should come as no surprise. US imperialism doesn’t care how corrupt a regime is so long as it aligns with American interests.
Inspired by the success of the Tunisian protests, the Egyptian masses rose in protest against the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak, an ally of US imperialism and Zionism since he assumed power in 1981. Mubarak has ruled for three decades through the continued imposition of emergency powers, using them to strangle opposition to his rule, with police brutality, torture, and thousands of people imprisoned without charge or trial. 60% of Egyptians live in poverty while less than a thousand people control the vast wealth that rightfully belongs to the Egyptian masses.
On 25 January 2011, known as the “Day of Anger”, mass protests against the Mubarak regime were called on a national holiday. Protesters were seen to be carrying Tunisian flags and signs proclaiming “Yesterday Tunisia. Today Egypt.” In the days that followed, people continued to take to the streets across the country. The national headquarters of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party in Cairo was burned. In response, Mubarak called out the military, shut down access to the Internet, and shut down the Egyptian bureau of Al Jazeera.
Nearly a week later, the protests continue unabated, despite hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, and it was been reported by Al Jazeera that Mubarak has been in contact with Saudi Arabia and Israel discussing terms of going into exile in those countries. In some areas like Alexandria and Suez, the military has tried to avoid armed confrontation with protesters, suggesting that even among the military ranks, support for Mubarak is dwindling.
Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman, director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, as vice-president, essentially making Suleiman his heir apparent. This, too, was met with contempt by the Egyptian people, who want an end to Mubarak’s regime, and not merely for him to hand power over to an essential player in his police state.
The Obama Administration has issued calls for reforms while also calling for stability, knowing that if Mubarak is removed, they will lose a powerful ally in the region. It is abundantly clear that the Egyptian people want an end to Mubarak’s police state, not “reforms” in the guise of a kinder, gentler police state still beholden to American and Zionist interests. The Eqyptian people no longer fear Mubarak.
We salute the Tunisian and Egyptian masses for their struggle against corrupt, pro-imperialist regimes, regimes which thwart the democratic aspirations of the masses. We call for a complete end to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, and we hope that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt spread the seeds of revolution even wider in the region, putting an end to the dominance of US imperialism and Zionism. The victory of oppressed people in any nation is a victory and an inspiration for oppressed people worldwide.
Onward to victory!