Egyptian Communists: Morsi ouster reflects popular will

On July 6, Nameh Mardom, the newspaper of the Tudeh (Iranian Communist Party), published an interview with Salah Adli, the General Secretary of the Egyptian Communist Party. The whole interview can be read on the website.  

Question: How were the classes and strata mobilized in the second wave of the June 30 revolution?

Adli: Since the outbreak of the revolution of 25th June 2011, the protest movements have not subsided, and demonstrations of millions of people have not stopped…. The workers’ protests and strikes also escalated. After…. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, the masses discovered their authoritarian nature, fascist character, their bias to the interests of more reactionary and parasitic sections of capitalism, and their inability to run a state the size of Egypt. Furthermore, their betrayal of the interests of the homeland and their willingness to play the role of the biggest broker to maintain the interests of America and Israel in the region were exposed….

The “Tamarud” (Rebellion) movement succeeded in collecting more than 22 million signatures for the withdrawal of confidence in Morsi and in support for calling for early presidential elections…..

Question: What is the level of the participation of the toiling classes in these protests?

Salah Adli:

…the workers have been involved in most of the protests that have escalated since 2006, and are participating in all the popular demonstrations as part of the people and not as a class matter. This is due to the absence of strong trade unions and federations, because of the long legacy of tyranny and government repression…. the practices and attitudes of the Muslim Brotherhood do not differ from the orientations of the Mubarak regime; rather, they were worse. The Muslim Brotherhood implemented the same policies on the continuation of the privatization program and the liberalization of prices, and did not raise the minimum wage even though it was one of the first demands of the revolution…. the most dangerous position was their refusal to pass the law to ensure freedom to form unions…

Question: What are the nature, tasks and urgent demands of the revolution?

Salah Adli

…[The first task] is promulgating a new civil democratic constitution that stresses human rights, women’s rights and economic and social rights for the toiling classes….

One of the tasks of the democratic revolution is also the freedom to form trade unions, political parties and associations without governmental interference, rejecting the formation of political parties on a religious and sectarian basis, full equality between men and women in terms of rights and duties, equality before the law and the criminalization of religious and other forms of discrimination.

…A top priority among [social demands] is specifying a minimum and maximum wage and linking it to prices, cancelling debts for small peasants, redistributing the budget items to increase spending on education and health, providing housing for low income people, raising taxes on the rich, regaining possession of the corporations that were looted from the public sector, and fighting against corruption.

The national tasks are: opposing dependency on the United States, refusing to succumb to Zionist hegemony, amending the Camp David agreement, restoring Egypt’s national role in the Arab, African, regional and international levels, and deepening the relationship with the peoples of the Third World.

Question: What is your view about the arguments which say that Morsi’s removal is undemocratic? Was he overthrown by the Egyptian army?

Salah Adli:

More than 22 million citizens of the Egyptian people ousted Morsi in an unprecedented referendum [that was followed by the coming out of 27 million people to participate in the June 30 demonstrations]. It was Morsi who overthrew legitimacy when he issued his dictatorial constitutional declaration of November 2011 [and who unleashed violence].

The defending of Morsi by the United States and western capitalist states and portraying of the issue as “just a military coup”… hides the fact that world imperialism is terrified by people’s revolutions and their ability to transcend the narrow confines of the democratic bourgeoisie….

Question: What is your assessment of the USA’s position toward the developments in Egypt?

Salah Adli: The U.S… intervened immediately when [Mubarak] was overthrown to form an alliance between the former Military Council and the Muslim Brotherhood to pave the way to handing over power to the Muslim Brotherhood after they pledged to ensure fulfilling the interests of the United States, ensuring the security of Israel and continuing the neoliberal economic policy which is against the interests of the popular masses…We expect that the United States, in the current critical period, will encourage plots to ignite sedition and strife….to turn Egypt into another Iraq. [this has been thwarted so far].

Question: What are the main challenges facing your party?

Salah Adli: The main challenge is to unite the forces of the left in the first place to confront the big tasks that we are facing at this stage.

1.     To ensure the achievement of the objectives and tasks of the transitional phase.

2.     To achieve consensus on a single candidate for the national and democratic forces to fight the battle of presidential elections.

3.     To form a front of leftist forces, Nasserites, youth movements and trade union organizations; to prepare joint lists to fight the forthcoming parliamentary and local elections; and to exert pressure to make sure that there is no retreat from correcting the path of the revolution….

4.     To seek to complete and develop the party structure, to renew the party with fresh blood, and to develop its program so that we can face the big challenges that we are confronting.

Edited by Emil Schepers.

Photo: Egyptians women bang metal cooking pots and chant anti-president Mohammed Morsi slogans while protesting in front of the provincial government headquarters during day six of the general strike in Port Said, Egypt, Feb. 22. Factory workers, activists and laborers have held street rallies that brought the coastal city on the northern tip of the Suez Canal to a halt. Nasser Nasser/AP