Mass protests erupt in Egypt against presidential power-grab

Mass protests have been building across Egypt in response to a power-grab by Mohamad Morsi, who last week decreed that all presidential decisions would be immune from judicial review.

Morsi’s seven-point Constitutional Declaration was promoted as a necessary defence of the revolution. However, as the wording of Article two clearly shows, the Declaration is an attack on democracy: “Previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012…are final and binding and cannot be appealed by any way or to any entity. Nor shall they be suspended or cancelled and all lawsuits related to them and brought before any judicial body against these decisions are annulled.”

On Tuesday more than 100,000 marched on Tahrir Square in Cairo, the home of the revolutionary movement that last year toppled the hated dictator Hosni Mubarak. Protesters joined others who had been staging a sit-in since 23 November against the president. Banners denouncing Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood are reportedly prominent, with one reading “The Muslim Brotherhood stole the revolution.”

The president has been pressured into meetings with the country’s top judges, but at the time of writing, there have been no amendments to the official decree.

Below is a statement issued by Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists on 26 November.

Kick out Feloul from all the Squares!

The revolutionary masses – who toppled the rule of the tyrant Mubarak, resisted courageously the former SCAF and its coup, and are standing steadfastly today against Morsi’s tyrannical announcement [of assuming unprecedented sweeping powers] – these masses have no other choice but to identify clearly the real foes of the people who wish to return the clock back to Mubarak’s days if they are win battles toward democracy and social justice.

How rude are those Feloul [remnants of the old regime]! After spending a lifetime of being Mubarak’s cronies and sincere servants, here they are scrambling for a piece of the cake [a role in the state power] by appearing on TV stations and various platforms to paint themselves as defenders of “the rule of law”, “independence of judiciary system” and “the struggle against dictatorship”. In fact, they are taking advantage of the public fury at Morsi’s failing performance, and how Morsi and his group [Muslim Brotherhood] are continuing the same old dictatorship procedures through collaboration with the same old repressive machine and following the same old, oppressive economic policies which suffocate and deny the rights of the millions of the poor and marginalised. Finally, they use the absurdity of Morsi’s latest, authoritarian constitutional announcement to pretend that they were the true heroes of the revolution and its forgotten martyrs!

Would these tricks work with the people who have been shaped by the revolutionary process day in and day out? And, what has changed today for us to believe that those regime remnants are suddenly now putting the “national interests” above all?

Did cronies such as Amr Moussa, [Ahmed al-] Zind, Abdul Majeed Mahmoud, Sameh Ashour and Murtada [Mansour] suddenly wake up and find themselves after the revolution to be opponents of tyranny and corruption after spending all their lives in alliance with the big capitalists in and out of Egypt? How dare any one of them even dare to appear in Tahrir Square amongst the protesters?!

This has happened only because of the opportunistic and tyrannical behaviour of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis throughout the past months who kept manipulating the masses whilst making deals with SCAF and salvaging Mubarak’s men. Hence, there is no punishment for the murderers of the revolution’s martyrs, no restructuring of the Ministry of Interior and no changes at all in the social bias of the state. This is exactly what has encouraged the regime’s remnants to reappear strongly on the political scene.

The regime’s remnants never were and never will be a part of the national cohort. They – alongside Mubarak – are against the people and have always positioned themselves in the service of Zionism and American imperialism. One good example of the regime’s remnants is Amr Moussa. However, it is disturbing to see some supposedly nationalist figures such as Hamdin Sabahi and [Mohamed] ElBaradei, who represent two political forces within the revolution’s camp, involve themselves in this dubious “National Front”. We think they are acting in an opportunistic way, following the mantra “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”. This attitude may suit opportunists who place their narrow electoral interests above the people’s interests, but it does not suit revolutionary leaders. A revolutionary leader does not try to distort and manipulate people’s consciousness. Any sincere revolutionary leader should not be in such a dubious front as this one, as this will only give the counter-revolutionaries forces a nationalist cover. Rather, the revolutionaries have to organise themselves in a front that is completely independent of both the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] and Feloul.

Any sincere revolutionary knows that our task today is complex. Our fight against the tyranny of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood cannot be separated from our fight against Feloul. We have to put our trust in the organised power of the people who are the oppressed and exploited against their enemies, the oppressors and exploiters.

Down with Mubarak’s Feloul.

Down with Morsi’s constitutional announcement.

Down with the Assembly for Foundation of the Constitution.

Re-posted from