Egypt

Egypt: the rise of the working class

Author: 

Atef Said

In April 2009, a familiar scenario was repeated, as Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s police apparatus assaulted planned demonstrations and a Mahalla textile workers’ strike. A year earlier, many activists and ordinary people from Mahalla received sentences in politically charged criminal trials for “planning the 6 April strike in 2008.”

The growing working class revolt in Egypt has been overlooked in the Western media's reporting from the Middle East of the Iraq war and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Whom does this "boycott of Israel" help?

Author: 

Colin Foster

Egyptian writer Hala Mustafa faces threats of expulsion from the country's official Press Syndicate and removal from her job because she met the Israeli ambassador to Egypt as part of her journalistic work.

Egyptian writer Hala Mustafa faces the sack because she met the Israeli ambassador to Egypt as part of her journalistic work.

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The SWP, Egypt and the lessons of the Iranian revolution

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

AWL comrades attended a meeting at the SWP’s “Marxism 2009” event (2-6 July) on “Islamism and the new Arab left”, in fact mostly about Egypt. Listening to Anne Alexander’s talk, you learned a lot.

AWL comrades attended a meeting at the SWP’s “Marxism 2009” event (2-6 July) on “Islamism and the new Arab left”, in fact mostly about Egypt. Listening to Anne Alexander’s talk, you learned a lot.

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'Islamism and the new Arab left': a critique of the SWP

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

On the last day of the SWP's Marxism 2009 event, AWL comrades attended a meeting on 'Islamism and the new Arab left'. The meeting was for the most part about Egypt and its Muslim Brotherhood movement; the speaker was Anne Alexander, one of the SWP's resident experts on the Middle East.

As Tunisian workers rise up, we reprint this article on Islamism and the class struggle in the Arab world, from summer 2009.

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A workers’ answer to the food crisis

Author: 

Elliott Robinson

Last week thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh went on strike in protest at rising food prices. Factory workers earn as little as a $1 a day and have seen the price of rice increase by a third since last year. Some 30 million people in Bangladesh – nearly a quarter of the population — may be going without a daily meal.

Last week thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh went on strike in protest at rising food prices.

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Food prices spark strikes and occupations in Egypt

Author: 

Jack staunton

Workers at Mahalla in the Nile Delta have suffered a fresh wave of repression from Hosni Mubarak’s regime after a series of militant strikes, protests and demonstrations beginning on April 6th. The Egyptian police arrested hundreds of workers, demonstrators and even journalists reporting on the revolt, as the regime seeks to silence working class people angry at low wages and massive food price inflation which has seen bread prices go up nearly 50% in the last year.

Workers at Mahalla in the Nile Delta have suffered a fresh wave of repression from Hosni Mubarak’s regime after a series of militant strikes, protests and demonstrations beginning on April 6th.

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Egyptian workers step up

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The class struggle in Egypt, rising since 2006, has reached a new pitch in the last few weeks.

On Sunday 16 February, more than 10,000 workers from the Misr (Egypt) Spinning and Weaving Company textile mill in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla el-Kubra, north of Cairo, staged a mass demonstration against prices rices, low wages and the regime of Hosni Mubarak, joined by thousands more working-class people from the town. The Mahalla workers’ action was followed by similar, smaller-scale actions and protests by workers across Egypt.

The class struggle in Egypt, rising since 2006, has reached a new pitch in the last few weeks.

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Egyptian workers step up

The class struggle in Egypt, rising since 2006, has reached a new pitch in the last few weeks.

On Sunday 16 February, more than 10,000 workers from the Misr (Egypt) Spinning and Weaving Company textile mill in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla el-Kubra, north of Cairo, staged a mass demonstration against prices rices, low wages and the regime of Hosni Mubarak, joined by thousands more working-class people from the town. The Mahalla workers’ action was followed by similar, smaller-scale actions and protests by workers across Egypt.

Egyptian workers are in struggle against Hosni Mubarak's government.

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Thoughts on working-class internationalism

Author: 

David Broder

The left devotes much of its efforts to campaigning against imperialism, which is no surprise given the present foreign policy of the American and British governments. However, in order to effectively combat imperialism and war, it is necessary that we understand what ‘anti-imperialism’ means, who is anti-imperialist, and what relationship that has with working-class politics.

Some thoughts on what really constitutes "anti-imperialism", and why the AWL majority fails to take a consistently third-camp stance on the conflicts in the Middle East.

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Egypt: 15,000 workers strike and occupy giant factory - and win (see comment)

Author: 

Traven Leyshon

Hossam al-Hamalawy, an Egyptian blogger, journalist, and labor activist currently at Berkeley's School of Journalism, is reporting on his blog that 15,000 workers at the Ghazl al-Mahallah textile factory in Egypt have gone on strike.

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Strike wave in Egypt

The longest and strongest wave of worker protest since World War II is rolling through Egypt.

Initially concentrated in the state-owned textile mills of the Nile Delta, the job actions have now proliferated in other factories and workplaces, including those operated by private companies.

The regime of President Husni Mubarak has started to crack down on the strikers, as the most militant activists are shifting their gaze from wages, benefits and working conditions to the explicitly political question of labor's relation to the state.

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Egyptian secular activist jailed - Free Kareem Amer!

By Amina Saddiq

22 year old Egyptian blogger and former law student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, or Kareem Amer as he is known online, was arrested by the authorities in Alexandria on 22 February and charged with the following offences:

• Spreading information and malicious rumours that disrupt public security;

• Defaming the president of Egypt;

• Incitement to overthrow the regime based upon hatred and contempt;

• Incitement to hate Islam and to breach public peace standards; and

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Egyptian blogger locked up for criticising religion: free Kareem!

Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, better known by his Internet pseudonym Kareem Amer, is a 22-year-old Egyptian law student. On February 22, 2007, Kareem was sentenced to four years in prison: three years for ‘contempt of religion’, and one year for ‘defaming the President of Egypt’. Why?

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Free Kareem Amer!

[Posted 28 Feb, 2007]
22 year old Egyptian blogger and former law student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, or Kareem Amer as he is known online, was arrested by the authorities in Alexandria on 22 February and charged with the following offences:

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Political change in Egypt

By Mike Rowley

In last year’s multi-party presidential elections, the first such in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the oldest and largest political-Islamist organisation in the world, did not stand a candidate. In the December 2005 parliamentary elections, its candidates (nominally independents: the MB is still illegal in Egypt) won 19% of the vote, emerging as the main opposition group in parliament.

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Democracy in Egypt? Not yet!

By Mike Rowley

The government of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak claims an 83% “yes” vote on a 54% turnout in its constitutional referendum last week. This will allow opposition candidates to stand for the presidency against Mubarak, but only if they are selected by the dictator’s own oddly named “National Democratic Party”.

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Islamism and democracy

Israeli socialist and peace activist Uri Avnery comments here on recent demonstrations against Mubarak in Egypt and on the growth of Islamism in the Middle East. The demonstrations have been severely repressed. That is bad, but it is also worrying that the forces that are initiating the demonstrations are growing. How should socialists face up to this reality?

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Egypt: month long strike against privatisation

Workers from Esco's Qalyoub textile mill staged a sit in at the headquarters of the government-controlled General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) on Saturday and Sunday 19-20 March. The workers are protesting the government's sale of the Qalyoub mill to industrialist Hashem El-Daghri. They are demanding either to remain in the public sector in order to salvage job security and social security benefits or else an adequate early retirement package. They have been on strike since 13 February.

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Workers of the world - Round-up

By Pablo Velasco

  • Support Egyptian asbestos workers
  • Release imprisoned Chinese workers
  • British hypocrisy over the Chagos islands


Support Egyptian asbestos workers

Workers at the Aura-Misr (Aura-Egypt) Company, a manufacturer of asbestos products, have been on strike since 6 June, in protest over deadly working conditions and their employer's anti-worker policies.

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Islamism in Egypt: a brief history

At our meeting on 3 March, Haringey & Hackney AWL branch discussed Islamism in Egypt.

Clive Bradley gave a talk about the issue: this is a summary of what he said.

Egypt is one of the birthplaces of modern Islamism - that is, of political movements based on Islam that take the form of a modern political party. In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt.

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