The November Uprising

4 December 2011 | 01:08

Mohamed Mahmoud Street شارع محمد محمود

The Egyptian revolution will not be settled in 18 days or months. It’ll take “years” for the dust to settle, may be four or five, I don’t know. There will be waves, ebbs and flows, battles to be won and others lost.

This November uprising is only one chapter in the Egyptian revolution, but not the final one.

We have come a long way. We can all recall the mood in February when you could have been lynched in a protest by the people if you had chanted against the army. Now there is wide disillusionment with SCAF, and the majority of the public can clearly see today they are nothing but Mubarak’s army generals who are in effect leading the counterrevolution.

Those elections mean nothing. This “civilian advisory council” means nothing. The political process as it is currently in the making under the direction of SCAF is following the old Turkish model, whereby we’ll get to enjoy ourselves in elections and playing with civilian politicians in suits, while the brass gets to keep its share of the economy, immunity from prosecution or accountability.

We should never settle for anything less than a revolutionary cabinet that can send those SCAF generals to Tora.

As Tahrir loses steam, while #OccupyCabinet continues, we should not get demoralized over the end of the uprising. Mark my words, there are more coming, and they will be even more militant. The performance of the different shabab groups, whether the informal circles of radicalized youth as well as the revolutionary leftist groups, has been much more mature and organized than in January/Feb or the July sit-in. Even with their electoral gains, the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the uprising has deepened the rifts once again between sections of their youth and their opportunistic leadership.

The next uprising we’ll be stronger and more organized.

Millions took part in the current election circus. Their rush to vote is largely driven by the general desire to see SCAF go. The generals have played a dangerous game of raising expectations re the coming parliament, expectations that are already getting dashed every day with statements from the junta about the limited powers of the parliament or the expected cabinet. There is already a disillusionment process in the making, that will ignite the wrath of the public further with the first parliamentary session. I’m expecting floods of workers and civil servants occupying the streets around the parliament with their demands as soon as it’s open. And they will be demands that the inept parliament will not be able to meet, which will take the battle to a higher level.

We should not sit down and await the disillusionment to happen, in the same way we did not sit down in February in the face of a pro-SCAF tide. We held our ground firm then, and insisted SCAF were nothing but Mubarak’s counterrevolutionary generals. That position was not popular then, but today it’s different. And the people do not forget the positions easily and who said what and when. And as we have to suspend Tahrir and devote our remaining resources to #OccupyCabinet, we must not forget that the battle will only be settled in the workplaces and universities.

8 responses to “The November Uprising

  1. Excellent analysis! If I may be allowed to expand on a couple of points:

    “a revolutionary cabinet that can send those SCAF generals to Tora.”

    And there is nothing to stop you! Get the various disparate Revolutionary Groups together, along with the disaffected youth from across the political spectrum. Form as broad a chamber as possible. Hammer out an alternative: a “Popular Charter” (in contrast to the hack work that will be the official Political Constitution) …that is better thought out and in tune with the needs of the People.

    Rather than the needs of vested interests.

    Whilst the back room deals in (shisha :) smoke filled rooms: plot and plan in secret. Parallel the process in public! On the web using Livestream or better still UStream! Use humour and satire to point out the same old tired politics of the past and the benefits of the new politics of the future.

    “We should not sit down and await the disillusionment to happen”

    More than the internet, take the Tahrir Occupation and its good will out into the country. Continue to crowdsource and build a broad spectrum of support. Take the Egyptian Occupy Movement out to the people. When you have support in the fields as well as the factories you will have won!

    If, as you say, the Tahrir occupation is unsustainable as a permmanent Occupation: so be it. But continue to use El Midan as a symbol and as a location for stunts. If necessary use a truck or two as a mobile instant stage/ sound system and a couple of tents for old times sake!
    A series of stunts over the winter with some surprises for the spring!
    Be creative and you will achieve more impact for less effort.

    The global Occupy Movement, which takes -in part- its inspiration from yours, is a much more broadly based Movement and is successful in that it has thrown off the old left wing dogma associated with anti-capitalism. You no longer have to be a dyed in the wool Marxist to be anti-capitalist. Or -more properly- anti Corporatist. Here too the target is the corporate structures that your Junta has ‘acquired’ over six decades.

    Finally take pause to reflect on your successes! Whilst the rest of Egypt has not embraced the socialist message it has welcomed your Revolution. The deposing of Mubarak may have been cosmetic but that foot in the door has opened up the political scene. The MB and religious right have a real scent of power and a real mandate.
    Let us see what they do with it?

    In the mean time the official secular left must _consolidate_ and use its leverage to moderate the new ‘Constitution.’

    The latter of course being a pale shadow of your own “Popular Charter.”

    If nothing else, the Revolutionary Youth has one trump card: you can outlive the bastards!

  2. This is great to read! Speaking as only a moderately well informed observer I can say that I’ve been quietly getting excited by the voter turnout because I know that every one of those people will be supporting the revolution more than ever when the parliament fails to bring any real change.

  3. most important point is the upcoming political process in the egyptian scene…
    1. a déjà vu government…
    2. a scare crow civilian advisory council…
    3. failure of an incapacitated parliament to deliver…
    4. another mounting atmosphere of political congestion…
    5. pressure from within political parties & the street…
    6. parliamentary confrontation (at least MB & KOTLA) with SCAF…
    7. eruption: back to tahrir this time from the street and the elected parliament aka fresh representatives of the egyptians…
    8. if this scenario takes place, no place for ABBASSEYA…
    9. theoretically its ALL EGYPT AGAINST SCAF…
    10. this time with such impetus no backing until SCAF steps down…

  4. When I read people like you and @Gsquare86 and others ideas, and see the officer in this video, I’m so inspired and filled with confidence and Pride like the Lion w/ eye patch on the Qasr bridge. Because of what Masr could be.

    But then reality hits. Billions of dollars worth of US hyocrisy, the Saudi’s leverage on SCAF and now, the Democratic Egypt party list parliament. And poverty and crashing economy, which is destined for an IMF loan w/ privatisation requirements, henceforth, the understandable apathy of Nefertiti’s children. It looks hopeless.

    P.S. Gamal Abdel Nasser of Assiyut was not a Field Marshal, instead he was a mere Kernel in 52′.

  5. Sorry, forgot the link of officer in this video. It is worth a few minutes of yohttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/nov/25/egyptian-military-defector-army-video?INTCMP=SRCHur time, to see the potential, the possibilities.

  6. I was just wondering how the democratic workers party is doing I have heard it is similar to united left alliance in Ireland. yet I realise the composition of social forces are much different however their goals, aims and strategy seam to have some convergence.

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