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Monday, January 31, 2011

Egyptian Revolution and the Trotskyist Connection

Here is a re-post a column  I wrote in July 2007 on the links between the international Trotskyist movement (including NZ Socialist Worker) and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Egyptian revolutionary groups.

The British Socialist Workers Party (the main force behind last years student rioting in Britain) and other European and American Trotskyists and communists  have been working with the Egyptian left and muslim brotherhood for years.

The current events in Egypt have been a long time in the making.

From New Zeal July 28 2007

Socialist Worker NZ is the sister party of the British Socialist Workers Party.

Since 2002, the SWP have been key participants in a series of annual conferences held in Cairo.

From Wikipedia

The Cairo Conference against U.S. hegemony and war on Iraq and in solidarity with Palestine generally known simply as Cairo Anti-war Conference, is an anti-war and anti-neo-liberalism conference held regularly since 2002 in Cairo, Egypt.

The Cairo Conference set up the International Campaign Against Aggression on Iraq,
Held on the 17th-19th December, 2002, 400 attended, at the Conrad Hotel on the banks of the Nile...

One out come of the conference was the production of the 'Cairo Declaration', which took a stance against the then looming Iraq war...
The ICAAI co-ordinated the February 15th global day of action against the Iraq war which became the largest day of demonstrations in history involving up to 25 million people in 150 countries.

The President of ICAAI is Ahmed Ben Bella, former pro Soviet president of Algeria,  while Vice-President is British Socialist Workers Party leader John Rees.

The UK Stop the War Coalition, in particular John Rees of the SWP, initiated the signing of the declaration by European lefties, including: Jeremy Corbyn MP, George Galloway MP, Tony Benn, Susan George (Left-wing activist based in France), Bob Crow, Mick Rix (general secretary, train drivers' Aslef union), Julie Christie, George Monbiot, Harold Pinter, Dr Siddiqui (leader, Muslim Parliament of Great Britain), Tommy Sheridan, Dr Ghada Karmi (research fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter), Tariq Ali.

The conference was followed by a 1,000-strong anti-war demonstration that was surrounded by riot police and armoured cars.
Note presence of George Galloway and well known British Trotskyists, Tommy Sheridan and Tariq Ali.

Second Conference

Held 13th and 14th December, 2003, at the Egyptian Journalists' Union headquarters. This had 800 attendees. Conference final declaration available here. Anti-war MP George Galloway, Tony Benn, Salma Yaqoob, and former US attorney-general Ramsey Clark were among the international speakers. Prominent Egyptian campaigners taking part included Nasserist MP Hamdeen Sabahy, Galal Aref, head of the Egyptian Journalists' Union, and Ma'mun al-Hodeiby, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim and human rights activist Aida Seif-al-Dawla were among the conference organisers.

The presence of Muslim Brotherhood leader Ma'mun al-Hodeiby brought a large number of Islamist activists into the conference. The Muslim Brotherhood, although officially banned, is by far Egypt's largest opposition organisation. However, some delegates were critical of the Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with the government in a series of stage-managed anti-war rallies held before the invasion of Iraq.
Note that the Muslim Brotherhood has long been regarded as strongly Marxist in orientation.

Third Conference

24-27 March 2005. Political groups, independent activists, and organisations in Egypt were invited to take part in the conference and also to propose their own activities to take place at the same time as the conference.

Egyptian organisations supported the third conference....20th of March Movement for Change, Egyptian Communist Party, Karama Party, Muslim Brotherhood, Organization of Revolutionary Socialists, Socialist People's Party, Wasat Party.
Fourth Conference
The fourth conference, under the rubric "International Campaign against US and Zionist Occupation", was held 23-26 March, 2006, on a platform expressed through the slogans "With the Resistance in Palestine and Iraq" and "Against Globalization, Imperialism and Zionism".

The conference discussed means of supporting the resistance in Palestine and Iraq, challenged U.S. and Israeli plans to expand their aggression against the region to Syria and/or Iran as well as their plans to liquidate Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organisations, dealt with the issue of supporting the struggle of the peoples of the Arab world for democracy against regimes of the region who collude with aggressors, and called for expanding and developing social struggles against globalisation policies in the Arab region.
The Fifth Conference was held between March 29 and April 1 2007.

It is easy to see NZ's tiny Socialist Worker as a bit of a joke.

However Socialist Worker is part of an international network that links Trotskyists, mainstream communists and some of the most fanatical Islamic radicals on the planet.


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