Category Archives: North Africa

EGYPT: Workers struggle to self-manage, Renationalized companies left idle as workers fight to make factories function

self-managed Economic Company for Industrial Development, 2009

self-managed Economic Company for Industrial Development, 2009

By Jano Charbel

Weary of governmental inaction regarding the court-ordered renationalization of their companies, many workers have sought to take matters into their own hands through experiments in workers’ self-management — only to find that the government is actively obstructing their efforts. Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Dead end: about the coup in Egypt

egypt1Article by the Wildcat collective on the background and current developments of class struggle in Egypt after the military coup in summer 2013 with additional focus on the situation of migrant workers in the Gulf states.

Dead End: About the Coup in Egypt
(translated from: wildcat, winter 2013/14:

For two years, Tahrir Square was the symbol of a radical departure from social ossification and crisis. The military coup in the summer of 2013 ended this phase. The various illusions and hopes were buried with the hundreds that died. Essential parts of the liberal milieus have accepted state-led massacres and mass arrests in the name of ‘defending democracy’. The hope of a state solution to social misery is also lost; the last heirs of Nasserism and trade union movement-hopefuls now sit at the military (side) table. Their vague promises of reform are drowned out by their appeals to peace, order and willingness to work.

In the acute social situation there is currently no room for participation. The movement will have to provide new questions about social revolution and organisation and will have to find new answers. To this end, migrants play an important role. Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: 2011 was not 1968: an open letter from Egypt

By Philip RizkEgypt1968-2011

As Egyptians trickle into Tahrir to commemorate the 2011 revolution, hijacked by the army, it becomes ever more important to listen to the unheard voices.

On the morning of January 25, 2014 as people trickle into Tahrir Square, it is once again important to realize where we point our gaze to understand a bit of what is taking place in Egypt. A discourse of terror has scared many into supporting with blind faith a military leader who claims to be able to re-instate the good old days of stability. This discourse of fear also has the opposite effect and across the population there are those who are not falling for the terror trap. Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Tahrir-ICN statement on the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization

27 December 2013

On 25 December the military regime declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in the latest of a range of repressive measures used to crack down on political opponents. Punishments for those associated with the group include a five year prison sentence for anyone who participates in Muslim Brotherhood protests, is proved to be a member of the group, promotes them either in writing or speech or is caught with materials from the Muslim Brotherhood. Those in a leadership position could face life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Part of the justification for this designation was the recent bombing in the city of Mansoura which the regime has attributed to the Brotherhood, even though another group, Ansar Beit Al Maqdis has claimed responsibility. Read the rest of this entry

Coprolalia on Syria, European pseudo-Leftists, and Žižek

11.12.13 by Leil-Zahra

I was a bit disappointed when I read Žižek´s article on Syria. It is true that the people in Syria have no excuse for not making a revolution, but compassion is a virtue. Maybe if “comrade” Žižek could´ve taken the time to scribble them a manual of “Revolution 101″ they could´ve been brought to their senses. Possibly a syllabus of recommended readings? Žižek has a lot to teach the people in Syria and Egypt. The European Left as a whole has much to share itself. I mean, Europe has been revolting for decades and the victories of the European Left are a source of global envy. Žižek himself has lead the barricades and put a stake to the heart of neoliberalism in his own country.

Zizek 1 Read the rest of this entry

ALGERIA: The Kabyle mentality by Sail Mohamed

Sail Mohamed is in the center of the front row From:

Sail Mohamed is in the center of the front row

Sail Mohamed Ameriane ben Amerzaine (1894-1953) was born in Kabylie, Algeria. He was active in both the Algerian struggle for liberation from French rule and the French anarchist movement. He was an anarchist, atheist, anti-Stalinist and anti-colonialist. He fought with the Durruti Column during the Spanish revolution and civil war, at one time becoming its commander.

The following article was originally published in Le Libertaire No. 257, 16 February 1951.
The translation is by Tahrir-ICN
Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Why I left Tamarod

November 19, 2013

Original statement in Arabic:

My testimony on Tamarod and why I defected them on June 24th

Ghada Muhammad Naguib

Ghada Muhammad Naguib Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Statement by Comrades from Cairo: We Don’t Need Permission to Protest

[The following statement was recently released by Comrades from Cairo]

We Don’t Need Permission to Protest!

To You at Whose Side We Struggle:

November 26 2013, we saw the first implementation of a new Egyptian law effectively banning any and all protest not approved and regulated by the Ministry of Interior. This is the same Interior Ministry whose soldiers have killed thousands of protesters, maimed tens of thousands and tortured unknown others in recent years. This security apparatus is acting with renewed arrogance since the July coup that returned the Egyptian Army to a position of direct authority. Around noon on November 26, riot police attacked a protest commemorating the murder of Gaber “Gika” Salah one year ago. Announcing that the protest was illegal, police fired water cannons and then baton-charged demonstrators, arresting several. Hours later, the ¨No Military Trials for Civilians¨ campaign organized a protest against the new anti-protest law as well as the inclusion of military trials for civilians in the constitution currently being drafted. This time, the police beat and arrested dozens, among them some of Egypt’s most renowned activists, the same people who fought the injustice and oppression of Mubarak, the SCAF, the Muslim Brotherhood, and now Abdel Fattah al Sisi and the puppet civilian government in place since the coup. Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Ultras in Egypt: state, revolution, and the power of public space (Part II)

by Connor T. Jerzak

From subversive to revolutionary

Uprisings in Tunisia provided the spark for the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Much media and scholarly attention has focused on the role of middle class youths and social networking technologies in the Revolution (Aitamurto 2011; Howard and Hussain 2011). Fewer commentators noted the crucial but unexpected role of Ultra groups. Indeed, Ultra groups became a surprisingly central protagonist in the Egyptian Revolution by bringing their organizational unity, fighting experience, and rebellious ethos to demonstrations. As they played a central role in the Revolution, Ultras became increasingly politicized, seeking to eliminate the presence of the authoritarian state in public space through large-scale demonstrations. After all, as Egyptian blogger Alla Abd El Fattah stated in a 2011 interview, “The Ultras have played a more significant role” in the Egyptian Revolution “than any political group on the ground” (Zirin 2012b). Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Ultras in Egypt: state, revolution, and the power of public space (Part I)

by Connor T. Jerzak1

In this article, I explore the relationship between organized soccer fans—Ultras—and the Egyptian state. I argue that Ultra groups became politicized as they sought autonomy in public space, but faced resistance from Egyptian security forces. To make this argument, I trace the history of Ultra groups. I show how Ultras made relatively few political statements in the first years after their 2007 inception. However, these groups become increasingly politicized in reaction to police harassment. This harassment was motivated by the fact that Ultras subverted state control over public spaces. The events of the 2011 Arab Spring further politicized the Ultras and transformed them into revolutionary actors by giving them the opportunity to delegitimize the authoritarian state’s entire presence in public space. However, the greater public visibility of Ultras came at a cost, partially fracturing Ultra groups and giving state forces a desire for retaliation that was realized in the Port Said massacre. Despite these challenges, Ultra groups have continued to seek autonomy in public spaces, protesting authoritarian tendencies in the post-Mubarak era. I conclude with an afterward, explaining how Ultras not only defy authoritarianism in Egypt, but also dominant narratives about Egyptian society. Read the rest of this entry