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Mohamed Atef reports from Cairo on the mass mobilisations against President Morsi

Riot police on the streets of Cairo

The Presidential Guard imposed curfew after the deadly clashes between pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters of President Morsi and the opposition in Egypt yesterday. The renewed mass mobilisations have resulted in 6 people dead and 450 injured (according to the Ministry Of Health), in addition to unknown causalities in the neighborhood near the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis district. Violence clashes are still taking place. Government supporters are calling for ‘mass marches to stop the violence’ even though they are responsible for instigating it!

The clashes erupted against the backdrop of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attack on the opposition sit-in camp protesting at the constitutional declaration and of President Mohamed Morsi which guarantees him almost unlimited power until the result of the new constitutional referendum that he is trying to rush through for 15 December this year.

Morsi’s declaration also included a decision to remove the General Prosecutor from his post, which was one of the revolutionary demands of January 25th, along with many corrupt judges. But the way that Morsi took his decisions provoked the revolutionaries already concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood desires monopoly power.

But there is a political problem with the forces that are now arrayed against Morsi. They are not just the revolutionary forces of 25th January. They now includeall who are disappointed by the Muslim Brotherhood, including the remnants of Mubarak regime! Amr Mussa, former-Mubarak Minster of Foreign Affairs, has joined Hamdeen Sabahy, the Nasserist ex-presidency candidate, and liberal Mohamed El Baradie along with heads of the liberal and socialist parties. This opportunist alliance has called for civil disobedience and mass marches to Tahrir square and the Presidential Palace.

The revolutionaries need to quickly accumulate forces if they are not to be drawn into a confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood before they are able to ensure a reasonable chance of success. If thye are not able to do this the conflict may end with the military leadership SCAF imposing a counter-revolutionary solution. Amr Mussa would be happy with this…which is why it is so dangerous to include him in any opposition front. Moreover, since there are popular forces in support of Morsi it can appear that January 25th would be knocked down by a military coup ‘supported by the masses’.

To avoid this scenario the Revolutionary Left in Egypt must build roots among the masses in a way that it has not done so far, despite having opportunities to do so. Yes, confrontation was unavoidable as it has been many times in the past. But the Left must build again among the working class (which was harassed by many laws were adopted during the past few days) and not blindly ally with its class enemies.

Revolutionary patience is a virtue now for building strong organization. It should immediately start as the united project of the revolutionary left. This is the touchstone of their commitment to permanent revolution.

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