There is no better sight in the world tonight than the view from the stage raised 30 feet above Tahrir Square. Hundreds of thousands chanting, singing and waving flags that stretch out North, South, East and West.

Only yesterday Mubarak was facing the revolution down. But the workers’ action and splits beginning in the army were the factors, along with the sheer guts, bravery and stamina of the protesters, that has won the day.

I could feel that in two episodes today. A retired Army Staff Colonel came up to me in Tahrir Square and said the serving officers he was talking to would not fire on the crowd.

Then I was part of the demonstration that broke through the first army barricade and line of tanks at the state TV station mid-afternoon. It was halted at the second line of tanks but you could see the soldiers – tense but friendly – were in no mood for a massacre.

After the police and thugs had been decisively routed in previous encounters with the revolution, it was the workers joining the revolution, and splits in the armed forces, that have finally rid the Egyptians of the plutocrat Pharaoh.

Of course there will be more struggles. The debate is already alive in Tahrir about when it is right to leave the Square. How do we get rid of the whole regime? What about the class demands of the workers? Will a new regime break with US foreign policy?

Tonight the whole Arab nation, from Lebanon to Morocco, is alight. But nowhere more than in Cairo… here we fought, here we won. It is the revolution that will change the Middle East.

And when you change the Middle East, as my old mentor Tony Cliff understood, you change the world.

John Rees

John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.

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