By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 1.7.2021, http://the-isleague.com
As we of the RCIT have said time and time again the Arab revolution is not dead but instead it will return. Anyone who follows the news must have been aware of it. A new powerful wave of the Arab masses’ uprising is engulfing the region.
In Tunisia: “Tens of thousands of mainly working-class people are in the streets throughout Tunisia demanding an end to the corrupted oppressive regime demanding democratic demands since this January. These days our brothers and sisters demonstrate against police brutality following the murder of Ahmed Ben Ammar, 32, in police custody on June 8. The level of brutality has decreased dramatically since the fall of Ben Ali, but over the past several months we have witnessed an uptick in egregious behavior on behalf of the police, in part because there is no clear signal from the Tunisian government that this behavior must stop,” Sarah Yerkes, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Middle East Program who specializes in Tunisia, told The Media Line.” (1)
In Algeria, Prime minister Abdelaziz Djerad was forced to resign following two years of mass protests of the Hirak protest movement and political turmoil. This is the “biggest crisis in 10 years, a source told Reuters news agency. The Hirak protest movement is demanding an uprooting of the entire system.” (2)
In Sudan, the masses in the streets demand the resignation of the government over IMF-backed reforms. “Public discontent has mounted over the reforms that slashed subsidies on petrol and diesel, more than doubling their price. Dozens gathered in Khartoum and burned tires and brandished banners that read “bread for the poor” before they were dispersed by police firing tear gas.” (3)
In Lebanon, the masses are in the streets “as for the fifth time this year the government raised the price of subsidized bread while the political, financial, and economic crises are deepening. “ Lebanon is grappling with the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history — one that the World Bank has said is likely to rank as one of the worst the world has seen in the past 150 years. The Lebanese pound has lost 90 percent of its value since unrest swept the country in 2019. Earlier this month, the pound broke a record low earlier of 15,500 Lebanese pounds to the dollar on the black market. The official exchange rate remains 1,507 pounds to the dollar. The World Bank said in a report this month that Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to contract 9.5 percent in 2021 after shrinking by 20.3 percent in 2020 and 6.7 percent the year before.” (4)
In Iran, the powerful workers in the oil industry are on strike. “Thousands of workers in Iran’s vast energy industry have gone on strike over the past week to press demands for better wages and conditions at oil facilities, Iranian media reported Wednesday. The widespread demonstrations underscore the mounting economic pressures on the country as it struggles to secure relief from crippling sanctions. Footage has spread across social media showing construction workers at 60 oil and petrochemical installations, largely in the country’s oil-rich south, walking off their jobs in protest. In some videos, cars honk and crowds of workers cheer as they stream into the dusty roads, the refinery’s hulking white storage tanks receding behind them.” (5)
In Iraq, the masses are in the streets for many weeks. According to the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR): “Since the beginning of the protests almost 600 demonstrators have been killed and 35 activists have died in 82 targeted killings, One demonstrator has been shot dead and dozens injured during violence at a rally in Baghdad where thousands gathered to demand accountability for the murder of prominent Iraqi activists and protesters. What kicked off on Tuesday morning as a hopeful wave of demonstrations in Tahrir Square saw tensions brew throughout the day and violence as security forces cracked down on protesters in the early evening.” (6)
In addition, the powerful pro-Iran Iraqi militia alliance, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), fired on an American base following an air attack that killed four members of the militia. About 2,500 US troops are still in Iraq.
Syria: The revolutionary struggle in Syria continues despite the suffering of the masses in the last 10 years. 500,000 people have died, and more than half of the country’s population was displaced. The butcher Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, seems to control most of the country. Nevertheless, the fighting is not over. The northwestern Idlib region has remained free of government control and the struggle in the rest of Syria may flare again. Syria is in ruin and to rebuild it will take, according to the UN, $250 billion. Imperialist Russia or the USA will not pay the cost of the destruction and the attacks of the regime on the working class and the poor peasants, which will lead to another revolutionary wave.
West Bank: Since the visit of the US secretary of state Antony J. Blinken visit to Ramallah following the last war between Israel and the people of Gaza and his encouragement of the Palestinian Authority to repress the Palestinian activists in the West Bank, many thousands of Palestinians are demonstrating against the Palestinian Authority, The PA murdered the activist and dissident Nizar Banat. “Members of the security forces, al-Shalaldeh transferred Banat to Alia Governmental Hospital in Hebron in their vehicles, but he was pronounced dead on arrival after testimonies showed he was alive during his arrest from his house…. According to an initial autopsy, Banat was beaten on the head, chest, neck, legs, and hands, with less than an hour elapsing between his arrest and his death.” (7)
The heroic struggle of the first wave of the Arab revolution did not win because the working class, the poor peasants, and the urban poor did not have a revolutionary leadership. The Stalinists – who back Assad and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s coup in Egypt – have proven that they are traitors of the socialist cause. And the centrists who claim to be revolutionary socialists (like the RS in Egypt and co-thinkers of the British SWP) have proven that they are the useless tail of the local bourgeoisie. Many other centrists who call themselves Trotskyists have turned their back on the Arab revolution.
To win the struggle for democracy and topple all the reactionary Arab local ruling classes who serve the imperialists, it is necessary to build a working-class revolutionary leadership armed with the strategy of the Permanent Revolution. A strategy that connects the struggle for democracy with the struggle for the working-class socialist revolution. As part of this strategy in this struggle against the brutal dictatorships serving the imperialists it is necessary to organize self-defense against the repression, and to form action committees with nationally elected leadership.
For a democratic and socialist revolution!
For a socialist federation of the Middle East!
For democratic and red Palestine from the river to the sea as part of the socialist Middle East!
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The RCIT has published many documents on the second wave of the Arab Revolution. These documents can be read on a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-2nd-wave-of-great-arab-revolution/
We have also published a number of booklets, statements and articles on the Syrian Revolution which can be read on a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/
Our documents on the Fourth Gaza War are compiled on another special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-fourth-gaza-war/