By Anne Alexander, Mostafa Bassiouny
Bills of the 'Arab Spring' have frequently taken with the function of teenage coalitions, using social media, and the strategies of the Tahrir sq. profession. This authoritative and unique booklet argues that collective motion through organised employees performed a primary function within the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions; which have been themselves the inevitable outcome to a number of years of moves, together with localised revolts in Tunisia's phosphate mines and Egypt's fabric generators, gown rehearsals for the 2011 revolutions. moves within the previous couple of days of the Ben Ali and Mubarak regimes have been a vital consider their removing from strength and the inability of organised staff in Syria, the authors argue, explains why regime swap has taken lots longer and the continuation of those exceptional employees routine pose a major problem to a neo-liberal model of post-revolutionary balance, as a way to have repercussions around the sector.
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Additional resources for Bread, Freedom, Social Justice: Workers and the Egyptian Revolution
The January Revolution mobilised national symbols against the Mubarak regime: from the cross and crescent of the 1919 Revolution scrawled on the burnt-out walls of the ruling party’s headquarters to the sea of red, white and black national flags. It triggered an international tsunami of protest and inspired movements across the globe. Yet July 2013 showed it could be eaten up by nationalism, expressed even before Morsi’s fall in racist posturing by politicians over the dispute with Ethiopia over the Nile waters, xenophobic attacks on Syrian refugees, and eventual collapse into uncritical support for the army by many who identified with the January revolution.
These factors go some way towards explaining the strength of reformism within the workers’ movement. However, as we indicated above, reformism in this context as well as the domain of national politics was also in many ways surprisingly weak. One obvious expression of this weakness can be found in the failure of the workers’ movement to articulate its own political agenda – of either a reformist or a revolutionary kind. This was despite the strength of workers’ collective voices in not only raising demands for social justice in an abstract and general sense, but in putting forward a series of concrete demands, which if implemented would have constituted a considerable challenge to the neoliberal authoritarian regime that both pre- and post-revolutionary 28 bre a d, freedom, soci a l justice governments upheld.
We outline in Chapter 4 how the tensions between highly democratic forms of strike organisation and the tendencies towards bureaucratisation played out in RETAU. In Chapter 6 we explore how this process was repeated on a bigger scale with the explosive growth of independent unions in the wake of Mubarak’s fall. 41 Cliff and Gluckstein’s classic statement of this position emphasizes two central points. The first is that fulltime trade-union officials occupy a unique position in capitalist societies: they are neither employers nor workers, but are positioned as mediators between the two and subject to pressures from both sides.