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To the People of Tunisia

Long live the brave people, workers and youths of Tunisia. Congretulation on Tunisian Revolution which will inspire the workers and the oppressed around the world to stand up aganist so-called democratic regimes and capitalist brutal system.The workers and people of Afghanistan which have been suffering from occupation of US/Nato and their barbaric war, express their solidarity with Tunisian people and condolences with families of martyreds and victim of police in Tunisia.

Nasir Loyand
Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA)

24 January 2011, Afghanistan


The Jasmine Revolution marches on

As the landless poor from rural Tunisia organised in a “freedom caravan” defy curfews and teargas, the movement to drive all of the country’s old leaders from power has assumed a revolutionary momentum which is shaking the Arab world.

TunisThe forces of the state are deeply divided. Soldiers have refused to attack the protests and some police marched through Tunis on Saturday. “The police is a people's party,” some officers chanted. “We no longer want to be a tool for the repression of the people by the authorities,” one policeman said. On Monday, however, some police tear gassed the “freedom caravan”.

One of the most amazing events was at Tunis airport, where hundreds of people came to greet an Internet campaigner. Tarek Mekki, who arrived from Canada, had led a Facebook/YouTube campaign to oust the old regime. Mekki told the gathering the "Jasmine Revolution" was not over. "What the government is doing is not enough, it's a new way of seizing control of government."

TunisBut it is not only the unemployed who are besieging the streets and challenging the police and military. Highly-educated professionals were united with the poor and trade unionists in bringing down the 23-year dictatorship of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14.

As those seeking the complete downfall of the government and a total purge of Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Party (RCD) and his accomplices dig in for the long term, a “Salvation Government” is being cobbled together by three politicians. They are Ahmed Mestiri, leader of the liberal Social Democratic Movement, plus Ahmed Ben Saleh and Moustafa Elfilali who are deeply compromised by their involvement with the old regime.

Shaykh Rachid Gannouchi (not to be confused with current Prime Minister Mohammed Gannouchi) who has been in exile in London is now expected to return to Tunis to a hero’s welcome. The Ben Ali regime has viciously persecuted his moderate Islamic Nahda party since the 1990s.

Gannouchi has spoken about the Jasmine revolution and how Tunisians have scorned all the existing political parties: “It is the people who made this revolution. This revolution was not made by an angry, out-of-control mob. There are 250,000 university graduates who are in fact the basis for this revolution. It is not angry, uneducated people. They were the base of this revolution with their creative ways of using the Internet and other media.”

Gannouchi’s role will be crucial since he is viewed as an opponent of the old regime. In addition, Abid Briki, deputy head of the General Tunisian Workers Union (UGTT) has said that a collegial national government should be set up, “in accordance with the demands of the street and political parties”.

The UGTT played a contradictory role in the uprising: in the north and in the capital its leaders negotiated with the regime, while in the south they opposed it and played a key role in organising and spreading the revolution from one town to another. But it is now weighing in to protect the political compromise being cooked up.

The “salvation government” is intended to provide a democratic smokescreen by embracing all political currents and associations. There will be a 50-member transitional council, which will be dissolved after free elections in 2012. The council will have the task of developing a new democratic constitution. Clearly this is not enough to satisfy the masses.

Arab leaders throughout northern Africa and the Middle East are fearfully watching the scrambling to cap the revolutionary upsurge while young people throughout north Africa are inspired by the example of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man who immolated himself, sparking the revolutionary upsurge last month.

Even far away Yemen has caught the fever. This morning demonstrators forced the release of Tawakul Karman, a young woman journalist who had organised anti-regime protests. And there are street actions in Algeria too.

Events in Tunisia are creating an unprecedented crisis for the Arab ruling classes and their Western backers. They mark a new stage of the revolutionary upsurge that led to independence from colonial powers like France only to see dictatorships assume control.

Corinna Lotz
A World to Win secretary
24 January 2011

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Your Say

Jonathan says:

The enforced borders and their descendant regimes put in place by the war of 1914 on the Mandates of the League of Nations, the colonial controls and the 14 point plan of Woodrow Wilson still resonate. The U.S. is still, and has been ever since the First World War, enforcing, through military strength, through its natural dirty dealing, aspects of this as the policy of the U.S. which Obama still extols; it ‘manoeuvre’. The sleeping giant of the Arab masses are beginning to ripple in rising. The art of U.S. presidency is enforcing it, this international policy, for the U.S. and ignoring it for others, unless it fits ‘the presentation’ of that ‘foreign policy’.  Any interference that may be exercised will be done within that ‘foreign policy’; and as Obama admits so to for Britain. And the response of the British Government (given at first from Israel!) to the first stage in Tunisia as to their previous links to the regime; ‘business is business’. Spheres of influence as exercised before are broken by all kinds of matters; the leaks in Wikileaks; al jazeere on Israel; matters beyond the control of the secret diplomacy or policeman; matters in the most significant aspect that must appear: the presence on the streets and where that is organised from. They will, these international vampires, however, try to regain indirect control to carry out their ‘business’ if they can. Weasel-words are now the order of the day. Even as, in Britain’s case, one of the weasels has had to exit Downing Street ahead of a non-chasing posse: for the Met will avoid digging any deeper than it has to; though it just might have to.

The regaining of economic dominance that was re-established after hard fought and bloody struggles for independence will be much more difficult this time that the chains are broken. The necessary impositions of the differing forms of dictatorship created after ‘retreat’ from Empires left a  level of cream to skim; but the western economic powers mostly retained controls of the means by which the resources of these nations could be realised. As with the Amazon any independent action by Brazil necessitates taking on the west: this necessitates international solidarity.

Lenin’s الدولة والثورة: الدولة والثورة 1917. This work, L'Etat et la révolution, The State and Revolution: demonstrates the transition that confronts anyone who comes up against the state machine, and quite obviously this struggle is not against the ‘government’ of cronies, but as the death that triggered the event shows in all of the interconnections leading to the machine itself, selfish and bitter as the class it represented, and its international links, and most of its members, (even if some are also undergoing ‘transition’) while all in Tunisia saw through their own links as heard in the  Memories of a martyr . But these cronies had international links, puppet masters pulling strings and leaving them with leftovers. They also needed a completely corrupt regime to run the national economy. Any pretence that it can be run ‘more efficiently’ is, I feel, already blown. Next for those confronting these tasks is how the international struggle can be realised, for this is the question for the whole Arab ‘street’. To contribute to properly leap to the next phase of this the internal documents of the regime must be grabbed before destruction and then published. The Augean stable’s compost will help grow some hothouse plants; and ripple out. It is clear that in the creation of the new relations of Global Capitalism old forms have had to be loosened and with that forms of consciousness in opposition world wide have been transformed. Whether it be the crises in Ireland, whether the position of education needed world wide, whether the inability of nation states to meet a budget where the shots are called by international capital’s control of the nexus of national government through ‘national debt’; all this and more has not developed a form of international repression to replace the previous national repressive mechanism of the state and keep up with the rising tide that immediately they break surface go beyond their own national boarders and no sooner is a demand out of the  mouth than another occurs to them. The question of the nature of these demands are historically sketch out, and they seem, these referred to above seem quite competent to follow the ‘links’.

No form of ‘reform’ will change that. Already the Tunisians have seen what AWTW stresses in The limitations of protest and learnt these lessons fast, and matters move in leaps as well as build ups; philosophy is only the abstract of those, necessary, even essential, though its study is. Posed before them as we, wherever, watch, and sensually become part of, is the same question as in Russia following immediately on the heals of the publication of this work, (and by no means certain in its outcome) the question of councils; whether the Russian term, soviets is used, or Assemblies, they are the independent arena of organising and of action.

Chris says:

Could be happening here soon...

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