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Long live the Egyptian revolution!

U.S. hands off North Africa and the Middle East!

Published Jan 29, 2011 9:41 AM

Tunisia’s people have shaken North Africa. Yemen’s people have shaken the Arabian Peninsula. Egypt’s people are shaking the world. This is the broadest and most condensed revolutionary uprising in the history of humanity. From Jordan and Palestine to Algeria, the peoples of the Arab world have been the first to rise up during the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s, targeting their governments whose only ‘gift’ to their people has been repression.

Grievances that may have started with students and unemployed youth have spread to the entire working class and to all of society except those beholden to or part of a corrupt, brutal regime. As if by magic, somewhere during the past weeks the populations crossed a threshold where they lost all fear. The fear was then in the hearts of their rulers — and in the hearts and pocketbooks of these rulers’ imperialist overlords in Western Europe and especially in the United States.

This wonderful and unexpected explosion of popular power has its most direct impact on the 360 million people living in the countries known as the Arab world, stretching from Mauritania in Northwest Africa to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. But it is also an enormous encouragement for all oppressed peoples and all workers worldwide — including those in Europe and the United States — who have seen their rights and their living standards eroded over the past decades and especially since the outbreak of the capitalist economic crisis.

Workers in the U.S. along with all the African-American, Latino/a, and Native people, immigrants and all progressive people have a special responsibility to the revolutions taking place in North Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. government has been the biggest supporter of the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and a major if not the biggest supporter of all the repressive regimes in the region. Even on Feb. 1, when the administration of Barack Obama talks “democracy” and desperately searches for an orderly, pro-imperialist successor in Egypt, the U.S. refuses to openly drop the Egyptian dictator and his cronies.

Washington for decades has supplied the guns, the ammunition, the tear gas and the military vehicles that Mubarak tried to use against the people. It plays the dominant military, diplomatic and economic role in the region, both directly and with its client, the Israeli settler state. The U.S. government has made hypocritical statements verbally supporting the rights of the Egyptian people to protest, but it is more terrified by the Egyptian uprising than by any other “enemies” in the region.

Thus it is the responsibility of people in the U.S. to be ready to march, demonstrate, protest in whatever way they can in solidarity with the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan and other countries of the region where they are rising up to struggle for an end to dictatorship, for freedom from domination by the imperialists, for jobs and for rights. Workers World Party and Workers World newspaper will build this solidarity and will demand that U.S. imperialism keep its hands off Egypt and the Arab world.