Less than 24 hours after he declared he would stay until September, Mubarak has been forced to resign as Egyptian president. The increasing size of the demonstrations, and especially the working class’s collective entry into the struggle through a nationwide strike wave, marked a decisive new stage in the revolution. Mubarak’s last TV broadcast enraged the more than six million who were then protesting on Egypt’s streets and the indignation spread to the military, as reports came in of soldiers going over to the side of the demonstrators.
This turning point is a tremendous victory for all those who courageously fought Mubarak’s police state - the youth, the working class and the fighters in Tahrir Square. It is a huge example to workers and the oppressed around the world that determined mass action can defeat governments and rulers no matter how strong they appear to be.
However the battle is not over yet, dangers still remain. The unelected vice-president Suleiman, the Mubarak police state’s former head of intelligence, announced that the former president handed over power to the “High Council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country”. A BBC correspondent commented that “The army takeover looks very much like a military coup … because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership”.
In answer to this, the mass of the Egyptian people must assert their right to decide the country’s future. No trust should be put in figures from the regime or their imperialist masters to run the country or run elections. There must be immediate, fully free elections, safeguarded by mass committees of the workers and poor, to a revolutionary constituent assembly that can decide the country’s future.
Now the steps already taken to form local committees and genuine independent workers’ organisations should be speeded up, spread wider and linked up. A clear call for the formation of democratically elected and run committees in all workplaces, communities and amongst the military rank and file would get a wide response.
These bodies should co-ordinate removal of the old regime, and maintain order and supplies and, most importantly, be the basis for a government of workers’ and poor representatives that would crush the remnants of the dictatorship, defend democratic rights and start to meet the economic and social needs of the mass of Egyptians.