Statement of the Initiative for the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) of Turkey on the Incidents in Tunisia: The Arab Revolution Has Started!

Long live the struggle of our fellow Tunisian workers and youth!

For permanent revolution that leads the workers to take power without stopping at the stage of “democracy”, in Tunisia and everywhere!

Long live the Socialist Federation of the Middle East!

Long live the world revolution! 

1. The Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) salutes with great respect and joy the heroic struggle of the Tunisian workers and unemployed, braving police bullets to finally overthrow Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali, who subjected the country to a brutal dictatorship for 23 years. What is taking place in Tunisia is a political revolution. Only time will show whether this revolution will be transformed into a social revolution challenging the domination of the bourgeoisie. Given the fact that even the trade union movement does not constitute an independent force in Tunisia, let alone socialist forces, and remembering that imperialism will now step into the scene in order to stop the revolution, this seems unlikely. On the other hand, the fact that the working people of Tunisia, old and young, male and female, have begun to arm themselves, albeit with nothing but plain sticks, in order to protect their neighborhoods and establish self-defense committees can be considered to be a nucleus of workers’ power at a very early stage. In any case, supporting the Tunisian working class and youth in order to save their insurrection from being forced to stop halfway is an urgent duty for the whole international working class and the world revolutionary movement. The most important task of the moment is to struggle against the interruption of the revolution by a pro-EU, globalist “democracy” in the hands of the bourgeoisie and its allies. Since this kind of regime will in no way eradicate or even alleviate the poverty of the Tunisian workers and unemployed youth, it would not be worth either the self-immolation of the revolution’s great martyr Mohammed Bouazizi or the death of over 100 workers and poor people during the incidents.

2. The Tunisian revolution is so far the most important consequence in the area of class struggle of the Great Depression that has hit the entire world since 2008. The immediate cause of the one month-long struggle that has led to the revolution was the rise in unemployment to an unbearable level as a result of the blow dealt by the economic crisis that has spread around the world and shaken Europe, Tunisia’s rich neighbor, to tourism, the main source of income for the Tunisian economy. In addition, the harsher measures imposed by the European Union to prevent labor migration in the context of the crisis have destroyed the North African youth’s hope for individual salvation. In this sense, the Tunisian revolution has been marked by the same dynamics that led to the Greek rebellion of 2008 and the formidable class struggles during 2010 in this country, the Tekel struggle in Turkey in 2010, the general strikes and student rebellions that took place throughout 2010 in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and Britain. Echoing the accumulated contradictions and class struggle traditions of the European countries of the Mediterranean coast, the working class, the unemployed, and the poor of North Africa have now risen up. The Mediterranean is becoming a basin of revolution.

3. Imperialism’s reaction to the Tunisian revolution has been an example of hypocrisy par excellence. Having pontificated on the importance of democracy against nations they consider enemies, the USA and the EU have taken a totally different approach towards Tunisia. The EU and in particular France, the ex-colonial power in Tunisia, did not utter a word for a whole month concerning the incidents that took the lives of more than 50 young people. Having itself remained silent for a long time, the USA, sensing earlier than the EU the impending catastrophe for Ben Ali’s regime, maneuvered to distinguish itself from the old regime. Obama, a hero for many, finally brought himself to “applaud” the Tunisian people, but only after the overthrow of Ben Ali! Having reported the incidents in Iran after the elections last year day in and day out and constantly harped on the killing of Neda, one of the few victims of the mullahs during those incidents, the media of imperialist countries simply looked away as Tunisian (and later Algerian) youth were being slaughtered. Both the USA and the EU remained silent until the very last day because they considered the pro-imperialist Ben Ali, who even genuflected before Zionism, useful for their interests. Moreover, France fears a revolutionary victory of the masses in Maghreb like a plague because this is likely to provoke the Beurs, the youth of North African origin in France, the recent rebels of the French cités, into another round of revolt. This population factor is another tie that binds the two coasts of the Mediterranean to each other.

4. This is the first time that the working class and the large laboring masses have overthrown a despot in the Arab world. This is bound to have repercussions so resounding as to be even unimaginable today. Imperialist plunderers (in Iraq and Lebanon) of the great Arab civilization and their lackeys! Kkings, sheikhs, emirs (of the Gulf countries)! Dictators (of Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Sudan, and Libya) and bureaucrats (of Palestine)! Tremble you all! The Arab working people are preparing to take their destiny into their own hands! Your days are counted! In all the Arab countries, the masses are watching the unemployed youth and the poor people of Tunisia with uncontainable admiration. Already, the Tunisian incidents have led to big demonstrations in Algeria and Jordan on class issues. However, its main impact will unfold during the coming years, even decades. At the same time, the Tunisian insurrection creates a great opportunity for socialism to rise as an alternative to Islamism, perceived for the last three decades as the only opposition to imperialism and the despotic regimes of the Arab world. The duty of the proletarian revolutionaries of Turkey and the world is to provide an unwavering and indefatigable support to the emancipation of the Arab world.

5. The Tunisian revolution has also exposed the hypocrisy of all bourgeois forces in Turkey. Tayyip Erdogan, fortune’s hero in the Arab world, did not open his mouth for a full month to condemn the criminal regime of Ben Ali. In line with the pseudo-democrats of the EU, the liberals did not even lift a finger to support the masses against the despotism in danger. Both the secular and fundamentalist media committed a conspiracy of silence against the struggle of the Tunisian masses. The Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) appeals to the working people of Turkey, of Sunni, Alawi and other creeds, to opt for the Tunisian path: this path has once again demonstrated that not only bread but also democracy can only be attained through the struggle of the working class! The Tunisian path shines in contrast to the “bringing of democracy” to Iraq by the imperialists! Shame on those who no longer believe in class struggle and revolution, who have for years ceaselessly hammered in the idea that “the working class is becoming less and less organized and hence can no longer rise in struggle”, who nonsensically have argued that “Muslim populations are sheepish and never rebel”! The proletariat is adding another page of pride to its long history of international struggle! And this in an overwhelmingly Muslim society!

Long live the struggle of our fellow Tunisian workers and youth!

For permanent revolution that leads the workers to take power without stopping at the stage of “democracy”, in Tunisia and everywhere!

Long live the Socialist Federation of the Middle East!

Long live the world revolution!

The Initiative for the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP)

16 January 2011

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