[act-ma] Egypt: Meeting, Reading, Appeal. Plus: Wisconsin!!!

Bryan Koulouris brykoulouris at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 08:26:04 PST 2011

*In This Email from Socialist Alternative:*
1. Revolution in Egypt Meeting: Tuesday, February 22nd
2. Readings on Egypt: Eyewitness Reports, Strikes, Socialist Theory
3. Our Appeal: Support the Egyptian Revolution
4. Wisconsin: Report and Analysis
5. Steve Early's Book Release on Tuesday, March 1st

*1. Revolution in Egypt: Meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd at UMass-Boston*
*We are opening up Socialist Alternative's branch meeting to the general
public because so many people want to talk about the revolt shaking North
Africa and the Arab world.*
*The meeting will be held beginning at 7pm in UMass-Boston's Wheatley
Building in the 4th Floor Lounge on Tuesday, February 22nd. Bryan Koulouris,
editor of Justice newspaper, will be speaking, and we will welcome your
comments and questions. This meeting will be free and open to the public.
The political discussion will be followed by an agenda discussing upcoming
*2. SocialistWorld.net: Eyewitness Reports and Analysis of the Revolutionary
Events in Egypt and Beyond*
Socialist Alternative is part of the Committee for a Workers' International
(SocialistWorld.net). This worldwide website has contained eyewitness
reports, almost daily, from socialist and labor movement activists in both
Tunisia and Egypt.

These events also give activists a chance to test our ideas and sharpen our
theory. A particularly thought-provoking article in this realm has been
produced by Peter Taaffe and can be found here:

An interesting interview with a socialist textile worker in Tunisia can be
found here: http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4846 . The entire breadth of
Committee for a Workers' International reports, analysis and program for the
region in revolt can be found here:
http://www.socialistworld.net/?m=15&sk=100 . Also, check SocialistWorld.net
for analysis from February 25th's exciting Irish election to see the results
of the newly-formed United Left Alliance.
3. Support the Egyptian Revolution! — Towards a Brighter Future and a
Socialist World

By SocialistAlternative.org
The power of the Egyptian people has been felt around the world. In only 18
days they have forced the brutal and hated president, Hosni Mubarak, to
resign. The dormant masses awoke, rose to their feet, and brought the
strongest dictatorship in the Middle East to its knees, transforming Egypt
into a beacon of hope for ordinary people everywhere.

They have heroically stood up to 30 years of oppression, 30 years of
exploitation, torture, censorship and injustice. All of their fear and
hopelessness, frustration and quite desperation simply washed away. It is a
tremendous victory not only for the Egyptian workers and poor masses, but
for all the exploited and oppressed peoples across the globe.

The Egyptian people's voice is clear. They want a free and democratic
society where basic human needs and rights are guaranteed. The revolution
should bring shame to all those who demonized the Arab people as incapable
of democratic aspirations. The democratic revolution has begun and we must
give our full support to ensure that their gains can be consolidated and

The Egyptian people are an inspiration to all of us who want to see a world
free of exploitation, discrimination, poverty, oppression and war. They have
shown it is possible. They give us new hope to begin the struggle to
overthrow the whole rotten system of global capitalism. It is a bold first
step. But this is only the beginning.

Now it is time for all of us in the U.S. to get organized too. We in
Socialist Alternative would like to enthusiastically invite our friends and
supporters to join our movement today. Socialist Alternative politically
supports the Committee for a Worker's International (CWI), an international
organization which has groups in nearly 40 countries around the world
actively building the struggles of workers and youth while advocating for
mass action and a fundamental transformation of society.

You can also make a tremendous contribution by giving a donation today. The
best form of solidarity with revolutionary movements in the Middle East is
to build movements for fundamental change here in the “belly of the beast”.
If ever there was a time to get active and fight for a better future that
time is now! So join us, join Socialist Alternative and the movement for a
socialist world.

Please visit SocialistAlternative.org
<http://www.socialistalternative.org/> for
more information, to donate and to join.



You can also mail a check payable to Socialist Alternative to PO Box 150457,
Brooklyn, NY 11215
*4. Wisconsi**n: Build for a One-Day Public Sector General Strike!*
*Feb 19, 2011 *

 *The following is text from a leaflet members of Socialist Alternative
members are handing out at the mass demonstrations in Madison this weekend,
urging a serious discussion on strategy and the need for an one-day public
sector general strike. As similar struggles spread across the country, the
burning question of what it will take to defeat the corporate agenda will
come to the forefront. Drawing lessons from historical and recent
international experience, and in dialogue with workers and youth in
Wisconsin in recent days, this is our contribution to the discussion and
proposals for urgent action.*

*Build for a One-Day Public Sector General Strike!*
Public Forum [in Madison] to Discuss a Strategy to Win
Monday, February 21st, 7:00 pm, Rainbow Books, 426 W Gilman St, Madison, WI

The Governor thought he could walk all over the working people of Wisconsin.
Instead, Scott Walker ignited a movement that clearly has the potential
power and momentum to bring his corporate-sponsored administration to its
knees. The key question is how can we unite around a mass action strategy
capable of seeing this struggle through to victory?

Walker's plan to strip state workers of collective bargaining rights is
nothing short of an attempt to break the union movement. Working people and
our unions are not the cause of the economic crisis and fiscal woes of the
state. The bankers, Wall Street speculators and corporate politicians are to
blame. So we have to demand: Stop scapegoating unions! Make the super-rich
pay for their own crisis!

The attack is not just on unionized state workers. It is an attack on all
working people and youth. If they can beat back the state workers, it’s open
season on all workers’ jobs, wages, benefits, future pensions and on public

This last week of action has made one thing clear: The working people and
youth of this state are prepared for an all-out mobilization which stops at
nothing. We have taken enormous inspiration from the heroic and determined
struggle of the Egyptian people who would not give up until their voices
were heard.

But if a week of mass demonstrations, sick-outs and walkouts won’t stop
Walker, the Republican legislature, and their big-business backers, what
will? Preparations must begin for a mobilization which will stop business as
usual across the state. A decisive first step is organizing a one-day public
sector general strike, combined with mass student walkouts to shut down the
schools. The teachers have already shown what is possible – now the entire
public sector must be brought to a standstill!

But time is short. If we don’t keep moving forward, we will fall back. And
we can’t rely on the Democratic Party to maintain a principled stand unless
they feel the fire of the movement spreading underneath them. After all,
would the Senate Democrats have even taken their stand if the working people
of Wisconsin hadn’t risen up in the first place?

The unions should urgently issue a call for a one-day public sector general
strike, and initiate a serious, all-out mobilization.

Even if strike action is not legal for all state workers we must remember
that the unions were built in the first place by struggles which defied
anti-union laws. The right to strike must be defended and extended. If we're
not prepared to take a stand now, when will we, especially once the power of
unions has been stripped away?

The stakes are extremely high. If this anti-union legislation passes it will
embolden those seeking to attack unions elsewhere, but if it is defeated it
will give confidence to workers across country to stand up. That is why a
national call to mobilize the labor movement must be made to pour as much
union resources as possible into this central battleground and to spread the
struggle nationally by organizing major solidarity rallies and actions
across the country.

Wisconsin has become center stage in a sweeping attack on the public sector
all across the country. Other state governments are also targeting wages,
benefits, and collective bargaining rights. This is the naked agenda of big
business and their corporate servants in office. The capitalist system is in
deep crisis, and they want to solve it on our backs by steamrolling over all
obstacles including unions.

It is up to us to stop these attacks. Unfortunately, while some Democratic
politicians say they support some of our demands, the Party remains a fickle
ally. Why did they make the bipartisan agreement for tax cuts for
super-wealthy? Why are teachers unions in the cross-hairs of Obama's
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan? What happened to EFCA? Why haven't they
stood up to the lies of the Tea Party and Right-wing Republicans? Despite
their pro-worker rhetoric, the Democratic Party is largely funded by big
business and has consistently sold out working people.

It's time that we build a political alternative to the two parties of
corporate America. Campaigns should be launched across the country to stop
the budget cuts and defend jobs, services and workers’ rights. Out of these
campaigns we could run our own independent candidates as the first step
towards forming a new party that gives a real voice to workers and youth and
fights for our interests.

The time is now to begin the fight-back. The Egyptian workers have shown is
it possible to stand up to injustice everywhere. If you agree with the ideas
in this leaflet please contacts us to discuss joining Socialist Alternative
and how to organize a united struggle to fight for our rights and our

   - Kill the bill! Bring down Walkers’ anti-union legislation
   - Stop ALL budget cuts, layoffs, and attacks on workers
   - Reverse Walker’s tax cuts for business to plug the deficit
   - Tax the rich and corporations to fund a massive public sector jobs
   program at union wages and conditions

5. Steve Early's New Book Release
*The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor: *
*Birth of a New Workers' Movement or Death Throes of the Old?*
*Steve Early will be present at Porter Square Books on the evening of
Tuesday, March 1st to release his newest work about the labor movement.*

-Boston Socialist Alternative
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