JULY 2005


Imperialism and class struggle in the Mediterranean area

Nato is extending itself and improving its polical influence.
This process involves, like in the past, countries that inside have a strong antiamerican and anti-imperialist feeling. Under the flag of "democratic and economic reforms" European and American imperialist bourgeoisies plunder these countries of their richness, thanks to projects like "Great middle east", "Euro-mediterranean union"or "Istanbul Cooperation Initiative" under NATO shield.
A NATO Defence College study faces the possible scenarios in Magreb in the next ten years. There will be a strong competition between USA and EU, but the biggest interest is about would happen inside Magreb countries.
The problem is how much is possible to manage economic, politic and social reforms due to integration politcs in presence of polical radical islamic groups and parties. Imperilist bourgeoiseie has to identify wich instruments canutilize to have the controll of this process. The first hypothesis is to adapt the cooperation structures like the Arab Magreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Marocco, Tunisia) or the Africa Union (that groups African countries and Marocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania). The second is to create an alliance from Africa to Magreb, that is a common feeling, considering that Marocco development could be a stimulus for an imperialistic stabilization of African area and a military-economic.politic bridge beetween western and african countries.
The imperialist bourgeoiseie tries to understand weak points, contraddictions and which subjects can be the new political class that can hold its interest.
A report of Center for Strategic and international Studies (CSIS) facesthe perception of imperialist politics by arab leaders of different economic and politic fields and also the perception of arab people, that is the most interesting for revolutionary and internationalist militants.
Arab leaders have informed USA that only a visible action towards the solution of palestinian conflict could be a real step. Even if in March the direct intervention in Gaza by the alliance has been defined premature also by Rice, it is possible thatbNATO could be the instrument to have an imperialistic solution at the conflict.
To make a prevision on wich kind of intervention will be done is enough to read the declaration of israelian Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom: "Israel gave to NATO a proposal abaut the operating plan on military and diplomatic fields. We donīt have doubts that Israel will have a big benefit by a closer relation with NATO, and we think that also Isreal can give a lot back".
The general perception, also thank to american media, is that there is a war against arab world and against islam. This point of view is also due to the changement of behavior towards young arabs that study in the USA. They are worried, they claim to their governaments for changemen tin favour of USA politic.
Many arab leaders define relationship with USA a monologue, made of impositions.
The most important preoccupation are the armed groups that are growing, also thak to american politics.
Reforms, Ngo and new ruling class Many arab leaders and Ngo have subscribed, in December, the "reform agenda" inside the "Forum for Future", created and financed by USA. Many leaderships are worried of this quick process, because it could give more strenght to internal opposition and could facilitate american penetration. To support this process is fondamental to build a new arab generation with a new vision of relations with USA. Also the creation of an american political class, accepted in the arab world, supported by the media, is an obliged step. USA are worried because the arab students are decreasing. This fact could have a negative effect on relationship with future arab governaments (50 arab leaders, who have supported the USA antiterrorist campain, has studied in the USA).
These two risks, to have a real enemy inside the country and to have a stop by the arab leaders to the arabs markets, can be avoided only increasing the arab youngs in the USA, not only the rich ones but also the popular ones. They have theorized to create a commision that on one side has to build a protection sistem from the "terroristic infiltrations", and on the other side has to increase "educational exchanges". This commision will be formed by an academic staff, business, legislation, security experts, by politics able to value the effects of the "american education" in the interested countries. Itīs very important that the youg generations assimilate culture, ideology, aspirations promoted by USA. The Center for Strategic and International
Studies proposal is the creation of Arab Partnership Fondation, to support the new arab leader generation, ideologic courrents and liberal organizations. It will have buros in the arab countries, and at the beginning it will work with caution to go over wariness. The Arab Partnership Foundation has to support ONG, local and not.

The popular perception of imperialist reforms between non gouvernamental counter-revolution and struggle.

The perception of arab world about "democracy and reforms" is clesr giving a look to the protest against the Forum for Future in Rabat organized by Maroccan Cell against the Forum for Future, composed by islamic, leftist, nationalist organizations. These protests have been organized not only against USA, but also against his friendly arab governaments. The arab and Maroccan people look to this meeting and to its consequences with suspicious and like an western imposition. Some indipendent newspapers have defined this "the third colonization way". Also Alternatives Citoyennes in Tunisia has denounced the activityof american organizations like IRI, NED (National, Endowment for Democracy), CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) up to Soros Foudation, to build a cultural school composed by intellectuals, journalists and politics very close to the liberal american thought.
All this process means deprivation of political and union rights, and it has created different kind of oppositions.
In Egypt thereīs a big process of privatisation in the textile sector, one of the most important in the country. The workers have been on strike from February to the beginning of May also against yhe General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), union trade , supporting the gouvernament, that has accepted to sold ESCO to private capitals, a state company that had 24000 workers in 1980 and today only 3500, and to this we have to add 650000 early retirements in other public sectors. The Al-Ahram Weekly of 18th March said that in the last months the economic egyptian reforms have been really increased. "The Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieddin- write Abdel Razek- has confirmed that in the last months 18 state companies have been privatised, for one milliard egyptian liras. An extraordinary result compared to the 15 privatisations made from 2002 to 2003".
The left and islamic egyptian oppositions criticize tightly the american attack against the national economy for their continuos help with money to companies that work in the country like ONG. Critiques increased after that the american embassy in Cairo has decided to finance 6 ONG with one million dollar to monitor the elections, defining unacceptable to have help from who is responsable of crimes in all the region. Trought an accord betweem Egypt and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) of 1998, USA have given fram 32 to 42 million dollars to support "civil society" activities and ONG. Owing to this situation it
is borned in Egypt in the last year an opposition mouvement called Kefiya (Stop). Kefiya collects organizations from tha illegal Muslim Brothers toThe radical leftist ones. Itīs aim is to put in a crisis Mubarak governament and to begin an autonomous path. The alliance between islamic, leftist and nasserian forces is foundamental, but on the other side it underlines a disagreement on strategic questions.
For some members of egiptian left it has been enough to launch the mouvement to see a new activism desappeared since 25 years. There are strikes in factories, paysansī struggles to have land, creation of new leftist organizations that are able to come out from ideological clandestinity. For the radical left, it will be very difficult, in the next two years, to rappresent the deliverance of exploited classes without a communist party, even if this could be the right moment to go over its internal conflicts and to throw again a prospective for egyptian people and not only. During an interview made during the "III Conferencia de el Cairo Contra la Globalization, el Imperialismo y el Sionismo", two members of egyptian left, Seif al-Dawla, femminist, member of 20th March mouvement and Kamal Jalil, spokesman of Socialist Egyptian Revolutionaries and director of the Center for Socialist Studies, have said that the will of changement crashes with repression that acts against organizations and against mouvements. The 20th March mouvement takes its name from the day in wich tarted the Irak war, and
it denounces the 2000 cases of tourtures against the 20000 political prisoners in egyptian jails.
In Egypt only the organiozations that have an accord with the governament are legal. The two militants said also that it is necessary to organize themselves clandestinely without compromises with Mubarak. The new industrial area workers, borned thank to Qualified Industrial,Zone (QIZ), canīt organize themselves out of union organizations controlled by the governament. They said, besides, that it isnīt enough to claim for democratic changements, but they must find answres for 6 million unemloyed, political changements with social justice, union of leftist forces, working with others groups.
The Mubarakīs repression has hardly bit members of Muslim Brothers. After attacks against turists in Cairo, a manhunt breaks out, with deportations and the reintroduction of the emergency legislation enacted in 1981. At the end of March popular demostrations organized by Kefiya have been forbidden.
Marocco is trieing to solve the gap built during years of repression, creating a commision to refund victims and theis families. This is a make up of the monarchy to seem different. In Marocco many new mass media are borning, but the most part of them are linked to the monarchy, there isnīt a real freedom of speech, like the arrest of islamic and human right militants show. There is a disappointed feeling inside Maroccan people, because there hasnīt been any reform. An arrested union militant has declared: "The new Maroccan power has inherited all old contradictions; to perpetuate a dictatorial politic bars the way to social and politic reforms. In the last ten years politics have taken two directions: on one side governament has used reforms to give democratic face to the regime, on the other side
it has improved despotism and our arrest shows this".
On workers side we see a strong controll by the power on the three principal unions UGTM, CDT, CTM, that, the last year, has signed a social accord that pladges the cknowledgementof their role exchange with social peace.
One of the most interessing experience is the young unemploitedī struggle and their organization Association Nationale des Chomeurs Diplomés (ANDCM). The new lobour code of this year has improved flessibility of work, wage and casualization, increasing individual firing, knocking down wages and forecast temporary agencies. Repression is used if the unions are not enough. It has been important the process against Imini miners, that have hardly fight against the introduction of temporary work in their mine. They have made a strike and blocked trucks, the direction have engaged 130 persons to go to work. After there have been affrontments and a woman died, the workers have been considered responsible. 6 workers have been condamned at 10 years of prison, but a solidarity international campain has been developed, they have received solidarity from French, Spain,Germany, Holland, Belgium, Tunisia and Palestine.
Face of this partial picture is very important the solidarity that in our country is borned when the italian magistracy has attacked islamic organizations and antimperialist resistence, and more important is the struggle against CPT(center for immigrants without documents). This is the first condition to build an internal front inside imperialistic countries, son of imperialistic politics in the external front.