Socialist Worker

Are the people and the army as one in Egypt?

Issue No. 2237

The army’s actions in the coming days will be vital. The majority of people see the army as a friend—“The Egyptian people and the Egyptian army are one hand” is a popular slogan.

At one point a tank drove slowly through the crowd in Tahrir Square. The soldier standing in the gun turret was cheered as if he was part of a liberating army.

The situation is full of contradictions. There is a national army on the street surrounded by thousands breaking the curfew. People clamber on top of tanks.

When I question people about the possibility the army might try to clear the square and attack them, protesters reject the idea.

But it is dangerous for an army to be allowed to fill a vacuum within a revolutionary process.

History shows that revolutions can only be made by the ordinary people themselves, not by putting faith in sections of the state or other political forces to do it for them.


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