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The Militant, 13 April 1945

Trotskyists Jailed in Egypt
as Reaction Attacks Masses

(21 March 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 15, 13 April 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


PARIS, March 21 – According to a feature article W.E. Sablier in today’s Monde, the Egyptian government has announced that those involved in mass arrests at the beginning of the year for “communist propaganda” were Trotskyists. Furthermore, the announcement declares the government had discovered a secret printshop of the latter in which the two illegal revolutionary communist newspapers Truth and Revolutionary Opinion were published.

The author of the article reveals that, in line with the great strides towards industrialization made by Egypt during the war, a full fledged native workers’ movement is in process of rapid development.

Early in January the first great strike in the history of the country took place. It was a two weeks’ strike of 15,000 textile workers which completely shut down 25 mills in the Cairo area. Mass arrests among the strike leaders farced the workers to return to their jobs, but a new outbreak of the strike movement is expected.

Appease Stalinists

Among those arrested in recent raids are Yousef el Man-darek and his fellow delegates to the World Trade Union Conference held last year at Paris, as well as the well-known socialist leader Salama Moussa. All are held incommunicado and without formal charges being lodged against them.

The Egyptian government’s announcement, according to the Monde writer, came as a result of its fear of pressure from Moscow. The-Stalinist M.P. Piratin had protested in the House of Commons against the arrests. The announcement was made to appease and reassure these circles. Sablier further comments:

“In a new country like Egypt, progressive ideas are still the prerogative of small groups of intellectuals. Those among them who devote themselves without prejudice to the study of Marxism find the opportunism of the official communists (Stalinists) today hardly intelligible. Thus they are drawn for the most part towards the undiluted Leninism which is incarnated by the Trotskyists.

“Moreover, while the solicitude evidenced by Soviet Russia for the Arab peoples is visibly inspired by its own strategic or diplomatic interests, Trotskyist propaganda is based on the interests of defending the proletariat.

“Furthermore, Trotsky and his revolutionary doctrine are feared as much if not more, by the official communists as by the reactionary circles. Thus, by applying the label Trotskyist to the people arrested, the Egyptian government is seeking, no doubt, to avoid Soviet remonstrances of the type which Ankara recently experienced during the anticommunist demonstrations.”

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