As the foreign powers struggle to decide which authoritarian face they want to see replacing Mubarak to protect western investments, the people are at a critical point with everything to lose. The security police are still in place, the army is still aligned with the government, the thugs still prowl around the square, and Mubarak is still in power. If they lose the square, then the fear is that very many people will be arrested by the security forces and will "disappear" like so many protesters before them.
This isn't yet a situation of dual-power in which the people exert such a strong will independent of the state that the government has to take notice. Power is still in the hands of the ruling elite and they also have access to the same apparatus of repression, paid for incidentally by the US. And although liberals around the world are pontificating about the gradual transition to democracy, it is clear that goodwill, public opinion, and strength of numbers, is not enough to sweep away a dictatorial regime. There is the awkward but crucial question of the state apparatus as well. If the old regime is not destroyed, then repression can follow and the movement can be destroyed. No doubt the US would acquiesce in that outcome too.
Below is the statement from the Revolutionary Socialists who know only too well what the regime can still do if the workers are not organised and able to defend themselves:
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt
Glory to the martyrs! Victory to the revolution!
What is happening today is the largest popular revolution in the history of our country... and of the entire Arab world. The sacrifice of our martyrs has built our revolution and we have broken through all the barriers of fear. We will not back down until the criminal 'leaders' and their criminal system is destroyed.
Call to Egyptian workers. Statement from the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt:
The demonstrations and protests have played a key role in igniting and continuing our revolution. Now we need the workers. They can seal the fate of the regime. Not only by participating in the demonstrations, but by organising a general strike in all the vital.industries and large corporations...
The regime can afford to wait out the sit-ins and demonstrations for days and weeks, but it cannot last beyond a few hours if workers use strikes as a weapon. Strike on the railways, on public transport, the airports and large industrial companies…! Egyptian Workers! On behalf of the rebellious youth, and on behalf of the blood of our martyrs, join the ranks of the revolution, use your power and victory will be ours!
Form revolutionary councils urgently.
This revolution has surpassed our greatest expectations. Nobody expected to see these numbers. Nobody expected that Egyptians would be this brave in the face of the police. Nobody can say that we did not force the dictator to retreat. No...body can say that a transformation did not happen in Middan el Tahrir.
What we need right now is to push for the socio-economic demands as part of our demands, so that the person sitting in his home knows that we fighting for their rights... We need to organize ourselves into popular committees which elects its higher councils democratically, and from below. These councils must form a higher council which includes delegates of all the tendencies. We must elect a higher council of people who represent us, and in whom we trust. We call for the formation of popular councils in Middan Tahrir, and in all the cities of Egypt.
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt, on the role of the army:
Everyone asks: Is the Army with the people or against them?
The army is not a single block. The interests of soldiers and junior officers are the same as the interests of the masses. But the senior officers are Mubarak's men, chosen carefully to protect his regime of corruption, wealth and tyranny. It is an integral part of the system.
This army is no longer the people's army. This army is not the one which defeated the Zionist enemy in October 73. This army is closely associated with America and Israel. It's role is to protect Israel, not the people. Yes we want to win the soldiers of the revolution. But we must not be fooled by slogans that 'the army on our side'. The army will either suppress the demonstrations directly, or by restructuring the police to play this role.