November 14, 2011
If anyone doubted that this is a global movement, that global politics
and political borders do not restrain or chain us, that we are the 99%
around the world and we are the revolution you have been waiting for . .
. let them read this:
Communique from Cairo Re: Egypt Trip
November 13, 2011 in News
What follows is a response from our Comrades from Cairo to the recent
proposal from our Movement Building Group to send OWS Ambassadors to
monitor upcoming elections in Egypt. You can also download this
communique as a pdf file, as it was originally sent to us.
To our kindred occupiers in Zuccotti park,
When we called out to you, requesting you join us on 12 November in
defending our revolution and in our campaign against the military trial
of civilians in Egypt, your solidarity—pictures from marches, videos,
and statements of support—added to our strength.
However, we recently received news that your General Assembly passed a
proposal authorizing $29,000 dollars to send twenty of your number to
Egypt as election monitors. Truth be told, the news rather shocked us;
we spent the better part of the day simply trying to figure out who
could have asked for such assistance on our behalf.
We have some concerns with the idea, and we wanted to join your conversation.
It seems to us that you have taken to the streets and occupied your
parks and cities out of a dissatisfaction with the false promises of the
game of electoral politics, and so did our comrades in Spain, Greece
and Britain. Regardless of how one stands on the efficacy of elections
or elected representatives, the Occupy movement seems outside the scope
of this; your choice to occupy is, if nothing else, bigger than any
election. Why then, should our elections be any cause for celebration,
when even in the best of all possible worlds they will be just another
supposedly “representative” body ruling in the interest of the 1% over
the remaining 99% of us? This new Egyptian parliament will have
effectively no powers whatsoever, and—as many of us see it—its election
is just a means of legitimating the ruling junta’s seizure of the
revolutionary process. Is this something you wish to monitor?
We have, all of us around the world, been learning new ways to represent
ourselves, to speak, to live our politics directly and immediately, and
in Egypt we did not set out to the streets in revolution simply to gain
a parliament. Our struggle—which we think we share with you—is greater
and grander than a neatly functioning parliamentary democracy; we
demanded the fall of the regime, we demanded dignity, freedom and social
justice, and we are still fighting for these goals. We do not see
elections of a puppet parliament as the means to achieve them.
But even though the idea of election monitoring doesn’t really do it for
us, we want your solidarity, we want your support and your visits. We
want to know you, talk with you, learn one another’s lessons, compare
strategies and share plans for the future. We think that activists or as
people committed to serious change in the systems we live in, there is
so much more that we can do together than legitimizing electoral
processes (leave that boring job to the Carter Foundation) that seem so
impoverished next to the new forms of democracy and social life we are
building. It should be neither our job nor our desire to play the game
of elections; we are occupying and we should build our spaces and our
networks because they themselves are the basis on which we will build
the new. Let us deepen our lines of communication and process and
discover out what these new ways of working together and supporting one
another could be.
Any time you do want to come over, we’ve got plenty of comfy couches available. It won’t be fancy, but it will be fun.
Yours, as always, in solidarity,
Comrades from Cairo
13 November, 2011
P.S. We finally got an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realize
we cannot eat money."