Follow Us

RSS Feed    Follow on Twitter    Follow on Facebook    YouTube Channel    Vimeo Channel    Tumblr    SoundCloud Channel    iPhone App    iPhone App

Statement by Comrades from Cairo in Response to OWS Proposal to Send Election Monitors

[Image from unknown archive.] [Image from unknown archive.]

[The following statement was issued by Comrades from Cairo on 13 November 2011.]

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: comradesfromcairo@gmail.com

10 comments for "Statement by Comrades from Cairo in Response to OWS Proposal to Send Election Monitors"

Gravatar

Who exactly are these "comrades." The RS? April 6? Something else. its' very confusing.

Dan Murphy wrote on November 13, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Gravatar

Election Monitors!!! Really?! How about Egyptian comrades send PRIVILEGE MONITORS to OWS? Forcing them to take stock of their own privileges and entitlements might help many occupiers in Zuccotti Park to get off the high horse that they seem to climb on to from time to time.

NB wrote on November 13, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Gravatar

Thank you guys! Their heart was in the right place, but they got carried away. Solidarity, WE will be the new world order, with perserverance, a united front and a goal of equality for all - it will be hard, but we will make a better world for everyone! Always in our hearts - stay strong and stay connected!

Your Friend Always wrote on November 13, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Gravatar

Thank you guys! Their heart was in the right place, but they got carried away. Solidarity, WE will be the new world order, with perserverance, a united front and a goal of equality for all - it will be hard, but we will make a better world for everyone! Always in our hearts - stay strong and stay connected!

Your Friend Always wrote on November 13, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Gravatar

Thank you for sending this out. I COMPLETELY agree. Self-determination, not overview by a few "occupiers" from America. WE WILL STAND IN SOLIDARITY FOREVER, WITH YOU CAIRO! If there is more discussion about this, I will be sure to spread your opinion, which IS THE RIGHT ONE!

Occupier from Gainesville, FL wrote on November 14, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Gravatar

Sounds like the Egyptians did not want some rich arrogant Americans lording over them. Is it just me or did these comrades from Cairo just say they were anti-democracy?

NOGOD wrote on November 16, 2011 at 09:50 AM
Gravatar

One needs to pay attention to this:" 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." this is real, a way to build a networked communicating machine that will automate pure democracy without a leading elite. it is being done and will work well ...

RS wrote on November 16, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Gravatar

I am certain OWS simply wants to build concrete links and isn't exactly sure how. But trust me - on the ground here, there is no infatuation with the ballot box.

toourComradesinCairo wrote on November 18, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Gravatar

i dont see contradiction between helping monitor the elections and having higher and bigger aims than "parliaments". it is important that these elctions gets the best monitoring possible... might protect some good votes and might protect some self confidence. please come, monitor and lets seize the occasion to know each other and talk.

Nadia KAMEL wrote on November 20, 2011 at 02:03 AM
Gravatar

Who are the "Comrades in Cairo"? Are they Egyptians or are they simply "in Cairo"? What reason do we have to believe they are who they say they are?

Skeptic wrote on November 22, 2011 at 04:36 PM

If you prefer, email your comments to info@jadaliyya.com.

Pages/Sections

Archive

Jad Navigation

View Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
You need to upgrade your Flash Player

Top Jadaliyya Tags

Get Adobe Flash player

Jadaliyya Features