From:   Jackie DiSalvo <>
Sent time:   Sunday, November 13, 2011 8:13:33 PM
Subject:   RE: [september17discuss] Fwd: URGENT: Communique from Cairo

Thank you for sending this. It makes a lot of sense. People in the lead at

Tahrir Square said all along that even if they wanted to enter the elections

there was insufficient time for new forces to get organized, so inevitably

the old ones would dominate. I am very sympathetic to their position, and it

seems compatible with our stance at OWS. My only question is whether there

might be different approaches to the election by different equally

progressive forces from the Tahrir square occupation. Does anyone know?


-----Original Message-----

From: [] On

Behalf Of beka economopoulos

Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2011 2:54 PM


Subject: [september17discuss] Fwd: URGENT: Communique from Cairo


Forwarding a message / communique from activists in Cairo, who were

concerned to learn that the OWS GA passed a proposal to designate

$20,000 in funds for members of OWS to travel to Egypt to do election



I do not have contact info for folks in the Movement Building Working

Group, perhaps this should be shared there?




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


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



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 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:




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Phone: 917-202-5479

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