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|Did the US Co-opt OWS in Order to Legitimize Egypt's Flawed Elections?
by Jacob Levich
Although Occupy Wall Street protesters have so far resisted attempts by the Democratic Party to co-opt their movement, a New York City "General Assembly" was bamboozled by what may be a State Department and/or NED initiative aimed at granting legitimacy to Egypt's flawed election process.
According to a November 16 story in Ahram Online and links collected by blogger Benjamin Doherty (at bitly.com/bundles/bangpound/4), OWS in New York City agreed to send a delegation of election monitors to Egypt after a mysterious activist flew in from Washington with a proposal in hand. The New York City OWS swiftly approved the initiative at a November 10 "General Assembly" in Zuccotti Park and allocated $29,000.
Maria Dayton, the apparent author of the proposal, boasts of connections to the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Freedom House on her LinkedIn profile (since deleted but preserved by Doherty, at cld.bangpound.org/
Dayton represented her proposal to OWS as a request from "Egyptian civil society groups." But many Egyptian revolutionaries are shocked by the initiative and are wondering who is behind it. See, for example, the "Statement by Comrades from Cairo in Response to OWS Proposal to Send Election Monitors."
According to the Ahram Online story:
There is, of course, no indication that the persons who happened to be present at the November 10th Zuccotti Park "General Assembly" of OWS were conscious of government machinations behind the proposal, or that they intended to do anything subversive of the Egyptian people's struggles. But the U.S. State Department and the Egyptian junta can be expected to seize upon OWS "monitoring" as lending legitimacy to the upcoming elections, no matter how flawed the process or disappointing the results.
Jacob Levich, who lives in New York City, has written for MRZine on military issues and tweets as @cordeliers.