The Occupy Wall Street movement is considering an Egyptian civil rights coalition’s invitation to some of its members to help monitor elections in Egypt.
Splinter groups were still discussing the proposal on Monday, said Rabbi Chaim Gruber, who heads a working group called Solidarity that tries to resolve any tensions arising in the Occupy encampment in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.
Among the 20 or so Occupy Wall Street residents prepared to go was Tashy Endres, of Berlin, Germany. She said Occupy’s general assembly voted Thursday in favor of funding the trip with $29,000 from money donated to the New York movement.
But splinter elements in Zuccotti Park are questioning the expenditure, Endres said Monday.
Besides, “we got information from other human rights groups in Egypt that it might not be a good idea for untrained, non-Arabic speakers to monitor elections and possible corruption,” said Endres, a 29-year-old architect who works as a translator in Berlin and a trainer in non-violent communication.
She said that if any irregularities were to enter the Egyptian voting, corrupt officials could use the untrained observations of Occupy Wall Street activists for their own purposes.
On Monday, former members of Hosni Mubarak’s political party won legal backing to run in Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of the longtime leader.
Egypt’s parliamentary elections begin Nov. 28 and will be held in stages. The new parliament is due to convene in January.
Gruber and Endres were part of a grievance meeting at which dozens of Occupy activists discussed various needs and complaints that have arisen in the park, from how to distribute supplies to the allocation of funds.
The Egypt proposal likely will come up again at a general assembly meeting later this week.