No other international protests in recent memory (with perhaps the exception of the global justice movement) have enjoyed the worldwide solidarity of the Occupy movements.
Around 1,500 Occupy chapters have sprung up across the globe, and the Internet permits these groups—that sometimes have tens of thousands of miles and oceans between them—to share information and monitor one another’s progress.
It is this success and popularity that attracted Egypt’s activists, who were at the forefront of the new global justice movement during the Arab Spring, to call for an international day of action to defend their revolution. From the Guardian:
In a statement appealing for solidarity from the worldwide Occupy movement that has taken control of public squares in London, New York and hundreds of other cities, campaigners in Egypt claim their revolution is “under attack” from army generals and insist they too are fighting against a “1%” elite intent on stifling democracy and promoting social injustice.
This is a precarious time for both the Egyptian revolution and global Occupy movements. Constant assaults by the military and police, respectively, leave the uprisings vulnerable to becoming purely defensive rather than offensive actions.
State-sponsored sabotage keeps the groups in constant crisis as they attempt to micromanage things like, for example, dangerous addicts in their campsite, who actually may have been introduced to the protest by police in the first place.
Or in the case of Egypt, state-run television broadcasting that “the Christians” had attacked the army, and “honorable” civilians should come and protect them during the Maspiro massacre that left two dozen dead and hundreds more wounded. Journalist Austin G. Mackell writes that what took place outside the Maspiro state television building was “more a case of the army attacking protesters than Muslims attacking Christians.”
But disinformation is something Egypt and Occupy have learned to deal with, whether it’s the right-wing media using the isolated case of a mentally ill homeless man making anti-Semitic statements to depict the entire OWS movement as being anti-Jewish, or the Egyptian army exploiting historical sectarian divisions to undermine the revolution.
Perhaps it is these commonalities that partly inspired Egypt to call for solidarity from the Occupy movement. Now is a critical time for the young revolution, as fear spreads that ruling generals are working to perpetuate their hold on power.