Week of action "With the Greeks against austerity": 20-26th of June

13-05-2015

Call for solidarity: Week of european action against austerity

  More than 60 people representing around 40 organizations (networks, trade unions, parties, social platforms, see the list below) attended the meeting called by several European networks. We do not pretend to represent all European social movements. We just decided to join our forces to work together for the action mentioned below. We call all other interested organizations to join us in this effort. In a more long term, we are interested in doing a step forward creating a European Front against Austerity and for Democracy.

 The Greek struggle is our struggle: We will try to link the “Greek question” – since we all are concerned and the demands of the Greek people and government are convergent with the movements’ aims to change Europe – as a transversal question with all the struggles, movements and initiatives taking place during the next 2 months all over Europe. A call coming from Greece and a common logo will be the supports for this inter-linked campaign. The participants of the Athens meeting 2 May call all movements, unions, political forces to contribute to that mobilization.

 1. Campaign towards the Week of action

We have to launch as soon as possible a European campaign in solidarity with Greece and as a common struggle against austerity culminating in a European week of decentralized action in June (from 20th to 26th of June). We have also to be flexible if crucial political moments before.

In order to give strength to this initiative, it is now very important to build strong national coordinations.

Three key moments for the week of action:

a start of the week in accordance with the Athens meeting of concrete solidarity networks, the divulgation of the first conclusions of the Debt Audit Commission and the international day of refugees on 20th of June, an idea still to be decided on is to combine different EU issues in a demonstration in Berlin. Other proposals : press conference ? Symbolic European action ? decentralized and visible actions in Europe, diversity and originality of action ; an international political event in Athens on 27th of June (on labour issues?).

A Call will be sent by our Greek comrades as well as a logo to be used in all our activities on the coming weeks (connecting issues).

In order to facilitate the preparation of our campaign we set up on the basis of the declaration of the German tradeunions (Greece after the Elections – not a Threat but an opportunity for Europe, www.europa-neu-begruenden.de europe) and the call of the AlterSummit ("Give Greece a chance", www.altersummit.eu ) a coordination committee consisting of both the European actors and the coordination groups in the different countries. The week of action and the political event will be publicly advertised on behalf of networks, organisations (maybe even personalities) who endorse the call but not the coordination group whose mandate will expire in July.

2. Communication/information/explanation work

We need to have and spread correct information coming from Greece (and about the negotiation process) ; we need to build a narrative going beyond « Solidarity with Greece » to « It is also our struggle » ; we need to spread counter arguments to those of EU institutions & Co ; we need to react quickly when something important happens ; we need to have an effective media strategiy ; To partially respond these needs, a website is now launched : www.change4all.eu You can fill the website with information coming from your country.
Do not hesitate to send information to contact@change4all.eu or anastasiou@transform-network.net

But we need more in terms of communication ! Specially for the week of action.


3. Marchas de la Dignidad Europa

Converging Marches from different European countries to Brussels : against austerity, TTIP, fiscal heavens and for democracy were proposed by the Spanish Attac representatives. . There is a consensus about the importance and the utility of this action but the dates proposed (end August, beginning September) seems not to match very well. More discussions and mobilization are needed. A good date for a final action in Brussels could be on 15th of October (day of action of Belgian platforms to disturb the European Council meeting).


4. International Conference of Solidarity 4 All

Gathering all concrete solidarity actions/grass roots movements in a big event in Greece. Will be finally in Autumn. More news soon.

5. International citizen conference on debt

The place is not decided yet as well as the form of the event. Probably around October.

6. Towards a European Front against Austerity and for Democracy...

To make a step forward, the idea of creating a Front has been launched. The attendance was very interested in such a proposal. Can be a space for political debates.

Building a front is building common shared political analysis/background and European demands connecting with a maximum of social forces and going beyond our networks (citizens...) connecting the initiative with national and local ones

It is an ambitious program, but the time has come to be ambitious !

Other possible dates to mobilize/discuss/meet (introduced by participants of the meeting)

8th of May: 70 years of the end of WWII

30/31 of May: Forum of Alternatives in Paris  
9/10/11 of June : People’s Summit in Brussels (sidelines UE-Celac Summit)

List of participating organizations and countries

Organization Country

Transform Austria, Greece, France
Blockupy Germany
Die Linke Germany
Izquierda Unida Spain
European Left Hungary, France, Italy
Attac Spain, France, Germany, Greece
Red Agua Publica Spain
ICTU Ireland
Solidarity 4 All Greece
Podemos Spain
Comisiones Obreras Spain
CIG Spain
Syriza Greece
Association of Cancer Patients Athens KEFI Greece
European Alternatives Italy
Network for Political and Social Rights Athens Greece
EKA Greece
Solidarité Santé France/Greece
Fiom/CGIL Italy
GGIL Italy
Fondation Copernic France
FGTB Wallonne Belgium
CADTM Belgium
Socialistische Partij Netherlands
Ecologists Greens Greece
Euromemo Group Greece
Federation of Tax Employees Greece
Society Culture of Peace Germany
LO I Oslo Norway
No to EU Norway
TUNE-Network, Union of Municipal Employee Norway
Nico Poulantzas Institute Greece
Feminist group To Mov Greece
ARCI Italy
Solidaires France
Alter Summit Belgium 

The experience of Greece demonstrates the importance of building a pan European movement based on values of solidarity and deep democracy. Thank you for doing so much to organise this .
Hilary Wainwright| Red Pepper magazine |

"This is sheer unbridled sadism. The Greek people are being punished for the failure of the neo-liberal consensus to avert the hideous and increasing forms of inequality which were always inscribed within its mandate. Nothing can explain why the most powerful countries of Europe should want to continue to impose on Greece policies which have brought it to the brink of collapse, other than the desire to precipitate a true collapse which they will then take as the proof that only their vicious system could have saved it - a self-defeating argument and a blatant lie. We can only speculate what unconscious links there must be between the forgiving of Germany's post-war debt, of which it remains the beneficiary to this day and without which it would not be in a position to dictate its terms, and its refusal to countenance any such forgiveness, let alone the paying of war reparations, to Greece. No logic can explain it. We have entered the realm of the cruellest social fantasy. The irony is that the whole of Europe will now suffer. But our hearts go out to the Greek people who will suffer - who are already suffering - most."

Jacqueline Rose, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

Étienne Balibar :"The struggle of the Greek people is the struggle of all European democrats, of all those who believe in human progress . In the case of a potential defeat all European peoples would pay the price. In the case of a potential victory, as limited as it may be, all European peoples would benefit. That's why it is necessary for those French and European forces who have hope in the renewal of democracy to positively answer the calls of Syriza to build European solidarity around Greece and the Greek people. The perspective of a referendum urgently requires the reinforcement of this solidarity"

Slavoj Zizek: "The struggle that goes on is the struggle for theEuropean economic and political Leitkultur.The EU powers stand for the technocratic status quo which is keeping Europe ininertia for decades. In his NotesTowards a Definition of Culture, the great conservative T.S.Eliot remarkedthat there are moments when the only choice is the one between heresy andnon-belief, i.e., when the only way to keep a religion alive is to perform asectarian split from its main corpse. This is our position today with regard toEurope: only a new "heresy" (represented at this moment by Syriza) can savewhat is worth saving in European legacy: democracy, trust in people,egalitarian solidarity. The Europe that will win if Syriza is outmaneuvered isa "Europe with Asian values" (which, of course, has nothing to do with Asia,but all with the clear and present tendency of contemporary capitalism to suspenddemocracy). We from Western Europe like to look upon Greece as if we aredetached observers who follow with compassion and sympathy the plight of theimpoverished nation. Such a comfortable standpoint relies on a fateful illusion- what goes on in Greece these last weeks concerns all of us, it is the futureof Europe which is at stake. So when we read about Greece these days, we shouldalways bear in mind that, as the old saying goes, de te fabula narrator."

 "The behavior of the Troika today is a disgrace. One can scarcely doubt that their goal is to make it clear that defiance to the northern banks and the Brussels bureaucracy will not be tolerated, and that thoughts of democracy and popular will must be abandoned. Other than power, there is no reason to continue with the shameful farce in which French and German banks profit from the suffering of the people of Greece."The debt should have been radically restructured long ago, or simply declared “odious” and cancelled. Today, Greeks are offered a miserable choice between two painful alternatives. One can only hope that their brave resistance to the brutal assault will encourage global solidarity that will save them and others from the harsh fate dictated by the masters."

Noam CHOMSKY | United States | MIT


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