Archive for marec, 2017

marec 31, 2017

From Within the Strike Movement. Building a Political Infrastructure for the Coming Struggles

strike turkey.jpg

Since 2008, social movements have wrestled with ways to overcome the limits placed upon modes of organisation developed in response to the rapid transformations in the economic, social and political fields. A variety of struggles against the neoliberal order have been going on in the last years: from the anti-austerity movements to the resistance at the borders, from the insubordination inside the workplaces to the occupation of squares.

What we have seen more recently is the powerful reemergence of the strike as a central antagonistic form through which precarious, migrants and industrial workers, women and men, are taking action. The strike has become the way to link previously dispersed struggles, by invading the squares as well as the workplaces, by connecting the opposition to the neoliberal institutions and the borders’ regime with the refusal of exploitation and sexual division of labor. This renewed presence of the strike has recently become visible in the French movement against the Loi travail and its world, in the proposed call for a ‘general strike’ against the Trump administration, in the «days without migrants» in the US and the UK, as well as in the women’s strike in Poland and Argentina and then in the first global women’s strike of last March 8th, which put on the stage the strike as a feminist mass practice all over the world.

The strike remains a bargaining tool in daily labour disputes, but it becomes something more when it is part of a social and transnational movement. What we see is that the strike is becoming political as it is no longer confined to either a work category, the wage, a workplace, a sector or indeed a nation. It is becoming social as far as it recognizes the need to connect struggles concerning wage and working conditions, welfare rights and freedom of movement, by attacking exploitation in all its forms. It is becoming transnational because transnational is the scale on which both the powers that confront us and the possibility to win are deployed. By liberating the potential of the different forms of struggles against neoliberalism, the strike has demonstrated itself as the way in which social movements can meet the real movement of disruption of the present.

On February 10-12th the third meeting of the ‘Transnational Social Strike Platform’ took place in London. The TSS Platform is an international political infrastructure composed by workers, migrants, grassroots unions and militant initiatives that take as their political priority the enlargement and endurance of the strike movement on a transnational level. The London gathering brought together 160 people from across 40 organisations and 9 countries to discuss, organise and plan around questions of the transnational and social dimensions of the strike. Workshops took place covering issues ranging from the raise of nationalism, to women’s strikes, logistics strikes, rent and social reproductive struggles. The meeting was organized in London paying particular attention on the enlargement of both the February 20th «One Day Without Us» migrant solidarity call and the Global Women’s Strike scheduled for March the 8th.

This gathering was undertaken in order to enhance the circulation of experiences of insubordination, while at the same time advancing common assessments at the level of practice and discourse. The weekend sought to discover how the TSS Platform can work more explicitly as a political infrastructure which aims at unchaining all the potential of the struggles of migrants, precarious and industrial workers against neoliberalism. In the pursue of this goal, it has been widely recognized the need to develop a common strategic vision to push existing struggles towards common goals and to make possible the unexpected.

Wages, welfare demands, mobility and freedom of movement have been recognized as crucial fields of struggle. In this we see a turning point in comparison to our previous experiences of networking on a transnational level: the TSS Platform doesn’t simply want to be a coalition coming together for a contingent purpose or a big event, or another sort of network. Our aim is rather to develop and strengthen an infrastructure which, from within the strike movement, deals both with the problem of raising our organization capacities on the transnational level and with the need to strategically converge on common terrains of initiative.

From these sessions an agreement was reached to incorporate more discussion around common «strategic horizons» at our next meeting, taking place in Ljubljana next 20th-21st May. The weekend in London marks an important development for the platform, symbolising the «closure of the beginning» of the TSS Platform and heralding a new phase for our transnational collective endeavour: deepening our understanding, connections, capacities and commitments to each other for the struggles that lay ahead.

TssPlatform

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marec 31, 2017

Report of the Transnational Day of Action against the Border Regime // 18.03.2017

 demo in athens

Demo in Athens

by HAGEN KOPP (No One is Illegal, Hanau)

The Conflict Corner of this week presents a report of the transnational day of action of March 18th, when protests and demonstrations took place in several cities all over Europe. The initial call came from groups in Greece, but more networks picked up the initiative and prepared actions according to their local conditions and ongoing struggles. Border regime and government of mobility limiting freedom of movement to regulate an increasingly exploited and precarious labour force have been a crucial target of the Transnational Social Strike Platform since the beginning. Migrants are in the front line of the struggles against precarity and European border regime, both inside and outside the workplaces, and they are constantly striking back against the conditions in which they are forced to live and to work. As a matter of fact the attempt to govern migrants’ mass movements and the general exploitation of workers are strongly interconnected and the differences of status, the hierarchies of conditions and the threat of deportation are used to create a cheap labour force under blackmail. The current challenge is to bring the local initiatives of solidarity a step further, in order to create bridges between different conditions of oppression and exploitation, to build connections between migrants and non-migrants starting from common terrains of struggle. 

The original call-out was circulated last November by the Best hotel of Europe squat in Athens, which has been occupied by activists and refugees since April 2016:

«As the assembly of City Plaza, as a space of resistance to the Europe of the indefinite limbos and of the land of precarity, we are calling on a European mobilization on 18 March 2017, on the anniversary of the signing of the EU-Turkey deal, but also on the anniversary of our past stamp in our common future (the Blockupy mobilization at 18.3.2015)».

In February 2017 an international call was launched as well:

«On the 18th of March, 2016 the EU signed as its dirty deal with Turkey in an attempt to externalize the Euro­pean borders, to use the Turkish regime as a watchdog to stop refugees from fleeing into EU countries. With active participation from the Greek government, the Greek-Turkish border region has been turned into a militarized buffer zone for the deterrence, detention and deportation of refugees. This Deal is one piece of a puzzle in the authoritarian and racist policies which are being implemented in all European countries. On the 18th of March, 2015, the day the new European Central Bank building in Frankfurt was opened, a huge European movement protested against the austerity policies that the EU imposes on Europe and especially on the European periphery. Tens of thousands took to the streets to claim another Europe, a Europe of solidarity and struggle from below against exclusion, poverty and deprivation of social rights for locals and migrants.

Europe wages wars and at the same time strengthens its fortress against the refugees. The austerity regime in the EU and the repressive European border regime are sides of the same common goal of the European rulers: to stabilise their imperialist powers and the regime of exploitation».

In Germany two interconnected networks picked up the initiative and started a decentralized mobilization for the same time. Welcome2Stay called for nationwide action days under the headline: «For the right to come, to go and to stay». They wrote:

«…The European system of exclusion is getting more and more brutal. Germany is going ahead with more and more deportations – Let us raise our voice together! Join the nationwide days of action from 18th to the 23rd of March for a right to stay and equal social rights for everyone. Show your solidarity, your struggles and your visions of a society in which migration does not pose a threat».

Under the banner of «Get together 2017»a Germany-wide alliance of local groups also joined the day of action to demand freedom of movement and the right to remain. This led to demonstrations in 10 German cities. London, Glasgow, Gernika, Paris, Zurich and Graz also saw demonstrations, along with a number of cities in Italy, partly framing already planned actions in the context of the new 18M-campaign.

What follows is a series of reports from some selected cities, mainly in Greece and Germany.

Athens: the biggest protest on 18.3.17 took place in the Greek capital, with up to 8000 participants and thus the biggest antiracist demonstration in the city since 2005:

«In Athens, the initiative for the organization of the 18M protest, through its common call and actions in camps, social spaces and workplaces, led to the biggest antiracist protest of the past few years. It is not a given that this was going to be achieved together by everyone involved. Over the past few years, we were divided into separate protests. City Plaza contributed to this (not on its own, of course) through its call for a common assembly for setting up the framework for the mobilization. This way, thousands of different mouths, thousands of different slogans in many different languages rallied against racism, war, poverty and fascism, against the EU-Turkey deal of shame. The participation of refugees from camps was very large, and sets an important precedent for ongoing struggles».

«The picture in cities across the country was similar. Over 19 demonstrations took place in the rest of Greece, on islands and cities, where refugees and locals created a big event that resonated throughout the country. The Panhellenic Network of Antiracist and Migrant Organizations contributed significantly to making this a nationwide event».

Mitilini: About 2000 refugees protested on the  island of Lesvos, where, for the last year, they have faced a so-called hot spot system, threatening them with deportation back to Turkey and blocking their further route to the mainland of Greece.

Venice: On 19th of March some thousand people demonstrated for freedom of movement in Venice and also in some other Italian cities in the context of the transnational day of action.

In Catania a protest banner (“Freedom not Frontex – Open Borders”) was displayed outside the Frontex HQ: “in context of the action day of 18M we visited the Frontex office in Catania this morning. Here you also find Europol, EASO und Eunavfor Med, together they build the ´European Union Regional Task Force (EURTF)`.”

In Zurich an antiracist groups organized a big conference against restriction of movement and the confining of asylum seekers to underground bunkers as political policy. In the autonomous school about 400 participants discussed about concrete strategies of resistance and practices of solidarity, and together with inhabitants of the so-called emergency accommodations it was decided to mobilize for an action day against the camps (and in the Kanton of Zurich often bunkers) in May.

In three cities in Germany, in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich, simultaneous protests took place inside airports as these places represent the policy of deportations.

Frankfurt

Deportation-Airport No.1 – Frankfurt Airport: about 400 people from various countries of origin (mainly from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia) protested together in the two terminals and in front of the check-in of deportation airlines. From the call: «5452 people have been deported from Frankfurt airport in 2016, every day nearly 15 people. They have been deported into poverty and discrimination at the Balkans, into homelessness in Italy or into civil war in Afghanistan. More and more charter planes – first of all from Air Berlin – have been booked to bring the ´deportees` without publicity and if necessary by force out of the country. In the meantime, 110 times deportations in scheduled flights had to be stopped, when people resisted against their deportation».

Berlin

«free of deportations, solidarity without borders»: about 250 people protested at the airport Berlin Schönefeld.

Munich

Stop (Charter)Deportation: protests against the deportation airlines took also place in the Munich Airport.

Hamburg

Between 100 and 200 people built tents on a central square (Rathausmarkt). Their central demand was «Take in 1000 refugees from Greece!»

Baden-Baden

About 600 people participated in a demonstration against the G20 meeting of the finance ministers in south-east of Germany.

Follow up and Perspectives for September 2017!

The «Get together» network, composed by various local groups from all over Germany, is planning for a next step of transnational action days for freedom of movement and equal social rights. In reference to the historical «march of hope» in Hungary in 2015 they propose the first two weeks in September for decentralized activities. «Two years ago the march of hope started from the Keleti train station in Budapest and marched towards the North-West. These days have been crucial for the break through to open the borders on the Balkanroute. Let us create as much public attention as possible with manifold events and decentralized actions for the demand of freedom of movement for all! The beginning of September will be the right time to raise attention to this topic as the general elections (in Germany) will take place. We want to oppose the racist right-wing populists with occupying public spaces with our demands against deportations and exclusion and for open borders and solidarity». In the meanwhile «Get together» also decided for a «culminating» centralized mobilization to Berlin on 16th and 17th of September, one week before the elections in Germany. A big demonstration including a parade and political carnival is projected for these days.

marec 31, 2017

Global Mayday 2017: Enough is Enough! #Disrupt2017!

May 1st is a day of special significance for anarchists and the labour movement. It originated with the execution of four anarchists in Chicago in 1887 for organising workers in the fight for the eight-hour day in the year before. Thus May Day is a product of “anarchy in action” — of the struggle of working people using direct action in labour unions to change the world. While it has been hijacked by reformist unions and social-democrats in Germany and elsewhere, for the anarchist and syndikalist movement May Day is a day of world-wide struggle and solidarity. A day to remember past struggles and a day to fight for a better future. A day to remember that an injury to one is an injury to all.

mayday2017_2.png

Submitted to Enough is Enough

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on.

Article as PDF File (Download, Print Read and Spread!): mayday2017_2

Global Mayday 2017 Mobi video:

In 2017 people are still suffering from capitalism. Numerous people are struggling to survive and more and more people are affected by precarisation, also in European countries, the U.S., Australia and Canafa. Millions have no social security and the majority of people on our planet are not able to pay their medical bills. Millions are forced to flee for war and persecution, while others are forced to flee because trade treaties destroyed their livelihood. At the same time a small group of people and corporations is getting richer and richer.

We are devided by nations, classes and racist policies. Its time zo unite! Its time to revolt! As long as its legal to let tens of thousands of people drown or getting deported, as long as people don’t have enough to eat, as long as people are forced to sleep on the streets while many houses are empty, as long as the happy few are looting the natural resources of our planet, as long as there is no justice and real freedom for all, we will resist! State and corporate surveillance, a police state, capitalist propaganda by corporate and state media, and laws that are made to control us and benefit the ruling class need to be abolished. Capitalism needs to abolished.

While many can’t strike on the 1st of May, because Mayday is a national holiday in many countries, we can still make it into a day of transnational struggle and solidarity. Not like reformist unions and social democrats who pacified Mayday with uninspired parades and barbecue parties, but with direct actions and powerful demonstrations.

For self-determination, collective decision-making, global minimum wage, global social security, global health care and freedom of movement for all!

Against racism, fascism, police state, anti-semitism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, against attacks on regugees and migrants, against attacks on women and LGBTQ people!

No Housework!

No shopping!

No banking!

No school!

No Work!

Organize!

Social strike!

Resist! Protest! Strike!

See you on the barricades!

Send your Mayday calls and reports: https://enoughisenough14.org/submit/

marec 30, 2017

Alexi Navalny is no “honest guardian” against Kremlin oppression, anarchists warn

 

protesti_rusija_26_03_2017.jpg

Locations of protests in Russia (with number of arrested ppl) on 26th of March 2017

As liberal “centrist” protests against corruption in Russia kick off nationwide today, led by lawyer and political figure Alexi Navalny, Russian anarcho-syndicalist group KRAS-AIT argues that for the country’s poor, his “responsible” free-market vision offers no respite:

Opposition politician Navalny (pictured above), posing as an honest guardian of the people’s interests, has called on the population of Russia to take to the streets in protest against corruption and embezzlement by top State officials.  This pretender to power, who has accused our current rulers of carving up a cake baked with the sweat and blood of ordinary workers, asserts that “because of the corruption around us we see poverty and ruin.”

Yes, we have every reason to be dissatisfied with the socio-economic policies being pursued by the current regime of oligarchs, the plutocrats. The gap between the richest and the poorest in Russia breaks all world records. At a time when 40% of the population barely has enough money for food and about 70% of the population earns less than the so-called average wage, the rich are bathed in the most unimaginable luxury. Last year alone, despite the so-called “crisis” — or rather, because of it — the number of Russian dollar millionaires grew by 10%. Authorities complain about a lack of money in the budget and on this pretext plan to further reduce spending on health, education and social benefits, while raising taxes on consumers and hiking the retirement age. In this case, any proposals aimed at encouraging the rich to share a little bit of their loot from the common people is immediately and irrevocably met with hostility.

All this is true.

But those who call on us to protest against the “corruption” say not a word about how they intend to change the socio-economic policies of the current regime. Even a meager reduction of the yawning gap that separates rich and poor in Russia is not included in their plans and intentions. They did not raise the question of a change in ownership structure, which for most of them, as well as for any other adherents of capitalism, is “sacred and inviolable.”

The current political opposition are as ardent a set of supporters of the “free market” as the powers that be. Low wages, cuts in social spending, the arbitrariness of employers, brutal exploitation and lack of rights for employees — all these principles are equally dear to the heart of the opposition as they are to today’s rulers.

Our poverty does not stem from the “corruption” which Navalny and co criticise. This opposition is outraged that officials, in their opinion, rake too much from the Treasury, patronise related businesses and encourage the owners of enterprises, firms and banks to pay them bribes and kickbacks. But what do we, doctors and workers, teachers and the unemployed, students and pensioners, care how those who force us to work our whole lives for their benefit divide the spoils of what they’ve stolen from us? It is we, not they, entrepreneurs and bankers who create all the wealth while receiving from them these pitiful pennies, often enough only to die of hunger.

Our troubles are not generated by the fact that someone with political and economic power shares it or does not with other masters. Our anguish is the result of the existing social system. The point is not to merely replace one bad person with other rulers. It is necessary to radically change the whole current policy. In other words, to change the system.

Navalny and his supporters are the least suitable for this purpose. An entrepreneur, exploiting the labour of employees; a political adventurer who was expelled from his own nationalist Liberal Party; who in 2006 held the neo-fascist Russian March, a preacher of rabid chauvinism; an unconditional supporter of capitalism. The man himself belongs to the camp of the gentlemen, even if it is their currently “offended” faction. He is no better than our current rulers, and does not offer anything in return for his tyranny.

Our requirements today must not become empty and meaningless phrases about “anti-corruption” in the hope some other “honest” bureaucrats will be able to carry out the mythical and impossible task to create a “clean and fair” capitalism. It does not matter what clique will form the government — we want to live better.

 

There must be new demands

We demand real freedom, of association, for rallies, strikes and trade union activity!

We demand an end to anti-social policies: of low wages and systematic reduction of real incomes for the general population, the destruction of social security, the commercialisation of education and health care, privatisation, and permanent increases in prices!

We demand an end to “economic reforms” which more and more help entrepreneurs, bankers and bureaucrats get richer while ordinary people poorer. All these measures must be discontinued immediately!

We demand cancellation of the infamous law against “extremism” to stop the arbitrariness of overt and covert police. People need rights, not repression and extortion! Our towns and villages must be for residents, not officials!

We don’t need “fair elections” in which different brands of politician are merely fighting over who will skin us next. We need a decent life!

We demand:

  • An increase of pay rates to average European levels
  • Automatic wage increases in line with rising prices
  • A six-hour day and five-day working week, without cutting wages
  • Paid leave for a period of not less than one month and paid sick days for all workers
  • Reduce and freeze the prices of basic goods and services
  • A prohibition on dismissals without the consent of the staff
  • Free medical care, education, urban transport and housing services

We do not believe that representative democracy and its elections, presidents, governments and Dumas will be able to solve our problems. They do not have the right to decide and speak for us. Only when the system of general government comes direct from where we live, work and study, can we all become masters of their own destiny.

A group of activists of the Russian section of the IWA

 

The above first appeared at Freedom News

marec 27, 2017

Report Back: The Big International Mobilization on March 18th and Those To Come

For those of us at the Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza community, the need and the call for a large pan-European mobilization against the completion of anti-refugee policies by the EU and its member states, and e focus on an alternative to these, became prominent last November, during the celebration of the first six months at City Plaza.

enough18m

Originally published by Hotel City Plaza

The 18th of March, a date which makes one year since the signing of the EU-Turkey deal, was the ideal opportunity to turn this idea into a reality. The response to our call by initiatives, organizations and structures from over 50 European cities is enough to make this mobilization a success. However, we believe that we have to insist on he following points:

In Athens, the initiative for the organization of the 18M protest, through its common call and actions in camps, social spaces and workplaces, led to the biggest antiracist protest of the past few years. It is not a given that this was going to be achieved together by everyone involved. Over the past few years, we were divided into separate protests. City Plaza contributed to this (not on its own, of course) through its call for a common assembly for setting up the framework for the mobilization.

This way, thousands of different moths, thousands of different slogans in many different languages rallied against racism, war, poverty and fascism, against the EU-Turkey deal of shame. The participation of refugees from camps was very large, and sets an important precedent for ongoing struggles.

The picture in cities across the country was similar. Over 19 demonstrations took place in the rest of Greece, on islands and cities, where refugees and locals created a big event that resonated throughout the country. The Panhellenic Network of Antiracist and Migrant Organizations contributed significantly to making this a nationwide event.

Despite and disagreements which may have arisen, the initiative and the demonstration showed, in practice, the potential and the counterexamples which can be set within the movement through the coordination and unity of struggle, when these have deep roots.

At the same time, we should give special mention to the international campaign, and to the great response to the call for an international day of action. From Rome to London, from Berlin to Basque Country, the streets were filled with people protesting against racism and austerity. This is an important internationalist precedent, not only because it highlighted the fact that the issue of refugees is not cut off from the other forms of oppression and discipline for people’s, but also because it can serve as a reference point for a systematic networking of European social movements.

From the first day, City Plaza has, since day one, attempted to serve as a wider center of struggle for the solidarity movement. It wishes to show that, apart from the terrible government camps, there is an alternative, that it is possible for spaces to exist with cities, in which living conditions are dignified and relationships are equal. Spaces in which, despite their localization or material constraints, the wish to «live together» is turned into reality. And it is exactly this desire which filled the City Plaza block with a multitude of colours, people, languages, and feelings. A block in which the sense of community and of the essential common struggle were not only theoretical declarations but lived experiences. In this way, refugees, locals, as well as many international activists, contributed to breaking the routine and monotony of mobilizations last, reminding us that it is beautiful to struggle collectively in order to change the world.

We therefore keep 18th March in our memory as a practice and as a reminder of the potential of social movements, without disregarding our duties for the coming period. The whole of the social movement should stand against the European atrocity against refugees, which is presented as the only alternative (that, too!), and to oppose it through an internationalist and class lens, to defend the unity of individual, political, and social rights.

In the coming period, City Plaza will attempt to take new initiatives for the continuation and deepening of movement coordination for the refugee issues, both inside and outside Greece.

The events to celebrate one year at City Plaza in April may be an opportunity to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas.

Close the camps of shame, not the solidarity squats.

No to the EU-Turkey deal

Against the government policies of repression and «management»

 Freedom of movement. Equal Rights.

Solidarity will win.

marec 27, 2017

#RefugeesGR Keep #CityPlaza Open. Refugee Hotel #Athens, #Greece

On the April 22nd 2016 refugees, volunteers and solidarity activists occupied City Plaza Hotel in Athens, Greece which had been closed for 7 years. About 400 people now live in City Plaza. The self-organised project needs support.

Written by Riot Turtle.

After the closure of European borders, almost 65,000 refugees are trapped in Greece. The Greek government created more than 49 detention centers, hotspots and camps. Because of EU border policies thousands of refugees are living in cold unheated tents. City Plaza offers a safe and dignified alternative to these places where the conditions are wretched, unclean and inhumane.

                                  The occupied building has 126 rooms on 7 floors. A reception, bar, dining room, kitchen, storage, play ground, health care center, roof terrace, classroom and library.  The self-organised CIty Plaza project is supported exclusively through political solidarity and individual donations.

400 people are living together at City Plaza.
The numbers: More than 100 families: 165 children, 100 men, 115 women, 35 locals, activists and volunteers. Refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan & Gambia.

The philosophy of the self-organised City Plaza is clear. Refugees, locals, activists and volunteers live, work and struggle together.

International volunteers who have spent the last months at City Plaza started a  crowdfunding campaign to cover expenses.

The volunteers write that donations will go towards the essential working groups of City Plaza:

Kitchen
– 3 meals a day for all, that’s 1,200 meals a day
Health Care Center
– Daily appointments with doctors and nurses & coordination with public hospitals, working to resolve refugee-specific health care services
Storage space and distribution of supplies for basic needs
– Everyday the people of City Plaza are given supplies to provide for basic needs (toiletries, washing powder, supplies for babies etc) but supplies are currently low.
Maintenance of the building
– A team of volunteers working for maintenance. City Plaza has not yet had enough funding to provide heating for the building.
Language Classes
– Greek for children, English for adults and children, German for adults and children.

All donations, big or small will.help, if you want to support the City Plaza project please visit the crowdfunding page: https://www.youcaring.com/refugeeaccommodationandsolidarityspacecityplaza-716186

marec 25, 2017

#NoG20 Report: Preparatory Weekend on G20 and Logistics in #Hamburg

From the 10th-12th March, Beyond Europe organized a weekend of exchange and dialogue concerning the mobilization to the G20 summit in summer in Hamburg. On Friday, about 100 people took part at our discussion panel on capitalism and logistics. On Saturday, over fifty delegates from 12 countries had an assembly and discussed a common mobilization to the G20-protest in Hamburg with the focal point of capitalist logistics, and more specifically the harbour of Hamburg. This assembly decided to launch an open, antiauthoritarian platform based on five common points, which will go online soon.

nog20Shut-down

Originally published by Beyond Europe

On Friday, Beyond Europe organized a panel discussion with the title “It’s the logistics, stupid?!” to approach the issue of logistics in a public format. The speakers were TPTG (Greece), the Berlin Migrant Strikers (Italy/Germany; organised in the Transnational Social Strike Platform) and …umsGanze! (Germany/Austria; organized in Beyond Europe). The facilitator from Beyond Europe introduced by explaining the non-synchronism concerning theory and practice on logistics amongst the European radical left; depending on region and political focus, the issue of logistics has experienced very different feedback as a focal point for anticapitalists. Despite the substantial role logistics plays for capitalism and always has played since the very first steps of the accumulation of value and labour-power, logistics has attracted more attention in the context of the highly modern just-in-time-neoliberalism (#platformcapitalism) relying on sensitive technology and the inter-connection it relies on. The idea of the panel was to set a common analytical and practical tone on which to work with the following days and to be worked out in greater detail in the following months.

The comrades from TPTG (Greece) elaborated on the interdependence of logistics, world trade and crisis politics, especially austerity politics in Greece and the role that global harbours and other hubs play in capitalism. The Italian comrades from the Berlin based collective “Berlin Migrant Strikers” presented their approach to re-activate and re-actualize the traditional form of left-wing politics – the strike – for the relatively new field of logistics and underlined logistic’s dependence on the actual migration regime; they referred to recent experiences in labour-struggles of Foodora-workers and asked questions about the subject of struggle. The …ums Ganze!-comrade linked what was said by the previous speakers to the G20-summit as a political dilemma; the summit hosts openly authoritarian, chauvinist, resp. protectionist or even fascistic depots like Trump, Putin and Erdogan and therefore is an expression of the rise of the right wing, challenging the catastrophic and disastrous protectors of the neoliberal status-quo – none of which comes close to an alternative for the Left. Nonetheless, the G20-summit is an institution by and for the capitalist understanding of politics and therefore only simulates finding solutions to global problems, while in reality it only administers, negotiates and optimizes to keep the conditions we have – or make them even worse. This is why …umsGanze! and Beyond Europe invite all antiauthoritarians to expand the focus on the red zone – on the logistics of the summit and politics – to the logistics of capital itself; Hamburg, with its vital and internationally important harbour in the middle of a city with many connections, is just the right place for that.

The discussion with the audience tackled different issues, from the importance of workers directly involved in the logistics to the question of whether logistics needs to be abolished because it is capitalist per se – and therefore anti-human – or whether it can be “liberated” from the logics of markets and profit. However, there was common agreement about the importance to keep on researching and gathering information about logistics and its deep interdependence with the current capitalist order, but also to develop this approach directly in struggles and on the streets. Therefore, unlike most summit mobilizations, the issue of logistics presents an opportunity to keep working on that field even after the big event has taken place.

nog20logistic

Saturday’s assembly started with an introduction by …ums Ganze! and the genesis of their motivation to tackle the issue of logistics on on the G20 summit action-days in Hamburg. Even though in the end the G20-summit is characterized as an institutionalized event by the political elite of capitalism and therefore independently of its personal aims to adjust politics within limited possibilities to change anything (radically), it is still an important event. The above-mentioned right-wing shift has the consequence that the typical summit-situation is changed. The crisis of politics and representation is on its rise not only discoursively. The typical summit composition, where all the states-men and –women shared more or less the same market-orientated common points, is this year more heterogeneous. Presidents taking part in the summit themselves openly deny globalized capitalism and demand stepping back onto national models from the past. This makes this summit, where not everything is purely symbolic and performance, something not to neglect. For this reason, the focus on logistics is not meant to be against the mass-mobilization to the red zone – which, under circumstances described below and elaborated on during the input, is justified.

For the sake of making of anti-capitalist analysis and practice more visible and expressive on that day, though, …ums Ganze! proposes to target not the red zone, but the harbour as one of the most important materializations of capitalist logistics in Europe and beyond. Logistics – next to imperialist extraction, for example – is considered an arguably central moment of the current accumulation model to guarantee capitalist production and reproduction. While it is not the level where value is genuinely produced, it is the level where distribution is secured and becomes even more important in times of sensitive, international globalisation networks and on-the-minute-deliveries. Most importantly, though, it is very good to disturb because of that high sensitive sequences it consists of. While the classical model of the shut-down of “the factory” as the value producer has not only become hard because of the fragmentation and suppression of the working class, it is way easier and more effective to disturb certain logistical nods and hubs to at least cause massive delay of a long, world-wide production chain, which is not to be located in one place like the Fordist factory. Furthermore, logistics is an issue concerning all kinds of political approaches. Be it anti-militaristic or climate struggles or anti-racist struggles. The latter have gained much attention during recent years with the numerous refugees’ bodies in the Mediterranean. This is the face of capitalist logistics: while commodities, services and labour-power can move fast and freely over borders and regions, people suffering this logic and wanting to lead a better life elsewhere get murdered.

After this part, the co-organising group GROW from Hamburg gave an overview of the current situation in Hamburg. G20, especially the included visit by Trump, is a huge issue in Hamburg. Still, the police strategy is to spread anxiety of “violent protests” among the citizens. The police response is expected to be very aggressive, as the OSCE-summit (considered as a little warmup) in December showed. They will probably have around 30.000 police officers in the city for the G20-summit and improve their facilities where they can. All sides expect between 80.000-100.000 protestors from all over the world for the weekend of the 7th/8th July. Some NGOs seem to bite the panicking from police and plan to demonstrate a week earlier. On 6th July there will be a big anticapitalist demonstration by Autonomous Movement under the slogan “G20 – Welcome to hell”. On Friday, several groups and organizations organize a day of direct actions – amongst others at the red zone and at the harbour. On Saturday finally, there will be a big demonstration through the city. Several local assemblies took place in order to demonstrate against the state of exception created for the G20 and initiatives within pub-owners (Mexican against G20) is filling the news. Further, already militant actions took place against police cars and the trade-fair in the “red zone”. The next important date for the big protest coordination is the “action conference” on 7th9th April in Hamburg.

Finally, in a first round of exchange, comrades and delegates from different countries presented their organisations, the situation in their countries and why they are interested in mobilizing for the G20-protests with the focal point of logistics. Comrades from Greece underlined their criticism to purely event-orientated politics but also described those events as a chance to connect across Europe. This point is shared by people from Sweden and Finland; they used G20 in order to overcome the lack of international connections in Scandinavia and have organized for the summit, but want to go beyond that. Not only have they direct contact to the striking dock workers in Gothenborg (Sweden), but they already are organizing busses to bring several hundred comrades to Hamburg in summer. Comrades from Brussels announced that there is already a “No G20” collective in their city and that they are using the NATO-summit and Trump’s first visit to Brussels in April as a mobilization point towards Hamburg. Delegates from Bern and Geneva bring certain experiences in summit-protests since they organize actions regularly against the Davos-summit there. Italian comrades elaborated on the point that focussing logistics does not only mean to focus the transport of commodities, but rather focussing a social and economical regime, which concerns migration amongst others. A comrade from the UK picked up that point and underlined the necessity to criticize nationalism and the nation in general in the context of this mobilization. A similar point was made by people from Cyprus, where the “Cyprus issue” torns apart Greek and Turkish Cypriots and mobilizes several nationalisms.

The …ums Ganze! proposal of organizing actions south of the river Elbe, in the harbour area, in order to tackle the logistics was received well. Nevertheless, a lot of questions came up and showed that any action needs a lot of planning. Practical Internationalism, however, does not mean that the local group prepares everything unitl the ultimate detail and offers it to non-local comrades in a “do or die”-style. On the contrary, it means planning and preparing the approach and the action itself together from the very beginning; this is how a real trans-national narrative about logistics, the harbour of Hamburg and its relation to the G20 protests can be achieved. Of course the local organisation has a special responsibility, but as delegates of …ums Ganze! underlined several times, they are no experts on the issue of logistics and are dependent on a collective process with comrades from other countries to succeed. So, a lot of important points and issues to work on more concretely were brought up in a common discussion. Questions like the following need to be developed in near future: Who is the subject of the action? What should be the expression? How should it be done? When is it a success? When is it to be aborted? Are there alternative plans? And so on.

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For this whole package – from collectively developing the narrative about logistics, G20 and capitalism to the characteristics of the action – a European, antiauthoritarian platform will be launched online soon, which Beyond Europe will be a part of. This platform is open to all organisations who – like the participants of this weekend – intend to mobilize to the G20-protests in Hamburg, but focus the logistics of capitalism and therefore contribute to an action with the aim to shut down harbour business in Hamburg that weekend. The platform will contain:

– common points of the March-weekend in Hamburg
– arguments and discussions about logistics
– important dates on the way to Hamburg
(mobilization events, similar summits before
the G20…)
– permanent updates about the situation in Hamburg
– legal information from Germany
– mobilization material
– potential post-G20 assemblies and dates about
how to move forward

Here, already, you can find legal advice for Germany. These brochures are made by Red Aid (Rote Hilfe), which is a nation wide left radical organization in Germany helping people in trouble with the law, state and police:

French version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=97:que-faire-en-cas-de-feu-conseil-juridique-was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-franzoesisch-ausgabe-2014

English version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=100:what-to-do-when-the-going-gets-rough-legal-tips-was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-englisch-ausgabe-2013

Turkish version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=101:baskilara-karsi-ne-yapmali-adli-yardim-teknigi-was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-tuerkisch

Arabic version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=102:was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-arabisch

Russian version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=104:was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-russisch-ausgabe-2007

Spanish version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=105:que-hacer-cuando-la-cosa-se-pone-caliente-was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-spanisch-ausgabe-2006

Greek version:
https://rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/3-rechtshilfe-a-was-tun-wenns-brennt?download=107:was-tun-wenn-s-brennt-auf-griechisch

marec 24, 2017

July 5th Until July 8th: #NoG20 in #Hamburg, #Germany

On the 7th and 8th of July 2017 the G20 summit is supposed to take place in Hamburg.
The heads of the governments of the 19 richest and most powerful states of the world, accompanied by 6.000 delegation members, surrounded and permanently photographed by 3.000 journalists and of course cordoned off and protected by an army of at least 10.000 police and secret service operatives.

nog20hamburg2017

Originally published by Autonome Aktion Europe

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe so they are able to read what is going on.

Facebook event page: here.

All this is supposed to take place in the middle of Hamburg: in the exhibition halls, in the town hall, in the Elbphilharmonie. Large-scale and multilevel barriers, ID controls,
evacuated appartments – the main victims will be the people in the Karoviertel and the surrounding neighborhoods. Especially those, that are already more exposed to frequent controls and harrassments because of the color of their skin, their legal status, their precarious social situation or other reasons.

The residents are supposed to give way for an orchestration of power, a living city is turned into a dead scenery. The main performance is the illusion that the political elites of global capitalism have everything well under control, that they are somehow capable of providing security, peace, livelihood and a real future perspective to the people of the world.

But we are witnessing the exact opposite: the prevailing world order is a further escalating world disorder of brutal social inequality, structurally embedded sexism and racism,
ecological destruction and spreading wars.

Millions of people are forced to flee, billions are struggling to survive and the number of people that is affected by precarisation is continuously rising, also here in Germany. At the same time a small global upper class is getting richer and richer.

The political representatives of this world disorder want to come to Hamburg: Erdogan from Turkey, Putin from Russia, the cold putschist Temer from Brasil, and if we are unlucky also Donald Trump.

There also aren’t a lot of good things to say about the governments of China or India. And the so very democratic governments of western Europe? They are the ones that build walls and fences and coldly let fleeing people drown at sea. We will show them that they are not welcome in Hamburg!

In many political groups and spectres the reflections on how to organize the necessary protests and actions against the G20 Summit have already begun. There are many different approaches: Some care about the right to the city, others about climate policy, to others flight and migration or capitalism as a whole matters. There are ideas such as a counter summit, a major demonstration, or disobedient actions around the conference venue or in the whole city.

No matter what the criticism of the G20 Summit is precisely based on, no matter what actions or forms of expression are prefered, the protest can only be a success if we are able to make the possibility of a different world, a world of justice and solidarity, appear in them. And if the protest are complementary rather than in opposition to each other.
That needs arrangements and a lot of communication between the summits opponents.

Autonome Aktion Europe

marec 23, 2017

(Videos) #Slovenia: Police Violence Against Actvists Who Tried To Stop Deportation of Syrian Family

In the early morning hours Slovenian cops deported a Syrian family to Croatia. About 50 activists tried to prevent the deportation of the father, mother and an 18 months old child that was born in Slovenia. Cops used violence to break the blockade of a van that was used to deport the family.

slovenia22m

Image: Activists tried to stop the deportation on March 22th.

Written by Riot Turtle

At about 6:45am cops came to the refugee shelter in Vič to carry out the deportation of the Syrian family. Activists chanting “No Borders! No Nations! Stop Deportations! tried to prevent the deportation but cops started to threaten, kick, push and throw activists to the ground. Some of the cops were wearing civil clothes. One person was arrested, but a few hours later released again. At least 20 people were identified and threatened with fines.

The Syrian family lived in the refugee shelter in Vič since August 2015. Their child was born in Slovenia and the family had build-up social contacts. Fortress Europe showed its ugly face once again.

marec 23, 2017

Call for Transnational Demo At Serbian/Hungarian Border

On April 15th, 2017 there will be a transnational demonstration at the Hugarian/Serbian border. In the call for the demonstration, Migszol writes: “We demonstrate against the dehumanizing state-propaganda! We demonstrate against any kind of detention of people seeking asylum and migrants! We demonstrate against the illegal practice of violence by the Hungarian authorities on the border!

demohorgos.jpg

Originally published by MigSzol Facebook event page

Note: Presence Counts  is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe so they are able to read what is going on.

Transnational demonstration, Saturday April15th from 03:00pm until 06:00pm at the Hungarian side of the Horgoš / Röszke Border Crossing.

Since March 15th changes in the Hungarian law were passed which mean that ALL people seeking asylum will be detained in prison-containers at the Hungarian-Serbian border. It also means that the only place to apply for asylum is in the two transit zones at the border, where only 10 people per (week) day can enter. Everybody who enters the country ‘illegally’ can be pushed back from the whole territory of Hungary to the Serbian side of the fence again.

These push-backs are already happening since the fence was built in September 2015. People report about serious violence committed by Hungarian police, including hours of beating, humiliation, attacks with dogs and theft. A special unit of the police, the border hunter unit, who gets trained in 2 months, equipped with weapons and sent to the borders, has started to work. The legal changes systematically legalize the violence and over the last years have decreased the rights of people seeking protection to the current level of dehumanization as indefinite prisoners.

We demonstrate against the dehumanizing state-propaganda!

We demonstrate against any kind of detention of people seeking asylum and migrants!

We demonstrate against the illegal practice of violence by the Hungarian authorities on the border!

Join us on the 15th of April on the Hungarian side of the border!

Further information later at the Facebook event page.