april 12, 2017

Documenta Under Fire over Artist and Refugee Evictions

Following the opening of Documenta 14 in Athens, an artist group published an open letter criticizing the exhibition’s silence after a series of evictions of artists and raids of buildings housing refugees in the city.

Artists Against Evictions claim that viewers are not “Learning from Athens”—the title of this year’s exhibition—but are instead only seeing a version of the city that is state-approved. It accuses the mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, of standing by while the government evicted artists from the shared space Villa Zografou, arrested 120 refugees who were squatting in Alkiviadou, and bulldozed refugee homes in Thessaloniki. Kaminis had said that refugees occupying buildings owned by the municipality are “degrading the city.” In response, the signatories declared that this is “not a time of culturally archiving crisis. Now is a time of action not blind consumption.”

Addressed to all Documenta 14 visitors, participants, and cultural workers, the letter states: “The silence of Documenta is not acceptable and only goes further to accommodate Mayor Kaminis, the State, the Church, and the NGOs who stand against us and force thousands into segregated concentration camps, prepped and ready for the very bodies your director says he’s trying to protect. This violent act is dividing the legitimate bodies from the illegitimate ones by state force and Documenta has so far been silent.”

Unofficial refugee housing, known as squats, have cropped up throughout Athens in order to provide shelters that often have far better living conditions than official refugee camps. While the mayor allegedly calls these spaces “ghettos,” Artists Against Evictions considers them to be homes to thousands of displaced people. The group calls for all those participating in and visiting the exhibition to help refugees by supporting housing for migrants in Greece. The group believes that Documenta has a responsibility to address the constant raids on refugee shelters. It also claims that the “Parliament of Bodies,” a series of programming—talks, events, workshops—that preceded the opening of Documenta, had pledged to represent minority voices. “Well, we are those voices, we are inclusive to all genders, we are migrants, we are modern pariahs, we are the dissidents of the regime and we are here.” The letter continues, “We walk with you, we tread the parallel streets, but you don’t see us.”

The full letter is as follows:

To all Documenta 14 Viewers, Participants and Cultural Workers,

We call for your attention, in this immediate moment of “Learning from Athens.”
We are the people who inhabit this city and we are talking to you as our guests.

Your jostling bodies crowd the streets of Athens, your mouths are speaking of our hardship, your feet are pounding the pavements. But this is not enough. Now is a time for carving out a space for all, not a time of culturally archiving crisis. Now is a time of action not blind consumption. We ask you to redirect your limbs into the shadows and the black outs, away from the feast the Mayor of Athens has staged for you.

You say you want to learn from Athens, well first open your eyes to the city and listen to the streets.

One of you laments the discourse of illegitimate bodies. At the same time, by staying silent, he is assisting the eradication of spaces for the thousands of bodies who inhabit this city in autonomous units. These squatted houses are under constant threat; daily we are told we will be evicted through violent means. Not only jeopardizing our basic human needs, but our support networks, spaces of autonomy and unified cultural practices. In these buildings, artists and activists coexist together with thousands of refugees, who have come here from war-torn countries to seek new lives with dignity and freedom.

The silence of Documenta is not acceptable and only goes further to accommodate Mayor Kaminis, the State, the Church and the NGOs who stand against us and force thousands into segregated concentration camps, prepped and ready for the very bodies your director says he’s trying to protect. This violent act is dividing the legitimate bodies from the illegitimate ones by state force and Documenta has so far been silent.

The precursor events of Documenta 14, entitled “The parliament of bodies” spoke of the voices of resistance, transgender voices, the voices of the minority. Well, we are those voices, we are inclusive to all genders, we are migrants, we are modern pariahs, we are the dissidents of the regime and we are here. We walk with you, we tread the parallel streets, but you don’t see us – you have your eyes trained on the blue dotted lines of your Google map. You have been programmed and directed not to see us, to just miss us, reverse and avoid us – our culture has been censored from you. We ask you to recalibrate your devices, we ask you to get lost, to hack your automation, and rewire your cultural viewpoint.

In the run up to all those budget airlines hitting the tarmac, we have confronted some serious battles.

Only three weeks ago, at dawn on the 13th March 2017 the state evicted the social space Villa Zografou. They simultaneously raided Alkiviadou refugee squat and arrested 120 refugees only to release them out into the cold, homeless and without their belongings in the streets at midnight. This is not an isolated incident of oppression. Last summer in Thessaloniki, people faced the violent eviction and bulldozing of refugee homes. Immediately after these barbaric evictions and abuses, mayor Kaminis stated that the occupation of municipality owned buildings by migrants is “degrading the city.” The same mayor stood before you on April 6th, presiding with pomp over the Documenta press conference.

The Greek government today threatens to destroy anyone who seeks grassroots solidarity, self-organization and to build spaces for new beginnings. Over 2000 refugees share these spaces with artists and others, and form communities.

This aggressive cleansing will not stop, and we are under threat of losing all autonomous houses by the summer of 2017. These houses are our culture, our homes, and our structures. The mayor of Athens calls them ghettos but what is one man’s ghetto is thousands of people’s home, and site of social expression and interaction.

WE ARE ASKING YOU TO FIRST SEEK ATHENS AND THEN LEARN FROM US.

BY PARTICIPATING BLINDLY YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE GOLDEN GHETTOISATION OF OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS, THE EVICTION OF OUR COMMUNITIES, AND THE SYSTEMS OF PATRIARCHY THAT STAND ON OUR FINGERS AS WE TRY TO BUILD OUR OWN, SELF-SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURES.

CONSIDER YOUR PARTICIPATION AND ROLE IN EVENTS THAT IMPLICITLY LEND COVER AND LEGITIMACY TO THE MAYOR AND STATE’S ACTIONS.

YOU ARE CONDONING THE WAR ON GRASSROOTS INITIATIVES FOR ALL IF YOU IGNORE OUR CALL.

WE CALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY TO:

CLOSE THE CAMPS, NOT THE SQUATS
SOLIDARITY TO ALL SQUATS
AGAINST THE AGREEMENT OF EU-TURKEY SHAME
OPEN THE BORDERS

8th April 2017, Artists Against Evictions

april 12, 2017

#NoBorder: International Mobilisation at the French/Italian Border

Apart from the transnational demonstration at the Serbian/Hungarian border on April 15th, there will be also an International Mobilisation at the French/Italian Border against the borders and all their world at April 15th and 16th.

border16apr

Originally published by Mobilisation Internationale

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.

Place

Saturday, April, the 15th we will be in Flayosc to the factory of « La
Redonne » near Draguignan, 20 minutes from Les Arcs-Draguignan station,
the motorway and the National 7.
Sunday, the 16th, we drive to the border with Italy.

Program

Friday afternoon camp organization and reception of the first arrivals.

Saturday: workshops, debates, music at the factory site, La Redonne in
Flayosc

In the morning:
-> reception of participants from 9 am.
-> pactical workshop for the creation of banners and signs for events
-> Roundtable: How to actively participate in the struggle in support of
migrants?

The afternoon :
14h-16h: Parallel workshops and debates
-> the situation in Italy: projection of the documentary « For a
proportionate use of the force » and presentation of the situation in
Italy (practics to take fingerprints, torture, deportation …).
-> Debate on legal self defense for everyone, regardless of their
administrative status. (What to do in case of arrests, deportations,
crimes of solidarity …)
-> Round Table: How to fight against immigration policies?
(Externalization of the borders, Dublin IV, international agreements
…)
-> Proposition of a workshop animated by immigrant people, if they wish
16h30-18h30: Plenary session to share common ideas, experiences,
strategies and tools  for the struggle and perspectives.

The evening:
19h30-20h30: during dinner, screenings of short films in loop
music from 20:30 onwards (bands, choirs, revolutionary groups, according
to proposals)

Sunday:  caravan to the French-Italian border for demonstration and
supporting actions

Monday Camp dismantling and if possible a bit of time devoted to
strengthening knowledge and ties, etc.

For Information: we will organize meals and breakfast for the day of
Saturday and Sunday morning.
The evenings of Friday, Sunday and Monday, there will not be collective
meals although it is still possible to prepare a meal together –
drinking water is on site)
Camping in the fields. And ecological toilets on site.

noborders2

april 12, 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!

border_1_orig

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.

april 8, 2017

Hamburg July 8th #NoG20 Demonstration: Solidarity without borders instead of G20!

Although cops are planning to ban all demonstrations in Hamburg city center, the mobilisation for the demonstrations continue. Here we publish a call for a No G 20 demonstration on July 8th.

nog20

Read all of our articles about the No G 20 protests in Hamburg in July 2017: here

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.

Coalition Call to Action for the Major demonstration against the G20 summit on Saturday, July 8 in Hamburg!

Solidarity without borders instead of G20!

nog20_5

Something is going very wrong in the world:

  • There seems to be no end to wars and armed conflicts as in Syria, Iraq or Ukraine. 1.8 trillion euro are spent each year for armament and war. St the same time, weapons exports are increasing.
  • More than 65 Million people are on the run worldwide. The borders of Europe and Germany are sealed off once again. Thousands of people in search of safety are drowning in the Mediterranean, which has become the deadliest border in the world.
  • In many countries of the world, racism and open hatred are increasing – including in Germany. The truth is no longer a criterion; everything gets claimed and lied about if only it stirs up fears and prejudices. The ruling policy is to give in to these moods and even fuel them. Refugees are forcibly returned even to war zones like Afghanistan.
  • Man-made climate change is an undisputable and threatening reality. Its consequences are noticeable even today and affect above all those people and countries that are least responsible for causing it. Still the German federal government has adjusted its climate protection plan to the interests of the brown coal industry. In the White House, there’s a president who even think s that climate change is a lie.
  • Social division has reached dramatic extends. Just 8 men own more assets than the poorer half of the world population. This division doesn’t only exist on a global scale, it runs through almost all societies, including Germany’s. Millions of people have to make ends meet with low wages, have no perspective for a secure pension and have to fight for the few affordable apartments. Instead of dealing with these problems, they’re made even worse with free trade agreements like EPA, CETA, TISA or TTIP.

On July 7 and 8, those politically responsible for this humanitarian and social disaster want to meet in Hamburg. At their annual summit, the heads of the G20 countries talk about “fighting the causes for migration”, but none of the big countries of origin sits at the table. They talk about “a partnership with Africa”, but almost the whole continent is missing. They talk about climate change, but represent the interests of the oil, coal and car industry. They talk about peace, but they themselves are the biggest belligerent and weapons producing countries.

In the midst of these illustrious guests, Merkel and the federal government want to present themselves as a haven of reason and balancing. At the same time, they shut down the borders of Fortress Europe, dictate a neoliberal policy of impoverishment to Greece and other countries and are involved in illegitimate regime changes all over the world. Germany’s role in the worldwide battles for resource allocation and markets is to be extended. That’s also what the increasing number of foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr is for. The German government even makes deals with dictators like Erdogan, therefore supporting his war against the Kurdish people, in order to pursue its own interests in the region and have Turkey block the way to Europe for refugees.

The G20 summit will paralyze Hamburg for days and misuse the city as a backdrop for a staged show, as the people living there are to be marginalized. But this plan won’t work out. May the state visitors and their delegates barricade themselves in the exhibition halls. The streets will belong to the people who aren’t hosting the summit. Our criticism isn’t just against individual persons and representatives, but against the circumstances and structures that produce them. We will clearly express our rejection of this cold and cruel world of global capitalism, as it’s represented and organized by the G20. We will express our solidarity with all those who oppose the politics of the G20 through protests, strikes or uprisings worldwide. Our demand for a world of peace, global justice and borderless solidarity will be unmistakable.

We invite everyone who shares our outrage and our hope to take to the streets of Hamburg with us in a loud, colorful and diverse demonstration on July 8, 2017.

For further information (soon): http://www.g20-protest.de/startseite/ or http://g20-demo.de

Major demonstration against the G20 summit on Saturday, July 8 in Hamburg!

If you want to sign this call as a group/organization or individual, send an e-mail to info@g20-demo.de. With the signature we ask for a donation of 20€ (small organizations), 100€ (medium-size organizations) and 500€ (large organizations). Individuals please pay 10€. We will send the account details.

First signatures are collected till February 28th.  A later signature is possible.

april 8, 2017

#Thessaloniki #Greece: About the Eviction of the “Albatross” Squat

Izvor: #Thessaloniki #Greece: About the Eviction of the “Albatross” Squat

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

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.