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evaluating #18M and the European Blockupy process, building perspectives. Networks that took part in #18M and want to be part of Blockupy welcome!
Taking a New Step!
Saturday, May 9th 2015, 10 a.m. ‐ 6 p.m.
Venue: SfE, Mehringhof, Gneisenaustr. 2A (2nd backyard), Berlin-Kreuzberg
(closest subways: U7 or U6 at Mehringdamm, see also: http://www.mehringhof.de/)
Dear Blockupy activists from many corners of political life and European regions,
Dear All, who came to Frankfurt various times, who build the transnational space of Blockupy International,
As Blockupy International we called for a European wide, transnational mobilisation to Frankfurt on 18 March – into the heart of the beast and the seemingly quiet eye of the storm – in order to send a loud, visible, vivid sign of a joint and resolute resistance against the prevailing crisis politics.
About 6.000 activists, at least 1.000 of which came from outside of Germany, took to the streets and squares in the morning around the symbol of the Troika, the new ECB building, 25.000 people participated in the great, colourful and determined protest march in the evening. On 18 March, we set an unmistakable sign that even in Germany, it is becoming windier and warmer, and that there is growing opposition to the politics of the German government and the European elites. The sign was transnational and it was visible in Madrid, in Rome, in Athens and all over the world. In these cities, it was seen as a sign of encouragement and solidarity, which we in turn take as a call to continue and intensify protest and resistance against the austerity regime (see also the Blockupy statement and common press release at: https://blockupy.org/en).
March 18th would not have been possible without the years of coordination and networking, of exchanging ideas and building common perspectives for a Europe from below, inventing new spaces of common practice and connecting local struggles, establishing links between different political currents, forms and histories. In a way, #18M is the preliminary highlight of a common process. Highlight, because we have jointly worked for this moment for quite some time and set the ECB opening as one of our targets for some years. Preliminary because it seems clear that we want to and need to continue. Preliminary also, because even if a moment of “European spring” is approaching, now more than ever we are experiencing a political intensification, a rearing up of the old order, which is pulling all the stops of extortion in order to subjugate Greece and essentially everyone to the interests of the ruling, their profits and the competition of the markets.
For all these reasons we call for a meeting of Blockupy International on May 9th to
- Evaluate March 18th in our networks, regions, and currents. How did the choreography of the whole day work – from the trip to the morning blockades until the manifestation and rally? What was critical, and why? Blockupy stands for a movement that links various forms of activities as well as tries to connect mass protest and civil disobedience that is open to everyone to participate. Not all actions that took place in the morning went on as planned and agreed upon. Blockupy has already articulated itself critically in this regard, however, there will still be much to discuss and evaluate amongst our networks and organizations. We will do so within the movement and amongst the activists.
- Review the political and organizational process and space we have created so far and work with. If we see #18M as a preliminary highlight of our transnational efforts for the last years, we should take the time to think about what worked, what has to be developed an which networks will take on responsibility for the next months.
- Deliberate together on the next steps to be taken, the next political projects to be developed by Blockupy International as an alliance/mobilization against the European crisis regime. Let’s collect ideas and plans already on the way (week of solidarity with Greece; March of Dignity to Brussels; European assemblies in Greece/Italy/Brussels, transnational strike etc.). Let’s analyse what needs to be done in the short and longer run and what this means for us. To keep and develop Blockupy International as one of the really broad and Europe wide platforms against crisis politics of the ruling, competent to encourage debates, to call for actions and to take on the streets is urgently needed.
We call for an open alliance meeting, enabling and supporting the further organizing process. We therefore call all networks and organizations which mobilized and participated so far or want to be part of this future process, to send “delegates” to the meeting on May 9th. Our goal is to have a in-depth, rich, and maybe controversial political discussion, learn from each other and build next steps from here. The Blockupy International meeting will be neither a European Action Conference, European assembly nor a closed shop for top-down decision making. We will think about broader, larger, huge European assemblies to come.
Please let us know whether you want to participate, whether you will come, and perhaps who else to invite. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We kindly invite all groups, especially those who cannot join the meeting, to share their reflections with us by sending in short evaluation papers before the meeting.
On May 9th , at 7 p.m., after our Blockupy international meeting and at the same place (Mehringhof), there will be a public discussion to open the following (German) Blockupy activists meeting on May 10th in Berlin: “Where is the transnational counterpublicity?” Panel: Achim Rollhäuser (Diktyo, Greece), Cristina Asensi (platform Democracia Real, Spanien), Michael Erhardt (union IG Metall, party DIE LINKE), Thomasz Konicz (journalist), presentation/ introduction: Blockupy. (Whisper) translation will be organized. More information you’ll find attached on the invitation sheet.
Of course we welcome everybody to stay for the Blockupy activist meeting on May 10th. However, the meeting will be held in German, so we will need to self-organize (whisper) translation.
Agenda of the Blockupy international coordination meeting on May 9th
|10:00 a.m.||Welcome, Introduction|
|10:30 a.m.||Part 1: Evaluation of 18 March: We want to start the meeting with a joint reflection of 18 March: as an evaluation of our choreography and common practice, as evaluation of our action of civil disobedience and as a political evaluation.|
|12:45 a.m.||Part 2: Evaluation of the Blockupy International Process: What was our political project, what has it become (and what could it be in the future)? What worked well with regards to our political and organizational process during the last years? What did not work? What kind of coalition/mobilization are we and what are we maybe not?|
|3:00 p.m.||Part 3: Next Steps: The biggest challenge after March is to deliberate together on the next steps to be taken by Blockupy international as an alliance/mobilization against the European crisis regime. Do we want to continue as Blockupy international? What does this mean? What could be our political projects in the future? What needs to be done in the short and longer run? How to deal with upcoming dynamics? Do we want to meet in the summer? Which networks will take on responsibility?|
|5:30 p.m.||Conclusion and Agreements|
|6:00 p.m.||End of the meeting|
There are limited resources to support travel costs, it won’t be enough to finance all or could be travel reimbursement. However, we want to stress the necessity to have the “alliance” represented as much as possible and would try to enable this with these limited funds.
We are looking forward to a productive and lively, controversial and political meeting.
In solidarity and with best wishes,
the Blockupy international coordination group