On the bright side of the crisis?

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Opportunities and challenges for anti-austerity protests in the “winning countries”

Interventionist Left – IL (Germany), Initiatives of unemployed people, Activists from Right to the City networks, Labournet, Activists from European grasroot union networks

In Greece, out of necessity more and more people are getting involved in politics and self-organizing processes and thereby open up new opportunities and perspectives. In Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland, however, conservative governments remain stable – especially because of their authoritarian austerity policies which target Southern and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the situation in the “winning countries” is also worsening with the European debt brake, the disciplining of recipients of state benefits and the primacy of the economic, which is more and more taken for granted. Even though most people’s reaction to all of this consists in “just standing still” and trying to secure their own share, systemic fractures are getting more obvious – and deeper.

So how can/must anti-austerity protests look like in these countries? What could be a momentum of these grievances and criticisms? Which are the struggles for rights which could usefully and productively strengthen each other to move forward collectively? How could we here, in the center of power, create opportunities for protests in the South and link them to local struggles? How could we strengthen resistance against policies that are obviously mainly in the interest of central European middle-classes? How can we politicize these contradictions and fractures to make our protest grow?