Working groups

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Central working groups, scheduled for 3 days

We want to make use of the Blockupy festival to discuss the most important strategic problems that have emerged in the social and political struggles of the recent years in the five working groups which are scheduled for three days. While specific questions, which are relevant in particular social struggles, can and should be discussed in the other workshops, the three-part working groups focus specifically on those cross sections that seem to be of relevance in different fields. The goal is to enable an evolving debate which lasts over three days. In these five working groups people from different countries, out of various social groups and political contexts will talk to each other and work together.

Please register here for participation in the long-term working groups (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10-13 o’clock). A registration for the further festival programm is not required.

Working Group 1

Friday | 21st November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Spiegelsaal

Sat | 22nd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Spiegelsaal

Sunday | 23rd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Spiegelsaal

Transnational Networking and Strategies of Resistance

Against the European austerity policy and its dramatic consequences a renaissance of transnational cooperation and networking now came into being. In times of softer “Crisis is over”-rhetoric uttered by the ruling, hard reality in the everyday life of many and not simultaneous developments in different constellations we are trying to encourage the difficult but urgently needed mobilization. Thereby a “mosaic” of the leftist, emancipatory resistance against the crisis regime is meeting. Between social struggles, “classical” or “post-identical” movements, trade unions, NGOs, new parties etc., alliances, joint campaigns, debate interrelations and continuous collaborations are emerging all over Europe and beyond. In these networks far more than just defensive struggles are focused. In new forms

of participation, distribution, boundless solidarity beginnings
of another society are originating with all their experiences of self-empowerment and their own laws. Up until now this transnational “mosaic” turns out to be a loose connection however and its immediate impact is still narrowed. In comparison to the European Social Forum (ESF) – with all its strengths and weaknesses – we have to admit that we have not yet reached the rate of organization of the last decade by far. But maybe we do not even want that?

In this working group we will discuss, what kind of networking we are in need of to withstand the crisis regime. Therefore we want to learn from our previous projects and current experiences of collaboration. We will ask after the subjects of resistance (who is active and accessible?) and after areas of conflict, in which we move (e.g. between social struggles, resistance against institutions and transformations of the system). Which actions, campaigns and forms of expression are possible and necessary? Which new structures of communication and the passing on of experiences are we looking for? How do we succeed in building a strong, shared narrative – Do we make the alternatives, for which we are fighting, visible through fissures in the capitalistic cement? Or what else do we need?

With activists from Global Project (Italy), Transnational Institute (Amsterdam), PODEMOS (Spain), 15-M (Spain), Precarious (Dis-)Connections (Italy), Corporate Europe Observatory (Brussels), INR (Prague), Antiauthoritarian Movement/Beyond Europe (Greece), AlterSummit

and others.
Co-organized by:
Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Language: English

 

Working Group 2

Struggles on social infrastructure in Europe

Friday | 21st November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstraße 26-28 | Festsaal

Sat | 22nd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstraße 26-28 | Festsaal

Sun | 23rd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstraße 26-28 | Room K 4

Possibly the most vivid struggles throughout Europe are fought in what we call institutions of social infrastructure, social services of general interest, publicly owned or communal goods. In these fields it seems more feasible to mobilize broad social alliances in the defence of housing, health care or public spaces. Although these struggles occur (necessarily) defensive, they produce practices and discourses that refer to a new social infrastructure and reach far beyond the defence of existing welfare state institutions. Individuals and collectives take the social infrastructure of society concretely into their own hands in various areas. How can these struggles in different areas be further developed towards a new society? What can we learn from each other?

With Joachim Hirsch and Eva-Maria Krampe (links-netz), Werner Rätz and Thomas Eberhard-Köster (Attac) as well as activists from Solidarity4all (Greece), Alpha Kappa (Greece), Dinamo Press (Italy), All at alla (Sweden), Kotti & Co. (Berlin), Interventionistische Linke amongst others. Co-organized by: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Language: German/English (simultaneous translation)

 

Working Group 3

The crisis regime as a project of European hegemony internally and externally

Friday | 21st November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Haus der Jugend | Deutschherrnufer 12 | großer Saal

Sat | 22nd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Café ExZess | Leipziger Straße 91

Sun | 23rd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Café ExZess | Leipziger Straße 91

Whether Troika-briefs or TTIP, the crisis in the Ukraine, of reproduction or Frontex – again and again we are confronted with new schemes and conditions which the ruling classes and elites enforce on us. Thus, forcing us to imagine future outcomes as well as correlations between different policies and grievances. At the same time, naturally, our understanding, evaluation of its consequences, who and what we are dealing with, widely differ. How are we assessing the current situation: Is the crisis over and what does normalization of austerity mean? Are we

to deal with a Neoliberalism 2.0? How will social relations and ways of living be changed by the condition of precarity? How do we understand the relation between the crisis in Europe and its accompanying powerful restructuring of European capitalism? What are the links between this European project and global capitalism (e.g. with projects such as Competitiveness Pact, free trade and TTIP)? Who benefits and what changes are desired? What’s the role of the EU in relation to the „Global South“ and to those who seek protection in Europe and a better life? What kind of relation exists between the EU and the USA? How can the dynamics of militarization be assessed and how to evaluate its relation to the NATO?

With Jannis Milios (Syriza), Tobias Pflüger (Informationsstelle Militarisierung, DIE LINKE), John Kannankulam (University
of Marburg),
Jens Wissel (University of Kassel), Niko Huke (University of Hamburg), Frederico Pinheiro (Attac Portugal), Neva Löw (Wien), Martin Konecny (Wien) and others. Co-organized by: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung,

Assoziation für kritische Gesellschaftsforschung

Language: German/English (simultaneous translation)

 

Working Group 4

Learning to win again“: an exchange about processes of the constitution of counter-power, strategies for effectiveness and alliance policies

Friday | 21st November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Thekenraum

Sat | 22nd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Thekenraum

Sun | 23rd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Türkisches Volkshaus | Werrastraße 29 | Thekenraum

In this three session work group we will discuss “strategies of effectiveness” of our political work and will begin with a broad exchange about counter-power processes with the perspective of radical social transformation and “new governments”. We will do so by moving through different political perspectives and (European) regions, always trying to grasp the respective constellation of forces (stabilized and brutal austerity regimes, loss of democracy, concrete institutional forms) in relation to the newly emerged forms of protest, new actors, networks and alliances „from below“. We will take stock and explore the potential for building new progressive relationships between new forms of self-organization to the representation of the „power of the street“ to the „headquarters of power“ (from the local to the European level)? Are there already new relationships between social movements, left parties and unionism – and if yes, where and how does that take place? Do they potentially enhance

the space to manoeuvre for “left governments”? And, the other way round: do those governments open up room for social conflicts and struggles? How do “cross-over projects” operate and function that aim at building social majorities? What can we learn from past failures? Can we detect new dynamics and how would these be stabilized over the longer run or even become institutionalized? We are aware that we cannot answer all these questions and problems in three sessions sufficiently. Our aim with the debate, however, is to begin with creating strategic spaces or space for such strategic debates.

With activists from Democratic Socialists (Slovenia), SEL/Lista Tsipras (Italy), Global Project (Italy), PODEMOS (Spain), Solidarity4all (Greece), AlterSummit and others. Co-organized by: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Language: English

 

Working Group 5

The re-formation of the right-wing as a weakness of the Left? – Defensive struggles and right-wing rollback

Friday | 21st November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstr. 26-28 | Room K 2

Sat | 22nd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstr. 26-28 | Room K 2

Sun | 23rd November | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Studierendenhaus | University campus Bockenheim | Mertonstr. 26-28 | Room K 2

All over Europe right-wing populists are taking advantage of the current situation to regroup their forces. In regard to the crisis of the Euro, and its social impact, they find opportunities to strengthen the weight of nationalist and anti-immigrant positions. Sometimes cultural racism and religious fundamentalism even benefit each other in turn. In most of these cases the right-wing penetrates formerly left milieus, even taking over long grown self-aid structures by promising to defend “the regular guy” against „the big nobs above“. Yet, anti-fascist movements struggle with their analyses of the European swing to the right. Thus, discussing and assessing the extreme right and the development of anti-fascist counter-strategies is urgently needed. What are the consequences of the rise of right-wing and reactionary movements for the understanding of the Left as a popular force that is willing to intervene in the struggle? Which are the contradictions that the Left probably will have to deal with?

With activists from beyond europe, plan c (Great Britain), Alpha Kappa (Greece), syspirosi akaton (Cypress), Ums Ganze (Germany), Interventionistische Linke
and others.

Co-organized by: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Language: English