Protokoll / Minutes of the European Action Conference

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From November 22nd to November 24th 2013 in Frankfurt

The following decisions were made in two big plenary-discussions on Saturday evening and Sunday noon. These were not only the results of three days of intense discussions in the assemblies, dozens of workshops and four working groups in Frankfurt, but they also take up suggestions and ideas which were made on previous transnational meetings like the “strategy meeting” in Amsterdam and the Agora99 in Rome. Each of the plenary discussion was attended by several hundreds of people from all over Europe and beyond. By agreeing on these common measures and actions, the attendees also declared that they themselves are going to use the following month to implement these decisions and bring the transnational movement against austerity and capitalism in 2014 to the streets of Europe in general and Frankfurt in particular.

To substantiate these plans, the assemblies agreed that we will have an international work meeting to coordinate and plan the European wide activities on January the 25th and another one for the German Mobilization (“activist meeting”) on January the 26th in Frankfurt.

With this in mind the European Blockupy Action Conference decided:

1.)

The opening of the new ECB-Building in the end of 2014 will be the place for a transnational action of massive protest and civil mass disobedience. Regardless of how the weather and what the exact date might be: We will be there – from all over Europe and beyond. Our common aim is to prevent the opening ceremony of the ECB and set a strong sign of resistance against the policy of the Troika. It is our party and we will make it “a special event”. Our action therefore will consist of several days of protest and resistance, which will include:

  • The effective blockade of the opening ceremony of the new ECB building with the means of mass actions and civil disobedience. That includes actions in the whole city of Frankfurt to prevent or at least massively disrupt the arrival of the leaders of the European crisis regime.
  • A camp (or a similar structure for accommodation) with spaces for assemblies and discussions and to host the preparations for our protest.
  • A big demonstration on one of these days of action.
  • An action-day on which we will take actions of civil disobedience to connect our struggles, confront the Troika-policy and show the different aspects of the struggles against capitalism and for the commons.

Question and points which need to be dealt with (among a lot of other things) in the future process are:

  • How can we support coming to Frankfurt and joining the protest by people from all over Europe and beyond? Are there possibilities for financial support? How can people participate, who won’t make it to the (non-)opening of the ECB in Frankfurt?
  • What is the exact wording for our action plan? How do we coordinate our different actions in Frankfurt in a way that we reach the goal of effective resistance and creating safe spaces at the same time? What is our common claim and consensus?
  • What is our common perspective after the (non-)opening of the ECB in 2014?
  • How do we integrate more people into the Blockupy process?

2.)

We call for an international week of action in May 2014, starting the 15th of May until the last day of the European elections on 25th of May. There were some objections from activists from Greece that actions right before the elections might be difficult for them. A transnational work group has been founded, which is connected through an e-mail list and will deal with this question and substantiate the plan of the week of action.

Our common aim is to show that democracy does not happen in the institutions of the state, but that democracy is created in the fights, the actions and the assemblies of the people in the streets.

The action week shall consist of the following features:

  • We want to have decentralized actions on a local level during the whole week/time frame – including different struggles for the commons (i.e. healthcare, housing, migration, care work, education, labor conditions in the textile industry) as well as different forms of actions and civil disobedience like assemblies, demonstrations, occupations and other forms of direct actions.
  • There will be one common, central day through which we send a strong sign by focusing our efforts on several big actions on a regional or national level. The date of this common, central day of action has to be decided yet.
  • We invite everybody to participate in the coordination and mobilization for the week of action. Blockupy considers itself as a driving force in the process towards the action week, but of course not as the only political actor. The week of action is an open process.
  • In this open process we will agree on a common slogan, hash tags or key words for the week of action which express our common goals – such as the commons, solidarity, democracy…

A question which has to be answered (among a lot of others) in the future process is:

  • What is the exact date for the “centralized action day”? Suggestions so far were the 17th or 24th of May or just “the day before the elections”. The decision should be dependent on the region’s and movement’s ability to mobilize as well as on our efforts to coordinate the best date for all.

3.)

As we want to form a transnational social movement coalition (or even a coalition of coalitions), we aim to build a European-wide Coordination-structure, that will help to realize the plan for a truly transnational, participatory and transparent mobilization process. It shall not be the place for top-down decision making or a closed shop, but a clear and continuous structure, enabling and supporting the organizing process.

The coordination structure will be formed finally on a meeting on the 25th of January in Frankfurt. It needs to be built up by all networks and organizations from every country, who want to participate in the Blockupy 2014 mobilization (meaning the ECB Opening and the action week).

  • Therefore it is necessary, that different groups and networks etc. from all the participating countries/regions should think about sending delegates to the Europe- wide structure. In some countries own regional/national coordination structures will be formed, in order to integrate more groups in the Europe-wide process.
  •  Our perspective is to work together even after the (non-)opening of the ECB in the end of 2014 – how so and if, will be only decided after Blockupy 2014.3

4.)

Finally we took some decisions about a possible platform of content:

  • The main focus remains on the fight against the ECB and the Troika policy.
  • As Blockupy is on the way to become a transnational process we will change thewording in our calls, claims and on our websites accordingly.
  • We will focus on the keywords of Commons, Democracy and Solidarity to frame the perspective of our protest. This list of keywords is open to additions which may be agreed in the coming discussions and meetings.
  • Moreover we will formulate a clear critique of nationalism, anti-semitism and racism and all reactionary forms of Euro-skepticism. We will make clear that nation states, the national governments and the border regime are equally targets of our struggle as the institutions of the Troika.

Question and points which need to be dealt with (among a lot of other things) in the future process are:

  • Do we want to formulate more concrete demands like a European basic income, a minimum wage, a reduction of the weekly work time or the -the expropriation of certain corporations or branches?

We welcome comments, remarks, and additions. Please write to international@blockupy.org; or subscribe to the international Blockupy mailing list at international-subscribe@blockupy.info and get directly involved.

The Blockupy coordination group