Athens – Paris – Berlin – Now – Our solidarity must become practice
If after the defeat of the Greek spring another signal was necessary, the referendum on the “Brexit” delivered it: the neoliberal Europe has started to decay openly. Thereby, the politics of austerity paired with the technocratic cynicism of the elitres have proven to be the best accelerant for nationalism, sexism and racism. Right-wing populists of all kinds and countries use this opportunity of social polarization – the impoverishment, uncertainty, individualization. They offer not only cheap solutions but present the allegedly guilty ones and lead campaigns which are pervaded by misanthropy, racism and lynch mobs. After the elites have openly broken the promise of a social Europe, the right can now stage itself as supposedly social but de facto authoritarian opposition, that now also sacks the promise of freedom. Against the bleak presense they resurrect an even more violent past. We do not even want to imagine the future that is supposed to emerge from this. This is the point which requires us to act decisively – and be able to act. Because ultimately within all this there is also a chance.
When if not now! Everywhere in Europe we know very well that there must be something else: a Europe from below, a Europe without borders, a Europe of social rights, of struggles, of guarantees. It is far from certain that the elites and the right margin can without disturbance continue with the division of the world and destruction of the little that has ever been good about “Europe“. This is particularly evident in France and the fights against the labor market reform that have already lasted for months. After the blackmailing of Greece another example is to be set here – surely all of it recommended by the German politicians of austerity. Enforced as always without any ifs or buts and an attached threat – with Junker explaining complacently that the measures in France are only the minimum of what is possible, referring to Greece as maximum. The line is clear: no compromise, no social solution, no promises. Authority, order and submission. Until the end of days.
But a wide social resistance opposes. An invisible thread is by now running from Athens to Paris, because also there the protests are not only protests against the neoliberal austerity and labor market policies nor the authoritarian form of implementation. No, it is also an outcry against the sellout and permanent uncertainty, against the submission, disciplining and castigation, against the exploitation all over Europe and beyond. A pole of cross-border, transnational solidarity against both the neoliberal competition as well as the right agitation of fear is becoming visible.
We know that at least one center of these politics of austerity, power and fear is in Berlin and not just far away. And it can only be beaten if there is clear, loud, visible protest, outcry and resistance in the heart of the crisis regime.
The national action weekend against racism at the beginning of September in Berlin with the central demonstration on 3 September – and before the next election rounds in several federal parliaments – is therefore a good moment to be back on the street: to get together and stand up against the right with many others on the streets. For another society, against the right-wing backlash – and the dictate of austerity that has supported this right-wing turn. This is why Blockupy also calls for a day of actions on Friday, 2 September: to block the labor ministry together. Let’s mark it as one central place of their politics of precarity and impoverishment, of hierarchizing misery and the borders, of the export of Agenda 2010 and the German role model.
Let’s publicly put the screw on it, because the current attempt to exclude EU migrants from social rights is just another example for the social division along national lines. We reject these politics of impoverishment, exclusion and drawing of borders – and we will disturb them and be active in those places where these policies are planned and implemented: in the party headquarters of the right-wing populist „Alternative for Germany“ (AfD) as well as the supposed „center“, in the Job centers of this wirkd and last but not least the lobby associations, such as the Confederation of German Industry (BDI/BDA) in Germany.
Let’s use the time until the first weekend of September to intervene: in the situation in Germany and in Europe, which has started moving and become contested. For when if not now, who if not us can counter the racists division of the inside and outside with the social conflict between the top and the bottom. Let us make clear everywhere until the beginning of September when we meet in the streets of Berlin what we think of the actors and profiteers of division and closure, of the European austerity politics and the German role model. Let’s tie the threads and tighten the sling around the architects and profiteers of this division.
Let’s be disobedient. Let’s be creative. Let’s be brave. It is up to us. Let’s show – with your photos and reports of Go-Ins, events, rallies, creative and direct actions – that we have understood the signs of the time!
Blockupy Coordination, 27 June 2016