After the first meeting during the Global Meeting in Venice (that took place at the end of March 2007), people from various Social Centers (Italy) and people from the Antiauthoritarian Movement (Greece) called the International Meeting during the 3rd G8-Action-Conference in Rostock, Germany.
STATEMENT We met today on the 14th of Αpril, we are people of different territories and countries of Europe. We participate in the third Action Conference against the G8 Summit in Rostock. Several of us took part in the Global Meeting organized on the 31th of Μarch in Venice, where we began to coordinate on an European level. Facing our committements to participate in the protest and actions against the G8 summit, we want to share some agreements about borders control and freedom of movement.
We state that:
1) All human beings must have a freedom of movement in a Europe and in a world without borders.
2) We refuse any control, repression and ban used by European polices to stop peoples moving toward the protest against the G8, and we reject any classification and discrimination between protesters.
3) We will express solidarity to people facing problems at the borders and we will coordinate efforts to guarantee the right of movement through the first week of June.
4) A political Europe already exists and it's based on border control and capitalistic economy, instead we are building another Europe of equality, justice and equal rights for all.
5) We call for actions of solidarity on embassies, consulates, Goethe-Institutes, German enterprises all over Europe and the world. In this context we will respect every form of action and protest.
This text has been discussed and supported by participants from Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, France, U.K., Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Netherlands, U.S.A. and Canada.
**Info events in Montreal and Torornto: Please distribute through your networks in Canada**
On the International Day for Peasant Struggles ...
Showdown in Germany: Resistance to the G8 Continues Montreal Stop of Canadian Info-Tour
Tuesday, 17 April, 7pm LOCATION
(((Presentation in English. Whisper translation to French.)))
Although the North American "anti-globalization" movement was displaced by post-September 11 agendas, the movement in Europe has continued to evolve and gain momentum.
Kriss Sol is an Amsterdam-based organizer with the Netherlands component of the "Dissent! Network of Resistance". He will be in Montreal as part of an info-tour about the G8 summit taking place in Germany this summer. Kriss will provide an analysis of the issues, give an overview of the mobilization against the G8 that is taking place across Europe, and lead a discussion about the importance of the European movement to North American organizers. Kriss will also show some short films made for this summer's anti-G8 mobilization.
RESISTANCE TO THIS SUMMER'S G-8 SUMMIT IN GERMANY
This year, during the first week of June, the G8 leaders will meet in the German resort of Heiligendamm, close to Rostock. To guarantee the security of their meeting, the superpowers will surround the resort with a 2-meter tall and 13-kilometer long security fence. The base of the fence will be sunk 1 meter deep into the ground. In total, they will invest 12.5 million Euros in barbed wire and cement.
In the face of capitalism's politics of enclosure, European activists will draw upon all they've learned since Genoa in order to throw a wrench in the gears. Combining mass anti-summit initiatives with tactical mobility and decentralization, the planned actions promise to address the shortcomings of previous anti-summit protests and to raise the bar for coordinated resistance.
Showdown in Germany: Resistance to the G8 Continues
Although the North American anti-globalization movement was displaced on the world stage by post-September 11 warmongering, the movement in Europe has continued to evolve and gain momentum.
This year, during the first week of June, the G8 leaders will meet for a nice cup of tea in the German resort of Heiligendamm, close to Rostock. To guarantee the security of their meeting, the superpowers will surround the resort with a 2-meter tall and 13-kilometer long security fence. The base of the fence will be sunk 1 meter deep into the ground. In total, they will invest 12.5 million Euros in barbed wire and cement.
In the face of capitalism’s politics of enclosure, European activists will draw upon all they’ve learned since Genoa in order to throw a wrench in the gears. Combining mass anti-summit initiatives with tactical mobility and decentralization, the planned actions promise to address the shortcomings of previous anti-summit protests and to raise the bar for coordinated resistance.
What can North American activists learn from the European experience?
Join Kriss Sol – an Amsterdam-based organizer with the Netherlands component of the "Dissent! Network of Resistance" – as he provides:
- An overview of the anti-G8 mobilization
- An analysis of the issues confronting activists, and
- A summary of the lessons that North American organizers can learn from the European situation.
Thursday, April 19 | 7:00 pm | 519 Community Centre (Church + Wellesley)
Eight good reasons to block the G8 (By: Affinity Group Wilnis)
An impressive number of groups in Germany and outside is currently preparing to effectively blockade the G8 summit this June. At least they will try to, they are, of course countered by a large police force that will try and stop them.
At carious info-nights about these mobilisation efforts held in the Netherlands, you often hear people voicing doubts about the use of blockades. It is sometimes claimed that they “useless”, “a ritual” and that “summits are only symbols”. Below you will find eight good reasons for taking part in the blockades and help making them successful.
1) In order to win. Imagine that this time round it will really work! The big names will, of course, be flown in with a helicopter, but that’s only a few of them. The lower ranks, especially the personnel, will have to be brought in by car. Furthermore, you can block a helicopter, too (with hang gliders, sky rockets&hellip, and on the day of the summit, people have already announced they will try and block the only big airport in the region. But again, imagine that it will be a successful blockade; that we are enough people with enough fantasy, initiative and courage to block the entry points. Then the G8 summit, where those who are instrumental in perpetuating global poverty, environmental destruction and neo-liberal business want to get together and play, will simply fail. Just that day, remember Seattle?
2) In order to create networks. Summit protests are spaces where countless groups and individuals join forces who rarely see each other in their daily lives, let alone organise protests together. We have been divided into countless one-issue movements which in turn are divided over strategic and political questions. But during protests against a summit such as this one, everything comes together and crosses each other. This cross-fertilisation yields unexpected results.
3) As a school for protest. The protests, the preparations and the action camps, are spaces in which everyone learns new things. It is a living school for self-organisation, theory, discussion, action forms, etc. Helping organising an action camp, witnessing how people who barely know each other can stop something of that scale in such a short period of time and under difficult circumstances, is in itself something that everyone should have experienced at least once in their lifetime. These camps are also places where people who have just recently decided to become active against the current world order can come into contact with people who have been active already for a long time. The blockades and actions can be astonishing experiences, they can change lives and let people see that we can change things and that resistance is possible. These experiences are then used in different places and on different subjects and thereby disseminated beyond only the summit.
4) For the spin-off effect: the effects of these sort of mass actions are much bigger than the place and time of the summit. It influences a large part of the surrounding society, the media, the discussions at the baker’s and in the bus. Suddenly everyone is talking about the issue, and that would never happen if the protests would not take place. Of course, not everyone agrees with the activists, but at least they are discussing the issues. Compare that with summits that meet with no resistance, which was common place only a few years ago. Then the media picture presented is largely that which those in power created, and you would see men in grey suites shaking hands. But now, WE are in the picture. But the spin-off goes much further than that: the networks created during the protests, activists return to their local settings and are inspired to carry on with their work. Because no one considers these summit protests as the end point in their lives as political activists; it is but one moment in our daily campaigns and struggles to change the world. But it is an important one that can be used well.
5) Ritual and spectacle? The common reasoning that summits are just a ritualised display of power and serve as a trap which activists step into by protesting against them is simply not true. The powerful would much rather meet and discuss in peace. Now they are forced to protect themselves with an army surrounding them in order to keep off the angry masses. They have a very hard time, under these circumstances, to legitimise themselves and their actions and are thereby forced to make all sorts of pseudo-promises. So this is what we have achieved already. Of course they also learn from these experiences and activists have to be inventive to keep up the pressure. It is also important to realise that summit protests cost activists a lot of time, money and labour, which could also be invested elsewhere. Hyping militant behaviour can also be irritating and counter-productive. Much more dangerous, however, is the ritualisation of powerless political agreement which mainstream NGOs make with governments, such as symbolic mass demonstrations (round the church and back). They also cost much time, money and energy, and are, moreover, painfully boring.
But to be active only at the local level and &lsquoositively’ is also not an option, the ruling elite will laugh at you and couldn’t care less. Every now and then, you have to try and come together and score ‘globally’, and then part again to carry on working at the local level. Also: not all actions that have taken place many times are also out of date. For centuries now, workers have gone on strike against their bosses and strikes are still necessary tools that book results.
6) In order to break out of the often illusionary ‘civil society input’ culture. In order to experience a different reality for a moment (other than the endless ‘consultation’ model with its ‘civil feedback groups’, ‘stakeholder meetings’, reports, studies and policy recommendations), it helps to, once in a while, attempt an actual act of resistance without compromise. Yabasta! It’s enough, in June in Heiligendamm, we had enough and will try and stop the limousines and dance on their roofs. All this in the hope that the practice of direct action will effect the negotiations, because not so long ago this was the case and had actual effect (e.g. in the squatting, women’s and initially the workers movements&hellip. Fewer things on earth are more fulfilling than to smash the party of fat cats and stop them, even if only for a moment, from destroying this planet.
7) For strategic reasons. Although the G8 is an informal meeting at which, officially, no decisions are taken, the G8 is becoming an increasingly important forum and, for this reason, is being increasingly institutionalised. Thousands of politicians and civil servants take part in it and it is prepared during the whole year by large teams. It is evident that these sort of meetings form the structure for negotiations between the most powerful capitalist nations in the world in order for them to coordinate their policies. Important decisions of other institutions, such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank, are prepared during this summit. The ‘system’ will not collapse if they cannot hold one of their summits, but it makes it all a little more difficult to keep the machine running smoothlessly. Imagine that each of their gatherings is met with such resistance. Also ideologically, they are forced into the defence by this form of mass protest.
8) For international solidarity. We fight against the G8 leaders because we are suffering from their policies. But we also know that often people that are hit the worst by them live in the global South, far away from the cities where the power lies, where the conferences are held and the offices of the multi-nationals are located. In southern countries it is often common to resist economic oppression with hand and feet, for which people pay a high price. Those people also appreciate that also in the capitalist centres, people actively resist and demand an end to the desperation and status quo. This is why ‘global’ actions often go hand in hand with very specific demands around specific issues that all have to do with the G8 – supporting the Ogoni fighting against Shell in Nigeria, freeing political prisoners, solidarity with Oaxaca/Chiapas, oppose GMOs, etc, etc.
But first and foremost 1) in order to win! Those who join can later tell their grandchildren (or those of the neighbours) that they were there; the historic beginning of the end of the capitalist nightmare. Heiligendamm, June 2007, that’s where you have to be, en masse and active!
------------------------------- For more information on the coming protests see, amongst others, http://www.dissent.nl
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