Pan European Solidarity Network

Posted: May 14, 2012 in opinion
Tags: , ,

This is a first idea of the text that’s going to represent what the Pan European Solidarity Network is and fights for.

“The economic crisis, an unavoidable feature of capitalism, serves the interests of capital and maximises the exploitation of the working class. Extreme expansion of credit and bailouts given to commercial banks have left many European states struggling with unmanageable debts leading to austerity imposition on their citizens.

Greece is one of the first victims of this extreme austerity. Over the past three years, the Troika, IMF and the political powers have placed banking interests above those of the people, leading to poverty, hopelessness and misery. Unemployment rate in Greece is running at 25% with youth unemployment reaching 50%. Public spending for education and healthcare has reached record-lows. The homeless population enumerates more than 20,000 individuals. Privatizations have stripped the Greek state of its public assets. Emergency taxes, on top of existing ones, have made survival practically impossible.

The austerity measures have been justified as a means to pay back the debt to the banks. However, over the last two years this debt has increased from 140% to 160% of the GDP, while banks have announced increasing profits.

Moreover, the government, seeking to offload the blame for the situation, uses the media to scapegoat the unemployed and the immigrants. .

While the situation is at its most brutal in Greece, it is being replicated throughout the Eurozone.
• In Spain, unemployment is running at 24%, with over half of young people out of work. The economy is shrinking, while the debts is growing larger. Health and education will bear the brunt of the 35bn spending cuts being implemented
• In Portugal unemployment is running at 15%, with wide-ranging privatisation being pushed through, while public sector workers face pay-cuts up to 5%
• In Ireland, the government has sought to repay IMF loans by imposing a deeply regressive household tax and by cutting public sector wages.
• In Italy, the government is increasing the costs of healthcare, while family benefits, pensions and employment protection for workers are being reduced.

All over Europe, popular media target immigrants promoting this way extreme right wing ideologies and practices. This has increased the popularity of the far right, given the recent example of the France elections where the National Front’s Marine Le Pen came third with 18.1% What is more, the predictions for the upcoming Greek elections, on Sunday the 6th of May, show the Greek neonazi party, Golden Dwan (Chryssi Avgi), entering the parliament. Whether this is a vote of social anger or a determinant one of the rise of fascist ideologies in Europe the results are more than obvious in the social and political context. Police systemic and brutal repression during demonstrations and strikes, the stripping of citizen’s rights, constitute strong examples of the mandatory use of violence serving the protection of any kind of authority and not the one of the people. The recent example of the severe injuries of three demonstrators by the use of rubber bullets from the police, during the general strike in Spain the 29th of March, represents only one of the many incidents of police brutality shown all over Europe. What is obvious here is that the role of the police, imposed by each government, is only limited within the frame of power preservation.

Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland are not being hammered solely by their own governments but mainly by the international capitalist system which values the profits of the rich over the needs of ordinary people. It should be clear, that this is a snowball effect. In Britain, the youth unemployment rates are already running at 15% and the NHS is being privatised. In Germany, a hidden world of poverty, hunger and misery has been expanding. Greece is the beginning of an inhumane experiment: how much lower can the living conditions drop.

Capitalism is unable to provide a fair and just society covering the needs of all. We, the working class, the students, the unemployed will form a society based on our needs. We require an international movement that will cooperate and coordinate towards this direction. Existing links with antisystemic organisations, as well as independent activists and solidarity groups which have been newly formed all around Europe, not only are they showing their solidarity to the struggling Greek people but also fight for a fairer future for Europe. We fight for a society based on the needs of the people and not of the elite, where inter-state relations are not founded on competition and exploitation, but cooperation and mutuality.

We are building a european co-ordination network among the groups and individuals that resist austerity and seek an alternative to capitalism and the system of representative democracy – regardless of tradition. We are building a movement based on the politics of the streets, not the politics of the parliament, because we choose the directly democratic way we organise in our working place and our communities that meets our social and economic needs, over the sham democracy presented to us at the ballot box.

It’s time for us all to co-ordinate our efforts and fight.

Purposes and Aims
The purpose of this network is to enable solidarity between activists across Europe. We seek to:

1. Raise awareness for the underlying causes and effects of austerity on the countries involved by:
o Developing class consciousness
o Promoting trade union organisation, and neighbourhood assemblies and places of study.
o Respecting diversity and the need for the autonomous organisation of marginalised groups.
2. Create better communication networks among individual activists and groups across Europe by:
o Promoting alternative media
o Developing social media presence
o Building a pan-european radical calendar
o Creating cross-border delegations, including cultural exchange

3. Enable pan-european resistance and provide cross-border solidarity by:
o Identifying cross-border/pan-european capitalist links.
o Identifying targets for co-ordinated action
o Enabling cross-border, pan EU action calls.
o Sharing information, knowledge and expertise on tactics of resistance.

4. Oppose police repression and uphold the right of people to defend themselves and to protest by:
o Providing cross-border political prisoner solidarity
o Providing refuge for those targeted by state repression in their home country”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s