Migrants, Workers, Activists // Act! Demonstrate! Strike!
A day of coordinated initiatives against borders and precarization,
towards a transnational social strike!
Why a transnational day of coordinated actions against borders and precarization in Europe?
Because national social and labour policies are placed inside a European framework, precarity is organized along transnational chains of production and exploitation and migrant labour and migrants’ mobility are challenging the European order and austerity regime as never before. While the EU and its member States are struggling to control and govern mobility for the sake of profit, we need to experiment new forms of transnational organization and action. We don’t want to save this Europe, but we refuse the idea that national sovereignty can be a solution in the direction of freedom against exploitation. We don’t want to save Schengen by securing external borders, we want freedom of movement for all. For these reasons, we will take a stance on the side of migrants and we will claim a European visa without restrictions.
Why the 1st of March?
Because on the 1st of March 2010, after a call from France to organize a migrants’ «24 hours without us», in Italy a nationwide political strike against the immigration law was organized by a broad coalition. From that day, we take the strength of migrant labour and its capacity of being the point of connection among different places and conditions. On the 1st of March we want to take back the idea of the migrant strike and extend it to all the social figures that are suffering the austerity measures and border regime today, since only creating a large social front we can have the strength to fight for our rights.
The blackmailing against Greece and the so called “refugee crisis” have shaken Europe: it is now time to bring the voice of migrants and the refusal of the attempt to reorganize Europe along the nexus between a stricter government of mobility, the austerity regime and more precarization of all. For doing this, it is now the moment to take a clear stance and to overcome the borders of usual politics and labor disputing, even among social movements and unions.
Is it just another European day of action as we have already seen in the past?
The 1st of March will not be a day of action like others: it will be the first experiment of a longer process towards a transnational social strike across Europe and towards the demand of common claims. These claims can be a European minimum wage, a European basic income and welfare system based on residence, a European residence permit independent from labour contract and income levels.
What is going to happen the 1st of March?
Depending on local conditions, the 1st of March 2016 will be a day of decentralized and coordinated actions and strikes, aimed at disrupting regular production and reproduction, producing communication among different working conditions, making visible hidden situations of exploitation, targeting the border regime and the institutions that govern mobility and precarity. Be the 1st of March 2016 the day when we take a clear stance against a government of mobility that produces precarity for all. A day when we find common demands and claims.
Where is it going to happen the 1st of March?
To date, more than 20 cities across nine countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, England, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia), both inside and outside the Schengen space, have announced actions and demonstrations. More will join in the following days! See the complete list below. We will use the hastags #1M and #TSS to connect the different actions.
What is a transnational social strike?
The strike is transnational and social when it is able to cross the established borders of activism and syndicalism, countries and sectors, moving across society and workplaces outside the traditional forms of organization, addressing the political conditions of exploitation and the social questions. What we want is to take back the strike as a weapon of insubordination.
What is the Transnational Social Strike Platform?
The transnational social strike platform is not a collective nor a coordination among the proposing groups, but a political platform with the goal of involving more groups and people across Europe and beyond towards the common goal of a transnational social strike. We have neither identity nor a past to defend, but just an open process to storm the present.
How can I get more information or join the process?
The TSS platform has a website and a Facebook page for external communication.
Internal communication works through a dedicated mailing list. If you want to join, please write to [email protected]
List of initiatives planned so far:
- Benevento (Italy): action TBA. Contact: Centro Sociale Autogestito Depistaggio.
- Berlin (Germany): city walks on precarious working conditions, meeting point Potsdamer Platz @4.30pm. Evening assembly at Oranienplatz, 7pm. Contact: Berlin Migrant Strikers. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/608991909253838/.
- Bielefeld (Germany): making the unvisible visible. Contact: Solidarity not precarity project: http://www.solidarity-not-precarity.eu/
- Bologna (Italy): Migrants’ First of March against borders and precarization. Rally starting from 5pm @Piazza Nettuno. Contact: Coordinamento Migranti Bologna. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1563206103998699/ ; 6pm @Piazza Nettuno, “Our dignity not your frontiers!” Contact: TPO Facebook: https://www.<wbr style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">facebook.com/events/<wbr style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">902419846500109/
- Dresden (Germany): communicative action through bus and train stations in the morning. Rally starting 3pm @Albertplatz with discussion on political strike. Contact: FAU Dresden.
- Edimburgh (Scotland): Carnival of resistance at the Duke of Wellington Statue, meeting point @6pm. Contact: Migrants’ Solidarity Network. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1690874814528792/.
- Empoli (Italy): mobilization announced, action TBA. Contact: Csa Intifada. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/896346787151728/.
- Foggia (Italy): demo of migrants’ agricultural workers on 29th February, 9.30pm @Pronao Villa Comunale Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/188902411477651/
- Frankfurt (Germany): Precarious Stations: Making precarious life and work visible. City walk and gathering. Meeting point for city walk 3pm at Kaisersack. “Gathering of the precarious“ from 7pm to 9.30pm, meeting point @KOZ Café, Studierendenhaus, Campus Bockenheim. Contact: PrekärLab Frankfurt, [email protected]
- Göteborg (Sweden): actions TBA. Contact: Allt åt Alla
- Glasgow (Scotland): surprise interventions on labour and precarization.
- Ljubljana (Slovenia): action on migration and precarity, austerity and border regimes. Details: TBA. Contact: Antiracist Front without Borders (https://www.facebook.com/FrontaBrezMeja/?fref=ts).
- Malmö (Sweden): solidarity actions TBA. Contact: Allt åt Alla
- Milan (Italy): For a first of March against border and precarization. Rally starting from 6pm @Piazza Duca d’Aosta. Contact: Soy Mendel. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1688877904721270/
- Münich (Germany): demonstration by and with homeless EU-migrants on the right to housing for all “we want to live”. Starting point 10 a.m. at Schillerstr. 25 and lead to Marienplatz. Contact: Wir wollen wohnen. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wir-wollen-wohnen-1222768504405350/?fref=ts
- Napoli (Italy): First of March for all! Details TBA. Contact: Nablus – Scuola di Migranti, LOSKA.
- Paris (France): communication actions on the Transnational Social Strike process. Meeting point 5pm @Fontaine des Innocents (Chatelet les-Halles). Contact: Union syndacale Solidaires. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=479573562245896&id=413351912201395
- Poznan (Poland): picket in front of Adecco at 12:00! Against temporary agencies and precarity! Against borders! For the rights of migrants, precarious and industry workers! Contact: Inicjatywa Pracownicza.
- Rimini (Italy): rally “our life, your borders! For the Europe we want!”, @Piazza Cavour, 6pm. Contact: casa madiba network. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1555328734781421/
- Rome (Italy): morning sit-in in front of the local Prefettura at 10am. Rally “no borders, rights for al” in the afternoon @Piazza Vittorio from 6pm to 9pm. Contact: Laboratorio romano per lo sciopero sociale. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1172745826083372/
- Stockholm (Sweden): house warming party @Ikea. Contact: Allt åt Alla Stockholm.
- England: actions TBA in several cities across England. Contact: Plan C
- Vienna (Austria), event about the situation in France. Contact: Precarity Office.
- Warsaw (Poland): action on temp agencies TBA. Contact: Inicjatywa Pracownicza.
TODAY LIVESTREAMING FROM BERLIN
WIth Yanis Varoufakis, Marisa Matias, Portuguese Presidential candidate for the Left, Sławomir Sierakowski, founder of Krytyka Polityczna and Valentina Orazzini, international representative of the Italian Trade Union Fiom Cgil Nazionale. The talk will be led and presented by Lorenzo Marsili (@l_marsili), director of European Alternatives.
Today, we feel trapped between a rock and a hard place. Squeezed between a failing and undemocratic European Union and equally failing and undemocratic national states.
But beyond sterile arguments over the benefits of an independent nation-state or of a united Europe, we think that what we should really be talking about is how to organise to transform both.
That's what we will discuss in this special LIVE STREAMED episode, a day ahead of the launch of DiEM25 from the Volksbuhne theatre in Berlin on February 8th at 7PM CET
Join us during the show by asking questions and commenting at#TalkRealYanis on our social media @euroalter @TalkRealTV @change4all and on EA facebook and TalkReal pages.
read more here: http://diem25.org/
Esc Self-managed Atelier is facing eviction. Open letter to the city from the activists.
In a city in disarray, grey and provincial like no other European capital, in a corrupt and inhospitable city, it is astonishing that the “civic throb” claimed by Commissioner Tronca resulted in the fury against self-managed social centres and cultural associations. But through little healthy realism, we put our astonishment to a side and try to grasp the problem for what it is: among the rhetoric of decency, the apology of civic-mindedness, and the neoliberal government of the territory – that is the government for the market – fully coincide. Moreover, the figures of dissent and active participation are now hit in order to hide the unprecedented squandering of Metro C, the discomfort of people waiting hours for a bus in the suburbs, the unemployment of thousands of young people and the many currently facing the employment crisis.
We are also outraged, although not surprised, by the resolution that the Municipality of Rome placed on 30th of December in order to evict Esc: the self-managed atelier we animate, the space that has lived in this city and has accompanied and given life to many of its struggles for more than 11 years. The excuse is some pending arrears. In fact, as it is well known, following several years of occupation, after the eviction we faced on January 2007 and the immediate reoccupation of the building, Esc entered negotiations with the city government on the application of a social lease in exchange of the allocation of our space that occurred in 2009.
But the real objective is to wipe out an experience of radical democracy and new welfare, of mutualism and solidarity, of independent cultural production and of youth social relations. At Esc, migrants get free legal assistance and learn Italian; freelancers, informal, and precarious workers organize new tools of unionization and self-defence (Councils of Freelance and Precarious Workers); the Free Metropolitan University nurtures national and international critical thinking through seminars, publications, book launches; every year we hold a festival of independent publishers and winemakers, L/ivre, that is crossed by thousands of people; young people experience new musical trends and cultural styles. It’s true: all of this does isn't business and the market, which rhymes with decency, must win over all.
Troubles, however, come from further away. The previous municipal council of Major Marino, in a botched attempt, has tried to meddle with the deliberation that provides the social lease: a resolution that the council was forced to put through by the struggles of social centres of the city twenty years ago. The Commissioner, in defiance of his role, has turned this rule into a tool of meritocracy against the political and social recognition of occupied and self-managed spaces.
The main issue of this twist is the ideology of “tenders as a saviour”,where the tender is considered a neutral tool in order to enhance meritocracy. Even a child knows that evaluation is based on criteria, and the criteria is determined by the strongest, who is in charge. And who is in charge, especially in Italy, hardly ever respects the popular mandate or the consensus. That is to say, that lifting meritocracy, one always gets a clear glimpse of the market and its power, quite far from being neutral.
Then, the social lease is on target to pay and pay a lot. In other words, if solidarity and culture are not a business, a nice shopping centre is better! Meritocracy is the facade, but what this essentially is, is the privatization and dismissal of public assets when not profitable. Less culture and more market, less solidarity and more competition: this is the aim of the resolution that has hit Esc last December, the resolution that is hitting dozens of social centres and cultural associations. This has absolutely nothing to do, in fact it is as far as possible, with the mercy of the Jubilee of Pope Francis that every great “moralizer” of Rome is talking grandly.
The administrative management of the commissioner has accelerated down a path that was already paved. It was just as predictable, as unacceptable. We speak about Esc, because it concerns us, but we are convinced that the issue concerns all: it is about the clash between common use of public assets (new welfare, independent cultural production, self-education, social unionism, co-working, etc.) and its neoliberal valorisation. If the ideology of market lease will prevail, the anomaly of self-management and good solidarity practices of Rome will be cancelled. We shall NOT allow it, and we will defend Esc with “any means necessary”. Few words are enough to the wise. At the same time, we need to transform the defense of Esc in a great political opportunity for programmatic alternative, more so in this complicated phase that is commissarial and electoral at the same time.
We address the thousands of women and men that, for long or just more recently, have crossed and live Esc. We turn to migrants and workers who, through Esc, are less fragile. We turn to the social movements and struggling unions. We address local administrators and politicians who have bowed their heads to the arrogance of the merchants or technicians. We turn to grassroots Catholicism that made mercy a practice of life. We turn to the world of culture that does not stop hating the misery of the present…
They want to kill Rome by means of privatization, speculation, legalist hypocrisy: we shall NOT let them!
Defend Esc, defend the city of solidarity, defend self-management!
Sign the petition and mobilize here
"We need to talk about Cologne
We, refugee and migrant communities settled in different EU countries, from different nationalities and backgrounds, strongly condemn the recent sexual attacks against women in Germany. We would like to express our sorrow and sympathy to the victims of these terrible attacks.
We condemn any violence against women, be they nationals or foreigners, perpetrated by foreigners or nationals. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and convicted. It is crucial now to clarify and understand what happened so that people, in particular women, feel safe again, justice can be done, and further violence prevented. We did not flee violence there to accept it here.
We think it is crucial to raise our voices now because we fear that the political and social consequences of what happened in Germany will deeply affect the reality for those societies who welcomed us and for the thousands of innocent people seeking refuge.
We wish to remind that people arriving now in the EU are looking for a safer life for themselves and their children. Refugees arriving are not dangerous but in danger. It would not be fair for a few individuals to make us forget the millions who are doing their best to overcome all the obstacles to settle and integrate into European societies. Everyday, we are witness to the fact that the great majority of refugees and migrants today is eager to make a better life for themselves, but also to give back to the people who welcomed them.
We call on all Europeans not to generalize based on the shocking events in Germany. The perpetrators, be they asylum seekers or not, are not representative of the majority of people living and seeking refuge in the European Union. Nor should we point the finger at Islam as somehow incompatible with European values or women’s rights as this is a great disservice to the majority of Muslims who condemn this type of behaviour.
We also call on the authorities and decision makers to avoid generalizations that could polarize society. We ask them not to use these events to close their borders or to introduce restrictive policies that will not provide real solutions to the problems faced, but will only expose refugees and migrants to even more danger.
We are grateful to all countries that have given us a new home and a possibility to live normally again, in peace. We are especially grateful to those few who decided to open their doors and follow the original spirit of the Refugee Convention against the temptations of populism.
We thank all the people and organizations who help refugees and migrants, everyday, everywhere in Europe. We acknowledge the great challenges this crisis has placed on states and social systems. But fear and closure are not the answers. We ask the European states that welcomed us to continue to do so. Other states should adopt the same attitude.
We are certain that the “welcoming culture” some European societies have demonstrated will pay off in the long term, and provide secure foundations for our societies to grow based on mutual respect and tolerance."
Afghan Academy International (UK)
Afghan Association (Stockholm-Sweden)
Afghan Community of Greece
Afghan Cultural center in Boden city-Sweden
Afghan Cultural center in the north of Sweden
Afghanische Kultur, Integration und Solidarität (Austria)
African Media Association Malta (AMAM)
Aithiops Socio-Cultural Center (Greece)
All Africa Association in Greece
Associação de Refugiados em Portugal Association of Nigerian Women in Greece
Association of Maghreb Arabi in Crete
Association of Arabic Community of Ampelokipi (Greece)
Association of Cameroonians of Greece
Association of Moroccan Community in Greece
Association of Russian Speakers and Russian Friends of Trikala Region (Greece)
Association of Syrians Overseas in Greece
Centre for Youth Integrated Development-CYID (Finland)
Community of Ukrainians in Greece
Community of Afghans Immigrants and Refugees (Greece)
Community of Bangladeshi people in Greece
Community of Cameroon in Greece
Community of Congo in Greece
Community of Ethiopia in Greece
Community of Ghana in Greece
Congolese Community in Athens
Coordination Group of Afghan Refugees in Turkey
Enugu State of Nigeria- Association in Athens, Greece
Ethiopian Community in Greece
Federation of Albanian Associations in Greece
Greek – Pakistani Association in Greece
Greek – Soudan Friendship Association
Greek Forum of Migrants
Greek Forum of Refugees
Greek-Georgian Union – Dioskouria
Greek-Indian Cultural Association
Greek-Moldavian Association “Orphev”
House of Syrians in Greece
Iranian Association (UK)
Islamic Foundation (Slovakia)
Kenyan Community of Greece,
Mosaico azioni per i rifugiati (Italy)
Nigerian Community in Greece
Nigerian Community in Greece,
Nuba Mountains Peoples Foundation (UK)
Organisation Somali Plus (Germany)
Organization of United Women of Africa (Greece)
Pak Hellenic Cultural and Welfare
Refugee Council Duisburg (Germany)
Refugee Community Seelow (Brandenburg/Germany)
Somali Association in Greece
Somali Community of Malta
Stop Deportation! (Germany)
Sudanese Refugees Association-Greece
Sympathia (Greek Solidarity Group Bremen - Germany)
Tanzanian Community of Greece
The land of the Stork (Greece)
Umbrella Organisation for Refugees
Union of Egyptian Workers in Greece
Union of Ethiopians Workers in Greece
Union of Palestinian Workers in Greece
Union of Sierra Leone in Greece
United African Women Organisation
Bridges "humanitarian initiative" Syria
World Hazara Council-Belgium
Zanzibar Community in Greece
Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism - KISA (Cyprus),
Aditus foundation (Malta),
Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration - ASGI (Italy),
ATTAC Hamburg (Germany),
British Refugee Council,
Bündnis Gegen Rassismus (Alliance Against Racism Germany),
Coordination et Initiatives pour Réfugiés et Étrangers - Ciré (Belgium),
Croatian Law Centre (HPC),
Dutch Council for Refugees,
Estonian Refugee Council,
European Council on Refugees and Exiles - ECRE,
Forum réfugiés-Cosi (France),
Foundation for Refugee Students UAF (Netherlands) France terre d'asile,
Future Worlds Center (Cyprus),
Greece Solidarity Group (Germany) Greek Council for Refugees Human Rights League (Slovakia),
Hungarian Helsinki Committee,
Icelandic Red Cross,
Immigrant Integration Council of the City of Athens,
Integra Foundation (Malta),
International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC),
Italian Council for Refugees,
Macedonian Young Lawyers’ Association (MYLA),
My Right Is Your Right (Germany),
OPU (Czech Republic),
PIC - Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs (Slovenia),
PRO ASYL (Germany),
Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Sweden),
Refugees Welcome Germany,
Refugees Welcome Netherlands,
Refugees Welcome Portugal,
Scottish Refugee Council,
Verein Projekt Integrationshaus (Austria)
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen (Flemish Refugee Action)
email at [email protected].
15/01/2016: UPDATED below. 18/01/2015: UPDATE 2 below.
On January 13, Turkish President Erdoğan said, to a group of academics:
“Pick a side. You are either on the side of the Turkish government, or you’re on the side of the terrorists.” (Source)
A day before, the Turkish Supreme Education Board (YÖK) announced this group of academics would have to face legal action for signing a petition (Source). What is this about?
1,128 academics from 89 universities in Turkey, and over 355 academics and researchers from abroad have signed a text calling on state of Turkey to end state violence in the Kurdish provinces and prepare negotiation conditions. Among them are such noted academics as Tariq Ali, David Graeber, Cynthia Enloe, Alessandra Mezzadri, Slavoj Zizek, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Immanuel Wallerstein, Franco Berardi, Etienne Balibar, and David Harvey.
The following is the text of the petition (Source), which has incited such a strong response from Turkish government (For international support, please send your signature, name of your university and your title to info [a] barisicinakademisyenler.net and barisicingazeteciler [a] gmail.com):
"The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.
This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.
We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.
We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.
We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met".
Today, the Turkish police detained more than 20 signatories of the petition from the University of Kocaeli. (Source - English, Source - German)
Yesterday, while the number of signatures to the petition reached more than 2000, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in İstanbul launched an investigation into all the signatories of the petition. The academics are apparently accused of "provoking the people towards hatred and enmity, disseminating terrorist propaganda in favor of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), humiliating the Turkish Republic, state and its institutions as well as Turkishness."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Davutoğlu is quoted with the worrisome statement that the petition "cannot be considered in the context of freedom of thought." (Source)
Furthermore, we came across an interview Judith Butler gave to T24 on January 13, in which she fittingly states that "The labelling of critical discussion as treachery is an old and indefensible tactic of governments that want to broaden their power at the expense of democracy."
A group of scholars of Iranian studies has published a letter of support for the academics being undemocratically victimized by the Turkish state.Read it here.
For further information on the issue:
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) has released a fact sheet with some of the grueling facts on Turkey’s war in the Kurdish provinces.
Amnesty International has an ongoing “Urgent action” on the rights violations in Turkey.
A separate petition urging the Turkish government to abandon the path to an “escalation of violence, human rights abuse and ‘the state of exceptions’ becoming the norm especially in the southeast of Turkey” is ongoing on Change.org.
The attacks in Paris, Beirut, Bamako, Tunis and on a Russian civil aircraft over Sinai, the developments in Brussels and the war-ghosts that cruise through the media and politics in Europe, serve simultaneously to impose the new border regime, pass laws that criminalize civic disobedience and protest, stop the transnational mobilizations for climate, and legitimize state's racist practices. A wicked political swiss-knife threatens not only to tear societies and humanity apart some more, but also to cut through their resistance. We all have a choice, though. We can let division win and bear its consequences for the decades to come. But we can also declare a state of solidarity, committing to recognize and support struggles for peace, freedom and dignity.
In this context, it is imperative to support -practically and politically- the refugees and migrants movement and to acknowledge it as one. These people, fleeing war, poverty and violence have marched to the European borders, fearless and ready to risk their own lives. The hope for a better life in peace, united them in bravery. The numerous Marches of Hope (#marchofhope) ignited a broad and transnational wave of practical solidarity. We believe that this has to be translated to political common action and therefore call all individuals, organizations, collectives and civic society movements to join their voices now, as a first step culminating on the 18th of December (global day of migration). #ThisIsAMovement
The hegemonic narrative of a refugee crisis is almost perfectly orchestrated to hide the actual crisis. A political crisis caused by decades of failed european policies, at national and european and global level. Austerity, nationalism and racism, division in south and north, the demolition of social state and the precarization of life per se, were imposed silently with democracy playing only a decorative role.
Only embedded in a culture of fear can this logic of the illogical fruit. Blaming terrorism on people fleeing it, when all assailants were Europe-bounds, is a perfect example, in which none of the problems is addressed and the status quo is only reinforced. But protesters are banned from the streets, the very people our societies have most deprived are prevented from political organization by generalized suspicion.
Like in an Orwelian dystopia, the answer that leaders in Europe and elsewhere give to blind violence is more surveillance, more security, more control, more suppression, more oppression and more violence. Military interventions, war and bombing, arms trade have caused human, cultural and political tragedies and dramatically consequences for the global peace. Europe has been and still is supporting dictatorships and regimes, has neglected real support to democratic forces and activists fighting for freedom and peace in many Mediterranean and Southern countries, only to serve its own geopolitical interests and financial capital driven agenda. Politics for the few, on the lives of the many. The economical and trade war to impose neoliberal market has destroyed whole economies and stolen valuable resources everywhere.
Instead of acting on preventing this catastrophy, the political climate as manifested in the mainstream, from the segregation at Europe's borders justified by the attacks in Paris, to the reborn war-lords, imposes a far-right narrative supported by a widespread sense of western cultural supremacy and frames a dire world without alternative.
No matter how dark our times may seem, it takes only a closer look into cities, villages and neighbourhoods and the answer is there. Although seemingly paralyzed by this imposed "state of emergency", resistance is building up in various forms, formations and formats: from the environmental justice movements, the feminist movements, the human rights activists, the self-organized spaces across the world, to the amazing people in Paris that took the streets, defying the curfew to protest in solidarity with migrants and refugees, it takes just some rays of light for the darkness to be no more.
A culture of fear is imposed to become the norm in Europe and the rest of the world. A culture that aims to leave us numb in front of tv boxes and screens, after exhausting and unfulfilling working days. A culture that wants us to look away when injustice happens and keep us fragmented in front of today's global challenges.
Within this trajectory we consider it crucial to visualize our solidarity and break the monopoly of fear. We choose to keep our eyes open looking for friends and not accept invisible enemies. We choose to feel, reflect and engage with the reality of life, of injustice, of struggle.
We propose to all, to unite under the competitive narrative of a state of solidarity. Joining campaigns, actions and voices inside a narrative that hits directly in the heart of the matter. If we let fear win over our societies, the future will be taken over by it. Let's create the space to collectively express our solidarity and messages of resistance. Let's reoccupy our reality, meet and act on our future.
In this sentence: "I oppose a culture of fear and hereby solemnly declare a state of solidarity!", we see a potential beginning. Share and care, as always.
Let's declare a #stateofsolidarity everywhere!
We see you. We thank you.
Lift the siege of Silvan
The Turkish government has abandoned the peace process which led to at least two years during which almost no-one died in clashes with security forces. After a campaign for the June general election, marred by 170 violent attacks on offices of the HDP and bombings of the Mersin and Adana offices of the HDP, 4 people were killed and many injured by a bomb at the final election rally of the HDP in Diyarbakır. After the election denied the AK Party a majority in parliament, the violence increased massively. 33 young people on a humanitarian mission to Kobane were killed by a bomb in Suruç. As the death toll increased, some local authorities in Kurdish areas declared “autonomy” in order to protect their inhabitants. The response by the Turkish government has been a series of attacks on these areas by security forces. 24 hour curfews are declared and soldiers and special forces police teams then attack neighbourhoods, placing snipers on rooftops and shooting anyone who emerges onto the streets. Many civilians, including women children and the old have been killed.
The latest of these attacks is in Silvan.
Since 2 November the neighbourhoods of Tekel, Mescit and Konak in the town of Silvan in the province of Diyarbakır in South East Turkey have been under the occupation of Turkish police special forces and the Turkish army. There is a 24 hour curfew. Civilians are unable to leave their houses for basic necessities, or even to take the wounded for medical treatment or bury the dead. People are hiding in basements while armoured cars roam the streets raking buildings with machine gun fire. Tanks have been located on surrounding high ground and are shelling these residential neighbourhoods. Helicopters have also been used to fire at the area. The numbers of dead and wounded cannot be accurately known, but are believed to include women, children and the old.
Ziya Pir, a Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) Member of Parliament elected from this area, reports that he attempted to intervene with an official of the Ministry of the Interior and was told, “We will wipe these three neighbourhoods from the map”.
Ziya Pir reports as follows:
“They are shooting indiscriminately everywhere. Soldiers, police and completely unregistered people, what I can only call ‘headhunters’ are raking buildings from top to bottom with machine gun fire. Tanks have been positioned overlooking these neighbourhoods. We cannot enter the neighbourhoods.
“Information we have from inside is that people are hiding in groups of 10-15 in the cellars of buildings. No-one can go outside, because there are snipers located on the roof tops. If they see even a shadow inside a house or any sign of life, they open fire. In previous operations there would sometimes be a break of an hour or two. Now shooting is round the clock without a break.”
On 15-16 November the G20 conference will be hosted by the Turkish government in Antalya. Meanwhile that same government is engaged in indiscriminate slaughter of its own civilians. These attacks took place throughout the campaign for the recent election and are continuing after it. All the targets are areas where there were high votes for the HDP.
The G20 meeting is of considerable prestige value to the Turkish government and unfortunately European governments are now soft pedalling on criticisms of human rights violations in Turkey in the hope that the Turkish government will restrict the flow of refugees to Europe. You intervention can make a difference.
Please express your concern about these recent developments in Turkey.
To save lives, we need the security forces to cease operations against the civilian population and allow members of parliament and independent international observers access to these areas.
Send your communications to:
Minister of Foreign Affairs Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu
Dr. Sadık Ahmet Cad. No:8
Phone: (90-312) 10 00
Web site: www.mfa.gov.tr
Please send the copy of your communications to:
E Mail:[email protected]
This call was originally published in the HDP homepage