#State of Solidarity


While state after state in the European continent declares a state of emergency, activists around Europe call out the #stateofsolidarity and oppose the politics of fear.

Katerina Anastasiou, Benjamin Bender, Lucile Gemähling

  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 Opens external link in new windowcall 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). Opens external link in new window#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. 

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The experience of Greece demonstrates the importance of building a pan European movement based on values of solidarity and deep democracy. Thank you for doing so much to organise this .
Hilary Wainwright| Red Pepper magazine |

"This is sheer unbridled sadism. The Greek people are being punished for the failure of the neo-liberal consensus to avert the hideous and increasing forms of inequality which were always inscribed within its mandate. Nothing can explain why the most powerful countries of Europe should want to continue to impose on Greece policies which have brought it to the brink of collapse, other than the desire to precipitate a true collapse which they will then take as the proof that only their vicious system could have saved it - a self-defeating argument and a blatant lie. We can only speculate what unconscious links there must be between the forgiving of Germany's post-war debt, of which it remains the beneficiary to this day and without which it would not be in a position to dictate its terms, and its refusal to countenance any such forgiveness, let alone the paying of war reparations, to Greece. No logic can explain it. We have entered the realm of the cruellest social fantasy. The irony is that the whole of Europe will now suffer. But our hearts go out to the Greek people who will suffer - who are already suffering - most."

Jacqueline Rose, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

Étienne Balibar :"The struggle of the Greek people is the struggle of all European democrats, of all those who believe in human progress . In the case of a potential defeat all European peoples would pay the price. In the case of a potential victory, as limited as it may be, all European peoples would benefit. That's why it is necessary for those French and European forces who have hope in the renewal of democracy to positively answer the calls of Syriza to build European solidarity around Greece and the Greek people. The perspective of a referendum urgently requires the reinforcement of this solidarity"

Slavoj Zizek: "The struggle that goes on is the struggle for theEuropean economic and political Leitkultur.The EU powers stand for the technocratic status quo which is keeping Europe ininertia for decades. In his NotesTowards a Definition of Culture, the great conservative T.S.Eliot remarkedthat there are moments when the only choice is the one between heresy andnon-belief, i.e., when the only way to keep a religion alive is to perform asectarian split from its main corpse. This is our position today with regard toEurope: only a new "heresy" (represented at this moment by Syriza) can savewhat is worth saving in European legacy: democracy, trust in people,egalitarian solidarity. The Europe that will win if Syriza is outmaneuvered isa "Europe with Asian values" (which, of course, has nothing to do with Asia,but all with the clear and present tendency of contemporary capitalism to suspenddemocracy). We from Western Europe like to look upon Greece as if we aredetached observers who follow with compassion and sympathy the plight of theimpoverished nation. Such a comfortable standpoint relies on a fateful illusion- what goes on in Greece these last weeks concerns all of us, it is the futureof Europe which is at stake. So when we read about Greece these days, we shouldalways bear in mind that, as the old saying goes, de te fabula narrator."

 "The behavior of the Troika today is a disgrace. One can scarcely doubt that their goal is to make it clear that defiance to the northern banks and the Brussels bureaucracy will not be tolerated, and that thoughts of democracy and popular will must be abandoned. Other than power, there is no reason to continue with the shameful farce in which French and German banks profit from the suffering of the people of Greece."The debt should have been radically restructured long ago, or simply declared “odious” and cancelled. Today, Greeks are offered a miserable choice between two painful alternatives. One can only hope that their brave resistance to the brutal assault will encourage global solidarity that will save them and others from the harsh fate dictated by the masters."

Noam CHOMSKY | United States | MIT


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