De : Kenneth Haar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Envoyé le : Vendredi 21 décembre 2012 14h34
Objet : Meeting on Saturday - Minutes of Meeting on European Day of Action
Below the minutes from the meeting last Saturday.
A shorter text will be sent to a couple of mailing lists as well (International-Firenze + FSE-ESF)
Have a nice Christmas and a happy and active new year
Minutes on the preparation meeting for the “Day of Action” March 2013
15th of December, Brussels
The idea for a day of action came first up last September. The call for action launched at the Firenze 10+10 Forum asks to mobilize for European a day of action around the Spring European Council Summit. Since then there were no further meetings. This meeting is therefore the start of the process.
Since it has become clear that the ETUC will call for their own demonstration or demonstrations on 13th or 14th of March, the context has changed. The ETUC decision increases chances of a big and powerful European manifestation, but at the same time it reopens the debate on how we make the best of the decision in Firenze. The participating national trade unions will most likely join the ETUC’s call. This makes it difficult to do a decent demo on any other day in Brussels; therefore we have to drop the idea of a day of action during the weekend following the council. This also raises the question, of how we relate to the ETUC’s mobilization.
The prepared agenda of the meeting was the following:
10-12: Discussion of the European Day of Action – process and ideas so far
- A presentation of the European Day of Action, the process so far, including Firenze 10+10
- All groups present are invited to speak on their expectations
12-1 PM: Lunch
1-3 PM: Discussion of slogans and a short call for action
- Hopefully we will be able to agree on the political platform, or alternatively decide on a procedure.
3-4 PM: Date and centralized/decentralized
- Originally the Day of Action was to be on the 23rd of March. However since then, the EU Summit was moved. It is now on the 14th and 15th of March. Choice of day might seem easy, but we will have to discuss this carefully.
- Also we need to agree if it’s to be a centralized action (only in Brussels) or decentralized (in Brussels and elsewhere). This, I believe, should not be so difficult.
4-5 PM: Practicalities – how do we build an infrastructure to support the Day of Action
- Internal communication
Participating networks and organizations:
- ATTAC Spain
- Comisiones Obreras (Spanish Trade Union)
- Transform Europe (Representative from Italy)
- CNE (Belgium Trade Union)
- Citizens Assemblies
- Corporate European Observatory (CEO)
- Transnational Institute (TNI)
- Irish Debt network
- Social Watch (Italy)
- European Action Committee (Belgian)
- Attac Wallonia
- Attac Europe
- North East Social center coalition (Italy)
- Rumanian Social Forum and Transform network
- Party of the European Left
- Attac Germany
- CGIL (Italian Trade Union)
- FGTB (Belgian Trade Union)
- CGT (French Trade Union)
- DIE LINKE / Blockupy (Germany)
- Interventionistische Linke / Blockupy (Germany)
- VERDI Stuttgart (Germany)
- Precarious united (Belgian)
- Committee for the abolition of third world debt (CADTM)
- 15M Brussels
- Belgian Peace Movement
- Rome Student Movement
- Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Brussels
- Several of the participants are also members of the Alter Summit (including the Coordination Committee)
The debate focused on the following issues:
1. the relationship to the ETUC demonstration and the date
2. the type(s) of action
3. the question of a centralized or decentralized day of action
4. The meaning of the day of action
1 The participants widely agreed that it was not possible to mobilize a day of action another day than the ETUC (as it was also clear that the participating national unions will join the ETUC and therefore won’t mobilize for another date). Nevertheless there was no agreement on how to address the ETUC demonstration. Some participants argued for a close dialogue, negotiations and (close) coordination with the ETUC, while others stated that this was an unrealistic approach. Another proposal was a critical call to support the ETUC demonstration. There was a decison to use all our connections (Alter Summit or other ways) to the ETUC and/or national union chapters to get all information necessary as soon as possioble
It was decided to have a separate platform with own slogans. At the end of the meeting a list of slogans was proposed.
2 There was no agreement on the type of action. Many participants argued in favor of actions in addition to a demonstration (probably the ETUC’s demonstration). The most often stated proposals were blockades or encirclements of representative buildings (council, commission, EP) and peoples assemblies (including the occupation of squares) enabling the public discussion about the issues we are all concerned about at different levels (debt, democracy in Europe, austerity, social and labour rights, the common and the environment, etc.). On the other hand, others argued that such a more militant approach (such as a blockade) should not be part of the conclusions of the meeting as it could reduce the impact of a call for a day of action.
3 There was a widely agreement that something should happen in Brussels. As there are a number of countries where it seems for geographic and other reasons unlikely that a lot of people will make their way to Brussels, there will be decentralized actions anyway.
A widely discussed proposal was to combine two days of action, one with decentralized actions and one day of action in Brussels. There was no final agreement in this regard; however the will to mobilize at least one day was clear. The next meeting in January should make the next step for a common decision.
4 As the march European council will have issues like the banking union, the fiscal union and the integrated policy framework on the agenda, one aim could be to politicize these issues. The day of action “m13 or m14” should also be seen as a follow up of n14 and further step in the building of a European social movement.
5 The call for a “European citizens’ strike” was proposed as a way to refer to the day of action – connecting it to n14 but giving it also a wider connotation, bridging the unions and social movements. However, there was no deep discussion about that and no decision made.
a) The following slogans were decided:
- Our Democracy against their austerity! (main slogan)
- Abolish all the austerity treaties and legislations!
- For an ecological Transition!
- Disarm Financial Markets!
- Debt: Don’t owe, don’t pay!
- Fire the Troika, not the people!
b) Geting information from and about ETUC activities (or schedule for concrete diecion making); trying to find ways for a dialogue.
- The day(s) of action will take place 13th and or 14th of march 2013, depending on the date of the ETUC demo
- The day of action will either consist of one (with both central and decentralized actions) or two days, one decentralized and one central in Brussels.
Issues to decide:
- Type of Actions (the groups in Brussels and/or Belgium were asked to work out proposals to discuss at the next meeting)
- Centralized and/or decentralized day of action
- Counter Conference?
There was the open call to set up an organization committee; the volunteers (open to more participants) were the following:
Kenneth Haar (CEO), Sol Trumbo (TNI), Jason Nardi (Social Watch / Coordination group of Firenze 10+10), Martin Konecny (CEO) and Andy Storey (Irish Debt network).
- Outreach: Circulating the call as soon as possible. Until different decision, the firenze1010.eu website can be used as reference (to circulate to the participants).
- Meeting of the Alter Summit coordination committee with the ETUC. Will try to coordinate the actions.
Next meeting: January 26 in Brussels
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