Greetings of solidarity from Frankfurt, from Blockupy, where thousands of people from Germany and all over Europe gathered yesterday to effectively blockade the working business of the European Central Bank (ECB)! We are happy to share with you that we succeeded in our efforts. We closed down the city center of Frankfurt, home not only to the ECB, but also hundreds of other financial institutions, businesses and corporations that have been profiting from the European crisis for years now. Yesterday, we made it clear that we do not agree with their austerity and authoritarian governance. In our actions we publicly denounced the role of the German government and elites in dictating these policies for all of Europe. By claiming the city as our own we opened spaces for practicing resistance and pointing to alternatives beyond the capitalist relations at the root of it all.
While the German state and media like to portray Germany as a strong economic example, as a “profiter of crisis”, and indeed a broad section of German society identifies with this talk, a closer look reveals other realities. The labor market reform pushed through in Germany in 2004 – slashing long fought-for workers’ rights and securities and resulting in a massive precarization of the workforce – serves as the model for the neoliberal reforms that the German government and European financial elites try to push in all of Europe. Real wages have declined in Germany for the past ten years, while the financialization of ever more spheres of life and the privatization of ever more common goods and spaces lead to a drastic increase in the cost of living. We are struggling against increasing precarity and its constant stress and social destruction.
Just last weekend we commemorated the 20 year anniversary of the end of the right to asylum in Germany with demonstrations – today, twenty years later, the racist stance of the state has not changed. The German state knowingly deports countless refugees into situations of hunger, homelessness, and death in those same countries of southern Europe upon which it forces calamitous social policies.
The crisis in Europe has brought about new forms of racism and social-chauvinism in Germany with media lies about ‘lazy southerners’ or ‘broke greeks’. We are fighting against racism in all of its forms, against the European border regime and Germany’s role within it. In fact in Frankfurt we are struggling together with refugees who have organized especially over the last year across Germany to fight deportation and demand their rights. Yesterday we demonstrated at the Frankfurt airport – the largest deportation airport in Germany.
Today, we demonstrate in solidarity with all the emancipatory movements across Europe – United Against the Troika! We demonstrate not merely to support each others’ struggles, but because we know that in Lisbon in Frankfurt, in Athens and Madrid, we are fighting the same struggle. We are fighting against an economy organized to be profitable instead of to meet the needs of the people. We are fighting against the politics and institutions that serve the profit interests of capital instead of the needs of the people. We are fighting not just to re-claim our formal democratic and social rights – long fought- for in the social movements of the past and now stolen away because they don’t match the profit needs of capital. We want to go beyond – towards alternatives of participatory democracy and direct-democratic decision-making, towards solidarity economies and networks that allow us to meet our needs without exploitation, without destroying human lives or the planet. We want to communicate with you about how to do this. A real alternative – real democracy – is only possible when we overcome capitalism, racism and sexism! Let’s go for it!
From Germany we watch and learn about what is being created in the south of Europe along these lines: the Mareas and assemblies of Spain, the direct-democratic solidarity economies emerging in Greece, the participatory democracy movement and worker uprisings in Slovenia – and we see an emergent potential for a society based on solidarity and participation.
Our task is to bring our struggles, our discourse and our resistance together. Today is one step in this direction and we will go further!
In 2014, the European Central Bank is set to move into new towers in Frankfurt. For us, this means we will Blockupy once again. We will be back. So already today, all you People United Against the Troika, we invite you to join us. To Blockupy European Central Bank. Summer or Autumn 2014. Mark your calendars.
United against the Troika! United for a radical change. Europe beyond Europe. Society of Solidarity and beyond capitalist crises!
This statement originally appeared on blockupy-frankfurt.org