It is obvious we are headed for disaster unless we change course drastically, and we don’t have a lot of time. A project is being discussed internationally in the Occupy movement – Global Strike May 2012. What we are proposing is a continuous strike, a permanent withdrawal from the current system, a signal for all those who feel their work to be meaningless and unsatisfying, to switch to alternative means which are beneficial to the whole community, to support themselves and their families. In order to make this feasible this alternative system needs to be up and running by May 2012. Outrageous! Impossible! I agree with you. Nevertheless it has to happen if we are serious about moving from this morally bankrupt and physically damaging path we are on, to a sustainable system that puts people before profit. Join us on Take the Squares Network https://n-1.cc/pg/groups/1010883/15m-global-strike/. and please pass around to friends and colleagues.
- The OLSX General Assembly has recently endorsed the call for UK and wider European day(s) of action in March
- There are call from the wider Occupy movement for a world strike in May
Some of the thinking behind the March call:
- The Occupy Movement is looking to find ways to work constructively in partnership with unions and student campaigners, and with faith and local community groups
- Individuals from a number of London Occupy working-groups are proposing a March pan-European strike, ideally to be called and organised by a partnership of Occupy, unions and others
- It is therefore provisionally proposed the call would be for an unprecedented national and international mobilisation ‘against cuts / austerity and job losses’ and ‘for new models of democracy and a social europe’ involving unions and Occupy and other local movements together from the start
- The need to strategically nationalise and internationalise the struggle against the global forces of capital (eg debt/bond market) has never been more urgent
- Europe and the UK with their increasingly technocratic / neo-liberal governance and crippling levels of debt are now shaping up to be key global battlegrounds in the fight for real democracy
- If unions, student campaigners, faith and local community groups and Occupy joined forces what we could achieve in terms of social change would be phenomenal
- The days of action currently being proposed are for Friday 23rd March, followed by a new wave of newly purposeful camps and occupations being set up on Saturday March 24th and 25th ( all out against the cuts, for a 3 day weekend and a new model of democracy…)
- Our hope is that with a big day of action immediately after budget day, to unite unions, student and other community groups around a common agenda we can effectively begin the process of re-founding the UK and Europe around a common agenda for workers, the precarious and unemployed, and provide a springboard to the global strike in May.
- The lead up to the days of action could perhaps involve ‘thematic’ assemblies across the country in workplaces, neighbourhoods and educational establishments ( co facilitated by Occupy, unions and others) in order to speak and listen together about the real issues and to discover alternatives. As Giles Fraser’s article puts it today on the need for a widespread conversation on the issues: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/12/occupy-starfish-regenerate-protest?newsfeed=true
[March 21st is budget day, March 26th is exactly one year on from 'March for the Alternative' and March 25th is both the Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which founded modern Europe and of the British Parliamentary abolition of the slave trade. The week March 21st-March 28th also has Christian significance (the Annunciation) and marks the beginning of the year in the northern hemisphere (Spring Solstice).]
["The diminutive Cognac salesman and planner Jean Monnet was a brilliant man. Driven and focused, he was clear what he wanted from the beginning — a single Europe, planned and governed by supranational institutions. And he had an eye-catching term to describe his political strategy. Neo-functionalism, he termed it.
Neo-functionalism sees one European project leading to another, as "spillover" effects make it clear that one piece of integration requires another. And step by step, Monnet’s vision would become reality.
It would be entirely appropriate to describe what is now happening in Europe as a crisis of neo-functionalism. It has become obvious that the euro cannot succeed without fiscal union and that fiscal union requires political union, exactly as Monnet would have seen it. But political union is so unpopular that it is almost impossible to achieve without strife — a crisis of neofunctionalism.
There is a another reason that this is the perfect term: its sheer bureaucratic absurdity. Nothing could better illuminate that what is taking place is unfolding far from the voters of Europe and the democratic mandates of member states. It is taking power from the people and handing it to unelected people who use words such as neofunctionalism at dinner parties.
It was inevitable that the crisis in the eurozone would result in the creation of an inner group that would try to solve the crisis. And so it has. The Groupe de Francfort has come together to unite the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the president of the Euro Group, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, the president of the European Central Bank, the President of the European Commission, the president of the European Council and the managing director of the IMF.
Three things are striking about this Groupe. The first is that of its eight members only three are democratically elected. And one of these holds the mighty office of Prime Minister of Luxembourg. The President of France has the most impressive mandate, but is among the least important members of the committee except to himself.
The second is that while the Groupe consists mainly of technocrats who think their challenge is technocratic, its task is actually profoundly political. In the past week the eurozone crisis has hastened the fall of two governments. In Greece, anti-German feeling is on the rise as the Greeks attempt to blame the Germans for the need for an austerity programme. However absurd it may be for Greece, which chose both membership of the euro and its deficit level, to blame anyone but themselves, such tension is inevitable if people feel they have no control over their own destiny.
The Groupe needs to understand that any mechanism they create to increase the responsibility one set of European taxpayers has for another, needs to be accompanied by similarly strong political institutions.
The third striking thing about the Groupe is that its members are all from eurozone countries. This is natural if its work is restricted to solving the immediate euro crisis. But it is likely that soon it will see its task as broader than that and begin to discuss longer term institutional reform. President Sarkozy has begun to talk of a two-speed Europe, Angela Merkel of treaty changes.
It is essential that countries outside the core of the eurozone or outside the eurozone altogether do not find themselves outside these discussions and outmanoeuvred. The tension between the eurozone countries and those outside is already palpable in EU meetings, and increasing divergence is now inevitable. Britain must organise to ensure that it has a strong hand in the negotiations that are bound to come." (taken from a recent Times Editorial) ]