Global Project | 21.10.2004 14:02 | European Social Forum
A discussion for the autonomous movement networks about the ESF and the N/europa challenge
What follows is a rethinking, a balance (also if we are more interested in desires than calculations), an open letter for the European movement networks on the contradictory days of London. It is a partial contribution, a taking up of words searching for discussion. Hopefully a single phrase in a wider compositional discussion, to share with all groups, singularities, and the collective "bodies" with whom we passed through the ESF last weekend.
We are not interesting in assuming a victimized tone, and so, without ommitting anything that happened Sunday (preventative arrests, police violence, arrests protected and guarenteed by the security service of the ESF around the stage...), we prefer to look at the affermative elements, the discontinuity, and the habitual researching that the movement finds itsef irriversibly infront of since the London experience.
This letter fot the "movements," rightly so, and not for those who must consolidate the constitution around the categories of political entities, "closed spaces" of compatible public opinion, of a civil society at the hands of new social democracies of Europe. This letter is not for those who think that, in fact, they can read in trionfalistic terms the 7,000 - 8,000 "real" demonstrators of Trafalgar Square - while the police freely arrested, cornered, and backed into an angle the Samba Band and the so-called Carnival block (whom the police didn’t even permit to enter into the square), while in the morning preventative stops were made at King’s Cross taking out og the game those who spoke up during the practical contestation of the autonomous networks against the official forum the previous night (Andrea, Vittorio, and Constantino) - the movment "things" speak an estranged, marginal language now.
What happened in London materially confirms what many people have defined as the completion of a cycle of social movement and the opening of a new phase. A phase that opens itself - also in non-linear terms, not mechanistic, but chaotic and complex - inside the horizon of the new global war. The rapid passage that since September 11th, from Bush’s and the Neo-cons’ preventative war, brought us to crisis of the "American coup d’Empire." A passage that in all of its contradictories saw diverse forms of resistence emerge and that are putting a possible material resolution of the Iraqi crisis in the centre of discussion again. It is, in fact, made up of chaotic dynamics that point out to social movments the necessity of a new research, where the No-war public opinion (the so-called second superpower), and in many cases tends to define itself as a sustaining force of the Empirial Judge, a revised version of humanitarian intervention.
The London ESF and its flop (despite the finance and the internal concentration of political party forces, the isiolation is extremely significative: almost none of the European headlines - in newspapers and not party publications - spoke about the ESF!) is entirely inside the new Imperial and European dynamic. Better yet: it accopmlished its marginal duty that best fitted it. The good testimony, ordered and in a governative air, in a soup of anti-european sovranism full of ideologic slogans, witht eh typical attitude of the Marxist-Leninist fan, on Palestinain resistence or all of the world wide resistences (those, clearly, far away from the concrete European metropolis like London where police arrests are more frequent than the rain and where there are around 300,000 video survailence cameras)!
Aside, beyond the ufficial forum, the autonomous movement networks met. They did not chose one place, but many: Middelsex University, Candem Centre, RampaArt to name only a few. It was a proliferation often dispersive and chaotic, but with some absolutely common themes: precarity and income, migration, comunication and reseacrch. There were events, meetings and formidable and rich discussions on tese themes: the first Europrecariat assembly , the seminar with Micheal Hardt, the meetings promoted by the No-borders network, the presentation of another number of Green Pepper magazine. Moments of convergence of the Northern-European networks (English, Danish, German, French, Sweedish) and those Euro-Mediterranian (Italian, Greek, Spanish). Moments of solid thematic and discursive convergence, of a common projection inside a frame of diffused understanding of the new phase that awaits us and of the tendencies that gradually affirm thmeselves on the terrain of European social conflict (the conflict of the precariat and migrant in primis). Above all, the desire of connection and the production of a common agenda prevailed, that with all of its limits, is able to move beyond the "closed" and fading instrument of the ESF: a grand meeting event about the precariat and migrants to fix for the month of January in Berlin, April 2nd as a European day of conflict against the immigrant detention centers and the deportation of immigrants, and the EuroMayDay 2005.
All of this happened between actions and police repression (60 stops in 3 day, strange no?!?), all of this happened in a common research dynamic that is not above critiques and that is undoubtably touched by strong limits. The differece between the autonomous spaces and the ESF and its "little helpers" maybe consists in the fact that the limits were at the center of the political discussion of the networks right away. Limits that reguard the capacity of expansion, of the resistence to self-reference, of the construction of public space. Even though the awareness of the public space crisis of the No-global movement (social forums) is diffused, there is still a tentative to find a definition that does not create a small minority. The meeting in Berlin and the constitution of a European process that takes us to the MayDay 2005 could be, from this point of view, an occasion that is anything but marginal. It goes to say that the shared considerations discussed found a dramatic confirmation in the "strange" preventative and surgical arrests fo Sunday morning, or in those guarenteed (when we say guarenteed, we mean permitted and phisically covered) by the lines of the Social Forum protecting the stage from many people that asked to speak to not let the subtle violence pass silently.
Without victimism we say: Who gives a damn! The problem is how to move ahead, valorizing the patrimony of European relations that for years have been constructed and consolidated, building a new public space of the multitudes, continuing to put comunicative innovation and the conflicts that have been created up untill now into play.
There are not shortcuts and if there are they are only "table tricks." There is only experimentation as method and substance of the "becoming-movement". To those who are convinced that in London on Sunday there would be 30,000 or 100,000 people and that everything would proceed smoothly, we offer a pair of glasses and say: Yes, everyhing went smoothly, clean and compatable with the research space of the Imperial command, the ordinative war, internal or external. We, as an attitude, resist. We are the stripings, the escape lines, discontinuity. We are happly and without presumtion something else.
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