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Is it cause I’m cool?

GlobalProject | 23.10.2004 11:48 | European Social Forum

towards a discussion on London ESF and on the N/European challenge among autonomous networks

The following is a recoinassance, a sort of a balance (though we prefer desires to plans), a letter that wishes to open discussions among European movement’s networks on the contradictory days in London. Our contribution is partial: it is a statement that is looking for confrontation. This, we are proposing, is willing to be a sentence within a more wider composition, which we hope is to be shared by all groups, individuals, by collective “bodies” with whom we crossed ESF 2004.

We are not interested in being self-pitying, therefore we will focus on the positive affermative elements, on the discontinuities, on the political research that movements are to find in their ways from London on. We do not want to be self-pitying, therefore we won’t leave what happened on Sunday out (police violence, preventive provisional arrests, protected and guaranteed by ESF bodyguards near the stage).

This is a “puzzle” for the “movements” and for those that do not wish to strengthen the building of “closed spaces” of compatible public opinion, of civil society consistent with new European Social Democracies! Movements’ issues speak a language that is far away to the ones triumphant of the 7,000/8,000 “real” demonstrators that reached Trafalgar square - while police was arresting activists, while samba band and carnival block could not join the square, while morning preventive arrests at king’s Cross kept activists that talked during Saturday’s initiative at ESF away.

What happened in London concretely confirms what we have many times defined as the exhausting of a movements’ cycle and the opening of a new stage. And this stage is opening itself in non-linear complex chaotic terms within the new horizon of global war. The quick passage of September 11th, of Bush and neocons’ preventive war led to the crisis of the “US coup within Empire”. The same passage led to the contradictory emergency of different forms of resistance that seem also to throw in a multilateral solution of Iraqi “swamp”. These are chaotic dynamics that show the need of new research within movements when we see that the so-called antiwar public opinion (the so-called second power) is now defining itself as the force supporting the imperial “tribuneship” and as different versions of humanitarian intervention. ESF in London, its flop (no international main stream media talked about the forum in spite of fundings and the orchestration of internal political parties) is functional to the imperial and European dimension, it just was marginal as expected. We saw a quite ordered towards government witnessing that deeply sunk into a jumble of anti-European sovereignty, of ideological slogans, of the typical “supporters” attitudine of marxist-leninists on palestinian resistance and on resistance around the world (far away resistances of coarse, away from European metropolis such as London where arrests are more frequent than rain and where around 300,000 cameras surveille citizens)!

Beside and away from official ESF autonomous networks met in London. They did not choose a specific place but many places: Middlesex University, Candem Centre, RampArt and we are just quoting few of them. Beyond ESF often was dispersive, chaotic but some themes were absolutely shared: precarity and income, migrations, communication and research. On such issues we met rich and impressive discussions: the first European meeting on euro-precarious workers, the workshop with Michael Hardt, the no-border network meetings, Greenpepper last issue presentation. These have been moments of convergence of the Northern-European networks (English, Danish, German, French, Sweedish networks) and of the Euro-Mediterranean (such as Italian, Greek, Spanish). We feel that these quoted moments of real thematic and discursive convergence show that there are common projects ongoing and that these are set within a frame of diffused understanding of the new movements’ phase that stands in front of us and of European social conflict that seems to be gradually affirm itself on the terrain of the conflict of the precariat and migrant. Above all, the desire and need of networking and of producting a common agenda prevailed: a try-out that is willing to overcome the "closed" and fading instrument of the ESF, this is why we collectively decided to fix a meeting about precariousness and migrants’ citizens rights for next January 2005 in Berlin. In addition to this April 2nd was chosen as a European day of conflict against detention centres and against migrants citizens’ deportations. EuroMayDay 2005 is a common issue as well, which we be discussed next January, of coarse.

Everything happened in between actions and strong police repression (60 stops in 3 days, isn’t it strange?!?), everything happened in dynamics aiming to common research in spite of some limits we did face. The differece between the autonomous spaces and ESF with its "apologists" probably consists in the fact that the limits we all faced were at the centre of our political discussion right from the beginning. Limits reguard the capacity of enlarging our networks, of resisting against the risk of self-reference, of building open crossable public spaces. Even though everyone is aware of the crisis of the antiglobalisation movement (social forums), finding a non minoritarian way out of the crisis is still difficult. The meeting in Berlin and the constitution of a European process that takes to EuroMayDay 2005 could become, from this point of view, an important occasion of discussion. Our discourse on movements’ crisis found a dramatic confirmation in the "strange" preventive somehow “surgical” arrests occurred Sunday 17th and the arrests guarenteed (when we say guarenteed, we mean permitted and phisically covered) by official Social Forum whose bodyguards were protecting the stage from many people that asked to publicly speak.

Without being self-pitying we say: fuck off! The problem now is how to move ahead, how to valorize the richness of European relations that for years have been constructed and consolidated, how to build a new public space of the multitudes, how to continue to experiment communication and conflicts. There are no shortcuts in front of us and if there are they are only "table tricks", we can experiment methods and way of "becoming-movement". We offer a pair of glasses to those that are persuaded with idea that on Sunday there were 30,000 or 100,000 people demonstrating in London and that everything was smoothly proceeding and we also tell them: yes, everyhing was smooth, clean and consistent with Imperial command, with ordinative war, both internal and external. We, as an attitude, resist. We are the stripings, escape lines, discontinuities. We are happly and without presumtion something else!

Ya Basta
...after London

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