Blockupy’s European Action Conference
Date(s) - 22/11/2013 - 24/11/2013
On May 31 and June 1, the European Central Bank was effectively blockaded by thousands of protesters against the politics of troika. The central commercial zone of Frankfurt was blocked and stores had to shut down, there were loud protests at the airport against deportation, financial and real estate firms were marked and the right to the city was claimed, a care mob called attention to the increased burden on women in the European crisis. Blockupy 2013 brought about intense and powerful days of collective action and resistance. Our many disobedient actions highlighted the ways in which the politics of crisis and impoverishment affect our lives and the lives of millions of people around the world. Blockupy will return to Frankfurt in 2014 to resist the opening of the ECB’s new headquarters. Yet much remains open. We want to make plans together.
Blockupy 2013 has been one step on the path towards becoming part of a huge, common European and global movement. We want to continue down this path together with you. Therefore we invite you, our friends, colleagues and comrades from all over Europe and beyond, to the Blockupy European Action Conference from November 22nd to November 24th 2013 in Frankfurt.
The Blockupy European Action Conference will be the last of multiple European meetings of movements, networks and organizations this autumn – in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome. All these meetings aim towards finding ways to transform Europe from below, towards further exchanging and debating practices and strategies and towards forming transnational movements.
During the Blockupy European Action Conference we hope to exchange our different experiences of protest and resistance towards creating a different Europe. One core of the Blockupy idea and practice since 2012 is to link alliance building with disobedient, confrontational actions aimed towards mass participation for scandalizing the violent austerity measures and politics of impoverishment. Now we want to create a space to discuss Blockupy and other struggles up to now, to talk about possibilities for the future, and to sketch out a more transnational Blockupy for 2014.
Our goal with the conference is twofold:
· To engage in strategic debate about the commonalities and gaps in our struggles, and
· To find out together how Blockupy in 2014 could be successful as a platform for transnational resistance against the troika and politics of crisis.
The questions we have
· How do we best create powerful connections between our struggles? How can we push together for a dynamic shifting of forces?
How do we relate disobedient forms of action (mass blockades, social and general strikes, taking and squatting public spaces, preventing evictions and many more) to alliance-building?
How do we connect the struggles in the European south and north? What are the needs of different struggles throughout Europe in crisis? How do we relate these to the aims and imaginations for common resistance in countries like Germany, headquarter of the EU crisis regime, where recent elections have shown voters casting ballot to continue these capitalist politics?
What role can Blockupy 2014 play within European crisis and the protests against it?
Call for workshops
The conference is a participatory space depending on diverse input! We invite you to send us proposals for workshops that you – as individuals, groups, networks, etc – can envision addressing the questions above, or proposing workshops to other questions you consider to be important in this general context.
We encourage workshops that stem directly from your own experiences, ideas and needs. With the aim of strengthening connections, we also strongly encourage you to co-plan workshops with others. If desired we can propose co-facilitation based on incoming proposals. The time slot for each workshop will be about 2 hours.
Please send a brief sketch of such a workshop that you would like to contribute to firstname.lastname@example.org
The plans we want to discuss
· How can we think of Blockupy 2014 as more than a single event in Frankfurt? If we could imagine a European Blockupy: What kinds of elements are important, useful, and practical?
How can we prepare such a process together? What kind of European and transnational structures do we need to build, fill and live?
The final schedule and structure will depend on which participants plan to come and what proposals we receive. Thus far is clear:
· Friday, the 22nd of Nov.: We will start with registration and a public discussion focused on the transnational dimension of the crisis and protest and transformative projects. The later evening will give an opportunity for conference participants to introduce each other.
Saturday, the 23rd of Nov.: Workshops and plenary sessions, ending with working groups to synthesize results and main questions.
Saturday evening up to Sunday, 24th of Nov.: Discussions surrounding Blockupy 2014 and creating the necessary European coordinating and decision-making structures for broad, successful action against the troika in 2014.
Let’s take part!
Submit your workshop proposal please until October 23rd to email@example.com; all other suggestions with respect to the conference or Blockupy are welcome too!
We’ll send updates about the program, accommodation etc. in the end of October.
We kindly ask those wishing to attend to let us know /register as soon as possible so that we have an idea of numbers and languages, allowing us to prepare the conference so that everyone can participate as best as possible.
We are delighted that as our work continues, Blockupy is becoming more and more transnational.
We look forward to you, your experience and our collective energy.
Let’s create a Blockupy 2014 to fight the troika!