For mass blockades of the G8 2007 G8 Summit in Heiligendamm
Block the G8!Almost every spectrum of the political left – from NGOs, church groups and trade unions, to Attac and the groups and networks of the radical left – have called for protests against the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm (near Rostock in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany), planned for June 2007. Already, a year ahead of the Summit, it is clear that it will be the biggest leftwing mobilisation in Germany in years, in terms of its breadth, number of participants, and the intensity of actions – on top of this, the mobilisation will be international.
According to the plan so far, and the way it was discussed at the Action Conference in Rostock in March 2006, the mobilisation won’t be limited to the obligatory big demonstration, counter-conference and cultural event. The perspective held by many is that powerful days of resistance to the G8 and the current world order should also be an opportunity for the possibility of, and forces for, change to be made visible. The migration-political day of action and the camp play a role in this – along with an action perspective yet to be realised: Blockade the G8!
The critique of the G8 always returns to its lack of legitimacy. Alone the construction of the G8 as the group of eight most powerful and economically strong states on Earth illustrates their lack of a democratic basis. Discussions are held and decisions made with global implications, without the vast majority of those affected being represented in any way. But the G8 does not just lack a democratic legitimacy, but also one of political content.
The world dominated by the G8 is a world of war, poverty and misery, a worldwide attack on social and democratic rights, ongoing environmental destruction, and a political practice of removing rights and carrying out torture in connection with the “war on terror”. All of this not despite but because of the politics of the G8 states – and the G8’s alibi of debt forgiveness and “Help for Africa” cannot distract from this. The issue here is not that the G8 should make other decisions. Rather, we want to call the G8 and its politics itself into question. We reject the legitimacy of the G8 as a whole. This clear “No!” is also reflected in the form of our protest.
From the perspective of a globalisation from below and a world of solidarity, democracy, peace and respect for natural resources, a political concept and the mobilisation of a large number of demonstrators is necessary, but by no means enough. Along with good arguments, a symbolic and practical break with the G8’s claim to power is necessary in order to make clear that we want to do more than just register protest. A practical delegitimation needs to take place which expresses itself in the form of our actions: in which we do not recognise the power of the G8, in which we actively refuse, in which we obstruct. Ultimately, we need to appropriate the collective determination of our future.
Our objective is blockades in which thousands of people from different political and cultural spectrums, and with experience of different action forms, can take part; in which actions do not only respect and tolerate one another, but where a way is found to genuinely act together. For this, we don’t need “heroes”, but rather the strength which comes from the solidarity and collectivity of many. Our action plans, therefore, are not oriented towards the needs of the apparently most committed or radical. Rather, as calculable situation as possible should be created in which decision making structures are transparent, the boundaries of everyone are respected and a political and practical responsibility for seeing through the blockades are taken on. We are convinced that these are the conditions in which thousands of people from different backgrounds would genuinely be able to actively participate.
Even if the blockades do have a symbolic meaning as a symbol of resistance and social disobedience, we are not aiming for a purely symbolic action. Our objective is a genuine blockade of the 2007 G8 Summit and to cut it off from its infrastructure. We will occupy points through which the enormous number of service providers, translators, ordinary delegation members and so on… need to pass – and we will not leave these points voluntarily. We are not, however, looking for confrontation with the police. Our objective, rather, is to realise lasting and mass blockades, and to create a situation which is calculably and transparently created by as many blockaders as possible.
We understand ourselves as fundamentally in solidarity with action concepts from other leftwing summit opponents and it is not our intention to limit the diverse ways in which the movement expresses itself. At the same time, we take for granted that everyone who takes part in the actions will respect the consensus reached at particular blockade points.
The big opportunity presented by the anti-G8 mobilisation – which motivates everyone involved – is to realise commonality and facilitate communication over the borders which currently divide spectrums and concepts, and on this basis open the movement for many new activists. Through this, a long term strengthening and empowerment of the leftwing political movement could grow from the days of protest and resistance in June 2007. It is on this basis that we are convinced of the necessity to leave divided conceptions of action and blockade forms behind and to look for new forms of commonality in action.
We come from different traditions of protest and resistance: from the youth environmental and anti-nuclear movements, from Attac and the radical left, from non-violent action groups and the autonomous antifascist movement. We bring with us, into this cooperation, diverse and years-long experience of blockade actions: experience from the CASTOR (nuclear waste) transport in the Wendland (in northern Germany), experience of successful blockades of Nazi demonstrations in Berlin, Kiel and Leipzig, experience from the Resist campaign against the Iraq war, and of course experience of summit blockades, for example in Evian in 2003.
Aware of our differences, we have decided to take responsibility for the mass blockades of the 2007 G8. Many questions remain to be answered within an exciting processes of getting to know one another and finding ourselves. For all of us, the conviction about, and optimism for, successful mass blockades of the 2007 G8 summit, along with a lasting, positive action experience for activists can only come from moving beyond the borders of our respective spectrums and acting together.
This Call Out primarily has the objective of presenting our thoughts about mass blockades up until now. We hope that blockade groups which can imagine taking part in such actions will be established in as many locations as possible over the coming weeks and months. With a common “Blockade on Tour” trip, beginning in the Autumn, we hope to be able to support the process of group building. We hope that many of these blockade groups, and others, will come to the International G8 Action Conference in Rostock from 10th-12th November 2006 to call the blockade network into being.
4th August 2006
Antifaschistische Linke Berlin [Antifascist Left Berlin], Avanti – Projekt undogmatische Linke [Avanti - Project for an undogmatic left], Gruene Jugend (Budesvorstand) [Green Party Youth (Federal Steering Committee)], X-tausendmal quer [a network for mass blockades of nuclear waste (i.e. CASTOR) transports]. Along with individual activists from: Attac (Germany), Solid [Socialist Youth], and Werkstatt fuer Gewaltfreie Aktion [Workshop for Non-violent Action].
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