Only few months have passed since a tiny crack opened in the European chain of command. The election in Greece, beyond the specific judge on Syriza party, delivered an unmistakable message: people had enough of austerity politics. Could a vote solve all the problems? Obviously not. Nobody believed this, but it was a sign that people want to take power back on their lives. What happened in the while? Negotiations on the plan for new financial aids to Greece are still going on, giving life to an arm wrestling between a part of the Eurogroup, captained by Merkel and Schäuble, and Greek government. On one side we have the hard defenders of austerity by any means, on the other who has the necessity to negotiate these unbearable measures. The sharp refusal to change the management of the crisis and to give breathe to a population that is drowning in the austerity made clear that we cannot expect salvation from neo-liberal politics. Poor lives don't matter. Democracy doesn't matter.
Meanwhile, in Italy the government of Matteo Renzi approved a labour reform that signs formally the end of last workers rights. “We are doing these for the precarious generation”, the truth is different: for them, precarious lives don't matter, workers lives don't matter. These are good only when they can be exploited with law wages or even for free, like in these days at Expo. If you refuse, if you ask for more rights and more salary, then you are “choosy”. Capitalism doesn't contemplate other options, take it or leave it.
Finally, some miles close to the south costs of Europe, thousands of people are drowning in the hope to reach the other side of Mediterranean Sea. The borders regime that UE raised up on its frontiers is obliging them to risk the life on drifting boats. Who is escaping from death, wars, political persecution, poverty (that we western, in many cases, provoked) still keep the dream to find a better life in richer lands. Unfortunately, as we said, capitalism doesn't provide salvation for all. Migrant lives don't matter. They are good when could be exploited on black market, when they accept low salaries and no rights, when owners can use them as slaves. No more. After they are only the waste of the richness that someone else will benefit. The European governments rhetoric is disgusting when tries to extend the walls around Europe adopting the language of solidarity.
Three different situations from whom however we can try to catch three connected remarks.
First, Europe is not a smooth space. The definition by capitalism of a closed area of power and economy doesn't mean that there are no differences. Inside and outside. What happens outside our borders has different dynamics than inside. How the austerity hits the ground in Italy or Spain is really different from how it does in Germany or France. The same necessity for them to save capital and profits has different articulations depending on the specific cases.
Second, differences are not on the same plane but distributed on vertical axis. Not all the state members of the UE are playing the same role in deciding the management of the crisis. It's undoubted that Merkel government is playing a leading role in the prosecution of austerity policies.
Third, there is the risk that this articulation of the power would became also a fragmentation of exploited people. Solidarity and cooperation are not immediate. It's undeniable that in some cases austerity policies have had a popular consensus in the hope that these would have saved some (at the expense of others) from social consequences of crisis. In other cases, we assist to the re-release of old racist and fascist slogan that urge people to get angry with whom is in worse conditions. Fight among the poor.
We can conclude that UE is working as a differential operator, creating multiple and connected differences: between elites and people, territories and territories, citizens and migrants.
Is it all? Luckily not. In these months we have also seen increasing attempts by social movements, collectives, grassroots unions, associations to move over national borders and to create networks among them. We said it time ago, the lack of immediate general struggles has to push us to search for connections between different pieces of resistances and re-appropriation.
There are national struggles working on local and social conditions, as well there are some public political spaces, some tendencies to networking radical left experiences. The game is to be part of the local dimension but looking to synchronize it on the global level.
Blockupy has been the results of hard work on this direction and also the sign that this method it's working. We cannot synthesize the participation with one sentence, one name, one goal. This has been the strength of this path: Blockupy as a wide umbrella with a shared attitude against austerity policies. We have to treasure these and try to continue to work on this direction.
If capitalism works creating a space of differential operations, we have to fight within and against this. That is we have to preserve, extend and enlarge forms of inter-dependence among territorial, national and European struggles and the inter-connections among the different forms of political behaviors that develop inside social joints. And, on the other side, we have to adapt and articulate the paths of European coalitions both on different specific territorial claims and on homogeneous and common platforms of claims to act directly in the European space. Inter-dependence, transnational perspectives, territorial actions. Three axis for next months in order to give voice to the voiceless, to open many and large cracks in the chain of command.
That's why we would like to share 3 suggestions of action.
We cannot leave the order of the discourse on migration all to European elites. We cannot stand in silence while they condemn thousands of people to die in Mediterranean Sea. In these years migrants and Europeans have built up networks of solidarity, struggles for a different concept of citizenship, new and free projects of welcome. It's the moment to tear down this criminal border regime. Next 20 June will be the World Refugee Day, can we transform this institutional event into a real moment of mestizo action?
On the other side, it's clear that we have to update our way to carry on anti-austerity struggles. In the European chain of command not all the governments play the same role, only few stay in the cockpit. The German government of Merkel and Schäuble is the driver. It could be the moment to go directly to the source of crisis management. If European elites don't care for people, it's time for people to make them hear our voice. How could be powerful to go protesting in front of German Bundestag in Berlin? October could be right.
It's undeniable that describing UE as a differential operator means to recognize that in the crisis there is salvation only for few. First they cared for banks, secondly corporations. To people only what trickles down from their profit: nothing. But workers are rediscovering their most powerful device: strike. There are several attempts to give new sense and effectiveness to this practice in the multiple forms of contemporary production: labeling does not matter. As we said, Blockupy has the merit to have put together a coalition of different subjects for a shared goal. Why don't we try to trigger similar process to build up a really transnational strike, directly political, in order to ask equal income, minimum wage and rights for all the European workers (where European is not a question of ius sanguinis but of ius soli) and debt cancellation?
In November we could set a/few day/s of convergence for the strikers.
If UE elites want us divided and fighting among us, we have to act together valuing the rainbow of all different struggles. To the richness of the capital we can oppose the richness of multitude.
It is time to be ambitious, it is time to organize ourselves, to value our desire to face the capitalism of the crisis. Let's do it.
Common Political Space (Italian social centers)