Antiracist networks call for Frankfurt Days of Action in May
The banking district of Frankfurt shall be transformed into an area of diverse protests from 16 to 19 May 2012. With rubber boats and ladders we will occupy, blockade and demonstrate, displaying the symbols of resistance against the militarized EU border regime. We will bring large puppets to raise the issue of precarious labor relations, in which both migrants and others are exploited. And we will repeat the slogan of the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, as it was already formulated against the G8 Summit in Rostock: We are here because you are destroying our countries!
Causes of forced migration and the global crisis
Inequality soars not only within Europe, where the government of rich countries drive the people of Greece, Spain and Portugal into poverty. Especially in the countries of the global South the crisis continues to worsen: climate change, exploitation of natural resources, robbery of raw materials, land grabbing, famine, wars of distribution – the exploitation of people and nature becomes ever more catastrophic, serving the interests of the North.
For example, the selling off of fertile land to banks, investment funds and multinational companies, which has thrived since 2007, has resulted in a giant wave of dispossession. For hundreds of millions of small farmers, fishers and herders in the global South this means the deprivation of their livelihood. It’s not surprising that Deutsche Bank participates in the global landgrabbing as a major player with (pro-rata) land possession in particular in Latin America and Asia. With investments of almost five billion US Dollars, the Deutsche Bank is also the number one speculator in food products on the global financial markets. Therefore it has been contributing to the explosion of food prices for years, especially since many investors sought new profitable investment opportunities in the wake of the financial crisis. With a billion people suffering from hunger worldwide, the speculative trade of land and food products has to be abolished – no matter whether it is Deutsche Bank or any other bank, investment fund, or company who is involved.
“The current crisis management with its devastating consequences for our society, for labor relations, for social and political rights, follows a pattern that we already know from IMF programs in the global South during the last decades”. This is how a Greek activist puts the latest social attacks in Southern Europe into historical context. Apart from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank are part of the Troika that dictates the so-called austerity programs.
Bringing the daily struggles to the banking district
We, antiracist groups as well as networks concerned with asylum and migration, want to contribute to the mobilization to Frankfurt and make the demands and goals of the daily struggles against exclusion and precarization heard. Throughout Europe migrants are doubly affected by the current crisis. They are the first to be fired and many – for example in Italy – are threatened by expulsion in case they are unemployed. At the same time they are the scapegoats of the social crisis. In Athens, racist agitation has repeatedly led to pogroms in the last months.
Frontex, the European Border Agency, steadily reinforces the external borders of the EU. The death of thousands of boat people is consciously condoned. The brutal border regime serves as a filter: only the strongest shall pass. Combining different kinds of exclusion with the recruitment of cheap labor, those governing Europe speak of “migration management”. Residence permits are tied to employment, illegality and deportation are used to blackmail migrants. There is a worldwide process establishing a racist hierarchy, in which different groups of migrants are gradually deprived of social and political rights. This modern Apartheid is designed to serve northern labor markets, including in Germany. Who cleans the bank towers? Who is washing the dishes in the expensive restaurants? Who toils on construction sites? Who harvests asparagus on the fields? Yet migrants fight back against arbitrary layoffs and low wages in different ways. In order to support them against dispossession and deprivation of rights, in many cities contact points have been established by labor unions.
Transnational movement and “precarious (dis)connections”
Migrant and refugees criss-cross and fight against the system of a new global Apartheid by directly or indirectly setting demands for global freedom of movement and equal social rights. In daily resistance against the camp system or against racist police violence, in protests against the deportation collaboration of consulates of their countries of origin or against the neocolonial politics of the EU: the potential for a transnational perspective that must operate equally against exploitation and oppression in the South and North can be found precisely in the struggles of refugees and migrants. It is indisputable that there are grave differences in the realities and struggles in the respective regions, countries and continents, as well as differences in interests between the various groups here, whether it be between temporary and permanent migrants, or between precarious workers, new EU citizens and illegalized sans papiers. A central challenge for the social movements is to bridge these differences and to seek for the “precarious (dis)connections”.
On October 15, 2011, protests and actions took place in over 900 countries in approximately 90 countries. In this simultaneity, in which – especially inspired by the Arab Spring – new interconnected social mass movements develope and challenge the crisis- and austerity-regime, the potential of an transnational uprising emerged. Tunis is not Madrid, Athens is not Frankfurt. Not in the way in which it is affected, not in the forms of resistance. Yet in the different struggles against worldwide precarization, a connectedness is pulsing with which new bridges can be built in and against the global hierarchy of resources and exploitation.
The times are moving more than ever, and around the 12th of May, 2012, the next global day of action, it will be seen whether a new wave of mobilizations is successful and if the cycle of interconnected struggles can be intensified. Directly thereafter, the Blockupy days in Frankfurt aim to confront those responsible for the global policies of crisis and impoverishment directly in front of their doors of their decision-making headquarters with imaginative blockades and creative forms of resistance. As antiracist network, we will organize a blockade finger on May 18 and have our own block in the demonstration on May 19.
Freedom not Frontex!
Equal rights instead of border regime
No one is illegal
For a good living for everyone, worldwide!
This call for action is so far supported by:
Networks Welcome to Europe and Afrique Europe Interact, Action alliance against deportation Rhein-Main, no one is illegal Hanau and Darmstadt, Refugee Council Hessen, Youth against borders Hessen, noborder Marburg, Campaign Act together against racist agitation and social exclusion Berlin, Fels, transact, NoLager Bremen, medical Office Hamburg, Prekär Cafe Wien, Solidarity Commitee against EU-Crisis-Politics Wuppertal …
Further mobilizations of the antiracist movement in the next weeks and months:
From 9 to 11 May in Berlin
Action days against the deportation collaboration of various consulates with a focus on Nigeria and the charter deportations organized by Frontex to this country.
Website: The Voice Forum Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
From 1 to 22 July between Sicily and Tunisia
Boats4People – Euro-African project with protest actions in many (port) cities, from Palermo in Sicily, to Tunis and Monastir in Tunisia, and to Lampedusa
Website: Boats4People and Afrique-Europe-Interact Contact in Germany: email@example.com
From 13 to 22 July in Cologne / Dusseldorf No Border Camp 2012 with an action focus on the deportation airport Dusseldorf Website: http://noborder.antira.info/de Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
From 23 August in Thueringen
Break Isolation Camp against Isolation camps and residence obligations Websites: http://breakisolation.blogsport.de/ ; http://thevoiceforum.org