[fse-esf] Who should get the"high profile"?
stockton.dave at btopenworld.com
Sat Mar 25 13:56:32 CET 2006
If "high profile" speakers, like Walden Bello and the others whom Petros
mentions are due to speak at various seminars then doubtless then these will
be very well attended seminars. If the publicity for them is good then the
tens of thousands at the forum and beyond, via the media, will be know all
about them. How high a profile do you want?
But as Raffaella says why keep banging on about "high profile events". Is it
because the SWP and its IST sections want the ESF to be just another antiwar
rally with no real outcome? As current events in France AND GREECE show
Europe is in a ferment of struggle against the neoliberal offensive. Even in
Britain one and an half million workers will strike over pensions next
Tuesday. Workers and Youth are fighting back. We need to focus attention on
these struggles, on their lessons and above all on how to coordinate them.
We need Athens to be a "school of struggle" and I hope that the ³teachers²
will not just be the ³big name² academics, journalists, and union officials,
but the French, Greek, German, Belgian, trade union militants, the Italian
and French school and university students, the youth from the Paris banlieus
etc. We need to hear their experience of how to build mass struggles,
It is in partly for these reasons and because this has not happened since
Florence that my organisation is arguing still with little "official
response" that we need a YOUTH ASSEMBLY, alongside other assemblies, like
that for Women, with no ³big names², no top-heavy bureaucracy of official
³mass² organisations in control. Then we might be able to inject a bit of
anticapitalist spirit back into what is, frankly, an increasingly
conservative and ageing ESF process. Just look around you at the EPAs.
Rafaella and Franco are correct that we cannot go on holding big rallies
with fine speakers an then going home for another year as if nothing had
happened beyond raising our spirits. I do not agree with the content of much
of the "Italian" Charter and the French Petition (because they are
reformist, for all their utopian language, and indeed hardly mention the
working class as the central and leading social force to achieve "another
Europe") but it is good that there will be a series of seminars debating
these issues and I urge the maximum attendance.
Raffaella is right too that the Assembly of the Social Movements should be
one of the most high profile events. Indeed I would say THE most high
profile one, one which says at the end of the ESF "we have decided to do
something, we have taken forward the development of positive principles for
transforming the imperialist warmongering neoliberal capitalist Europe.
My organisation believe that this must be a Socialist United Sates of Europe
and that only a revolution can bring it about, not elections, let alone
Olive Tree Coalitions with the architects of the Lisbon Agenda (Romano
Prodi). Is he even a pentito on this issue? This certainly means a
controversy. Good. Why else come to Athens. We don¹t want to just repeat all
the vague truisms we have been doing for five years about ³another Europe
being possible². Possible sure but HOW and WHEN?
By the way I hope comrades on the mainland realise that the UK mobilising
committee has not met ONCE, that NOTHING is being done in Britain to get
people to go to Athens beyond what individual organisations are doing under
their own steam. This is quite frankly a disgrace. Our organisation will do
all it can to get the maximum numbers of young people and trade unionists to
I do not accept that municipal elections (in which only 20 per cent will
vote) are an excuse for not mobilising for Athens. I suggest publicly on the
list that the British (including Scottish) organisations pull their fingers
out and call a mobilising committee this week and get out some publicity.
See you in Athens, next week and in May,
Dave Stockton (League for the Fifth International)
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