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Dublin Grassroots Calls European Days of Action on May Day Weekend
Activists from the Dublin Grassroots network are calling for a European day of action in Dublin on Saturday, May 1st, as the highlight of a weekend of action from Friday April 30th, to Monday May 3rd. These days of action will focus on symbols of all that is wrong with the EU as it currently stands: militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the EU police state. We are inviting people from all over Europe, and the world, to join us in Dublin on Mayday to show our leaders that their agenda for EU integration, driven by the wealthy and powerful, will face resistance. We will also be using the days of action to highlight local issues and campaigns which are linked to the broader problems of corporate globalisation and the EU.
Bertie - Euro Fraud
We will be holding an initial planning meeting for the days of action on Saturday February 7th, at 2pm in the Teachers Club on Parnell Square. This meeting is open to all and all ideas and suggestions are welcome. This meeting will be participatory in nature, designed to give everybody a say and to involve everybody in the planning and decision making, rather than merely turning up to listen to experts. No matter how much experience or political expertise you may have, we welcome your active involvement on an equal level with everybody else.
The Irish government is currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU. After almost a month of the presidency, we have a pretty good idea of what it is going to mean for us. The two ministerial meetings that have taken place so far have both been characterised by extraordinary and expensive police operations, paid for by the public and aimed at keeping the public as far away as possible from the decision makers. They have also revealed the sinister side of EU security. A well-known anti-war activist, Eoin Rice, was arrested for protesting during the EU ministerial meeting in Galway and was brutally beaten in custody. In Dublin, Indymedia reported that an independent cameraman was forcibly removed from the vicinity of Dublin castle and had his camera damaged by police. Obviously the EU leaders aren't too keen to allow critical public scrutiny of their deliberations.
The government has announced that Mayday is going to be Bertie's big day out as EU president. This is the date - traditionally workers' day - when the EU will formally expand to incorporate 10 new states, mostly from Eastern Europe. The government plan to hold street parties and other 'celebrations' for the population, while the 25 heads of state of the enlarged union are wined and dined in the plush surroundings of Farmleigh house. However, the government's celebrations to 'welcome' the accession countries are a fraud.
We anticipate that an unprecedented police operation will be put in place to ensure that the public are kept far away from the decision makers. Also, while the leaders of these countries might be welcome in the EU (along with their farms and sweatshops), most of the current EU countries will remain closed to the people of the accession states for the next 6 years. Worse still, at the same time as the EU leaders talk about international co-operation and openness, they are actually implementing a 'fortress Europe,' a closed EU from which the inhabitants of the third world, the majority of the world's population, will be ruthlessly excluded. It is instructive that the first 'achievement' of the Irish presidency was the establishment of a 'repatriation fund,' to allow the wealthy countries to share the costs of deporting people to poor countries.
We are not at all opposed to international integration. We do not seek to defend our national sovereignty. We do not oppose the accession of new countries to the EU. We do not think that a sovereign Irish government will represent us any better than a EU government will. However, we are completely opposed to the direction that the EU is currently taking. In particular, we are opposed to the militarisation of the EU, as embodied by the Rapid Reaction Force and NATO/Partnership for Peace. We are opposed to the capitalist agenda of the EU, driven by multi-national corporations, as embodied by article 133. We are opposed to the creation of a fortress Europe, which forces borders to open for capital and builds walls against people. We are opposed to the police state that the EU is becoming, where protestors are criminalised and brutalised and EU co-operation focuses on co-ordinating spying on the public, as exemplified by the Schengen Information System. That is not the EU we want.
In opposition to the current EU of the rich and powerful, we propose a grassroots Europe. A Europe united through empowered communities taking decision making power back into their own hands. A Europe without borders, internal or external. A Europe where wealth is equally shared and everybody has the same opportunities. A Europe where our resources are spent on education, health and sustainable development rather than war and capitalist profiteering. This Europe cannot be formed from above, but needs people to stand up for themselves and say 'no' to our corrupt and greedy leaders. The time to start is always now.
Dublin Grassroots network is part of the Grassroots Network Against War and the Grassroots Gathering. Our meetings operate according to the following principles:
1. Decisions about/from Dublin Grassroots can only be made at Dublin Grassroots meetings.
2. Anyone can attend Dublin Grassroots meetings. However, decisions taken by meetings will be consistent with the Grassroots Principles (see below).
3. In order to be informed of the meetings people should either subscribe to a Dublin Grassroots Mailing list or leave other contact details with the Dublin Grassroots meeting co-ordinator (see below).
4. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a facilitator whose role is to ensure that all are included in discussion and also to ensure that decisions are actually made. An agenda should be drawn up at the beginning of each meeting.
5. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a secretary who will keep note of decisions made. These will be read back to the meeting at the end to ensure that there is agreement. If circumstances permit, these decisions will be posted on the Dublin Grassroots e-mail list.
6. Dublin Grassroots will elect a meeting co-ordinator whose only job is to publicise the time and venue of our meetings to all those who have signed up to Dublin Grassroots. Except for emergencies, at least two days notification should be given for meetings.
The Grassroots Principles
The Grassroots Gathering aims towards a network which would:
· Be based on the principle that people should control their own lives and work together as equals, as part of how we work as well as what we are working towards.
· Within the network this means rejecting top-down and state-centred forms of organisation (hierarchical, authoritarian, expert-based, Leninist etc.) We need a network that's open, decentralised, and really democratic.
· Call for solutions that involve ordinary people controlling their own lives and having the resources to do so: the abolition, not reform, of global bodies like the World Bank and WTO, and a challenge to underlying structures of power and inequality.
· Organise for the control of the workplace by those who work there.
· Call for the control of communities by the people who live there.
· Argue for a sustainable environmental, economic and social system, agreed by the people of the planet.
· Work together in ways which are accessible to ordinary people, particularly women and working-class people, rather than reproducing feelings of disempowerment and alienation within our own network.