No G20 activists wrote an open letter to the people of Hamburg. “Do not be afraid, because we come as friends”, says Patrick Bond, economist and activist from South Africa, when he talks about coming to Hamburg to protest against the G20 summit. “We want to take away the fears of us, which are fueled by politics”. In the letter co-written by him to Hamburg’s civil society it says: “The true invaders and destroyers of our cities are the G20 and we must protect ourselves together. If they want a democracy-free zone in Hamburg, we want a G20-free Hamburg.”
Submitted to Enough is Enough
Download, print, read and spread From across the world together against the G20: an open letter to the people of Hamburg in PDF Format: Open_Letter_G20
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Already for months people from countries like Argentina, France and Ireland plan their journey to Hamburg. The International No G20 coordinating groups clarifies that they want to protest in July in solidarity with the people living in Hamburg: with respect for their neighborhoods and the inspiring activities within them, that emanates solidarity and freedom. Bettina Müller from Attac Argentina says: “I am looking forward to Hamburg and its people and hope that one gets to know each other during the protests”.
The International No G20 group is part of the global preparation of protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg and is composed of different groups from Europe and the world. This includes for example Attac Argentina, the network “BRICS from below”, social centers from Italy, left groups from Eastern Europe and human rights groups. The protest plans include a congress, blockades, actions of mass civil disobedience and a big demonstration.
From across the world together against the G20: an open letter to the people of Hamburg
Dear people of Hamburg, you might wonder who is writing to you.
We are women and men from all over Europe and the world, citizens or
activists in many different networks, and from all walks of life. We have
very different ages and political persuasions.
We’re the people who aim to join you in Hamburg, your city, to support the
protests this July when the leaders of the world’s 20 most powerful
countries will meet in the very heart of the city.
You have mostly heard about us from politicians and media who want to
make you afraid of us, describing us as “troublemakers” or “vandals”…
However, with this letter to you we want to join hands with you since we
are all subjected to the same global policies created at these summits,
where the few think they can decide for all of our lives.
You are subjected to red, yellow and blue zones. You’ve seen control
stations, police forces and machinery in your city before, as at the OSCE
summit, and you will see even more soon. We can imagine how you feel,
when your freedom of living, movement and assembly and those of your
friends, neighbours and colleagues are suspended – even if only
We also know this from our own worlds. In recent months, we’ve been
hitting the roads of the US, raising up a million voices and marching in the
growing resistance to Trump, asserting racial, social and gender justice
against the racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic, climatedenialist,
corporate-controlled United States he is building. We know that
many of you are also fighting the Right, against the AfD or autocratic
rulers such as Erdogan, and that many of you share our opposition to the
constant warfare exported around the world.
Often our rights to assemble – like yours – are violated in these struggles.
We have fought for years to defend our planet from the threats posed by
climate change and ecological crisis, from the expropriation and
devastation, from the multinationals’ resource extraction and exploitation
of the lands where we live. Some of us were in North Dakota to put our
bodies in front of the Access Pipeline. Some of us have opposed the longlasting
violence against the Amazon rainforest – as you have fought
Moorburg or against useless, expensive mega-projects like the Olympics or
fought to re-communalize water and energy.
Others of us have protested against undemocratic, corrupt regimes in
Brazil (35 million on general strike against Temer’s austerity this April),
Russia (100 cities staged anti-corruption protests against Prime Minister
Medvedev’s corruption), India (180 million workers fought Modi’s
neoliberalism one day last September), China (with more than 100,000
protests each year), and South Africa (regular mass and micro protests
against Zuma’s neoliberal plutocracy) – showing from below that BRICS
elites are no better than the other G20 rulers.
Last year many of us met on the streets in Paris, against the elites who
threaten our very lives by continuously reinforcing precarious labour and
living conditions. The Loi Travail was a dramatic turning point for this
process in Europe, but we also know how it feels to work at so-called minijobs,
as millions of young people do in Germany – and we experienced how
these struggles feel – for young and old – in times of a “state of
emergency”. But we know this is a struggle for survival and solidarity. And
you – like people everywhere – showed this by welcoming fellow citizens of
the earth fleeing war, hunger and devastation, when you opened your
homes and city for those in need. It is obvious; Merkel’s dirty EU-Turkey
deal against refugees represents neither you nor us.
However, we often meet bitter opposition to our rights to struggle, to
assemble, to protest – from the police or the State. The governments of
Hamburg, Germany and other powerful G20 states would like to silence
and remove us from the public scene, so that they don’t have to hear that
we are many and that we are loud, and that they don’t represent us –
neither in Africa, Europe, the Americas or elsewhere in the world.
The choices that the “powerful Twenty” will discuss and propose in
Hamburg in July are the same policies turning our cities into playgrounds
for high-profit real estate and financial speculation; making rents
unaffordable and raising the cost of living; pushing ordinary people out of
urban centres; making our neighbourhoods uninhabitable; privatizing
public services and common goods; and other policies making life
increasingly difficult for the great majority.
They are the real invaders and destroyers of our cities. We must
defend and protect ourselves from them together!
So we ask you to open your city to us, not to be scared but to welcome us
when we come to raise our collective voice for social equality, freedom
and democracy. They want capitalism without democracy: we want
democracy without capitalism. This is what we already demanded in
Frankfurt, at the European Central Bank opening. We learned there that
where the “powerful Twenty” are, and where capitalism and violence are,
there can be no democracy.
When Trump, Erdogan, Putin, Temer, Modi, Zuma, Macri, Xi, May, Peña
Nieto, King Salman, Merkel and the other crooks and tyrants meet,
planning their next moves to exploit our lives and our territories, we must
stand up to block them.
If they want a democracy-free zone in Hamburg, we want a G20-free
In solidarity with you, people of Hamburg, we will come together in July to
show that there is another world, an alternative one to theirs. We will
carefully respect the city and its activities, because we are really
happy to come to Hamburg and visit your neighbourhoods with
such lively, diverse cultures, with such a strong sense of freedom
and solidarity, with such an important history of struggles for
social, environmental, economic and civil rights for everyone. And
we hope that we will join and come to know each other in the streets!
We are many, we are loud and we will be in Hamburg with all of you – to
show the entire world and become the alternatives to today’s misery.
Hamburg, Planet Earth, May 2017
No G20 International