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About the Enough Info-Café in times of the #coronavirus Part 3: Partial Reopening and Mutual Aid

Wuppertal. Germany. May 11, 2020. Another statement by some of the Enough Info-Café in times of the coronavirus. In this statement we wrote down som of our thougts on current developments in relation to state measures and the virus and we have some news about the Enough Info-Café.

After a meeting, the Enough Info-Café collective decided that the Info-Café will partially reopen on Wednesday May 13. With some restrictions, but also with a new project: Our friends of the Cars of Hope (Hopetal) collective are still stuck in Wuppertal, due to COVID 19 travel restrictions. They offered to set up a Mutual Aid Project in front of the Info-Café, also starting on May 13. More information in this statement.

Published by Enough 14.

Read also Part 1 and part 2 : About the Enough Info-Café in times of the coronavirus.

Corona here, Corona there. Sometimes it seems like society is exclusively about the Coronavirus nowadays. We receive the daily news bombardments of the holy priests of the RKI [1] but we actually don’t know much more about the virus as we did before the virologists started their daily celebrate masses. Day by day new mind blowing coronavirus maps with the latest “confirmed cases”. Updates about the “Reproduction number”. “Stay at Home!” – ” We are together in this” – “Solidarity” – “I want to thank you for your effort” – “Its not over yet” – “We are in the middle of the pandemic”. If it wouldn’t be such a disaster on different levels, if there wouldn’t be so many victims, one could say: Its a great play. Record viewing rates. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t want to play the virus down. But its like we are overran with statistics, maps and slogans. We actually don’t know very much about the virus. Sometimes it feels like some really bad B movie actors are trying to cover-up that they are actually just improvising in a kind of panic action, hoping that nobody will notice that they also don’t know that much about the virus. Next to nothing.

Every human that lost her or his life because of the coronavirus (or should we say because of the lack of proper health care systems, broken-down because of budget cuts and privatizations by various governments in many states across the planet) is a big loss. But people are not only suffering from COVID 19 directly, many are also suffering and some even dying from the effects of lockdowns and other COVID 19 related measures. Among the first victims of the state measures were people with psychological problems, homeless people, refugees, people in precarious jobs (like for instance the so-called 450€ jobs [2], other people with low-income, people with suicidal tendencies and women who are often victim of domestic violence (in some cases with a deadly outcome) to name a view. But we also observed that some of our friends were down in the dumps from time to time since the contact-bans started and their numbers are increasing. The number of single households have skyrocketed in the past 20 years. These singles sit in their apartment and have no-one to talk too, no hugs. Nothing. A chat is not really a conversation. There is no body language. No facial expression. Communicating with each other is so much more than exchanging a few words. A streamed concert, info-event or an online demo cannot replace cultural or political events in real life. This is why the Enough Info-Café did not organize webseminars or streamed info-events, readings or lectures. The discussions in the Info-Café, the people who are there, the atmosphere are not the same when it takes place in the virtual illusory world. We refused to join the series of events that were shifted in the fake reality of the internet. Yes we work a lot with the internet, but it has huge limitations. We think it’s important that we are aware of that. Humans are social beings. They need contact with other humans, talk and look each other in the eyes. The imposed contact ban is depriving us from some of our very basic needs.

Its a bit surprising that many people that support the authoritarian COVID 19 related state measures seem to believe that the German federal government is actually worried and saving human lives has a high priority. We are talking about a governent that approved over 8 billion euros worth of arms exports in 2019, almost two times as many as in 2018. These arms are used in Syria (amongst others by the invading Turkish army in Afrin and Rojava), Jemen (by the invading Saudi Arabian army) and many other places across the planet. These weapons kill. The same German government has a programm to tackle climate change which is actually an economic stimulus package for the German car industry. That programm is a real-life comedy show. The so-called “Coal Exit Act” is too little and too late. All they do is putting up a smoke screen here and there, accompanied with some pr work. But that’s about it. The lackeys of capitalism want to make sure that the inhuman, unjust and perverted economic system we are forced to live with will survive. Among other things they are willing to risk an ecological collapse. In other words: This government completely refuses and fails to tackle climate change which is a threat for the lives of millions of people. Since the implementation of the Agenda 2010 laws, many people started to slide down in poverty-stricken conditions. Before the COVID 19 outbreak unemployment was at a historic low in Germany, but millions of people didn’t earn enough money to pay their bills or adequately heat their homes. Almost one in five people in Germany was threatened by poverty or other forms of social exclusion in 2017. Many pensions in Germany are also below the poverty line. On average, men with very low retirement pay die five years earlier than those who are much better off. Poverty shortens life. The very same political caste that made laws and other neoliberal reforms that shortens the life expectations of millions of people now suddenly decided that they want to save the lifes of all of us? That we are all in one boat? We don’t buy it…

It wasn’t really surprising that the German governemt started to ease the state measures. Media outlets like german daily “Die Welt” [3], “Handelsblatt” [4] and commercial news-broadcaster “N-TV” [5] gave the captains of industry a lot of opportunities to pressure the government. Not that they have a problem with auhoritarian state measures in general, but the neoliberals were losing to much money due to the “contact” ban. Big business will be satisfied now. People can meet (and BUY! Let that Euro roll!) in enclosed spaces like consume temples again, the right to assembly, is, of course, still very limited and on some occasions even banned. So now we have the situation that parts of the so-called left followed the federal government and didn’t even question all these authoritarian state measures, i.e. accepted that many basic rights were taken overnight, without any debate, while fascists and conspiracy theorists are mobilizing to defend the very same basic rights and an demand an end of the “contact ban”. It could be a sequence of a Monthy Python movie with John Cleese as Til Schweiger [6]. But its not funny. Not at all. Everything is upside down. Everything! And the fascists are pretty successful. Many people of the so-called bourgeois middle join them to protest against the authoritarian state measures, over the weekend thousands took the streets in many cities across the German territory. Those parts of the left that accepted that basic rights were taken away overnight, yes even welcomed it, opened a new playing field for the far-right and conspiracy theorists. And they used this beautiful gift from parts of the left. Even the fact that basic rights are actually non-existing when governments can take them overnight, wasn’t a big issue for these parts of the left. A dangerous position, and one that is playing right into the hands of the far-right.

But there are also people on the left side that continue to protest and take action against the growing authoritarianism of the German state. Here in Wuppertal, Germany, there was a spontaneous rally against the COVID 19 related state measures and the situation in the Moria refugee camp on April 4. In other cities there were several rallies and occupations from those parts of the left that also doesn’t accept the measures. Especially anti-authoritarians oppose the contact bans, the downright calls by politicians to denunciate anyone who is not obeying the contact-ban rules, and the fact that although people are not allowed to meet with more than two persons like for example in the german state North Rhine Westphalia, but at the same time have to work in enclosed factory halls or open-plan offices with many colleagues for hours and hours.

There is growing division between those parts of the so-called left that not only accepted the state measures, but in some cases even vehemently defended the authoritarian rule by the German state. Others were arguing that “we” have to wait. We actually have no words for it. But what we do know… we will not wait and are happy to see that we are not the only ones.

It’s useless to wait — for a breakthrough, for the revolution, the nuclear apocalypse or a social movement. To go on waiting is madness. The catastrophe is not coming, it is here. We are already situated within the collapse of a civilization. It is within this reality that we must choose sides.

The Coming Insurrection – Invisible Committee

These are difficult times. More people will die from the coronavirus. More bereavement and grief. At the moment some of the effects of the contact-bans are only scratching the surface, but in the coming weeks and months we will see more and more of the damage that has been done. What we do already know is that we are at the beginning of a huge economic crisis. Its pretty clear who are supposed to pay for the economic losses of the shutdown. Its a matter of time before the first austerity rounds will be announced. So its time to organize resistance and get rid of the barbaric capitalist system and the state with its authoritarian and inhumane rule and injustice.

The Enough Info Café will partially reopen again

We condemned the authoritarian state measure from the beginning and will continue to do so. We said it before and we say it again. We closed the Enough Info-Café on March 13, 10 days before the German state started with authoritarian contact bans. In our point of view its normal responsible behaviour to take responsibility and close when there is a situation in which we are not sure about the safety of people who work and visit the Info-Café.

On Wednesday May 13, the Enough Info-Café will partially reopen again. The door will be open at 14:00 (02:00pm). Partially because the actual Café (gastronomy) will remain closed until further notice for two reasons, only the shop will be open. This means that our movie nights, collective readings, lectures and info-events will also be suspended until further notice. The mutual aid project with free food, sanitary products and other things will be extended and also be open (more information below). But everything only as take away (shop). Because of state regulations all people who want to go inside the shop, are obliged to wear a mask. If you don’t have a mask, its also allowed to wear a scarf. Only two people are allowed to go inside the shop at the same time. If parents come with his/her or their child, the child can come into the shop as an additional person. Another additional person inside will be somebody of our collective who will be working there. If you have any questions you can email us at info@enoughisenough14.org.

The two main reasons why the actual Café (gastronomy) part will be closed until further notice are the following:

  1. The Enough Info-Café is a rather small space and as we said above, we still don’t know that much about the virus. For this reason we are still not willing to take the risk that people might get serious health problems due to the cornavirus in the small and enclosed space of the Info-Café.
  2. The state imposed restrictions on Cafés in general. The new (temporary?) regulation says that bars and restaurants have to keep record of the names of all visitors. If we would open the actual Café (gastronomy), we would be forced to do that. If we keep the café part closed, we don’t have to do that. We refuse to keep record of all names of people who visit the Enough Info-Café, and as long as this regulation is imposed on us we will not even think about reopening the gastronomy part of the Info-Café. We are no snitches!

Temporary Opening Hours

Wednesday 14:00 – 20:00 (02:00pm – 08:00pm)

Thursday 14:00 – 20:00 (02:00pm – 08:00pm)

Friday 14:00 – 20:00 (02:00pm – 08:00pm)

Saturday 14:00 – 20:00 (02:00pm – 08:00pm)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday closed

Apart from the free shelf, the shop will also be open. We ordered a lot of new books and of course we also have our beloved Zapatista coffee for you (beans normal, ground coffee normal, Espresso beans and Espresso ground coffee). We also offer Cups, Fair trade bio cocoa (The cocoa is produced by El Ceibo in Bolivia. El Ceibo is a large association of about 50 cooperatives with a total of about 1,200 members, mainly small farming families of indigenous descent.), Bio whole cane sugar, t-shirts, caps, hoodies and other items.

Mutual Aid

Because of the COVID19 state measures many people are in serious trouble. In the past weeks several people in the neighbourhood asked us when the Info-Café would be reopened and if there are still some items in our free shelf. During our last meeting we discussed the possibility of extending the free shelf with more basic goods like food and sanitary products. There are already some COVID 19 mutual aid projects in Wuppertal, but not in our city-district. The people of the Cars of Hope collective (A Hopetal project) offered to extend their free shelf project in the Info-Café (which is also the club house of Hopetal – Cars of Hope). In front of the Café (outside) there will be additional free food, sanitary products and other items for take-away. In order to be able to bring continuity in this extended free for all mutual aid project, Cars of Hope are asking for donations.

You can donate by Bank transfer:

Name of the bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land

Account Holder: Hopetal e.V.

Description: Mutual Aid COVID 19

IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87

BIC: VBRSDE33XXX

You can also donate by Pay Pal:

Support COVID 19 Mutual Aid

Support the Mutual Aid Project by Cars of Hope in the Enough Info-Café. Even 1€ can make a difference.

€1.00

Some of the Enough Info-Café collective, May 11, 2020

Notes

[1] The Robert Koch Institute (abbreviated RKI) is a German federal government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Koch_Institute

[2] Marginal employment (German: geringfügige Beschäftigung), also called a mini job or €450 job, is an employment relationship with a low absolute level of earnings or of short duration. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_employment

[3] Die Welt (English: “The World”) is a German national daily newspaper, published as a broadsheet by Axel Springer SE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Welt

[4] The Handelsblatt (literally “commerce paper” in English) is a leading German-language business newspaper published in Düsseldorf by Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handelsblatt

[5] NTV is a German free-to-air television news channel owned by the Bertelsmann Media’s RTL Group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-tv

[6] Tilman Valentin “Til” Schweiger is a German actor, director, screenwriter, producer and film editor. In the course of the COVID 19 pandemic, Schweiger made several statements on containment measures. In March 2020, Schweiger complained that many people would not keep the minimum distance in public places. They apparently did not take the risk seriously. Schweiger received encouragement for his concern from other actors. At the end of April 2020, Schweiger referred in an Instagram post to the video of an ENT physician who assessed COVID-19 as a mild cold, and in further posts criticised the compulsory wearing of masks that had been implemented in Germany and the RKI’s justification for the measures to limit mortality from COVID-19. Schweiger also promoted the KenFM channel (KenFM is a channel of Ken Jebsen Jebsen’s interview partner in his broadcasts, which often last several hours: conspiracy theorists, new-right (far-right) thinkers and all those who oppose the mainstream) Numerous followers accused Schweiger of spreading conspiracy theories after he promoted Ken FM. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Til_Schweiger


Keep the Enough 14 Blog and Enough Info-Café going. You can support us by ordering something in our shop or you can donate (see below the images for details).

We created a solidarity t-shirt (Images below) for the Enough Info-Café. You can order an Enough Info-Café solidarity T-shirt here: https://enoughisenough14.org/product/t-shirt-we-wont-go-back-to-normality-black/

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