A submission that we received from Berlin. Some may find it controversial, because of the virus and because it is likely that the state will answer with repression against some of the proposals in this call. Others may find it about time that a call like this was written. Read the call and find your own position to it.
Submitted to Enough 14.
This is a call for all groups, collectives and individuals within the anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian Berlin city scene.
THE VIRUS IS HERE AND WE ARE HERE TOO!
We are extremely aware of the existence and seriousness of this virus and its consequences on our health, social, economic and political lives. The Covid 19 crisis is the most representative product of capitalism in 2020 and will feature more and more in our lives. Facing the global destabilization caused by the pandemic, we decide not to follow either the denialist – conspiracy theorist and populist perspective of theoretical shortcuts on the origin of the virus, or the institutional perspective that resolves the issue exclusively from a health-security point of view. Neither of these perspectives calls into question the system that has created the conditions that favour the birth and spread of the virus.Our perspective focuses on the radical questioning of the neo-liberal system and tries to propose and construct strategies that can provide ananswer to the social crisis without legitimising the system itself. From our point of view, the only possible answer is self-organisation and experiences of autonomy, as well as a radical reflection on ecologism.
That is why there is an urgent need to organise eachother!
This call aims to be the first draft of a collective and collaborative manifesto; it is a reflection of the impact of the pandemic and the measures that nation states are implementing in order to control the health crisis and us as people.
This call is a starting point for a collective debate in the antagonistic Berlin scene, in order to find ways and opportunities to remain active and take a visible stand in the current crisis. It wants to be an input to analyse the mistakes that collective and social spaces have made, the problems that have arisen and the strategies developed to remain active. It is a call to reaffirm the need to build alternative and radical spaces of analysis, information and sociality.
Who wants to return to normality – a normality of exploitation and inequality which is the main cause of the health and social collapse weare experiencing?
While economic profits continue to keep the lives of the few privileged unchanged, it is fundamental as never before to improve and multiply the anti-authoritarian and libertarian voices, experiences and projects.
We recognize not only ‘risk groups’ but also ‘vulnerable groups’ – such as prisoners, refugees, migrants, women who are victims of domestic or other forms of violence, people receiving psychiatric treatment, people with psychological concerns/disorders, the homeless, illegal and precarious workers, people under the threat of eviction etc. Due to state restrictions aiming only to limit the spread of the virus and considering just the sanitary solution to the emergency, all these people are left alone, repressed and forgotten, thus worsening a social condition that even before Covid was already tragic.
As activists, we want to avoid a charity-based approach. We consider our participation in this situation as a political act, in terms of creating moments of connection, reinforcing our network and building up new ones with vulnerable groups. We want to use this call as a tool to organize ourselves against the virus of control.
We have to build and experience together the conditions in which it becomes possible to not wait and demand a response from the institutions to resolve a social issue. To expect a concrete and reliable solution from those who created the problem is an insane paradox.This is why we reiterate that the only possible solution lies in our hands, in our intelligence, in our creativity, in the capacity we will have, as individuals, to mix and network. The answers, concrete and reliable, will come from this diffuse and decentralized brain of small experiences, projects, studies and researches that, connecting eachother with the strength of solidarity, practice in the here and now an autonomous and independent path that delegitimizes, and frees itself from any institutional authority. As we know, this system cannot be reformed, it must be destroyed. And now, more than ever, is the time to put another grain of sand into the gears of its mechanisms.
Beyond the political analysis, we want to make a first concrete step as soon as possible: the launch of a call-for-action that can bring together all the collectives, groups, house projects and individuals present in the city.
Moreover, as a starting point, we have some practical proposals in order to keep living our city as a place of experimentation of practices able to handle the conflict in a self-organised context:
*KEEP OUR FREE SPACES OPEN AND ACTIVE as meeting places and info-points, make them as much open, safe and alive as possible by breaking the mechanism of social isolation, while respecting our individual needs and taking care of each other;
*SELF-MANAGEMENT OF SPACES AND BODIES choosing together how to create situations where everyone can feel comfortable and welcome;
*FACILITATE ACCESS to our free spaces for vulnerable groups;
*DEVELOPING AND EMPOWERING SELF-ORGANIZED PROJECTS in order to break our daily dependence on state services, such as urban and guerrilla gardening, free redistribution of recycled food and goods, libertarian schools etc.;
*KEEP DOING OUR VOKÜS (peoples kitchens, Enough 14) to create moments for sharing contacts, information, political
experiences, to defend our spaces together from state repression, and not just for eating;
*OPENING OUR PLACES TO OTHER GROUPS who are in need of money, cooking together, building practices of solidarity;
*INCREASE THE USE OF ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION TOOLS. Kiez Radio, RadioA, Indymedia, Stressfaktor etc.;
*ORGANISING POLITICAL TRAINING IN YOUR GROUP. Each group or project can organise its own internal political self-training. Study and debate together about past and present historical experiences and political theories, in order to apply them to today’s world on a general scale. In the current historical phase, only the reappropriation of certain theories and practices can help us to have a radical revolutionary perspective;
*ORGANIZE AND MEET EACH OTHER ON THE STREETS to be politically active and to break isolation;
*MAP ALL THE OPEN PLACES/EVENTS/VOKÜS and make them visible: communicate them via existing and new channels, if you think it’s appropriate.
We invite everyone to subscribe to the call for action by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET’S STAY ACTIVE.
LET’S STAY CONNECTED.
LET’S STAY SELF-ORGANIZED.
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