Invitation to a movement assembly
for a “European semester of struggles”
Sunday, July 29th, 2 pm, Sherwood Festival in Padua
The decision, shared with Van Rompuy, to postpone and eventually displace the EU summit of heads of government on '"youth employment" shows that, in terms of European governance, Renzi, and with him the continental élites, are going to act seriously.
On July 11 in Turin, in fact, they could not afford two things.
First, to show openly that there are still not the minimum institutional, political and material conditions from the top to draw a perspective of "overcoming", or at least of "mitigation" of austerity policies, that have marked the European landscape during the last four years. In fact, the key positions in the EU institutions are not yet defined, depriving the national governement of crucial interlocutors; after the EP election results, the balance of power within the European socialdemocracy, and between the ESP and EPP are still settling in; Draghi’s maneuvers on the interest rates in recent weeks are still insufficient to qualify a new role of the ECB in monetary policies that give a bit 'of oxygen to the European economies.
Second, to suffer, on the ground of "public order management", the initiative of grassroots mobilization of the European social movements that promised to be particularly broad and determined against the summit.
In short the heads of government of the EU, facing an announced failure, have given up for the moment to stay in a media spotlight that could backfire, and they have instead decided to work behind the scenes to build a new era of governance, whose fundamental features begin to appear already clear. The point is, in this case embodied by Renzi’s leadership, to translate the social balance of power caused by four years of austerity in structural modifications of the economic-productive model and the framework of command on the living labor that accompanies it, catching at the same time that social consensus and leeway, dramatically reduced by the rigidity of recessionary policies.
There is no escape from the paradigm of financialization, indeed, and the structurally parasitic and anti-egalitarian character of the capitalistic rent applied with violence to the entire society, but ultimately destruction and restructuring of welfare systems, precarization of labor relations and entire life, use of mass impoverishment as the main lever for social blackmail and domination. The Italian Presidency of the EU, beyond the renewed rhetoric of "growth" that will accompany it, will do just fine-tune this hypothesis for the "post-austerity".
And we? We believe that social movements in Europe must act so seriously too.
At least we have to try. The initiatives of decentralized "may of Solidarity" and everything that was put in motion towards Turin - as well as the vitality of conflicts spread to the four corners of the continent, from the struggles of the workers of the logistics, to those of migrants and refugees against the borders to those of local communities against the big infrastructural projects - show that there is finally defining a common space of social and political action in Europe, natural and immediate antagonist of capitalist management of the crisis, which is reorienting its governance. And this is the ground on which we must insist, taking on the rich eterogenity of our experiences as a basis on which to build an agenda of shared mobilization, autonomous from the institutional calendar, in which the reasons and the strength of constituent social conflicts in Europe may find appropriate and powerful expression. We must try to launch, and to make living within each local battle, a European semester of the struggles that act to extend, generalize and practicing the claims of basic income and rights, commons and freedom of movement, which are already shared fields of initiative.
We must try to imagine how this agenda will also be able to translate - from mid-October - in one or more days of pan-European social and urban strike, capable of blocking everywhere productive and reproductive activities, simultaneously invading streets and squares, to live in the ways of tackling a possible radical alternative.
The meeting on Sunday, June 29, in Sherwood Festival will be an opportunity, immediately trans-national, of discussion open to anyone interested in these proposals for mobilization. The first of many - from the July 11/13 camp in Val Susa to the September meeting of the coalition Blockupy - which, promoted by different actors, will constitute as many stages to built from the bottom a European semester of struggles, capable of seriously hurting to those who would like to write our future without us.