What we do has to express itself in our actions

I. Prologue

The following text is the result of our discussions after the Anti-G8-meeting in Mehringhof in Berlin in January 2006. We talked about the various papers of different groups presented there [you find them on http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Inhalt+Theorie.html - though most of them only in german still] as well as our own ideas. Initially we planed this paper to be a contribution to discussion on the follow-up meeting in Leipzig - but supposedly we are not the only group who needs a bit more time to produce texts sometimes. We send this around now without any further actualizations knowing that the float of time and ongoing debate didn’t stop. We would be really happy to get some reactions. For comrades in other countries the second part which is about concrete proposals may be more interesting than the the first. But maybe you also want to know about the different factions and discussions in the german dissent! mobilization...

II. The Text

Discussions were more than lively during the second preparatory meeting of the radical dissent! spectrum
In Germany the term "radical left" is not as discredited in autonomous and anarchist groups as it is for well known reasons in eastern europe or countries like greece, where the communist party is fighting anarchists even in collaboration with the police. against the summits in St.Petersburg and Heiligendamm. Confrontation arose over the questions, whether this is a meeting of the "radical left". Is that what we want? How do we relate to the Hallmarks of Peoples Global Action (PGA)? What about terms like Imperialism, Internationalism etc? Is the whole thing going to bust? Wherever we look, there are a damn lot of questions unanswered or at least controversial.

As an autonomous group we want to publish our process of discussion, which has in some respects been quite spirited and controversial. One reason is that we will continue to dedicate ourselves to this issues, another that we want to counter the resignation some felt after the quarrels in the meeting with a little bit of our passion. We still see the chance to gain a lot on different levels by connecting and coordinating our groups and actions (part 1). On the other hand we come up with some topics and organizational proposals (part 2) and wait for hopefully a lot of reactions.

Part 1 or: What we can win?

Together with lots of well prepared, organized and motivated activists there is a hell of a lot we can do before, in and around Heiligendamm - in all the different forms of action that there are.

No matter whether groups predominantly have the aim to bring their subjects on the streets in an attractive and persuasive way; whether they want to attract new comrades, to improve networking, to support local structures in MeckPomm
The german Bundesland (~Province) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will host the G8 2007 in Heiligendamm., to connect global and local activities, to do creative and/or militant actions, to practice Internationalism, to have more people involved after the days of summit protest or just to once again feel the strength of a huge demonstration - not of these aims can be reached by single persons and small groups alone. So, in order not to have the summit in Heiligendamm undisturbed, we attach great importance to the creation of a structure of preparation and cooperation inside of Germany, but also as international as possible.

Concerning the aims of mobilization, we think of the request of the Berlin group six hills - to widen critique - as being too defensive. Even if we hold that the slogan "Prevent the summit" might be a bit unrealistic under the power relations given at the moment, we think of terms like "disturb", "block", "shake up" or "being present and unpredictable" as fitting much better. To make it clear, that we do not think that capitalism with all its institutions can be reformed, we think that "Attack the summit!" could also be a useful slogan. This is what we would actually like to reach, even though we all know it´s not only the bad 8, and that these are more than 8 unfortunately...

Anyways, before talking about slogans we’d like to discuss and decide about the contents and aims of our mobilization at this point in time.

But also the ways in which we organize mean more to us than a means to an end, even though it has been quite tiring and difficult on some of the big plenaries.

Naturally it is much easier to express the desire to bring together many people from different groups and associations, single persons of this and that spectrum, working on diverse issues and coming from many countries than to find a common or agreeable language and working method. The more or less wild disputes over ways of decision making or usage of sign language in our opinion are not without reason. At a minimum they show that we are active in very different groups and feel home in them that much, that other people’s ways to deal with things are quickly regarded as absurd, silly, dominant or unnecessary and treated respectively.

We would all be well-advised to be a bit more reluctant to snap at each other immediately and to think a bit more about where the different ways come from.
In this respect we appreciated some reflections on meetings in Berlin afterwards: People told each other about the good and bad experiences they made in Vollversammlungen (big meetings of the good old 80s, where sometimes some 100-200 people were asked to participate in the decisions on upcoming actions etc) or why they think it essential to use sign-language in internationally attended meetings. An egalitarian way of decision-making is not guaranteed only because someone attaches the name "grassroots" to a method.
A lot of people have made very bad experiences with apparently neutral and grassroots facilitators, e.g. in the Anti-Nuclear-Movement, where certain (often more militant) positions were moderated away. Same thing happened during the Ant-G8-Resistance in Gleneagles, where those people got more or less quietened, who wanted to keep on demonstrating after the bombings in London. On the other hand these experiences can not explain the overreactions on the meeting, assuming to be ignored all the time and intentionally. People who are rhetorically skilled are able to establish a comparatively dominant Position in discussions despite of and sometimes because of a 'Redeliste'.
A list that puts in order the people who are next to talk. Sometimes women or people who haven’t spoken yet are privileged by this method. On the other hand its not useful or emancipatory to insist on a way "which has always been like that" where only the loudest (predominantly male) comrades prevail. To all the people who get angry only because he or she realizes that another person is waving hands in the air or because once in a while someone is interrupting we wish to relax a bit more in large group discussions.

Even if there were political differences being argued out between the quarrelling factions, there were also some quite unhelpful simplifications like "Anti-Imps"
Traditionally Anti-Imps are associated with the politics of the RAF and other revolutionary guerrilla groups worldwide. There had been quarrels years ago between Anti-Imps and Autonome, who criticised the vanguard concepts and the justification of too much shit as unavoidable price on the road to revolution. After some disillusioning developments in the guerrilla groups (as in the movements they came from) and years spent mainly on jail solidarity Anti-Imps all but disappeared as a political factor during the 90s. With few exceptions the persons being addressed as Anti-Imps in discussions today are not really Anti-Imps but people like us who still hold that despite all modernized methods of governing people, we still have to fight oppression and exploitation - whether transformed into neo-liberal self-discipline or in the old garments of imperialism and brute force. versus "Hippies", "Students", "JUKS-People"
JUKS, the annual "Youth Environmental Conference" has been a starting point for quite a lot of political activists in the anti-g8 process. With their focus on grassroots decision making and emancipation on all levels they did a lot to overcome deficits of the groups named above. Unfortunately some of these guys want to throw away too much of what their comrades thought of and fought for before them. Sometimes ignoring dialectics they often argue that the way to reach an aim is the only thing that truly counts. - we think that’s rubbish. Neither does the status of a student automatically produce the preference for a moderated Redeliste, nor do we want to equate anti-imperialist positions, as they exist in our group for example, with the habit of "who-shouts-the-loudest-prevails".

Additionally we expect that we put into practice our demands and findings, e.g. concerning the fight against sexism not only on the level of consciousness but also in the ways we organize ourselves. We do not want to see again, that predominantly women feel responsible for group processes, the handling of social conflicts and translations whereas men take care of computers, technical equipment and the first rows on demonstrations.

The chance to have good discussions or maybe good disputes about what it actually means these days to hold radically left positions is something to gain for us within a large, and also radically left mobilization.

The discussions of the working group on content
On the dissent meetings we had several working groups. The one on content so far met on a meeting-to-meeting-basis to find out on which messages and issues we want to focus our protests - if we decide to focus them at all. up to now there are only rough anti-capitalist lines and some topics like migration that all groups agreed on. in the Berlin meeting were a serious attempt to exchange controversial opinions without constantly operating with the usual flattenings. Without foam at the mouths constructive discussions were possible here in a way, that we want to achieve in upcoming meetings, working groups etc. and especially on the camp 06 in august, where we hope to meet a lot of people. It has to be stated though that the proportion of speech taken by men was extremely high in this meeting as well and that fewer leader-of-the-pack-performances are urgently demanded.

We want to discuss the propositions of some groups now. Moreover we want to present our positions to some debates we find important. We share the opinion that there exists a lot of unpleasant historical unawareness in the radical left in the sense that terms like Internationalism or (Anti-) Imperialism are rashly declared unnecessary or even wrong. We share the impression e.g. formulated by the Gegeninformationsbüro GIB that often an arrogant or elitist academic perspective, in the worst case in a far-away-from-movements antideutsch form builds the background of the denial or attacks to relate oneself to social struggles in other times or places. But even though this gets on our nerves enormously, we don’t think that it’s very clever to generalize the term "Liberation" and the struggles to reach it like the GIB does in their text "Kapital Macht Krieg"
http://gipfelsoli.org/Inhalt+Theorie/Kapital_Macht_%20Krieg.html ["capital power war"]. For sure the fight against occupation can make the system dance, but if this fight is lead by reactionary views and models of society it is in no way something we want to refer to in a positive way. To say that this inevitably means to support the occupying forces or the politics of occupation displays a very narrow understanding of political and social processes, where there has to be only good and evil.
We prefer the position to get active against the war in Iraq without referring to the resistance in Iraq in a positive way. Practically this does not mean, as the GIB is quick to respond, that we will not be solidary if there’s any doubt, but that opposing the war in Iraq is our own concern right from the start - it is from this perspective that we refer positively, negatively or critically to the resistance there. We truly don’t agree with those who claim that bottom and top in society can’t be named anymore or or that to talk about "those in power" is an improper personalization. But as a starting point of such debates we deserve society to be seen as something more complex than some clumsy demand for solidarity suggests.
Even if we are happy to hear that Oil-Companies are open to attack (like Shell in Nigeria, for example)we feel the need to know more about who is fighting there and how solidary we can be with them. Especially talking about property, distribution and dependencies on raw materials and natural resources we see a lot of potentials and even the necessity to sharpen our positions. There are presumably more of us looking with interest and admiration on those fighters doing spectacular actions with the weapon in the hand than on the women squatting empty houses in Argentina and organizing popular kitchens, women that are the majority in the squatted factories and parts of the people-without-land movement. We should open our protests much more to the international and actual pressing issues of resources and basic needs in the widest sense, for example the question of industrial agriculture Bremen came up with.

In our opinion far too often supposedly subordinated struggles get delayed (not seldom to never) in fighting situations, when authoritarian positions prevail demanding blind obedience pointing to the severity of the (historical) situation. We think it is worth one or the other dispute where vertical structures begin and what they should be good for.

There´s still a good deal of discussion needed about the question with whom to fight or relate to in a positive way.

What does it mean for example to demand solidarity with the struggles in "Palestine/Israel, Iraq, Columbia, Nepal, Kurdistan, Euskadi" (GIB "Kapital, Macht, Krieg"). Are there any practical consequences resulting from that and if yes, what are they? Or does it remain just a slogan? Compared to former years it seems to us that there is practice missing in this field right now. Today, there are still solidarity groups, a lot of newspaper projects, some solidarity parties and travelling groups here and there. Also the protests against summits, often quiet strong and internationally connected, mark a change in this area. We think that expanding these existing initiatives should be the way for us to get more practice. Just as we find it necessary to strengthen an international perspective, we want to get some criteria for solidarity, or better for cooperation more clearly. So, to begin with, we ask to be more precise: Who is meant, for example, if you talk about fighting groups in Iraq? Take a stand here! We neither know what to do with insurgents from the former Baath party in power under Saddam Hussein nor with the forces of Al-Sakarwi. The opposite is the case. Especially in this respect we’d like to hear or read of names or examples to make a more thorough discussion possible. For example, we find it worthwhile to consider the positions of the secular, meaning non-religious oriented iraqian women’s organization OWFI (Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq) who is opposing the war of the USA, the occupation but the fundamentalist resistance groups as well. Is it also a "privileged german left ghetto debate" ( GIB - "Kapital, Macht, Krieg") to have a closer look at the differences between, for example, anarchist squatters in Irunea, the street fights (kale borroka) of the militant youth and the often authoritarian structures of ETA? As just said, we’d like you to put some butter to the fishes! It´s mainly the projections and descriptions of those in power and the organs of repression to throw all of these groups into an obscure swamp of sympathizers in order to hold all of them responsible for everything!

Also uncritical solidarity - perhaps not meant like that - with the struggles in Palestine seems to be nothing more than a slogan to differentiate oneself from others. To clarify the complex relations there, it’s no help at all. There was no one opposing the statement given in the working group on contents that we have to have a pretty close look at the situation in the particular countries, including the respective fighting groups. The swing to the right within the Palestinian population is no reason for us to take back a single point of our critique on the politics of Israelite occupation. But there is no reason to be solidary with Hamas, Islamic Dshihad or Fatah because of that. On the other hand there thoroughly are other groups, like the queer black laundry group, the Palestinian organization of lesbians Ashoa or the anarchists against the wall, the latter acting across borders, which puts them relatively close to us alone for that reason. Generally it is interesting for us to deal with struggles not emerging out of a perspective of nation states but spark off fields of social conflict, like the strikes of the secular oriented bus driver’s union Vahed in Iran. Finally we’d like to know from GIB and company why they do not mention the struggle in Mexico in their enumeration!

We want to become more precise and visible with our internationalist and anti-imperialist positions in our Anti-G8-statements and calls

The era of "strategic alliances" or the old game of "the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" is definitely over for us, and never had any validity to many of us. At this point much more precision is needed, simple slogans don’t make any sense. The general demand "solidarity with the struggles in xy" remains damn toothless and does not provoke a discussion about reactionary vs. emancipatory struggles. But this is debate we want to have - to get clear the positions of the radical left and to get them out. Therefore we want to introduce some of the criteria discussed amongst us:

+ + + Even if most struggles, riots and social movements often have a central aim - to insist on an apparent master-antagonism to us is far away from emancipatory and radical left positions, for other mechanisms of power and domination are simply ignored by that. Solidary we are only with those ready to engage in processes of discussion about all that as well. One does not have to be an academic or use the same terms we do to develop consciousness about the different and in parts very complex forms of oppression. To take readiness for discussion as a starting point we will for sure get further than with a fixed written codex - especially in an international perspective.

+ + + It´s important to us that the struggles we refer to come from below. As we can, for example, learn from Argentina how quickly formerly emancipatory movements like some Piqueteros and district groups got bought out and integrated by social plans of the state (a kind of unemployment-money they fought for) - methods which look much alike the old clientism and which moreover lead rage and resistance into controllable bureaucratic channels. For the rest of the people, who tried to remain independent from this money from the state and therefore politically independent, too, the situation got worse - but these are the groups we feel closest to.
Two articles in german about the situation in Argentina: One by Birte Gold published in the iz3w magazine (http://www.iz3w.org/iz3w/Ausgaben/289/LP_s13.html) and one by the collective of artists colectivo situaciones, published in jungle world newspaper (http://www.jungle-world.com/seiten/2006/09/7289.php). Also we don’t agree with the big fuss that parts of the left /radical left make about Venezuela. Even though it does make a much bigger difference there who’s sitting in government than a change in the party spectrum here - when activists of social movements (and Chaves isn’t even that...) come to power, we hold scepticism a lot more appropriate that jubilation.
That Chavez´ anti-colonialism was nothing but idle talk could be seen on the 12th of October 2004, the Day of Indigenous Resistance: Activists from grassroots organizations had pulled down a fat statue of Columbus. This led Chavez to publicly name them criminals and traitors - only shortly after his fiery speech against colonialism.

+ + + A further criteria is the rejection of reactionary oriented concepts of society, fundamentally based on religion, and groups or movements that take religion as a starting point of their ideas and struggles.
Another field where more precise discussions and definitions are needed, for example relating to religious ideas and concepts of society and nature in indigena-movements, but also concerning eurocentristic beliefs in the natural sciences. Christian fundamentalists to us stand on the other side in the same way as those who think of themselves as Islamic warriors of god - in this respect the quarrel about misunderstandings of the bible or the Koran is no subject-matter of radical-left debate for us. Saying this we don’t want to distance ourselves from those social revolutionaries whose convictions are based on religious motifs. But it remains crucial to us to fight reactionary theories and practices that are directed against all those who want to believe differently or not at all.

Part 2 - Proposal for Days of Action during the G8-Summit in Heiligendamm

To get more concrete: After the discussions on the dissent! and in our group meetings lead us to propose three action days in Heiligendamm. In our impression, there are three main issues that often sprang up in debates so far and were pushed by some groups/activists/currents. The following proposals reflect our present estimations, which are in no way meant to be final and for sure all of it could be much better formulated.

- War & Imperialism
- Migration
- International against Capitalism

Within each of these huge fields there are obviously active groups and networks existing, who already work on activities during the summit or made proposals how to deal with the issues - we have some ideas on them as well.

Regarding War & Imperialism the airport Rostock-Laage nearby Heiligendamm offers itself for an action day like few other places. Laage is the home base of the fighter bomber group 73 "Steinhoff"
Not surprising the man that the troop is named after, Johannes Steinhoff (1913-1994), was a repeatedly decorated pilot of the air force of the national-socialists. Later on he was right in front building up the air force of the Bundeswehr, and also a big shot in the NATO.. As such it is important for the Bundeswehr as well as for the NATO forces. Moreover it plays a central role
as runway for the Euro fighter to practice combined air-ground-battle on the Bombodrom site near Wittstock. Their plan was to start with it in summer 2006, and a lot of people in the region are trying to prevent that. The connection between this military infrastructure, important for the modernization of the worldwide NATO warfare, and a local protest movement against the Bombodrom is promising. Maybe much more than a few thousand people from the radical left could be mobilized to such an action day. The airport is situated directly at the highway Berlin-Rostock, which turns it into an ideal action site. Besides, it is possible that the airport is going to be part of the infrastructure needed by the G8 and that some summit pigs might sail in through there.

That’s why we think that an action day in Laage is not only fitting perfectly to criticize wars in general, but to make concrete Infrastructure visible and open to attack. On the other hand there’s more discussion needed to understand and politicize the rather slow process of the militarization of everyday life. One problem with it is to distinguish between ideologies, test balloons and actually realized militarization. There are a lot of opinions which need to be thought over more thoroughly. In our discussions it was relatively undisputed, that the plan to create acceptance for the Bundeswehr along the flood-, snow-, or H5N1-virus-front is unfortunately working all too well. We also agreed that the operations of police and military merge into one another not only after the CDU demanded to put the Bundeswehr to action during the soccer world cup. Much more heated and straightaway difficult it turned out to come to an assessment of the role women play in this development. Is there a new type of retreated women-back-to-the-hearth ideology? Or is the strong mother of today besides other double burdens allowed to bear arms? Or will she again find herself only driving the supplies tank?

Concerning the issue of Migration there’s a working group existing already and we assume that they will propose topic to focus on, and practical actions as well. Here we want to critically discuss some of the points made by groups present there, e.g. the glocal group Hanau. We explicitly understand this critique as a contribution to a not at least strategic debate about how to relate to migrants in the still rich North, and how much we expect to gain from joint organization under this often so enforced label. What we criticize is the perspective of the glocals, the political concepts they derive from their analysis - the however experienced realities of the migrants themselves are under discussion only in so far, as to show why we oppose the contradiction-free views of the people from Hanau. For our fundamental solidarity this discussion is more or less irrelevant. We share the opposition of the glocals against the border regime and capitalist slave-trade - in the first place we are fundamentally solidary with all those exposed to this shit. In a bad case this could lead, as criticized by the glocals, to codify migrants in the role of victims, classically causing paternalist relations and further cementing the border between us and them. But to chose an access out of the rejection of the conditions existing can also express the refusal to nail down people to their existence as migrants any more than the resistance against discrimination and exploitation makes necessary. And thereby exactly undermine the codification on the migrant role. Doing this we are aware of the difficulty that such a meeting at eye level always has to acknowledge the experiences of the people; that thus for the foreseeable future antiracist politics will be forced to simultaneously recognize the special status of migrants that it wants to overcome.

We think it is misleading to equate form and content of migration according to the principle "very illegal = very good". An illegal organizing of refugees as well as processes of appropriation are apparently seen as positive. Like we said for international solidarity with fighting groups we notice an enthusiasm for "the refugees" far too undifferentiated. Rarely it is mentioned for example who actually has the chance to arrive in the metropoles
We keep on using the terms 'metropole' and 'Trikont' even though there have been substantial transformations. The small zones of wealth existing in many tricontinental states illustrate the necessity to differentiate and search for new terms and categories.. These are predominantly healthy young men. Women and single mothers have much less chances to make the long, expensive and often quite dangerous trip together with their children. One of the reasons is that the families invest the little money they have in those family members with the highest probability to send money back home from the metropoles. This survival-of-the-fittest logic is enforced by the ruling conditions - to describe migrants as "pioneers of a globalization from below"
in "Aneignung - Migration - Prekarisierung. Eine 3D-Kampagne in Hanau" (http://www.metzgerstrasse-hanau.org/3d/text.html) is to gloss over this fact. Maybe there are more emancipatory processes happening in the places where the women stayed behind, as when the master of the house is gone they can gain a much more independent position and new freedoms, and which they won’t give up anymore.

The important point is: Who is organizing for which aim. The slave-trade of women and enforced prostitution for sure is illegal as well, and not seldom run by people without a german passport - that there is nothing emanzipatory in these organizations goes without saying. The structures of trafficking sometimes are solidary an ok, but sometimes also bad and degrading - we should be able to formulate more differentiated estimations here as well.

Often a collective of migrants is invented that naturally doesn’t exist like that.
Also, the term 'migrants', as it is used in the left, only refers to those fleeing persecution, war, poverty etc. - but these are only parts of the people migrating for different reasons and with different social backgrounds. A more precise term would be helpful. A migrant is not a revolutionary because of him or her having this status, but if he or she radically refuses to accept the present conditions of society with all its power structures and wants to fight them - which apply to us and all other people as well.
The daily experiences of oppression and exploitation along racist and/or sexist patterns have to be acknowledged, but this alone doesn’t say anything about the personal consequences people draw from this enforced sensibilization. The dilemma to simultaneously acknowledge and overcome racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism etc. remains challenging. A bit simplified: Of course we welcome the arrival of migrants who only come to strife for their legitimate claim to the riches of the world. But despite this, we don’t want to have anything to do with those, who enjoy to recklessly making use of the nasty rules of capitalism.

Therefore we propose to take a negative perspective against the border-regime and the machinery of deportation, but not to relate positively to the effects that this shit has on the people - in this case on refugees. Instead of this we should emphasize the things we have in common in the everyday struggle for the improvement of living conditions in the here & now. Otherwise "All for All" would turn out to be a reactionary slogan.
This demand of everything for anybody became one of the central slogans of the radical left in the social protests of the previous years. The right to live a beautiful life naturally doesn’t fit with border-regimes, deportations and the stealing of the wages of those declared illegal. Unlike the approach of the Hanau glocals we think that it’s necessary to take a clear stand against segregation instead of defining enforced (though no less experienced) migration identities as positive from our point of speaking. This is something only the migrants themselves can try as a subversive act.

We also cannot see that migration as such is a threat to the capitalist system, "challenging the gradient exploitation constructed through borders [...] as a social movement."
see the 3d text from Hanau It isn’t mentioned at all in this paper how the capital profits from the migration and illegalization of thousands. Worse than youth, students or 1-€-Jobbers working for low wages, migrants are used to further push the wages down by exploiting their situation, as they are forces to accept the lousiest jobs for the least money. They can not retreat to live off ALG II or other payments by the state as long as their status is as it is, at least not all of them.
1-€-Jobs and ALG II are measures of the latest attack on the german social system called Hartz 4. This new package of laws cuts down the former unemployment insurance to one year, after which every potential worker only gets the 345 € of ALG II. Recipients of this money are asked to work for 1 € the hour. The program forces people to work as the refusal of such a job is possible only once or twice. Further refusal leads to the complete cutting off benefits. This is what capital likes to happen. It doesn’t mean a threat but is a prerequisite to earn extra-profits by more rigorous exploitation.

Following from this we see a perspective of joint struggles on eye level as it doesn’t seem necessary anymore to provide tolerable conditions for the vast majority of the people living here. Trailer communities, squat/houses and other projects of collective living are harassed and chased away, recipients of social benefits are pressed into useless and repressive loops of application and 1-€-Jobs by the laws of Hartz 4. This means in consequence, that no survival beyond neoliberal (auto-) obedience is wanted: "Encourage & Demand"
"Fördern & Fordern" is on of the central slogans to make people believe that social cuts in reality are job creating measures. to make sure no one falls away from loyalty to madness. Right at the moment when finding alternatives to the insanity of administration and (wage) labour is getting more urgent and acute for larger sections of the population, these alternatives are abolished or increasingly put under pressure. For some years now the terror of wage labour is aggravating in the metropoles as well, the veil has been lifted here, too. Working poor, precarization, and deregulation ring in the end of a historical exception (called "Sozialstaat" in Germany) from capitalistic normality. We’d like to show that these changes in the metropoles are - on a different level - resulting from the transformation of the world order and capital strategies in much the same way as the maquiladoras and high-tech-sweatshops in China. The difference is that capitalistic reality in the Trikont has always been more brutal than in Western Europe or the United States. But different starting conditions and realities of living do not mean that the aims are different. The diverse mobilizations against the summits of the last years showed that the executive of capitalist utilization (G8, WTO, IMF, uniforms etc.) encounter worldwide resistance of people in Chiapas, farmers in India, and organizations of the unemployed in western countries. This transnational and emancipatory resistance, as part of which we understand ourselves, has to be expanded and strengthened!

As our last and favourite point we’d like to ask how to widen the understanding of war and imperialism in an internationalist & anticapitalist perspective. The contradictions may be most aggravated where the tanks of the NATO get under way, but they are only the last means in the game. Before them arrive the companies, international agencies, consultants, development aid workers, and scientists exploring existing oil-deposits and bio-diversity in the name of commercialization - activities that can as well be unmasked and attacked! It’s only in the next step that military aid, support in training police forces, and low intensity wars are started. As the neoliberal book author and columnist of the New York Times Thomas Friedman said: "The hidden hand of the market will never function without a hidden fist. McDonalds can not proper without McDonell-Douglas.
American arms company specialized in military aircrafts, bought by Boeing in 1997. The hidden fist that ensures that the world is safe and that the technologies from Silicon Valley can flourish is called US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." We add: Quick Response Forces and Task Forces of EU & Bundeswehr, as well as international organizations like the IMF with its enforced structure adoption measures & the World Bank, and also national organizations like the GTZ
Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit; Society for Technical Cooperation in Germany that has pressed ahead the privatization of water in Bolivia - and for sure not to forget the G8.

The latest example of this collaboration of chequebook and gun is the mine Lueshe in eastern Kongo
One of the customers is the german firm H.C.Starck, Goslar, a subsidiary of the BAYER AG. The mine produces raw materials for jet engines and rockets.. Ran by a private company in the beginning, the german government bought in the mine in 1994. For foreign policy reasons they used their influence to prevent that the mine was sold. Safety of the mine was provided after payments of protection money by the rebel group RCD. Like the german diplomacy they operate from neighbouring Ruanda, a former german colony. The civil-war financed with such payments now has to serve as legitimation for a german-european military intervention.

As long as governments made rich open up their countries made poor to the penetration of transnational companies (or are respectively forced by the IMF or other, sometimes bilateral agreements) and allow that billions of $ and € are transferred to the cashboxes of these companies, no tank has to roll and no bomber needs to take off. And up in front there are not only the governments but also the multinational companies.

To us this (still) seems to be a point, where practical internationalism can and should start. We don´t think that it’s obsolete to attack the Coca-Cola Company here for having had murdered unionists in Columbia. Relating to existing emancipatory struggles can only help to expand them: In Italy there has been more than 40 actions in the run-up to the Olympics to disturb the main sponsor of the games. In the USA more than 20 universities boycott Coke products. The company also is a global player in the privatization of water. In San Christobal/Chiapas and other places the water in private households is turned off when the bottling plants of Coke need water. We don’t want to propose a campaign against Coke here (which already exists!) but strife to concentrate more on transnational companies and to attack them wherever possible. What is produced under intolerable conditions in the maquiladoras of Central America and the Free Trade Zones in China is often planned and sold here (and last but not least this is where the profit goes) - which means that these condition can also be targeted here!

We don’t know whether the influence of the nation states is waning or not, even though we had really intense discussions about that. And, if the answer is yes, whether this is to the benefit of the companies or of the supranational institutions. There are good arguments for both: Certain huge companies grow larger and become more influential while international agreements obligate states to install certain (neoliberal) standards, denying their sovereignty by that. On the other side, these agreements are signed by nation states and the legitimation of market economy as well as the repression of its foes unambiguously remains to be the domain of nation states. And seen globally, a lot of states (especially in the southern hemisphere) have never been particularly strong. But maybe this is not the really important question, as the one (the multinationals) can only be thought of together with the other (the bourgeois state), and vice versa. Moreover from our point of view we have to get rid of both anyways.

Important it gets in the moment when we ask ourselves: Where do we want to take actions?

We should try to find points where struggles and resistance can be focussed and related to each other - not only looking at the summer of 2007. People struggle against the privatization of water in the rich countries of the metropoles as well as in the Trikont. Therefore this struggle has some potential to make a link, even though it is by far less offensive here than in Cochabamba/Bolivia. There not only the privatization was withdrawn again, but also democratic control was demanded and tried out. Again we don’t have to blur and level out the differences. In the Trikont the struggle for unhindered access to water often is a matter of life and death, while in the metropoles we are only affected by rising water bills (and on an abstract level by the logic of maximizing profits, that the transnational companies try to commercialize every sphere of public live and transform it into profit).

Privatization of up to then free (or public) goods happens in the Trikont and here - likewise the working conditions and social policies are subject to cuts and attacks here as well - even though not as deadly yet as elsewhere. The best international solidarity is not the one that argues on a moral level, that the conditions are intolerable in other parts of the world while accepting them here as passable, but to make the connection between living conditions and resistance here and there. Referring to water privatization there’s the additional point to emphasize that the respective companies are the same all over the world. Suez, RWE, Veolina (former Vivendi) and Coke accept the potential death of thousands in the Trikont to increase their profit rate, and here increasing water bills force us to either work more or tighten the famous belt once more.

The struggle against genetically manipulated or patented food brings together some consumers and farmers here at least, in Iraq farmers at the moment have to face a guideline set up by Civil Administrator Paul Bremer that only seeds with an US patent are allowed to be sowed. To use seeds from the last harvest is made a punishable offence; the rights on the seeds are transferred to the agro business company Monsanto, which holds the monopoly in Iraq. In McPomm there will be fields of genetically manipulated corn in the summer of 2007 - they can become fields of action in the most literally sense.

We think that there are more than enough places and occasions - let’s get going!

autopool, Berlin, Springtime 2006