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(en) Ireland, Dublin Grassroots Calls European Days of Action on Weekend Mayday 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 2 Feb 2004 11:12:40 +0100 (CET)

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Activists from the Dublin Grassroots network are calling for
a European day of action in Dublin on Saturday, May 1st, as
the highlight of a weekend of action from Friday April 30th,
to Monday May 3rd. These days of action will focus on
symbols of all that is wrong with the EU as it currently
stands: militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the
EU police state. We are inviting people from all over Europe,
and the world, to join us in Dublin on Mayday to show our
leaders that their agenda for EU integration, driven by the
wealthy and powerful, will face resistance. We will also be
using the days of action to highlight local issues and
campaigns which are linked to the broader problems of
corporate globalisation and the EU.

We will be holding an initial planning meeting for the days of
action on Saturday February 7th, at 2pm in the Teachers
Club on Parnell Square. This meeting is open to all and all
ideas and suggestions are welcome. This meeting will be
participatory in nature, designed to give everybody a say and
to involve everybody in the planning and decision making,
rather than merely turning up to listen to experts. No matter
how much experience or political expertise you may have,
we welcome your active involvement on an equal level with
everybody else.

The Irish government is currently holding the rotating
presidency of the EU. After almost a month of the
presidency, we have a pretty good idea of what it is going to
mean for us. The two ministerial meetings that have taken
place so far have both been characterised by extraordinary
and expensive police operations, paid for by the public and
aimed at keeping the public as far away as possible from the
decision makers. They have also revealed the sinister side of
EU security. A well-known anti-war activist, Eoin Rice, was
arrested for protesting during the EU ministerial meeting in
Galway and was brutally beaten in custody. In Dublin,
Indymedia reported that an independent cameraman was
forcibly removed from the vicinity of Dublin castle and had
his camera damaged by police. Obviously the EU leaders
aren't too keen to allow critical public scrutiny of their

The government has announced that Mayday is going to be
Bertie's big day out as EU president. This is the date -
traditionally workers' day - when the EU will formally expand
to incorporate 10 new states, mostly from Eastern Europe.
The government plan to hold street parties and other
'celebrations' for the population, while the 25 heads of state
of the enlarged union are wined and dined in the plush
surroundings of Farmleigh house. However, the
government's celebrations to 'welcome' the accession
countries are a fraud.

We anticipate that an unprecedented police operation will be
put in place to ensure that the public are kept far away from
the decision makers. Also, while the leaders of these
countries might be welcome in the EU (along with their
farms and sweatshops), most of the current EU countries
will remain closed to the people of the accession states for
the next 6 years. Worse still, at the same time as the EU
leaders talk about international co-operation and openness,
they are actually implementing a 'fortress Europe,' a closed
EU from which the inhabitants of the third world, the
majority of the world's population, will be ruthlessly
excluded. It is instructive that the first 'achievement' of the
Irish presidency was the establishment of a 'repatriation
fund,' to allow the wealthy countries to share the costs of
deporting people to poor countries.

We are not at all opposed to international integration. We do
not seek to defend our national sovereignty. We do not
oppose the accession of new countries to the EU. We do not
think that a sovereign Irish government will represent us any
better than a EU government will. However, we are
completely opposed to the direction that the EU is currently
taking. In particular, we are opposed to the militarisation of
the EU, as embodied by the Rapid Reaction Force and
NATO/Partnership for Peace. We are opposed to the
capitalist agenda of the EU, driven by multi-national
corporations, as embodied by article 133. We are opposed to
the creation of a fortress Europe, which forces borders to
open for capital and builds walls against people. We are
opposed to the police state that the EU is becoming, where
protestors are criminalised and brutalised and EU
co-operation focuses on co-ordinating spying on the public,
as exemplified by the Schengen Information System. That is
not the EU we want.

In opposition to the current EU of the rich and powerful, we
propose a grassroots Europe. A Europe united through
empowered communities taking decision making power back
into their own hands. A Europe without borders, internal or
external. A Europe where wealth is equally shared and
everybody has the same opportunities. A Europe where our
resources are spent on education, health and sustainable
development rather than war and capitalist profiteering. This
Europe cannot be formed from above, but needs people to
stand up for themselves and say 'no' to our corrupt and
greedy leaders. The time to start is always now.


Dublin Grassroots network is part of the Grassroots
Network Against War and the Grassroots Gathering. Our
meetings operate according to the following principles:

1. Decisions about/from Dublin Grassroots can only be made
at Dublin Grassroots meetings.

2. Anyone can attend Dublin Grassroots meetings. However,
decisions taken by meetings will be consistent with the
Grassroots Principles (see below).

3. In order to be informed of the meetings people should
either subscribe to a Dublin Grassroots Mailing list or leave
other contact details with the Dublin Grassroots meeting
co-ordinator (see below).

4. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a facilitator
whose role is to ensure that all are included in discussion
and also to ensure that decisions are actually made. An
agenda should be drawn up at the beginning of each meeting.

5. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a secretary
who will keep note of decisions made. These will be read
back to the meeting at the end to ensure that there is
agreement. If circumstances permit, these decisions will be
posted on the Dublin Grassroots e-mail list.

6. Dublin Grassroots will elect a meeting co-ordinator whose
only job is to publicise the time and venue of our meetings to
all those who have signed up to Dublin Grassroots. Except
for emergencies, at least two days notification should be
given for meetings.

The Grassroots Principles

The Grassroots Gathering aims towards a network which would:

· Be based on the principle that people should control their
own lives and work together as equals, as part of how we
work as well as what we are working towards. · Within the
network this means rejecting top-down and state-centred
forms of organisation (hierarchical, authoritarian,
expert-based, Leninist etc.) We need a network that's open,
decentralised, and really democratic. · Call for solutions
that involve ordinary people controlling their own lives and
having the resources to do so: the abolition, not reform, of
global bodies like the World Bank and WTO, and a challenge
to underlying structures of power and inequality. · Organise
for the control of the workplace by those who work there. ·
Call for the control of communities by the people who live
there. · Argue for a sustainable environmental, economic
and social system, agreed by the people of the planet. ·
Work together in ways which are accessible to ordinary
people, particularly women and working-class people, rather
than reproducing feelings of disempowerment and alienation
within our own network.

posted by bluekingfisher on infoshop.org

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