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(en) Ireland, Why we are protesting at the Dublin EU summit

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 6 May 2004 11:06:57 +0200 (CEST)


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> The initial call for the Mayday No Borders weekend
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.

Read the full details here.
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63231

What Sort of Europe do we want?

The groups and individuals involved in this Grassroots Network
are united by a vision of a better future, one without bosses or
governments, be they in Dublin or Brussels; one in which all local
communities are directly run by the people living in them and all
workplaces by the people working in them; a future in which
everyone has control over their own lives and an equal say in the
decisions that affect them.

We are talking not just about receiving an equal share of what is
produced, but also transforming the quality of life, doing away
with long working hours and increasing free time. We struggle for
a genuinely sustainable economy and an end to environmental
policies in which every 'solution' must be corporate-led and
profit-driven.

People like you all over Europe are fighting for the same things.
We are taking to the streets not only to build our resistance in
Ireland but to forge links throughout Europe. Tens of thousands
of people in Ireland have already been involved in resisting the
race for wealth that is capitalism, which robs so many of us of our
voice, our dreams and our aspirations.

OUR LEAFLET

Mayday Dublin 2004: For an alternative Europe

Irish people have generally seen the European Union as a good
thing, for reasons that include investment in infrastructure and
farm subsidies.

But increasingly the EU is an excuse for privatisation, for shifting
the burden of taxation onto you and for Ireland's increasing
involvement in military adventures.

We are struggling with others across Europe for a different type of
Europe, one that puts people before profit and does away with
top-down decision making. Join these protests in the struggle for
an alternative Europe.

Fortress Europe

In advance of joining the EU, the 10 accession countries have
had to open their borders to the flow of money, but the movement
of the peoples of these countries is to be limited for up to seven
years. We welcome the admission of the people of these
countries, but the governments of the EU want to keep them out
as long as possible, all the while using them as cheap labour. -
profit before people.

Beyond Europe, many countries have been forced to open their
markets to European capital and to low-wage, European-owned
factories. European corporations want to use the EU as a
common front to force these harsh neo-liberal policies on the
third world. Yet the people of these countries face fences and
walls if they try to enter Europe. Many are forced to make
desperate boat journeys around these barriers.

The EU's repressive anti-immigrant policies claimed the lives of
at least 3,000 people between 1993 and June 2003, people
drowned in the Mediterranean, electrocuted at the Channel
Tunnel or suffocated in Wexford. This is 10 times as many as
were killed at the Berlin Wall during its 30-year history. These
policies are designed to make immigrants illegal and force them
to survive in a precarious, hunted position, or live on short-term
visas, dependent on work permits held by their employers. In both
cases they are vulnerable and open to extreme exploitation as
cheap labour. They have little access to heath and safety
enforcement, as shown by the tragic deaths of 19 Chinese people
at Morecambe Bay this year.

Militarisation

The foreign policy of the European Union is based on satisfying
the interests of Big Business, irrespective of social cost. The
militarisation of the EU is evidenced in the Common Foreign and
Security Policy and the Rapid Reaction Force (the European
Army). These are the EU's tools to promote the global interests of
European multinationals. Again profit before people.

Bertie has waffled on about protecting Irish neutrality, yet he
ignored 100,000 protestors when he allowed the US to use
Shannon Airport as its major air stopover for US troops on their
way to Iraq. In 2003, 125,000 US troops passed through Shannon
en route to the Iraq war. Munitions of war, including Tomahawk,
Cruise, and Patriot missile components, as well as napalm,
passed through 'neutral Ireland'. Considering this support for the
war effort of a country that is not even an EU member, can we
believe one word Bertie says about defending Irish neutrality
within the EU?

Unfair Taxation

The Irish government has used EU policy to transfer the cost of
public services from the rich to the poor. Chief amongst the
methods used has been the introduction of high levels of local
taxation, disguised as the bin tax. Environment Minister Martin
Cullen has indicated that he hopes to get the bin charge up to
_700 a year and the Government plans to introduce other new
charges, such as a water tax. In 10 years, such local charges are
expected to total _1000, which would mean people on low
incomes paying 5% of their income on service charges and the
very wealthy paying 0.5%.

Between 1987 and 2001 the proportion of GDP going to Irish
workers (measured as wages) fell and the proportion going to
Irish bosses (measured as rents and profits) shot up.


Privatisation and the Lisbon Agenda

The Irish government's official EU website declares that "the
Lisbon strategy is a major priority for the Irish Presidency". The
Lisbon Agenda specifically targets "gas, electricity, postal services
and transport" for privatisation. Water, health, education and
social services will be next.

The first step in privatisation is forcing people to pay for public
services to make them profitable and attractive to investors. We
can see this here with the bin charges, the back-door
reintroduction of third level fees and the threatened privatisation
of Dublin Bus and other public services. Privatisation invariably
results in worse working conditions, greater inequality of services,
lay-offs and wage cuts as bosses seek to cut corners to maintain
profits.

So who set the Lisbon Agenda? Who decided that this is how the
European economy should be run?

It is estimated that Brussels hosts some 500 industry lobby
groups, employing some 10,000 professional lobbyists.
Corporations that spend millions 'lobbying' the EU make no
secret of the influence this brings. One of the most powerful is
the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which brings
together more than 40 "European industrial leaders." Ireland is
represented by Michael Smurfit, while most of the other
corporations are household names across Europe, such as BP,
Unilever, Carlsberg, Fiat, Vodafone, Volvo, Philips, Nokia,
Renault and Shell.

The ERT has boasted that "at European level, the ERT has
contacts with the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the
European Parliament ... Every six months the ERT meets with
the government that holds the EU presidency to discuss priorities
... At national level, each member has personal contacts with his
own national government and parliament, business colleagues
and industrial federations, other opinion-formers and the press."

Baron Daniel Janssen of the ERT boasted that it was "very much
involved in the preparation of the [Lisbon] Summit." In Lisbon
EU policy was shaped by the 40 "industrial leaders" of the ERT
and not by the 50,000 demonstrators outside the summit building
or by the needs of the people of Europe. Now we are all required
to dance to the ERT tune.



What Sort of Europe do we want?

The groups and individuals involved in this Grassroots Network
are united by a vision of a better future, one without bosses or
governments, be they in Dublin or Brussels; one in which all local
communities are directly run by the people living in them and all
workplaces by the people working in them; a future in which
everyone has control over their own lives and an equal say in the
decisions that affect them.

We are talking not just about receiving an equal share of what is
produced, but also transforming the quality of life, doing away
with long working hours and increasing free time. We struggle for
a genuinely sustainable economy and an end to environmental
policies in which every 'solution' must be corporate-led and
profit-driven.

People like you all over Europe are fighting for the same things.
We are taking to the streets not only to build our resistance in
Ireland but to forge links throughout Europe. Tens of thousands
of people in Ireland have already been involved in resisting the
race for wealth that is capitalism, which robs so many of us of our
voice, our dreams and our aspirations.



Dublin Grassroots Network - Who we are

Dublin Grassroots Network is a network of activists who come
together to fight for a better future, based on the Grassroots
Principles (see over). We are part of the Grassroots Gathering and
the Grassroots Network Against War. We operate in an open and
democratic way, where everybody has an equal say. If you want to
get involved, get in touch.

Phone: 087-2820906 Email: grassrootsdublin@yahoo.com Web:
http://grassrootsgathering.freeservers.com and
http://struggle.ws/eufortress

News: http://www.indymedia.ie



Our Principles

We belive that people should control their own lives and work
together as equals. This means:

- Rejecting top-down and state-centred forms of organisation.
- Calling for solutions that involve ordinary people controlling
their own lives and having the resources to do so
- Organising for control of the workplace by those who work
there.
- Calling for the control of communities by the people who live
there. - - Arguing for a sustainable environmental, economic and
social system, agreed by the people of the planet.


Mayday Menu - what's going on Actions For An Alternative
Europe


Aperitif
Critical Mass - mass cycle and walk through the city 5.30 pm, Fri.
April 30th, Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Sq


Entrées
No Borders Morning - actions against fortress EU 10 am
Saturday May 1st, Civic Offices, Wood Quay

Reclaim The City - anti-privatisation actions 2.30pm Saturday
May 1st, Grafton St. (at Stephen's Green)


Main Course
Bring The Noise - March to Farmleigh House to let the EU heads
of state hear us - bring pots, pans, whistles... 6pm Sat. May 1st,
Phoenix Park (Parkgate St./Benburb St.)


Dessert
No Borders Camp - Act in solidarity with immigrants 11am
Sunday May 2nd, Custom House Quay

Digestif
Reclaim The Streets - Street Party for a better future 3pm Mon.
May 3rd, Ambassador Cinema, O'Connell St.

**** Download the leaflet ****

50,000 copies printed and being delivered door to door.

Download the leaflet here in pdf format
http://flag.blackened.net/af/Undercurrents/resources/cutenews/images/upimages/mayday2004.pdf


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