While the European continent declares a state of emergency, activists around Europe call out the #stateofsolidarity.
The attacks in Paris, Beirut, Bamako, Tunis and on a Russian civil aircraft over Sinai, the developments in Brussels and the war-ghosts that cruise through the media and politics in Europe, serve simultaneously to impose the new border regime, pass laws that criminalize civic disobedience and protest, stop the transnational mobilizations for climate, and legitimize state’s racist practices. A wicked political swiss-knife threatens not only to tear societies and humanity apart some more, but also to cut through their resistance. We all have a choice, though. We can let division win and bear its consequences for the decades to come. But we can also declare a state of solidarity, committing to recognize and support struggles for peace, freedom and dignity.
In this context, it is imperative to support -practically and politically- the refugees and migrants movement and to acknowledge it as one. These people, fleeing war, poverty and violence have marched to the European borders, fearless and ready to risk their own lives. The hope for a better life in peace, united them in bravery. The numerous Marches of Hope (#marchofhope) ignited a broad and transnational wave of practical solidarity. We believe that this has to be translated to political common action and therefore call all individuals, organizations, collectives and civic society movements to join their voices now, as a first step culminating on the 18th of December (global day of migration).
The hegemonic narrative of a refugee crisis is almost perfectly orchestrated to hide the actual crisis. A political crisis caused by decades of failed european policies, at national and european and global level. Austerity, nationalism and racism, division in south and north, the demolition of social state and the precarization of life per se, were imposed silently with democracy playing only a decorative role.
Only embedded in a culture of fear can this logic of the illogical fruit. Blaming terrorism on people fleeing it, when all assailants were Europe-bounds, is a perfect example, in which none of the problems is addressed and the status quo is only reinforced. But protesters are banned from the streets, the very people our societies have most deprived are prevented from political organization by generalized suspicion.
Like in an Orwelian dystopia, the answer that leaders in Europe and elsewhere give to blind violence is more surveillance, more security, more control, more suppression, more oppression and more violence. Military interventions, war and bombing, arms trade have caused human, cultural and political tragedies and dramatically consequences for the global peace. Europe has been and still is supporting dictatorships and regimes, has neglected real support to democratic forces and activists fighting for freedom and peace in many Mediterranean and Southern countries, only to serve its own geopolitical interests and financial capital driven agenda. Politics for the few, on the lives of the many. The economical and trade war to impose neoliberal market has destroyed whole economies and stolen valuable resources everywhere.
Instead of acting on preventing this catastrophy, the political climate as manifested in the mainstream, from the segregation at Europe’s borders justified by the attacks in Paris, to the reborn war-lords, imposes a far-right narrative supported by a widespread sense of western cultural supremacy and frames a dire world without alternative.
No matter how dark our times may seem, it takes only a closer look into cities, villages and neighbourhoods and the answer is there. Although seemingly paralyzed by this imposed “state of emergency”, resistance is building up in various forms, formations and formats: from the environmental justice movements, the feminist movements, the human rights activists, the self-organized spaces across the world, to the amazing people in Paris that took the streets, defying the curfew to protest in solidarity with migrants and refugees, it takes just some rays of light for the darkness to be no more.
A culture of fear is imposed to become the norm in Europe and the rest of the world. A culture that aims to leave us numb in front of tv boxes and screens, after exhausting and unfulfilling working days. A culture that wants us to look away when injustice happens and keep us fragmented in front of today’s global challenges.
Within this trajectory we consider it crucial to visualize our solidarity and break the monopoly of fear. We choose to keep our eyes open looking for friends and not accept invisible enemies. We choose to feel, reflect and engage with the reality of life, of injustice, of struggle.
We propose to all, to unite under the competitive narrative of a state of solidarity. Joining campaigns, actions and voices inside a narrative that hits directly in the heart of the matter. If we let fear win over our societies, the future will be taken over by it. Let’s create the space to collectively express our solidarity and messages of resistance. Let’s reoccupy our reality, meet and act on our future.
In this sentence: “I oppose a culture of fear and hereby solemnly declare a state of solidarity!”, we see a potential beginning. Share and care, as always.
Let’s declare a #stateofsolidarity everywhere.
We see you. We thank you.
Alexandros Georgoulis (Greece), Angelina Giannopoulou (Greece), Anitta Kynsilehto (Finnland), Benjamin Bender (Germany) , Dimitris Kousouris (Greece), Gabriela Andreevska (Macedonia), George Souvlis (Greece), Katalin Erdödi (Hungary), Katerina Anastasiou (Austria/Greece), Katerina Kavalidou (Greece), Lana Simpraga (Serbia), Luca László (Hungary), Lucile Gemähling (France/Germany), Maher Kofafe (Syria), Maria Jaidopulu Vrijea (Greece), Marios Avgoustatos (Greece), Maxime Benatouil (France), Melina Kerou (Austria/France), Moira Bernardoni (Austria), Piera Muccigrosso (Italy), Raffaela Bollini (Italy), Ronan Burtenshaw (Ireland), Sanja Burlović (Croatia), Sara Lalić (Croatia), Stavroula Drakopoulou (Greece), Walter Baier (Austria), Yiannis Stouraitis (Austria/Greece)