Transnational actions against the European Central Bank’s opening: March 18th 2015 in Frankfurt

Our time to act has come!

17 February 2015 by Blockupy Frankfurt

2015 began with something unheard of. The people in Greece stood up against all threats from Europe and elected a new left government. This, after 5 years of ruining the country of Greece, where the people lived in constant struggle against the humanitarian crisis and social destruction. A government was elected to stand up to the European institutions, rather than to accept more austerity measures imposed on its people. We support the decision by the Greek people to reject the neoliberal doctrine of “no alternative.” We feel empowered and see the possibility of another future. Especially since this is connected to other important ongoing popular movements, like in Spain. Just recently in the streets of Madrid hundred thousands of people said out loud: We can and we will win again! Next, the people in Greece and all over Europe filled the squares on February 11th, the day the Eurogroup started renegotiating the Greek debt. A transnational wave of solidarity actions was unleashed.

This feeling of empowerment gives hope to millions of people in Europe and encourages the resistance against the crisis regime. Solidarity with the people in Greece and their democratic decisions is not only an obligation for us, but it is also in our common interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. : the interest of all of us who all over Europe struggle against the logics of austerity and fight to improve their working and living conditions.

This is why we say: Our time to act has come! This is why we call everybody from all over Europe to join the transnational actions against the ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/html/index.en.html
’s opening on March 18th in Frankfurt!

It is true, the European crisis regime has changed over time – EU emergency meetings seem to have stopped, countries are leaving the Euro rescue fund. However, seeing the pressure put on Greece right now we have to realize that this does not mean the EU and ECB’s crisis policies are over. Blackmailing has not stopped – to the contrary. Whenever the European institutions are threatened, they react, they blackmail and don’t hesitate to bring back harsh austerity measures. Simultaneously we are facing something which almost feels normal now: a terrible new normality of precarity and poverty has become a reality through neoliberal policies that have been implemented during the crisis. These policies are safely embedded in state institutions and were never meant to be temporary. Austerity policies promote authoritarian governance, the further dismantling of democratic participation, the attack on working conditions, taking advantage of the hierarchies built on the borders regime. They are linked to the militarization of state and foreign policy, to growing racism and rightwing extremism. These last years with the infamous Troika Troika Troika: IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, which together impose austerity measures through the conditions tied to loans to countries in difficulty.

IMF : https://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html
and neoliberal governance have paved a way for a new phase in Europe: a precarious model of very limited social rights, a model of control and competition that we refuse to get used to!

We can and we will win again ! And we hear them now, the elites and governments crying out loud - with Germany in the forefront – against the demands of the people in Greece to stop and reverse privatization, demands for social rights and for taxing the rich, for not paying the debt and interest they did not cause. They fear the domino effect going through Europe; they are afraid that their “program” of competitiveness and neoliberal control enforced as the European model is going to crumble now.

One of the central agents of the blackmail and the normalization of austerity, of the stick and carrot, is the ECB. A crucial part of the infamous Troika (EU Commission, ECB and IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

http://imf.org
), who along with the EU Council, promoted austerity and privatization, resulting in impoverishment and precarity of large parts of the populations in Europe. By demanding to not accept Greek bonds as collateral Collateral Transferable assets or a guarantee serving as security against the repayment of a loan, should the borrower default. for central bank Central Bank The establishment which in a given State is in charge of issuing bank notes and controlling the volume of currency and credit. In France, it is the Banque de France which assumes this role under the auspices of the European Central Bank (see ECB) while in the UK it is the Bank of England.

ECB : http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/Pages/home.aspx
loans, the ECB enforces the continuation of austerity policy directly and is clearly taking side with the German government.

Blockupy therefore affirms its call for broad transnational actions against the ECB when it inaugurates its new headquarter in Frankfurt on March 18th. A tower 185 meters tall, resembling a fortress with its security fence and moat, a symbol of power costing a staggering 1,3 billion Euros. Our call for strong, broad, and lively European protests months ago has already left marks: the ECB announced that they are downsizing their grand gala into a coffee party. But we never cared about the numbers of guests. Our protest is the radical critique of its work – the planning, enforcement, the normalization of austerity measures.

We know that Frankfurt is the right place to be for all of us – the precarious, migrant and industry workers, socially active, emancipatory forces. Of course we know not even left governments can solve all the problems. The real dynamic starts on the streets and in the squares, the assemblies and associations, inside and outside the workplaces as a social dynamic. More than just demonstrating our solidarity with the people in Greece and their democratic decision, we will make clear that this is not a conflict of interest between the people in Europe. It is our struggle for all the people of Europe! The struggles in Greece and elsewhere have opened this path for all of us.

If not now, then when!? Louder and stronger than ever, we call for transnational actions on March 18th at the ECB in Frankfurt! March 18th is the right moment for all of us to be in Frankfurt. Now is the time to intensify all our efforts and to reach out to everybody to join the struggle. Now is the time to be the site for transnational struggle in and against the belly of the beast. Now is the right moment to hold the ECB accountable for its policies and to powerfully demand a different political direction. March 18th is our crucial chance as well as our responsibility to build a common, effective force from below – if they want capitalism without democracy, we say, we want democracy without capitalism.

On March 18 we will take the streets and the squares of Frankfurt, around the new ECB building and in the inner city with thousands of people from all over Europe. We will do that in the early morning around the ECB with actions of civil disobedience to stop the ECB from celebrating themselves and disrupt their normal work day. Everyone should and is welcome to join – they are activities designed for mass participation with a common consensus. We will then convene in a strong, diverse, lively rally and manifestation in the afternoon.

Join us in action! Join us for the blockades of the ECB at 7 am; at the rally at 2 pm and the demonstration through the inner city of Frankfurt at 5 pm

First we took Athens, now Frankfurt!

For more info go visit our website at http://blockupy.org/en/; the closer we get to March 18th, the more detailed info you will find – about the activities, bus coordination and accommodation, the program of the rally and the march and much more. If you have any questions tell us at international@blockupy-frankfurt.org or stay tuned via Twitter: @blockupy / #18M and facebook.com/blockupy.europe


Who we are: Blockupy is part of a European wide network of various social movement activists, altermondialists, migrants, jobless, precarious and industry workers, party members and unionists and many more from many different European countries from Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany and other countries. Together we want to connect our struggles and powers beyond nation-state lines. Together we want to create a common European movement, united in diversity, which can break the rule of austerity and will start to build democracy and solidarity from below. Blockupy and the actions in Frankfurt are only one step along this path. As a transnational movement we oppose explicitly each and every attempt for racist, nationalist or antisemitic divisions as well as conspiracy theories to interpret the world.

CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

35 rue Fabry
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 226 62 85
info@cadtm.org

cadtm.org