self-organised structures April the 4th to April the 12th 2004 in
Throughout the world, self-organised projects and structures are
to survive. In Hamburg, Germany for instance the “Bambule”-
been evicted in fall 2002 along with another trailer-park in
A police crackdown on its inhabitants followed.
Here in Berlin many of the now legalised squats and trailer-parks are
struggling for survival.
Also internationally, the question is, what perspectives there are for
projects like the ”Blitz” in Oslo. Norway, the EKH in Vienna, Austria
squats in Barcelona, Spain.
So far, the European guidelines against squatting have not yet been
confronted on an international level. No matter if these conflicts are
ownership, authoritarian decrees to criminalize life in trailer-parks
conditions made by local authorities for non-profit organisations they
cannot meet, it usually leads to a certain logic: Rebellious,
structures and projects just won`t fit into the ideal of free
enterprise and have
to reckon with all sorts of obstacles.
Therefore, the struggles in each city aren`t merely local conflicts but
aspects of a general process.
Self-organised projects may enable us to shake off hierarchies and
our political ideals at least partially. Such living spaces are not
havens but also starting points for political struggles. Collective
spaces such as squats or trailer-parks make it possible for us to act
own without taking into account capitalist viability. Workers´
well as alternative economics and workplace democracy can offer us an
alternative to a world of competition and pressure. Left-wing
info-shops and independent media centres do not only help to get our
viewpoints across they can also serve as a link between activists and
political groups together. Autonomous centres provide space to get
organised and get involved in politics as well as cultural activities
mainstream culture. Such left-wing structures make a life without
sexism, nationalism and hierarchies at least imaginable. However, it´s
about creating our own peaceful, little world it´s rather a question of
whether self-determined, left-wing structures will remain a basis of
political struggles. The struggle for building up and preservation of
structures is also about defending progressive politics as such.
This is becoming even more important in a society that turns more and
unsocial and repressive.
About public safety
On behalf of public safety and the so called war on terror, anything
goes…especially since the 09.11. attacks have provided a cheap excuse
for any kind
of repression. While civil rights are being undermined, video
public areas is being extended, police forces and secret services are
bolstered up. The increasingly authoritarian measures taken by the
state in domestic
policy go hand in hand with its withdrawal from social policy as can be
in the cutting of welfare expenditure. Quite often, left-wing activists
projects appear suspicious to the powers that be.
In the wake of neoliberalism floats another phenomenon: Many cities and
nations tend to regard themselves as entrepreneurs, competing with one
another. Therefore, any kind of social achievement accomplished in the
past has to
make way for this technocracy.
Anyway, we´re not about to shed a tear for the good, old welfare-state.
Capitalism is obviously tightening its grip: Social inequalities are
deteriorating whereas social achievements are increasingly jeopardized.
This is aimed
especially at the ones that are already on the fringes of society.
or unemployed individuals are being left behind by cuts in public
Integration of the disabled and affirmative action for women are being
into question and so is public healthcare.
Anyone who´s unemployed or on social security will be coerced to take
kind of job. Those who won`t fit into this brave new world are to
from inner city areas. Migrant workers are expected to conform or, if
not in paid labour, simply be kicked out of fortress Europe. In this
the system of exploitation and competition is tightening up with shitty
high unemployment rates and more and more individuals being sorted out.
tendency must be seen in connection with tightening control in many
life such as social policies, repression against progressive politics
grounds of mere suspicion or new laws against fringe groups as, for
homeless people or drug-addicts being denied the right to hang out in
certain inner-city areas. Another example is the setting up of fines
Menace to progressive projects
Leftist structures are trying to work against this authoritarian,
backspin by providing actual alternatives and a basis for resistance.
matter if projects are threatened by increasing rents, changes in
ownership or by
local authorities: The means of exploitation and control are many yet
aims and effects are the same. This very conflict makes progressive
even more important since they do not only counteract a city`s total
commercialization but also prove that a different way of life is
Unfortunately, many of these projects don`t disappear due to being
from the outside but rather break apart because of interior conflicts
differing political ideas or distinct lifestyles and attitudes.
Other projects are often going through a process of commercialization,
turning a leftist arts-centre into an ordinary profit-seeking or
facility or a formerly worker-owned business into the usual hierarchy
run by some
“boss”. In this regard, especially legalization of projects or
support from government funds quite often backfired.
Sadly, there are more self-determined projects going down the drain due
the conflicts mentioned above than new ones are being created.
On the other hand there are also some examples to prove the opposite
as successful new squats or mediaprojects on a grassroot`s level like
To discuss the many obstacles, conflicts, contradictions and unanswered
questions and to talk about perspectives for the future, co-operation
suggested solutions we invite everyone to the “Autoorganisation” -
action days from 04. April to 12. April 2004 in Berlin, Germany.
Within the scope of the conference, the following topics are on the
New ideas are always welcome.
§ Exchange between projects ( especially between projects of different
alignment ) on subjects like
- External conflicts and ways of resistance ( trouble with local
authorities, eviction etc. )
- Internal conflicts like new generations taking over, retreat into
consumer mentality, varying concepts and aims, egoism….
- Day - to - day life and its organization
- Legal status of projects
Our role in society as well as in the leftist scene, for instance:
- In how far are self-organized structures noticeable places of
- What are the general conditions for keeping projects alive ?
- What importance do self-organized projects have for the far-left and
can their backing be strengthened ?
- How open-minded are we and how open-minded do we want to be ?
As one uses to say, action speaks louder than words and that`s why
only talking during this week. We`re rather trying to reach out to
by manifold, radical actions to reclaim spaces in this city and to
in the political process. We want to take action in order to bring
ideas of self-organization back into public debate and leftist actions
If you would like to offer a course on one of these topics ( or on
topics ) or if you wish to coordinate actions or have already announced
please sign up as soon as possible. Bring in your own ideas. Take part
the preparations. If you got ideas or announcements to make or if you
further questions, please feel free to get in touch with the address
Take action !
What`s supposed to happen. Action days´ results in practice:
§ Create and reclaim free-spaces
§ Reaching out to others by demonstrating alternative and
lifestyles and claiming public spaces. ( so-called Innenstadtaktionen )
§ Shut down “Berlin doctrine”
The „Berlin doctrine“ is a decree which states that each new squat, be
apartment, an entire building or just some spot is to be evicted within
hours. This doctrine makes it nearly impossible to illegally claim room
manoeuvre. In other words, it is not possible to squat a space for more
few hours. Meanwhile, the “Berlin doctrine” is implemented in the same
similar way in other cities as well.
Registration and Costs
Attendance is for free. However, that doesn`t mean that such a
can be organized without any costs. Any kind of fund-raising is
money should be transferred to the bank account listed below.
Breakfast and a hot meal will be organized each day. Sleeping quarters
be organized if necessary. Pleas sign up until 05. March so we can
the situation for sleeping quarters, food supply, and rooms.
Decentralize ! The conference will take place in several leftist
around town. However, there`s gonna be a central Info-point.
The AKZ KÖPI is intended as the convergence centre where daily plenary
assemblies will be held. ( Köpenicker strasse 137, Train stops are
Tor, Ostbahnhof or…)
Other meeting places are the “Kinderbauernhof” (not too far from KÖPI )
places in the nearby Kreuzberg district. There will be plenty of space
camping, trailers, tents and lots of other stuff.
Donations and more
We`re still looking for people to take part in the preparations. Anyone
would like to set up a newspaper, doing translations or act as
run food kitchens, organize rooms for events is needed. We have use for
sorts of things such as sound and lighting systems, heatable tents,
everything that is needed for a self-organized conference and manifold
Conference and action-days from 04. April 2004 until 12. April 2004
I will / We will participate in the “Autoorganisation” - Conference
I will need / We will need ___ places to sleep, out of which __ are
supposed to be for children.
For the following days: 4._5._6._7._8._9._10._11._
I will / We will bring along __ dogs.
Handicaps: ( as for instance allergies ):
I need / We need __ sleeping places suitable for the handicapped.
I am / We are planning to offer a course on the following
For which I will / We will need __ rooms.
These rooms have to meet the following
To contact us:
c/o Infoshop “Daneben”,
Finance department: firstname.lastname@example.org
WEBSITE : WWW.AUTOORGANISATION-04.ORG
Bank account :
Netzwerk Selbsthilfe e.V., Kontonummer (account number) 3029806,
Bankleitzahl ( bank code ) 10020500,
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft ( BfS ), key word „Autoorganisation“