wombles | 15.10.2004 10:42
action against the ownership & exclusion of the ESF
SAT 16TH OCT 6.30PM
OUTSIDE ALEXANDRA PALACE MAIN ENTRANCE
As EU/world leaders must meet in isolated fortresses, protected by private & state forces, so ESF delegates in London must meet in distant ‘palaces’ where private security guard the entrances & determine who is allowed in & who is not - who has paid & who has not. As EU/world leaders sit & talk in the rarefied atmosphere of the conference hall hidden away from the reality they want to shape, so ESF speakers sit in luxury surroundings & talk on how best to make ‘our’ world a better place, while the poorest always remain outside. (Everyone must pay £30/£20 entrance to London ESF).
As our 2 basic necessities – food & shelter, must always be a priority, so the London ESF leadership are asking us to fight amongst ourselves for the privilege of these basic needs during the ESF. (5,000 accommodation places are available at £10 each, the other 15,000 people expected must fend for themselves. Food with the ESF palace is provided by commercial companies & corporate enterprises).
This is not an accident. The London process has deliberately ignored all the guiding principles of the World/European Social Forum. It has ignored every single voice of concern - that of the European assembly, the conditions laid down by the European preparatory committee, it has ignored Babels (international translation network & backbone of the ESF), the NGO’s, the horizontals, the local social forums... It has only listened to one voice - that of Ken Livingstone. (Every decision made about London ESF has come through this one man, who bought the ESF with a £400,000 'donation' & the promise of free travel for delegates - at the very same time as increasing travel prices for the ordinary workers of London). (*)
Is this the ESF that was envisaged? Is this what the movement of movements looks like? Controlled by a tiny minority in powerful political positions. Just as world leaders rely on our lack of solidarity, our division, so London ESF leadership divide us, rely on our silence, our conformity in the very movement we created - on the streets in Genoa, Gothenburg, Prague, Evian, & now on the streets of London. We will not be silenced by political leaders – neither those that make war or those that have bought the ESF.
We are calling on all everyone; from the anarchists to the anti-capitalists, to the poor, immigrants, refugees & sans papiers, the ordinary working women & men of London, the disaffected, illegal & voiceless, everyone who refuses to be excluded - can’t pay won’t pay - from ‘another world’ they are happy to sell to the highest bidder. We call on you to meet at Alexandra palace a 6.30pm on Saturday 16th October & reclaim our movement.
We urge all delegates to walk out at this time, to show solidarity, to stop making plans for once & start making history.
We urge you to destroy the hypocrisy of party political control of our movement. Reclaim not only the heart & soul but the voice of the movement. Join us at the gates as we storm the palace.
(*) Ken Livingstone is Mayor of London & member of the ruling Labour Party - the party of war. He has: urged workers to cross picket lines during a strike, told police to arrest demonstrators on anti-capitalist mayday demonstrations, released the names of leading activists & ask the police to arrest them before any demonstration has happened. He is in charge of the police in London but instead of curtailing their repressive powers he has increased their spending & numbers. He applauded the police when they held captive over 2000 anti-capitalist demonstrators together for over 8hours on the streets of London. A week after the ESF Ken Livingstone will be a VIP guest at another conference in London: International Leaders Summit, where he will mixing with representatives of Catapillar & CorVu (a business management company whose clients include the US federal government & US Army, UK & Australian government. Companies registered to attend include: American Express, Amersham Plc, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Barclays Bank Plc, Bayerische Hw Bank Ag, Lloyds TSB, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft Ltd, Ministry of Defence, Police Services of NI, Royal Navy, Shell UK.