Expanding Mobilization against the G8 Summit
By Interventionist Left
[This article published in: ak-analyse & kritik, 12/15/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?id=2784.]
A vast train of demonstrators from all over the world marched through the streets of Rostock in protest against the summit of the G8 states. Tens of thousands greeted the heads of state on the runway of the airport and blocked the noble conference venue Heiligendamm. Again and again the course of the meeting was shaken when the logistics of the summit were disturbed by imaginative actions. The general public focused on the diversity of protest and resistance, not on the announcements of the powerful. The delegitimation of the G8 is not a demand any more. This delegitimation happens on the streets, in the debates of the counter-summit and in the worldwide event of Rostock. For a year, the social movements, unions, campaigns of engaged Christians, different non-governmental organizations, globalization critics, parliamentary parties and the network of the radical left prepared for this. In their diversity, their mobilization and their political will are unmistakable. The media disinformation and the police repression run into empty space.
Our chance to make Rostock into a worldwide event goes back to the protests in Seattle, Prague, Genoa and Florence. This possibility is also a practical result of the debates of the social forums, the global justice and radical left in Germany, Europe and worldwide. What is fought out in many local battlers here and everywhere on the planet came together. Let us use this occasion to lead our struggle far beyond Heiligendamm, Rostock and the whole anti-G8 campaign.
The delegitimation of the G8 is only one step toward a worldwide movement against the globalized neoliberal capitalist rule. The interventionist left understands this as part of the awakening. We come from different generations and different sectors of the undogmatic radical left, are active in Intifada organizations, different social movements and political campaigns and work as individuals coordinated in unions, social organizations and alternative projects. We meet in the awakening of the anti-neoliberal and global justice struggles.
FOR A RADICAL INTERVENTION IN SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Wherever the G8, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the coordinators of NATO and the European Union met, the caravan of the new resistance movement was there to show its teeth to the neoliberal world management. While these meetings claim to be the legitimate representatives of the “civilized world,” they organize the continuous destructive process where – for example – a person dies every second worldwide of malnutrition.
They speak of freedom, peace, justice, democracy and boundless market competition as the legally effective prerequisite of the happiness and prosperity of everybody. Nevertheless the worldwide host of the “superfluous” grows. The necessity of military security of the free flow of goods and profits intensifies with every further social insecurity of life. War becomes the world domestic policy. Human rights are annulled in the name of human rights and torture becomes socially acceptable.
Delegitimating the G8 is our challenge because they know how to gain legitimacy despite everything. When the G8 promise to create and secure the world order, general acknowledgment comes to them because millions are threatened worldwide by insecurity. The G8 liberates the market-oriented and division of labor competition over happiness and prosperity from all restrictions. Acknowledgment also comes to them because the competition around survival is a million-fold everyday occurrence. The strategy of one’s life is and must be a strategy of miserable existence.
REINVENTING THE LEFT
To question, undermine and ultimately destroy the legitimacy of the G8, we must find other answers to the global insecurity of survival and other answers to the everyday pressure of competition. These answers must be different than those of the neoliberal discourse and those of the historical left and the historical social movements. The chain of “humanitarian interventions” and the confusion, disorientation and often reactionary character of the resistance against imperialist war prove unmistakably that international solidarity – the A and O of every emancipatory initiative – can no longer be only the unity of the left in the North with the uprisings in the South.
At the same time resistance against everyday exploitation and exclusion can no longer be justified as only a “universal class situation” of exploitation essential for the working class movement. Appealing to the different experience of patriarchal or racist rule important for the new social movements is also not enough. The far-reaching insecurity of everyday survival and the individualizing splintering all social connections are undeniable.
Class specific exploitation or patriarchy/racist rule still exist. But the exploited classes are dissolved in the differentiated hierarchy of precariousness. “Difference” and “subjectivity” were converted to fighting terms of the neoliberal order in which and with which people are harassed in the competition around survival. Class is defined by the class struggle. The challenge of the left is to identify the existing conditions of a potential collective outburst and articulate it as a political project. Delegitimating the rule of capital, neoliberalism and the G8 means reinventing the left and social movements.
MOVEMENT OF THE MOVEMENTS
Experiences gained in Seattle, Genoa and Florence as well as Caracas, La Paz and recently in Oaxaca strengthen the mobilization against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. Initiatives founded in these experiences oppose the systematic deprivation of rights with a globalization of social, cultural, economic and political rights as rights of cosmopolitans and begin with the right to movement and the right to residence.
These initiatives embody the resistance against the militarist screening of metropolises and the imperialist world order war and against the everyday intensification of the regime of work and exploitation. Where these battles cross, there is opposition and sometimes-agonizing conflicts raising the claim to life free of charge concretized materially in unconditional existence money for everybody and attacking the growing commodification of living conditions and the pressure to paid work.
The demand for reversing the material- and resource streams from North to South requires as a first step the unconditional cancellation of all debts of the global South and reparation payments for colonial and imperialist exploitation. This is connected to the claim of life free of charge. The “old” power- and property question must be raised again in the radicalization, expansion and development of all these initiatives. They are raised as world social questions. With that, the question about a breach with the system of class, patriarchal, racist and imperialist private property can be brought into our present.
The world will be what the history of social struggles makes of it. Liberated life can only be experienced in overcoming all rule conditions.
We can only use this chance together as our common chance. This “we” is not merely the groups and projects of the network of the interventionist left. “We” does not mean simply the different sectors of the non-parliamentary and parliamentary left. “We” means what since Seattle is called the “movement of movements.” “We” means a global constellation of emancipatory policies that goes beyond the left and the older and younger social movements. The international potential exists to resist together the rule of capital. Organizing this possibility and necessity for resistance and inventing the common will be different today than what was earlier called “alliance” or “block.”
Neither an industrial proletariat that was the only class in the worker party concepts that could effectively fight capital nor the movements are the “fore field” or “mass process” of an avant-garde left. The movements in their diversity and spontaneity do not replace the “left” or cancel the conflict between different ways of a left existence. This process does not aim at an ultimate unity or definitive separation. For a future left, communicating initiatives and struggles will be the means that is itself a goal for constructing the common, the community, not a means to an outside goal. This will only be effective in the practical game of distinctions, in the open and solidarity constellation of differences and in the important intervention in social or rule conditions.
BEFORE THE SUMMIT AND AFTER THE SUMMIT
A global alternative to the global governance of capital, patriarchy and racism is the cause of a common counter-power in the diverse movement. In this movement, intervening in a radical-left way is not a question of rhetoric but of the practical connection of struggles aiming at their radicalization. In the mobilization against the G8 summit, the activists of social protest, of the environmental- and peace movement, of leftist union- and human rights work, the self-organization of migrants, the global justice networks and the different schools of the left should enter in communication. Our intervention as a radical left intervention forcing open the system is vital. The measure of success lies firstly in the solidarity relation of all participants to each other in the transparency of the conflict, the reliability of the arrangement, respect for different actions and expressions and mutual acceptance.
The rejection of the G8, neoliberalism and the global rule of capital in a massive refusal and rebellion in the streets of Rostock and before the fences of Heiligendamm must be communicated worldwide. Therefore we participate in all the demonstrations, days of action and counter-activities. We want the arrival of the eight heads of state to become their disaster. In the “G8 block,” we are many groups with different protest- and resistance traditions acting together to effectively block the meeting of the G8 in thousands in a solidarity action of the common Ya Basta! Enough! Therefore we urge local alliances and networks across the sectors in all cities and regions connecting the local conflicts with the global struggles so the everyday of another globalization appears in our struggles. Join the winning side!