Call out for the 2nd pan-Dutch Assembly of Open Assemblies

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 08/12/2011 12:07:00

Waar: Tolhuisweg 2, 1031 CL, Amsterdam, Netherlands (GPS lat: 52.383931 lon: 4.905629)
Wanneer: 11/12/2011 - 08:30

Call out for the 2nd pan-Dutch Assembly of Open Assemblies.

The last 3 years, no matter where we live, our lives are strongly influenced by the crisis. This crisis broke out in 2008 and transformed itself to a sovereign-debt crisis particularly in the EU-periphery. This crisis was not created by the people. The bankers and the financial institutions with the support of the governments are responsible for it.

Today, people are asked to pay this crisis by European-wide austerity measures. This recipe has been implemented repeatedly in the past by the IMF and always resulted in increasing the inequalities, the unemployment and the poverty among the people. EU role in this situation is very important with decisions made both many years ago and in this period: the treaty of Maastricht and of Lisbon have already from before structured the context of very tide and had economic policies putting restrictions for national debt, deficit and inflation. On the other hand, since the beginning of crisis the conference of European Council has made many decisions forcing the national governments to apply more and harder austerity measures and budget cuts. Is this the Europe that we want?

In this background, in the last 8 months various alternatives movements (Real Democracy, Occupy) in the squares of many countries have emerged. These movements were the genuine reaction of the people against the way that the governments have chosen to deal with the crisis. People have started to gather in public spaces and occupy the squares to protest against the policies of the governments. The most optimistic element of this movement was that people stopped being passive and began to discuss about their lives and their problems, making efforts to define a better society. This better society can only materialize with the collective struggle of the people. The ‘Take the Square’ and ‘Occupy’ movements that were based on the principles of real democracy, contributed at this.

Particularly in the Netherlands, since last May, open assemblies are taking place in several cities and many people have gathered and occupied the squares. These assemblies have organized actions of various scale aiming to react against the unjustified budget cuts that are implemented in the Netherlands that is a rich country that has been mildly affected by the crisis. In a second level our assemblies have made efforts to show solidarity to societies which are exposed to the hardest austerity (Greek, Spanish) and to movements that react against this situation (Spanish, Greek, Egyptian).
These efforts had their pick in 15th October, a day of global action with demonstrations in more than 1.300 cities. People went out to the streets demanding to stop the austerity and many of them (especially in USA, the UK and the Netherlands) have occupied the squares for more than 45 days now. But which was the result of 15th October? Which was the effect to society, to the movement and to current political situation? These questions have risen for some time now and must be addressed.

One of the biggest movements of this period developed in Spain with the 15 Mayo and Real Democracia last May to transfer the Arab Spring from Arabic world to Europe. This movement inspired several movements in Europe (Greece, the Netherlands). Huge demonstrations combined with political goals and big assemblies resulted in a movement that for more than 50 days was in the everyday life of Spanish (and not only) people. The demonstrations and assemblies declined as time passed by but the assemblies remained in a local level. Through this movement people in Spain expressed their big opposition to the austerity measures of Zapatero's government. However, the result of the national elections, which took place in Spain in 20th November, was the victory of populous party (Partido Popular) with the highest percentage ever (48,6%). Which were the reasons for this result? What was the behavior of the people of the movement?

Since the beginning of the assemblies in the Netherlands, the necessity of coordination and communications among the assemblies in the Netherlands was more than obvious. A deeper and permanent coordination is necessary in order to increase the political awareness of the movement in the Netherlands and to achieve our goals. A first step was made in 2nd of October that more than 80 people from the whole Netherlands gathered in Amsterdam, discussed and decided to meet again in the beginning of December. So, the second countrywide assembly of all the local assemblies in the Netherlands, 2 months after the first attempt, is a necessity in front of the evaluation of the past, the discussion of the present and the planning for the future.
We call for a countrywide assembly of all the local assemblies in the Netherlands on December 11th in ... The presence of all of us, the ‘everyday’ man and woman, who participated in the movement, is more than necessary! For this reason, we invite everybody to join and participate in the ‘Assembly of Assemblies’. This assembly should make decisions (probably with an article) which will accelerate the things in a more coordinating way in the cities that already assemblies exist (Delft, Groningen) and that will encourage people to start again function of the assemblies both in cities that existed before (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht, Tilburg) and in cities that did not exist before.

Safeguarding the rule that the “agenda” of this assembly is open to be completed with topics that every participant may suggest, we propose some initial issues that we would like discuss and decide upon in this assembly:

1. Review and evaluation of local assemblies.
2. Review and evaluation of 15th October
3. Position and questioning regarding EU
4. Spanish elections
5. Future actions and events

We invite you all in Amsterdam, 11th of December 2011, 12.00 noon, at Tolhuis Town, for the “Assembly of Open Assemblies”


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