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May 4th 2007 Heiligendamm

- Legal Team (EA)

- Make Capitalism History

- Migration-Related Activities during the Anti-G8 Mobilisation in Germany

- Germany tries to please all its G8 party guests

Legal Team (EA)

Hi. This is the homepage of the legal team (= "Ermittlungsausschuss" (short:EA)) in Germany.
... but what is a Legal Team (EA)?

Many of you might have heard about a Legal Team (EA) when on demonstrations or political actions. But what exactly is a Legal Team (EA) and what is it there for?

The team working as EA (short for the German term "Ermittlungsausschuss" = enquiry committee/ legal team) collects general information on assaults and arrests as well as the names and birthdates of persons who have been arrested.
The EA stays in contact with lawyers and makes sure that persons who have been arrested get legal help as soon as necessary.
The EA-team also tries to find out where activists have been taken to (e.g. which police-stations or temporary prison cells) and helps to accelerate the process of release.
The EA-team also supports activists on a more psychological level: to know that the situation at the police station or temporary cell is known "outside" and that people are there to support them is a comfort for most arrested activists (as well as maybe their friends or parents) while at the same time it has a controlling effect on the police.


Make Capitalism History
Or: broaden the mobilisation against the G8 summit | Call to Action by the Interventionist Left

June 2007. A never ending procession of demonstrators from all over the world, protesting against the summit of the G8 states, snakes through the streets of Rostock. Tens of thousands greet the heads of government as soon as they arrive on the airport's runway and blockade the opulent conference location of Heiligendamm. Over and over again the smooth conduct of the meeting is threatened, as the summit's logistical support is disrupted by creative actions. In the public's eye are not the statements of the powerful, but the multiplicity of protests and resistance. 'Delegitimise the G8' is no longer a mere demand, it is what is actually happening on the streets, at the fences, in the debates in the camps and the countersummit - it is what is globally being recognised as the result of a series of preparatory Rostock Action Conferences. For over a year, social movements, trade unions, campaigns of engaged Christians, different Non-Governmental Organisations, alterglobalists, the parties of the parliamentary and the networks of the radical left had prepared for this. Their common stance, their political will not to be separated in spite of their differences, rendered both the media's disinformation and the police's repression useless.

Our chance to make Rostock into such an event is based on the protests in Seattle, Prague, Genoa and Florence. This possibility is also a practical result of the debates in Social Fora, of the alterglobalist and radical left in Germany, in Europe, and around the world. In it, that which has been fought out in countless local struggles, here and everywhere on the planet is coming together. If we use this opportunity, it will take us far beyond Heiligendamm and Rostock, far beyond every anti-G8 campaign.

The delegitimation of the G8 is only one step in the emergence of a global movement against neoliberal, globalised capitalist domination. The Interventionist Left sees itself as part of this emergence. We come from different generations and different milieus of the undogmatic radical left, are active in antifascist organisations, in different social movements and political campaigns, work individually - yet in a coordinated manner - in trade unions, social associations and alternative projects. We met in the emergence of anti-neoliberal and alterglobalist struggles.

For a radical intervention in social realities

For the last few years, wherever the G8, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the coordinating bodies of NATO and the EU have met, the new resistance movement's caravan is already there, ready for a determined fight against the world's neoliberal managers. For while these meetings claim to be the legitimate representation of the "civilised world" they are organising the continuation of a destructive process in which - one example - every second someone in the world dies of malnutrition.
They talk of freedom, peace and justice, of democracy and the boundless competition of the market as the necessary preconditions for happiness and prosperity for all. All the while the global army of the "superfluous" keeps growing, with every new social cutback the need for militarily securing the free flow of commodities and profits grows stronger, war becomes a global domestic policy, human rights are suspended in the name of human rights and torture once again becomes acceptable.

However, it is only our job to delegitimate the G8 because they have managed to acquire legitimacy in spite of all this. When the G8 promise to create and secure world order, they win approval, amongst other reasons, because millions around the world are in fact threatened by insecurity. When the G8 free up market based competition and the division of labour for happiness and prosperity from all its fetters, again they win approval because the competition for survival is an everyday reality for millions everywhere and has often been the strategy to secure one's own - however measly - existence.

Reinventing the left

If we want to challenge, subvert, and ultimately destroy the legitimacy of the G8, then we have to find other answers to the global insecurity of survival, other answers to the everyday compulsion to compete. Answers different not only from those of neoliberal discourse, but also from those of the historic left and the historic social movements. For the chain of "humanitarian interventions" and the confusion, disorientation and the not infrequently openly reactionary character of resistance against the imperial(ist) war prove beyond a doubt that international solidarity - the be all and end all of every emancipatory initiative - can today no longer simply be understood as the unity of the left in the North with the insurgents in the South.

At the same time, "local" resistance against everyday exploitation and exclusion can no longer be grounded only in the identity, fundamental to the workers' movement, of a "universal class position" of exploitation. Neither is the appeal to the differential experience of patriarchal or racist domination that guided the New Social Movements sufficient. Such appeals are at the very least rendered impossible by the fundamental uncertainty of daily survival and the individualising fragmentation of social connections.

Of course, this is not because today there is no exploitation based on class, or patriarchal and racist domination. Rather, this is the case because the exploited classes have been dissolved into a highly differentiated hierarchy of precarisation - and "difference" and "subjectivity" have become discursive weapons in the arsenal of the neoliberal commando. Class is determined by class struggle. It is the task of the left to identify the existing conditions for a potential collective emergence, and to articulate them as a political project. To want to delegitimate capital's domination, neoliberalism, and therefore the G8, under current conditions thus primarily and ultimately implies at the same time to reinvent the left and the social movements.

Movement of Movements

The mobilisation against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm can draw on experiences that were gained in Seattle, Genoa and Florence, but also Caracas, La Paz, and most recently in Oaxaca. These experiences are the foundation of initiatives that resist systematic disenfranchisement through the globalisation of social, cultural, economic and political rights as global civil rights, beginning with the crucial rights to freedom of movement and freedom to remain.

These initiatives in turn link to the resistances against the military fortification of the metropolises and the imperal(ist) war of world order, as well as with those against the daily intensification of exploitation and labour regimes. Everywhere these struggles cross paths, the claim is made - of course not without contradictions and sometimes tortuous conflicts - that life is not for sale, a claim that becomes materially concrete for example in an unconditional basic income for all, but which more generally challenges the increasing becoming-capitalist of life and the compulsion to wage labour.

The claim that life is not for sale entails the demand for a reversal of the material and resource flows from North to South, that in a first step require the unconditional cancellation of all the debts of the global South and reparation payments for colonial and imperialist exploitation. The radicalisation, extension and development of all these initiatives ultimately has to and will pose the "old" questions of power and property once more, they will pose themselves as world-historical questions and thus return to our present the question of a break with the system of private property coded along lines of class, gender, race, and imperial(ist) power.

For the world is still nothing more than that which the history of social struggles will make of it. Liberated life can only be experienced within the horizon of the overcoming of all relations of domination.

The common

We can only grasp this opportunity in common, and as our common opportunity. We take this "we" to go beyond the groups and projects within the network of the Interventionist Left. "We" also doesn't just refer to the different milieus of the extraparliamentary and parliamentary left. "We" refers to that which, since Seattle, has been called the "movement of movements". "We" refers to a global constellation of emancipatory politics that extends beyond the left, as well as the older and newer social movements. There is an international potential to resist the domination of capital, together. This possibility and necessity to organise for resistance and in this invent what is common will today become different and more than that which used to be called "coalition" or " block". Neither is there today an industrial proletariat that - in the conception of the workers' parties - was the only class that could effectively fight capital, nor are the movements "antechamber" or "mass process" of a left that would be their vanguard; neither do the movements in their multiplicity and spontaneity replace that, which differentiates itself from them as the "left", nor do the quarrels between different ways of being left disappear. Still, this process aims neither at some ultimate unity, nor a final split. For a coming left the communication of initiatives and struggles will not be means to an end beyond itself, but a means that is itself an end for the construction of the collective, the common. However, this will only be possible through the practically tested play of diversity, in the showing of solidarity and open constellation of ones differences and in the decisive intervention in the relations of society, that is, of domination.

Before the summit, after the summit

A global alternative to the global governance of capital, patriarchy and racism is a matter of a common, that is, internally multiple and diverse counterpower in movement. To intervene into such a movement from the radical left is not a question of rhetoric, but of the practical connection of struggles with the aim of radicalising them. We believe that within the mobilisation against the G8 summit, activists from the protests against welfare cutbacks, the environmental and peace movements, the left trade unions and human rights groups, of self-organised migrants and alterglobalist networks, as well as the different currents of the left should all begin communicating about this. This is what our intervention is about, as an intervention whose tendency it is to blast open the system and which therefore is a radical left one. The extent to which this will succeed depends first of all on the relations of solidarity amongst participants to one another, on the transparency of debate, the reliability of agreements, and the mutual acceptance of and respect for different forms of action and expression.

But, and this is no contradiction, it also depends on that which is at its origin: the rejection of the G8, of neoliberalism, of the global rule of capital in a mass refusal and rebellion in the streets of Rostock and in front of the fences in Heiligendamm that is communicated globally. That is why we will take part in all the demonstrations, days of action and counter activities. That is why we want to turn the arrival of the eight heads of state and government into their disaster. That is why we are involved with Block G8, in which many groups from different traditions of protest and resistance have come together to effectively blockade the meeting of the G8 with thousands of people, in a show of solidarity and an action of a common: Ya Basta! Enough is Enough! That is why we are calling for the creation, in all cities and regions, of local coalitions and networks across political milieus, that can connect the local conflicts to the global struggles: the everyday of a different globalisation, of the other world that already shines through in our struggles. Join the winning side!

Interventionist Left

Migration-Related Activities during the Anti-G8 Mobilisation in Germany

Here is an overview of the migration-related activities that wil take place before and during the g8 summit in Heiligendamm (northeastern Germany) in the period from Saturday the 19th of May until Friday the 8th of June 2007.
Migration is one of the main issues of the counter mobilisation with a special 'Migration' action day on Monday the 4th of June. This article does only give an overview of the (planned) activities. For more details and up-to date information please refer to the links given in the article.
1. Activities in the leading up to the G8 summit / within the next weeks
2. An overview about the general anti-G8-choreography in the week of June and the migration-related focal points
3. The migration-related networking-meeting and "cross-over"-events on 3rd of June and our participation in the alternative summit
4. The migration-related action-day on 4th of June and the big evening event at the same day
Activities in the leading up to the G8 summit / within the next weeks

Particular importance will be given to the caravan/NoLager-tour, which will start at 19th of May in Neuburg/Bavaria and which will stop in various cities (Neuburg, Nürnberg, Jena, Freienbessingen, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Büren, Bramsche, Bremen, Oldenburg, Hamburg, Horst, Schwerin, Berlin, Rostock), before it arrives in Rostock for the big demonstration on 2nd of June. Find more detailled informations at ::
Additionally should be mentioned, that this caravan/NoLager-tour will "unite" with the western part of Euromarch on 28th of May in Oldenburg. These marches against precariousness will take place between 26th of May and 2nd of June, and they move from 3 directions to Rostock in order to join the big demonstration too. Find more informations and the call also in english, french, russian at ::
An overview about the general anti-G8-choreography in the week of June and the migration-related topics
The above choreography, offers a structured overview about the whole action-week in June. The actionweek will start with a hopefully huge demonstration on 2nd of June in Rostock. You will find the call for this demonstration :: here, and it includes also some of our main migration-related demands. At 3rd of June a demonstration and a rally will happen about "global agriculture", moreover - as on the evening before - a concert and more cultural events are under preparation. Beside this the 3rd of June (sunday) should be used for networking-meetings and further discussion-events (find more below at item 3).
Concerning 4th of June, the migration-related action-day, find more at item 4. At 5th of June - with a main reference against militarisation and war- the blockades will start around the small airport in Rostock-Laage, which is also used as military base. At this airport the arrival of the presidents is expected in the afternoon of this tuesday! At the same evening the alternative summit will start and continues until 7th of June.
Mass-blockades as well as flexible, decentralized blockades can be expected in the early morning of 6th of June around Heiligendamm (the place of the summit). And on 7th of June the blockades will be combined with demonstrations, which should lead to the fences of the red zone. So far a rough overview and you can find more detailled informations mainly on these two websites: :: and ::
The migration-related networking-meeting and "cross-over"-events on 3rd of June and our participation in the alternative summit

Opening event

The sunday (3rd of June) will start with a big opening event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be organised as a debate "about perspectives in and beyond Europe". A first input will be presented by a german unionist, followed by critical comments and remarks from other social movements (anti-war-network, precarity-network ...). And Lucille Daumas from attac in Marocco and very much involved in the activities against the externalisation of EU-migration-control to North-Africa, will represent the migration-related networks on this podium.
The debate should work as a "cross-over" event, leading together the various social movements, and in the same time it should introduce into the respective networking meetings and forums, which will follow at sunday afternoon.
Migration-related networking meeting

The migration-related networking meeting will start at 2 p.m., probably in a school in Rostock, which is already now used as convergence center. We want to start with a very brief plenary (maximum for one hour until 3 p.m.), where we want to present the respective workshops and the aims and expectations of this networking meeting. Our main interest is to meet in really "horizontal discussions" with very brief inputs (and not long presentations!), with a main focus on common discussions in a hopefully transnational composition. Until now about 10 migration-related workshops are under preparation, for example: legalisation; racist police violence; "lager" and border-regime; deportations and readmission programs; precariousness and migration; remittances and development ... Various groups or persons took the responsibilities to coordinate and prepare the respective topics. The main intention at least in some of the workshops is to overcome a mere information-exchange, rather to discuss about transnational campaigns and concrete interventions. Of course more time is needed in such a perspective, so these workshops will be organised as double slots until the evening.
And we just think for a final common plenary about transnational campaigns and communication in the evening of the sunday, where we want to bring together the concrete results of some of the workshops. We want to stress again, that we see this meeting in the continuation of transnational gatherings during last two years in the frame of european and world social forums, the conference in Rabat and the action-day at 7th of October 2006. So the workshops should offer first of all the opportunity to strengthen and to deepen the networking processes by identifying focal campaigns on a transnational level.
Alternative summit

Additionally the option is given to continue a few workshops in the frame of the alternative summit. This counter-conference will start on the evening of 5th of June, and Madjiguene Cisse, a famous former sans papier activist in France and engaged in women-projects in Senegal now, will be a main speaker in the opening plenary. Moreover a so-called "middle-podium" (8 bigger events about various topics during wednesday, 6th of June, are planned) is under preparation, which will focus to the structural background of flight and migration in Africa and East-Europe. Some guests from various African and East-European countries will take part in it.
The migration-related action-day on 4th of June and the big evening event at the same day

For 4th of June, day of migration, we plan decentralized activities in the morning, first of all a siege or blockade of the local foreign office in Rostock (where just in moment - as an example- a lot of deportations toter mobilisation with a special 'Migration' action day on Monday the 4th of June. This article does only give an overview of the (planned) activities. Togo are organized). Secondly a remembrance-action will take place in Lichtenhagen, a quarter of Rostock, where 15 years ago one of the most significant racist pogrom took place. And simultaneously at the main public place in the inner city of Rostock we want to be present with exhibitions, information-stands, street-theater and installations (of border-fences and walls for example).
At 1 p.m. we want to start our main demonstration! Starting point will be the local refugee-camp in Rostock, and then we will march with as much people and as loud and colourful as possible to the inner city. The demonstration will end in a manifestation with a concert on another public place.
For the evening a big discussion-event is proposed, under the title: freedom of movement against global apartheid! Migration-related activists from different continents should be brought into a common talk.

[ 03. May 2007 ]


Germany tries to please all its G8 party guests

Germany is taking no risks with security at its summit of the G8 rich nations on the Baltic coast next month. In a move that trumps even the tough measures of previous summits, it has built a 12km security fence to surround the luxury Heiligendamm hotel where the eight leaders will meet. In addition, in Germany's biggest such operation in 60 years, 16,000 police and 1,100 soldiers will be ready to fend off threats by militant protesters.
Yet listen for a moment to Bernd Pfaffenbach, Chancellor Angela Merkel's "sherpa", or personal envoy, in the G8 preparations, and one wonders why the effort is necessary.
"Our policy agenda [for the meeting] provides very few opportunities for non-government organisations to criticise us," he boasts. He reels off proposals to boost business investment and Aids prevention in Africa, and to help slow the pace of climate change, and praises his "constructive dialogue" with non-governmental organisations pushing environmental, development and other messages.
Such contrasting perspectives reflect the scale of the challenge facing both governments and NGOs ahead of the June 6-8 summit, as they grapple with what has become an important relationship in international policymaking, but one that is also often ambiguous and politically charged.
Martin Kirk of Save the Children, the UK charity, says: "We have made a difference in the past by putting our views to the G8 states but we have to be careful not to be blinded by the glare of the G8's self-importance."
The event at which hewas speaking, a two-day "G8-NGO dialogue" conference last week in Bonn between 300 NGO delegates and the eight G8 special envoys, showed how farthe relationship has come.
"Anti-globalisation" used to be the rallying cry against the G8, peaking at the 2001 summit in Genoa, Italy, where clashes led to the death of a demonstrator.
In contrast, the NGOs gathered in Bonn talked little about anti-globalisation and condemned the threat of violence from far-left groups against this year's event - threats that partly triggered the fence-building.
But that does not mean they were going soft in their demands or playing down their achievements, say activists. Martin Khor, veteran leader of the Third World Network, a Malaysian NGO, says the choice in recent years of the G8 as a high-profile target for concerted pressure by civil society had paid off, noting that African aid and debt relief had become a "regular fixture of G8 summits".
Jürgen Maier, chairman of the Bonn event, says: "The same may now occur with climate change." Equally, the relationship forces some less open governments - such as Russia last year and Japan in 2008 - to listen to NGO arguments even if they largely ignore the advice.
Yet dialogue in itself should not replace results, says Odour Ong'wen of Seatini, a Kenyan economic rights NGO. "The rich world promised 35 years ago to increase aid to 0.7 per centof GDP and still has not delivered."
Aid was due to increase sharply after the UK's Gleneagles summit in 2005 but it in fact fell last year. Reinhard Hermle of Oxfam Germany, the development group, says: "The G8 has to act if its legitimacy is not to be undermined."
Despite such criticism, Mr Pfaffenbach and his co-sherpas acknowledged that engagement with NGOs has its benefits. Adding more emotive issues to the G8's traditionally dry economic agenda adds to the elite club's legitimacy.
Indeed, Ms Merkel's decision to revise her original plan to focus only on world economics occurred partly because NGOs had successfully turned climate and Africa into mainstream G8 agenda items, officials admit.
NGO pressure can sometimes help governments by creating public readiness to accept change - and is often good for politicians' popularity ratings. Ms Merkel's recent decisions to pose with Bono, the rock star turned activist, and to propose extra help for female Aids victims in Africa fit this mould, NGOs argue.
Yet given such influence, campaign groups also need to be aware of the pitfalls of their power, says Mr Kirk. There is a danger that, encouraged by NGOs, the G8 will "overstretch" to tackle detailed issues beyond their remit. On healthcare in developing countries, for instance, the G8 should "stick to shaping the international framework for care delivery, rather than tinker with provision systems in individual countries".
Peter Ritchie, a climate expert at London's Chatham House think-tank who has followed G8-NGO consultations, says NGOs can bring change but they must be clear about their own and the governments' objectives.
"Ultimately, NGOs are rarely pushing governments towards decisions they don't want to take," he adds.

Top priorities at the Heiligendamm G8 summit on June 6-8 are the world economy, Africa and climate change. Non-governmental groups hope to attract 100,000 people to a protest rally in nearby Rostock on June 2. Rock stars including Bono, Seeed and Herbert Grönemeyer are playing at a campaign concert for more aid to Africa in Rostock on June 7. Militant activists are planning sit-down protests during the G8, aimed at blocking roads leading to Heiligendamm.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007