May 2nd, Heiligendamm

- gr8 chaos pirates board socialist rally
- Uneasy echoes of Berlin in G8 wall
- Rioters set fire to train tracks, vandalize buses, trams in western Germany
- SUMMIT -- non-aligned Initiatives in education culture

gr8 chaos pirates board socialist rally

1st of May 2007

Today the Gr8chaoskaravaan bicycle-caravan against the G8-summit in Heiligendamm participated in an action in Gent during the socialist party's annual march and rally. The action was meant to remind the demonstrators of the revolutionary origins of mayday.

Three caravan pirates stormed the socialist party's stage, hijacked the microphone and plundered the spotlight by giving a passionate anarchist speech to the hundreds of spectators below. With the support of over 50 anarchist demonstrators directly in front of the stage holding black flags and banners, the pirates spoke of the origins of mayday and the necessity of maintaining solidarity with current struggles locally and globally.

The day started out with members of the karavan and friends forming a black block during the socialist party's annual parade. To make their presence known members of the bloc drummed, threw loud firecrackers and waved black flags. Nami, one of the members of the caravan, reports how the action was received: "The responce of the spectators was somewhat unexpected ... Some of the older members of the audience were actually cheering us on." Members of Gent's anarchist center also demonstrated today alongside the black bloc by marching backwards to illustrate the backwards looking ideology of the socialist party.

Upon reaching the center of the festivities, the marching anarchist demonstrators and karavan members went to the front of the stage where they chanted "viva anarchy!" and cheered for the pirate speech.

The Gr8chaoskaravaan is one of six bicycle caravans against the upcoming G8-summit so far. Along their routes the caravans want to call attention to the summit protests and both local and global struggles. The Gr8chaoskaravaan is the third caravan to start; the ShakeG8-bikeride has been riding through Hungary and the Czech Republic since the 1st of April and is now in Poland while the Scandinavian caravan started from Stockholm on the 25th of April. Three more caravans will start from Berlin, Dresden and Kassel at the end of May.

Members of the Gr8chaoskaravaan had converged in Gent since the 23rd of April to make final preparations and get to know each other. A first action with local activists had been a critical mass bicycle demonstration through Gent on the 27th of April. The caravan will embark for Antwerpen tomorrow morning, from where it will continue through the Netherlands via Breda, Utrecht and Nijmwegen to cross the border to Germany on the 8th of May.

Photos from the action at http://de.indymedia.org/2007/05/174592.shtml

Further info about the bicycle caravans against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm: http://www.g8-bikerides.net
Interactive map of the bicycle caravans: http://www.gr8chaoskaravaan07.net/map.html

Uneasy echoes of Berlin in G8 wall

· 7.5-mile fence round resort in Germany angers locals
· Thousands of protesters expected at June meeting

Looking for a cunning business venture after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Neumann had the foresight to go into fencing - predicting the demand the new free market would create for chic enclosures to cordon off everything from private gardens to sports arenas.
Now, 18 years on, Neumann and his team of workers are putting the finishing touches to their biggest commission yet - a 7.5 mile long, 2.5-metre (8ft) high steel fence topped with barbed wire, video monitors and sensors to detect movement. The daunting construction snakes through fields of rapeseed and contains enough steel - 500 tonnes - to make a ship.
This barrier is transforming the elegant 18th century beach resort of Heiligendamm on Germany's Baltic coast into the tightest high-security zone the country has known for the G8 summit on June 6-8. Access through it will be controlled with airport-style x-ray machines and only those with passes will be allowed in.
Building a barrier on such a scale in the former communist part of a country divided by a wall for 28 years was always going to be controversial, although this is either lost on Neumann or he is coyly protecting his lucrative contract to construct what officials call a "temporary protection barrier", and locals generally refer to as "the fence". "The difference is that this fence will be taken down after the summit is over," he said drily. Rostock Zoo and Hamburg Airport have already put in bids for the second-hand barrier.
To discourage tunnelling protesters, steel grating has been rammed into the ground beneath the fence so even the most conservative of German papers have compared its sudden appearance to the "preparations for a civil war".
Local politicians are clearly concerned. The region has the highest unemployment in the country and Heiligendamm, Germany's oldest Baltic resort, is attempting to reinvigorate its reputation as an elegant holiday destination for the rich and famous, having fallen into a state of neglect since the 1930s.
Its trademark white classical villas, modelled on those of British resorts, once played host to the Russian tsar and his family, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Queen Luise of Prussia and even dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, who came here on the advice of their doctors.
But instead of pictures of Heiligendamm's sweeping sandy beaches, it is the €12m (£8m) fence that is likely to go round the world as the summit's single most powerful image. "The central government told us it was necessary," the deputy leader of the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Reinhard Meyer, insisted, referring to the fence as a "technical restriction". "We've done our best to explain it to the local people, but they're understandably frustrated."
The locals do not seem convinced. Two fishermen on the pier that leads from the Kempinski Grand Hotel - renovated for €200m to house the likes of George Bush, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin - said the €100m being spent on security, including 16,000 policemen, was a waste. "When unemployment in Mecklenburg Vorpommern is so high and social welfare benefits are being cut, why should they be allowed to waste so much money for their fancy knees-up?" said one.
Anti-globalisation protesters have dressed up as bolt-cutters and lined up along the fence, an action that led to several arrests.
"They're trying to create a democracy-free zone in there and showing a lack of taste by building a barrier like this in a country that had a bad experience with walls," said Monty Schädel, of the German Society for Peace. "If these rulers believe that they need a wall to protect themselves and freedom, then freedom doesn't have a very bright future."
Conservationists also joined the fray after an 1854 villa - once the summer residence of the Russian Tsar Nicholas I - was torn down to make way for a press centre. Fundus, the investment company behind the demolition has promised to rebuild an "exact copy" but locals are not impressed. "We don't accept that they can just come and tear down a listed building to make way for a three-day meeting," said Hannes Meyer, co-founder of the citizens' initiative "Pro Heiligendamm". Marianne Prüter, 70, a resident since 1947, said: "What can we glean from this? They're good at building fences and tearing down historic villas."
Protesters are expected to gather in their tens of thousands for the G8. A demonstration and pop concert are planned in the nearby port city of Rostock and huge tent parks have been set up.
Even the wall is no guarantee of safety, however, as the discovery of a second world war torpedo found floating in the Baltic Sea close to the resort last week proved. The 1,500kg (3,300lb) bomb was detonated safely, but it did show that threats can come in unpredictable forms.


Rioters set fire to train tracks, vandalize buses, trams in western Germany

BERLIN: More than 300 leftist rioters set fire to train tracks and vandalized streetcars and buses in the western German town of Dortmund on Tuesday, after a May Day demonstration against right-wing extremism got out of control, Dortmund police said Tuesday.
The fires were extinguished after an hour, but some tracks and wires were so heavily damaged that train service was disrupted, police said. Four police officers were injured, one seriously. More than 130 protesters were taken into custody, the number of injured demonstrators was not known, a police spokesman said Tuesday night.
"This was everything else but a peaceful May 1," Wolfgang Wieland said.
About 1,800 persons had participated in the protest against right-wing extremists in Dortmund. Later on Tuesday, about 650 members of right-wing groups gathered for a demonstration in a different part of the city, Wieland said.
"Luckily, our colleagues managed to keep the right-wing extremists and their violent counterparts away from each other," Wieland said.
The riots in Dortmund were among several outbreaks of violence on May Day in Germany. In the eastern town of Erfurt, several protesters were injured during a right-wing demonstration and various counterprotests, police reported. About 1,300 members of the far-right NPD party marched through the city center, and some hurled bottles and cobblestones at police. Left-wing protesters also caused "severe damage of property," a police spokeswoman said. She would not give details on damage or the number of arrests.
In cities all over Germany, demonstrators marched against right-wing extremism, but most protests remained peaceful.
In Berlin, peaceful daytime demonstrations turned violent Tuesday night. Protesters in the Kreuzberg neighborhood threw bottles, stones and fireworks at police and set fire to garbage cans. Several officers and demonstrators were injured, but police could not give details. Police said they detained rioters, but could not say how many. More than 5,000 officers were on duty in the German capital Tuesday night.
Despite the violence, May 1 clashes in Berlin seemed to be falling short of that in some previous years.
On Monday night, 14 officers were slightly injured and police took 119 people into custody for throwing stones and bottles, officials said.
In 2006, 179 people were arrested on May 1 in Berlin and 68 police officers injured, most not seriously.
Police in Berlin are keeping an eye on radical protesters before this year's G8 summit in Heiligendamm; there were also fears that the 20th anniversary of the first such disturbances might spur increased violence. In 1987, a supermarket was burned down amid street battles with police but in recent years the rioting has waned.

SUMMIT -- non-aligned Initiatives in education culture

SUMMIT is a proposal to question and to change some of the fundamental terms of the debate around education industries, knowledge production and information society. SUMMIT seeks to bring together various approaches from different genres and calls to come forth and unalign. unalign from both, the tendencies of bureaucratization and privatization of knowledge and education. the four-day event focusses on four thematic tracks: "Knowledge and Migrancy", "Self-authorization, -organization, -valorization", "Creative Practices" and "Education unrealized and ongoing".

SUMMIT is not a conference in any conventional sense, but a gathering in a rather adventurous fashion. It is an experimental format that gets shaped and developed in its making and by its contributors and contributions. it is really an attempt at calling together a gathering which will elicit the engagement of those interested in the potential of free and open knowledge production, for far more than the work of institutions of higher education -- for public life, expanded fields of practice and for new modes of social and political organizing and self-organizing.

please find below the call and have a look at the website which we are currently setting up. the goal of SUMMIT is to collaboratively write and issue a declaration and an action plan. SUMMIT is a starting point and the project will continue in various branches, fields and directions...

SUMMIT -- Non Aligned Initiatives in Education Culture
May 24 to 28, 2007, Berlin (DE) http://summit.kein.org

The debates around education are shifting. In Europe, questions of coordinated systems with comparable outcomes seem to dominate the concerned discussion around the forthcoming "Bologna" accord. While much critical opposition focuses on the loss of local traditions and fears of global homogenization -- both sets of responses serve only to fetishize knowledge within a commodity economy of education.

In actuality numerous non-aligned initiatives are converging around "education", recognizing that it is equally a platform for cultural actualisation and self organization. Within self organised educational forums that range from free academies, to exhibitions as educational modes to ad-hoc initiatives within social, political and economic organisations, it is becoming clear that beyond knowledge transfer, education is one of our most important tools for the transformation of subjects towards a participatory mode. Equally many initiatives to articulate contemporary subjects and forge new methods, to see education as itself a creative cultural practice, are taking place within established and recognised institutions of higher learning. While these two efforts might be perceived as separate due to their institutional and structural status, they share a desire to reclaim education for present needs.

The crisis in education offers us potential modes of critical engagement: drawing on activist practices and processes of participation which circulate in the wider culture, it allows us to claim the power to shape and define the terms of the debate. It is clear from the many exhibition, art practice and research projects which have recently converged on the notion of 'education', that there is much potential for seeing it as far more than the transmission of knowledge within dedicated institutions.

SUMMIT is a proposal to change the terms of the debate away from a purely bureaucratic engagement with quantitative and administrative demands and from the ongoing tendency to privatize knowledge as socalled "intellectual property". Instead of concerns with its purely organisational dimensions we would hope to steer it towards some of the important questions faced by our cultures today:


How does migration affect canonised knowledge? Can we conceive of a non-linear projection of learning? Whom do notions of fluidity and precarity serve? How do emergent subjectivities, produced out of current mobilities, produce newly situate knowledges?


What are the gestures of "un"-organizing education? If to define was to own, where do we encounter emergent possibilities of mutuality and collaboration within education? How can we envision new configurations of multiple ownership of knowledge? Is self-organization a mode of education beyond the patterns of identification?


The model of education has become central to a range of creative artistic practices and to a renewed interest in radical pedagogy. As a mode of thinking an alternative to the immense dominance of art as commodity and display as spectacle, education as a creative practice that involves process, experimentation, fallibility and potentiality by definition, offers a non-conflictual model for a rethinking of the cultural field.


There are principles within learning and teaching that extend far beyond the years spent within the institutions of education. What models are emerging for an understanding of both an expanded duration of education as well as for our need to redefine what needs to be know within a contemporary civic landscape?

We call on all those interested and engaged in the debates around education to come forth and unalign.

SUMMIT offers the following formats:

- A public program with "keynote-lectures" by prominent thinkers, "curated conversations" between actors in the field, and 'history lessons' which locate previous moments of radical aspirations or transformations in the field.

- Working groups, caucuses and concept labs: A series of meetings and sessions on burning questions of education

- Open space: Forum for initiating proposals, highlighting practices and making theory urgent

- Collaborative drafting of a declaration

DATES: May 24 to 28, 2007


Hebbel Am Ufer (HAU), Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin
unitednationsplaza, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14a, 10249 Berlin
bootlab, Tucholskystrasse 6, 10117 Berlin



Kodwo Eshun, Susanne Lang, Irit Rogoff, Florian Schneider, Nicolas Siepen, Nora Sternfeld

SUMMMIT is organized by Multitude e.V., in collaboration with Goldsmiths College, London University and Witte de With, Rotterdam. SUMMIT is funded by the Federal Culture Foundation, Germany.