Actions aginst the Gotenburg EU-Summit planned
15.May.01 - The EU summit of Gothenburg (Sweden) will focus on the topics concerning the enlargement of the Union to the Eastern Europe. In this framework some of the central items are related to the freedom of circulation of labor force inside Europe. The Commission will probably propose a transitional period of many years during which capitals and goods will move freely in Europe, but the movement of workers coming from the new member states will be regulated by very strict policies. Of course the situation will be the worst for the migrants coming from countries outside of the Union.
Also Mr. George W. Bush will attend to the meeting. He will be in Europe for the first time as the president of the United States of America.
In the beginning of their presidency of the European Union the Swedish government announced actions in favor of the transparency of the European Union and the participation of the citizens to the activities of this institution. In practice transparency and participation has meant the request of the Swedish police to use military forces during the Gothenburg summit, the use of containers (the same containers used by "illegal" migrants) to close streets around the congress center, the building of forbidden areas to the demonstrators on June 15th, the mass arrests of 225 activists (including a Member of the European Parliament) in the occasion of a pacific demonstration in Malmoe at the end of April.
The mobilization in Gothenburg
The mobilization has started in Sweden and in the other Nordic countries many months ago. Basically the mobilization has been done through two different channels: the unionist/grass-roots syndicalism level and at the level of the so called "people of Seattle". At the moment we see a process of unification of different subjects that in different forms and on the basis of reciprocal respect will achieve a unity in the common action. We also think that for many of the subjects involved in the Gothenburg process the event is a part of a European-wide caravan of many events (Gothenburg, Barcelona, Salzburg) that will recompose all the global movements in Genoa in the actions concerning the G8-summit. Of course in Gothenburg we will discuss about Genoa and also about the future perspectives of the global movement.
The central subjects of the mobilization in Sweden and in Scandinavia are basically the following: the Swedish grass-roots syndicalist union SAC (www.sac.se), Swedish and Danish antifascists' and autonomists' groups (www.motkraft.net/gbg2001), the white overalls zapatista movement from Sweden (www.motkraft.net/gu) and Finland (www.valkohaalarit.org), many grass roots associations of environmentalists, pacifists' groups and some political parties such as the Greens. Also migrants and anti-racist networks are involved in the activities. The political platforms of the groups involved are available in the web sites linked here.
The central items of the mobilization have different priorities depending on the groups, but mainly we talk about citizenship and free migration and about social rights such as citizenship income and social services. Of course to all the groups involved the need to enlarge the consensus regarding the mobilization is clear. It is needed at the local level in order to make Gothenburg - a traditional working class and migration city (a lot of migrants live in the city and in the past Gothenburg was the harbor from which hundreds of thousands of Scandinavians left to America) - a friendly territory and not a city scared of the "globetrotters of global protests".
We want also to point the fact that in Sweden and in Scandinavia the co-operation between the groups involved proceeds in a very open and a co-operative way in the respecting of differences and without polemics.
During the week before the mobilization there will take place in Gothenburg a lot of events organized in order to involve the local population. Some of these initiatives are:
The Forum of the Citizens - a festival that will take place in a park in downtown Gothenburg with tents, stages, restaurants, concert-tents. In the festival there will be debates, seminars, meetings, concerts (Chumbawamba will be on the stage on June 14th). Also the Indymedia Center will be in the festival area.
Public Debates - organized by many different groups and organizations of environmentalists, antiracists, syndicalists etc. (more info in the site www.gbg2001.org)
Plenary meetings, info points, trainings for civil disobedience and debate will be organized at the Convergence Center for June 15th activities.
14.6 - we suppose that in the evening spontaneous demonstration will happen in occasion of the arrival of George W. Bush.
15.6 - 10 am the protest meeting in the central Gothaplatsen near to the Congress Center. After the protest meeting in different areas of the city there will happen J15 actions of civil disobedience organized by different affinity groups and clusters of activists and citizens.
15.6 - in the evening a huge Street Party with anti-summit activities
16.6 - 10 am the mass demonstration organized by the GBG2001 platform. More than 20.000 demonstrators will participate.
The organizers of the event will arrange from 10.000 to 15.000 sleeping places in Gothenburg in public schools and other public spaces. The cost of a sleeping place for one night is about 3 Euro.
In case of problems at the Swedish border a Convergence Center will be arranged in Denmark in order to develop protest activities.