Transnational open assembly – Coming to a city near you!

Even though EU governments and institutions repeatedly confine crisis to the ‘exceptional’ case of Greece, the state of emergency seems to be the spectre that is haunting Europe. It seems that in one of the richest areas of the globe, no one is living within their means and austerity is the only way to rescue whatever has been built for decades; rescuing by drowning, building by demolishing seems to be the dogma of political and economic orthodoxy.

Even though several political forces had in many instances predicted the tragic outcomes of this specific form of development that the post-fordist regime of accumulation and the unleashed financialisation of the economy would engender for societies at large, it seems that the general feeling, even among the most radical, is dominated by an uncomfortable numb. It seems that verification of prediction repeats itself always and only as tragedy.

Greece, however, seems to be the lieu par excellence, where this tornado, ravages wages, pensions, social benefits, in brief all welfare structures, and political rights that had survived from the post-war consensus. The Greek experiment for the fine-tuning of the European future takes place in a clear and unequivocal way.

However, apart from the imposition orchestrated by the Greek government, the EU and the IMF looting of any material and symbolic, real and illusionary sign of dignity, it seems that what is intensified in this declared war are the responses of the opponent. The ongoing escalation of social struggles against the monstrosity of recurrent austerity measures gives birth to more and more numerous and more outraged monsters of refusal.

It seems that resistance is not enough; neither escape. What has been proven in recurrent instances during the past two years is that the question (im)posed by innumerable subjectivities is not that of resistance against the attacks, neither the construction of evading alternatives; it is simply and purely the unformulated, speechless, hence ungraspable, unpredictable and fearful refusal.

As anonymous, unformed and unformable part of this non-representable movement, we invite everyone who is part of this scattered, bewildered and confused street thought and action to come and form a two-day Open assembly in Athens, where the monsters of crisis the global European South (from London to Madrid and from Berlin to Rome, as well as the upheavals and insurrections in North Africa) will exchange experience and ideas in order to further contaminate the European underdogs with hopeless rage and hopeful fear.

Following the 5th of May 2010 demonstration in Athens, the Economist published in its front-page an image from Athens with the title ‘Coming to a city near you?’. Today we replace the question mark with an exclamation mark. The networks that link Syntagma with Tahrir, Barcelona, London or New York are stronger than ever; like a chain of events occupations, demonstrations, initiatives for collective and un-mediated refusal become transnational.

We invite everyone individually and collectively to come to the assembly in order to think in common how we can disperse this absolute refusal and find ways to work together against the economic and political dogma of the crisis across established national, economic and political borders. Our aim is to open up to the various forms of active and absolute refusal that emerge in our every day interconnected lives, and to create common time and spaces of struggles, practices and actions.

Athens, 21-22 March 2012
Occupied theatre Empros
Riga Pallamidou 2, Psyrri


This call is initiated by activists in different social spaces and who participate in one or another way in the massive struggles that have developed during the last years around the issues of the crisis and the devastating policies undertaken by governments, EU institutions and the IMF. The starting point for this initiative emanated from discussions among Greek and Italian activists on the need for the exchange of experiences and ideas among the different parts of the movement across different countries, where resistance against austerity under the pretext of crisis emerge.

This call is not part of any structured initiative, neither it necessarily aims at any permanent organisational structure. The only aim is to gather as many persons as possible from different social spaces, such as occupations, social centres, trade unions, migrant organisations, local assemblies, national and transnational solidarity networks, and individual activists, in order to to think ways of further potential common actions in the field of social struggles already emerging in many contexts.

The planning, the structure, the content and the outcomes of this assembly are open to the participation of everyone who would like to join his/her rage and hopes in an effort to build coordinated actions that overpass national borders and given organisational and ideological limitations. The only rule for the organisation of the assembly is the total absence of any hierarchical structure and the absolute ruling of direct democratic principles.


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