Update from international meetings in Frankfurt 21st-22nd of January

The conference we were invited to took place on Sunday but since I was there on Saturday already,
I attended another Germany-wide meeting of radical left organisations planning anti-capitalist
actions. And because Sunday was very focused on May and had a wide range of participants, not
only Occupy, I spent Monday afternoon in the Frankfurt camp before leaving back to London.

I’m gonna write this in inverse chronological order because I think that’s very much the relevancy
order of things to you.

Occupy Frankfurt is right in the face of ECB and they even have a banner hanging in the big euro-sign
in front of the bank… amazing. It’s about 50 people and they’re quite well organised, didn’t seem like
they’re actually doing very much in addition to running the camp. But apparently it is the biggest in
Germany (which makes sense even if it sounds surprising, it’s a German thing, activists in Berlin are
traditionally quite focused on local and community issues).

I talked to one guy who said he’d be very interested in developing international communications
further – it seems like they’ve only started to wake up to the fact that this movement is international
and he appreciated me showing him occupii and takethesquare and other online stuff. Also, they
haven’t released any statements and at least he found the idea of joining a global statement very
good, I sent him the draft to bring further.

About March 23-25, they found the idea of all kinds of pan-European actions really good but aren’t
really in the position of bringing the movement to communities or anyhow next level yet… Obviously
it is difficult to mobilise people in Germany since they’re on the winning side of the crisis so things
are moving slowly but they’re moving. And obviously it’s everything very much Eurocrisis-focused.
However, I’ll definitely keep up with how they’re doing! Also exchanged e-mails with folks from
Occupy Berlin and Occupy Bielefeld.

Sunday’s conference was organised by die interventionistische Linke (interventionist left)
but brought together all kinds of groups from Attac to the left party to smaller quite radical
organisations. I was quite impressed by how well they all worked together. However, they didn’t
seem to be that well on the map of what is happening elsewhere so tried to update as much as
possible and emphasise communication.

Basically their plan is to call for a Europe-wide action in the sense of bringing people from around
Europe to Frankfurt (ECB), but the conference in late February will decide the details. They are
discussing dates like 17.-18.5. or 29.-31.5. so it wouldn’t drive resources from local actions on the
12th and 15th. So, we need to discuss and bring to the GA whether London would be interested in
taking part in that, both the action whenever it happens and the planning conference in February
(just to clarify: that one is supposed to be more international but while planning, the organisers
had realised that usually a lot of decisions are taken in the first meeting already and hence invited
people from elsewhere to this one already – we were only a few: me, an Italian, a Greek and some
Spaniards living in Germany).

The meeting on Saturday was also attended by several groups from all around Germany (no Occupys
though) and organised by an organisation called umsGanze, who are a bit more… I’d even say
exclusive in the sense that they are planning a specifically anti-capitalist action day and don’t want
less radical groups to hijack it. Which is fair enough I think. The big action they’re planning is going to
take place around the ECB as well, on the 31st of March, but the call-out includes a call-out for local
actions. There are groups not only around Germany but also around Europe taking part. The website
is http://march31.net/. Not sure Occupy would take part in anything with the label anti-capitalist
(even though I’d find it great) but I don’t know if we should try and make something happen under
other themes they’re engaging with like migrant solidarity and anti-nationalism.


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