“Peace is like a little bird – the more you try to get a grip on it, the quicker it flies away.” This old saying implies that peace is not a fixed category you can define by statistics like economic wealth neither a visible entity like climate change. For peace is attached to the very essence of the human being (the condition humaine as the French would say). Thus, peace is a multidimensional phenomenon and when we say today that peace is in a big crisis we don´t only talk about the absence of war, but about the economic, ecological, social, cultural crisis which above all has led us into unaccountable crisis of democracy.
That’s why we feel especially nowadays the urgent need for a multidimensional response to this crisis which has ended up by putting in danger the world-peace from different angles. And since This danger is not only a geopolitical confrontation like during the Cold War. Authoritarian neoliberal regimes have taken control of the power structures of a world shaken by pandemics, solitary confinements and economic disasters. “Prague Spring II – network against far-right extremism and populism – PS2” which was founded 10 years ago in the capital of the Czech Republic has decided to issue a broader call for common counteractions.
What we are heading for is a system change through a peaceful revolution where many of the alternative concepts to neoliberalism which thousands of social movements and organizations of civil society have elaborated during the past decades, can be put into practice on a local, regional and worldwide scale:
- the concept of BUEN VIVIR (“good life”), which derives from the cosmovision of the indigenous people in the Andean region and involves a unity of man and nature which has inspired big ecology movements like the climate justice movement, Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion;
- the theories around the COMMONS, which refer to public goods (like water, energy management, health and education) that should definitely be withdrawn from private appropriation;
- the movements for EQUALITY between people and peoples led so courageously by women and youth organizations as well as by indigenous people and other minorities in a framework driven by anti-racist movements like the solidarity movement with the Roma people, Black lives matter and movements to end colonial and neocolonial oppression;
- the theory and practice of SOLIDARITY ECONOMICS opposed to the prevailing market-fundamentalism which aims to a cooperation between community-based organizations;
- and last but not least the INTERNATIONAL PEACE MOVEMENT triggered by radical oppositions against militarism, repression and any other form of structural violence.
The idea of PS2 and cooperating networks consists in analyzing each of these axes with regard to the possibility to create different “spaces of common action” where these different components of an alternative world view (following the principle of the World Social Forum: “Another World is possible”) can converge and eventually merge into one big global movement capable to confront the authoritarian rulers of the world.
It goes without saying that in order to achieve this goal it takes a whole process which might take several or many years. But we can learn from common experience as Pope Francis says relating to the Covid-19 pandemic that unexpectedly erupted, exposing our false securities. Coming to the conclusion: “Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.” He calls for seeing ourselves “ as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.”
We made a first step when we organized, at the end of April this year a webinar where many of the activists and intellectuals in the above-mentioned processes of thought and mobilization came together. We discussed internationalistic answers to the coronacrisis. Half of the speakers were young activists and half came from Central and Eastern European countries (including Russia).
During this webinar the following questions were raised:
What has the peace movement got to do with social and ecological issues? In how far degrowth and a solidarity economics is necessary to save the planet? What does equality mean with regard to the “buen vivir”? And above all the central question: where and what can be the contribution of our organizations like the trade unions, peasant and Human Rights organizations to peace and democracy.
Now the time has come to make the second step. We want to invite you to join us – if possible personally and if not online – for a conference which is going to take place online on December 5th and 6th, 2020 on the 10th anniversary of our PS2-network. The purpose of this conference consists in trying to bind together the different issues of each of the above-mentioned components in order to form an umbrella under which we all would rediscover our political identities in combination with others.
This time the following questions are going to be raised:
- How can we organize a campaign in all parts of Europe for an eco-social transformation and disarmament and a Nuke Free Europe and Climate Justice?
- How can communities strengthen each other across borders finding ways to build trust and resilience through local food production and stronger solidary economies?
- How can we dismantle authoritarian, military, trade and financial international regimes that support the continuation of racist colonial and neocolonial oppression and where and what can be the contribution of our organizations like trade unions, peasant and Human Rights organizations to peace and democracy?
Because it is clear that there cannot be any democracy without peace, no peace without democracy and no peace on Earth without peace with Earth.
COME AND JOIN US FOR A BETTER WORLD!
For the Prague Spring II – network against far-right extremism and populism:
Leo Gabriel (Austria), Mirek Prokes (Czech Republic), Tord Björk (Sweden), Matyas Benyik (Hungary)