European/Prague Spring Zoom meeting on 5th and 6th December 2020

To all in Europe interested in peace, saving the environment and equality!

We welcome your participation in the European/Prague Spring 2020 on the 5th and 6th of December online event on Climate Justice and Peace preparing for the World Social Forum 2021. This preparatory process started 25th and 26th of April addressing internationalistic answers to the corona ciris and repression against movements. A half of the speakers were young and another half from Central and Eastern Europe to support a renewal of movements’ cooperation in Europe. Hopefully inspiring also other continents to make youth participation central in the preparations for WSF taking place across the planet on the 25-30th of January 2021 with local actions and meetings where it is possible connected online in a global process.

In a call for the European/Prague Spring 2020 gathering online we claim that “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”. In the webinar 5th to 6th December we address this time especially:

  • 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 solidarity economies?
  • How can we dismantle authoritarian, military, trade and financial international regimes that support the continuation of racist colonial and neocolonial oppression and wars – and where and what can be the contribution of our organizations like trade unions, peasant and human rights organizations to peace and democracy?

We do this 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.”

Please disseminate as wide as possible through your social media, web pages and other means of communication: this invitation and the news that the World Social Forum will take place online in January 2021. 

Enclosed the programme for December 5-6: https://www.facebook.com/events/700058380890318 and the call for European/Prague Spring 2020 – “Bringing the Revolution Together”: https://www.attac.hu/2020/11/bringing-the-revolution-together. Both also in full text below. 

European/Prague Spring 2020

All-European mobilizing Conference for Peace, Climate and Equality
„The European Spring is Necessary“

Prague and online, the 5th and 6h of December 2020 Saturday 13:00 to Sunday 14:00 Central European Time (Prag, Paris)

Register here.   Zoom link will be sent by email. 

Organized by: Prague Spring 2 – European network against right-wing extremism and populism – together with UNITED for Intercultural Action, transform! europe, Activist for Peace, Sweden, Alliance for Labour and Solidarity (Spojenectví práce a solidarity – SpaS), Czechia, International Young Naturefriends (IYNF), Young European Environmentalists (YEE), Organizers for the Left (A Szervezök A Baloldalért – SzAB) and ATTAC Hungary.

Aim: – bringing social, peace and environmental movements together, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), involved in seeking for solutions to the global threats against peace, climate and equality
– focusing on interdependence of these issues of the highest importance
– preparing European participation in the hybrid World Social Forum 25 – 29 January 2021

Programme:

Saturday, 5th December

Central and Eastern European perspectives on Peace, Climate and Equality

13:00 – 13:15 Registration of participants, welcome and organisational remarks
13:15 – 15:00 Rise of Wars and Military Spending and Climate Crises, how to address growing environmental concerns and conflicts in the CEE region. Chair: Igor Gotlib
Belarus: Valeriy DerkachAlexander Oparin
Ukraine: Yury Dergunov (Donetsk), Andrey Kochetov (Lugansk), Nina Potarska (Kiev)
Southern Caucasus: Bahruz Samedov (Azerbaijan), Aram Amirbekian (Armenia)
Poland: Nina Sankari, feminist
Action proposals.

15:00 – 15:15 coffee break

15:15 – 15:40 “Budapest cuisine” – Hungarian cabaretists (video special performance for European Spring with subtitles)

15:40 – 17:25 Social justice, ecological solutions to the climate crisis and building peace in the CEE region, chair Vera Zalka
Bálint Josa, UNITED, Europe/Hungary
Nelli Gishyan, No Hate Speech network, Armenia
Igor Gotlib, Russia
Ágnes Gagyi, Adjunct Professor ELTE Univ. Budapest, Hungary
Mirek Prokeš, Alliance for Labour and Solidarity (SPaS Czechia) and WSF Int’l Council
general debate

17:25 – 17:30 Cultural ending

Sunday, 6th December

All-European mobilization for Peace, Climate and Equality

09:30 – 10:15 Registration of participants, welcome
Jewish partisan song
introductory remarks, Neringa Tumenaite, Tord Björk, Mirek Prokeš
presentations of action proposals:
Eco-social transformation through universal disarmament and World Social Forum 2021, Leo Gabriel (Prague Spring 2 and WSF Int’l Council, Austria)
Nuke-free Europe and other peace movements and initiatives. Kristine Karch (No to NATO)
Mock COP 26 youth climate initiative and Coalition COP26,
Altersummit, Mirek Prokeš, (SPaS Czechia)
International People’s Assembly
Stop repression and Western biased history (Tord Björk, Activists for Peace) and György Droppa (SzAB)
Central and Eastern European action proposals from previous day
Other action proposals

10:15 – 11:45 Towards an ecosocial peace movement. Chair: Bálint Josa
Asad Rehman, War on want, UK (tbc)
Amos Wallgren, climate justice activist, Finland
Károly György, MASzSz Hungarian trade union
Kristine Karch, No to NATO, Germany
Sina Franz, Int’l Young Naturefriends, (tbc)

11:45 – 12:00 coffee break

12:00 – 13:30 General debate on the European and WSF process chair: Leo Gabriel
Neringa Tumenaité, UNITED for Intercultural Action, Lithuania
Alexander Buzgalin, Alternativy, Russia 
Marko Ulvila, Finnish Social Forum

13:30 – 14:00 Conclusions, closing ceremony

BRINGING THE REVOLUTION TOGETHER

“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 neither a fixed category you can define by statistics like economic wealth nor 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 in an 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 2 – network against far-right extremism and populism – PS2” which was founded 10 years ago in the capital of Czechia 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 corona crisis. A half of the speakers were young activists and another 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 solidarity 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!

Links:

World Social Forum 2021 January 25-30: https://wsf2021.net  

European Prague Spring webinars April 25-26: http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/conferences/conference-archive/united-co-conference-europeanprague-spring-25-26-april-2020


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