#MECSA Our first event

The Marseille event will take place from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2024 at the “Friche de la Belle de Mai”, one of Marseille’s major cultural venues, located right in the city centre.

For three days, dozens of workshops, conferences and debates will be held at the Friche and in nearby venues. It will also be an occasion for Marseille’s associations to showcase their work, and a place where unexpected encounters will be possible, particularly on the roof terrace, which offers a magnificent view over the city and the Mediterranean.

Crédit photo : Caroline Dutrey

Manifesto for an inclusive event

Our associations, collectives, and movements uphold principles of social and ecological justice, solidarity, and equality. Yet, our organisations and spaces are not exempt from the power dynamics that permeat society as a whole. The fight for a more just, inclusive and equal society must be reflected daily within our organizations and spaces. Key activists events, such as ECSA encounters, so vital in strengthening our common struggles, must be spaces of political trust and mutual respect. This requires conscious and active work, both individually and collectively, to reflect on one’s own social position and to be mindful of oppressive dynamics. The full manifesto is available through the link below. 

Why Marseille

When the idea of organising a European event in the spring of 2024 was born, the proposal to hold it in France was supported by all the European partners. Throughout 2023 there were several major movements and mobilisations in France, such as protests against pension reform, mobilisations to defend the climate and the environment in the face of disastrous projects such as the “grandes bassines”, and the urban uprisings of July 2023 against police violence and discrimination.

The choice of Marseille was also very easy. Marseille is a city born from centuries of extremely diverse migration. And this identity is perpetuated today with exemplary solidarity actions, such as that of “SOS Méditerranée”, which was born and is based in Marseille. The city also has a long tradition of social struggles, such as those waged by the neighbourhoods facing inequality and discrimination. Marseille is also one of the very few European cities to have avoided the gentrification of the city centre, and its elected municipal council is the product of an unprecedented alliance between left-wing and ecologist parties and civil society organisations.

The European Challenges

The Marseille event will be held six weeks before the European Union parliamentary elections. This does not mean that this event is limited to EU countries; the whole continent is concerned and we will do our utmost to bring together activists from all over Europe as well as guests from the southern shores of the Mediterranean.

The challenges facing the EU and its member countries are similar to those facing other European countries, and that’s what we want to talk about at the Marseille meetings. How can we stop the endless tragedy of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean? How can we welcome migrants and asylum seekers with dignity? How can we take effective action against climate change and the rapid degradation of biodiversity? How can we develop democracy when the extreme right is rising, in each of our countries and in the European Union? How can we ensure that everyone has the right to housing, a decent and well-paid job, and the rejection of all forms of discrimination?

These are some of the questions we will be discussing and trying to answer.

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