Manifesto for

The containers describe the problems and challenges in which we live – each starting from a different perspective but leading to convergent conclusions for necessary joint action both at civic society and political level. Relying on the strengths of the single-issue struggles, the containers are intended to be understood as spaces that facilitate building transversality and unity, to address together the global challenge that is present in the multiplicity of ongoing mobilisations. 

The containers are an invitation to reflect and discuss urgent ways out of the described dilemmas and creative solutions for a better future for all. The questions to which every participant is welcomed to contribute in an ongoing process in the preparatory phase and in Marseille to prepare for convincing systemic alternatives and allow empathy for the many suffering and vulnerable members of society. 

The descriptions -put in a thought-provoking mode- serve as a structured resource featuring a range of relevant issues and organized ground, based on knowledge, convictions and experiences in particular fields linked with the will to join energies and create synergies in our struggles.

ECSA recognizes the imminent danger of the EU parliament, EU member States and European institutions integrating far-right approaches in their decision-making, adding threats to the many countries and politicians promoting authoritarian and illiberal developments. The challenge is at highest as it would affect more than ever peace politics and the lives and struggles of all of us. 

Containers 1-3 describe a joint and focussed commitment for a change. Container 4 opens ways to channel these ideas in follow-up assemblies, joint actions and political demands towards the upcoming European elections and beyond. 

For each container, we will ask: what are the key existing initiatives of action that are relevant to consider?

Container 1: There is no Planet B

Advanced capitalist states and corporations continue to exploit labor and nature in such extremes, that bring our planet and societies on the verge of collapse. Competition for natural resources are vectors of war. Under the claim of security, the governing elites answer with militarization (eg. the militarization of border zones) and revive nationalisms, regional antagonisms and colonial extractivism to secure their profits and privileges. They do not provide political, realistic and just solutions to the climate crisis. In fact the war industry and war itself, account for a substantial amount of pollution and irreversible destruction on humans and nature. The situation is forcing millions of people to leave their homes in the hope of survival. This is a circle we need to break.

Earth’s ecological balance derives from and influences all aspects of our social, economic and political life. Despite this fact, the majority of people are – one way or another – excluded from decision making processes, which shape their lives. Social movements reclaim space to react to local urgencies: people resist. It remains important to keep connected to the global challenges and struggles in order to achieve peace and safeguard our future on the planet.

The European Parliament is one of the arenas where international reconfiguration, especially militarization, migration “management” and access to fossil fuels, are negotiated. Europe’s civic society can make a difference by offering a strategic arena to discuss alternatives.

Container 2: For emancipation and solidarity

Capitalism alienates all forms of life for the sake of profits. There are imminent threats -wars and environmental destruction are already raging- weighing on the world in the very short term, and as long as this system persists, it more broadly endangers humanity and civilization, since it feeds on dominations, competition and individualism. Those responsible for these crises and disasters should not enjoy impunity. 

The other way around, people are mobilizing every day all around the world and in Europe—through their work and art, with their loved ones, and also in social movements—to nurture the humanity they believe in: one that is supportive, careful, peaceful, egalitarian, just, internationalist, feminist, in harmony with all living forms. More and more welfare, commoning, fair trade and degrowth debates are gaining popularity even beyond militant circles. We need to strengthen our capacity to work together out of these inspirational creative niches, to convince a critical mass and bring upon the changes we aspire to. 

The collective struggles do exist: it is time to make them majority-owned, involving all the isolated and demobilized people who yet have an interest in their success. The upcoming EU elections are one opportunity to make these struggles more prominent and hence lay a pathway towards a sustainable and peaceful Europe.

Container 3: Power to the people

Each day, it becomes increasingly evident as illiberal governments succeed one another to implement the economic program of capitalism on the basis of economic growth: as long as they remain in power, all progressive struggles of the people will face an increasingly violent repressive barrier. While it’s hard to struggle, capitalism keeps isolating, despairing and pushing people to close in on their own interests and close circles. This advances racist discrimination, hate speech and fake antagonisms, opening ways for the far-right and reactionary politics, which promise easy fixes. The neoliberals align with those forces, since these policies serve their interests. They both share the same method: divide and conquer! 

Through collective struggles, assemblies, safe spaces for the oppressed and popular victories, it is possible to break this vicious cycle, challenge the individualist “appeal” of profits and put solidarity and emancipation back at the heart of people’s concerns. There is one solution: power to the people.

In such a context, we have to figure out how to defeat the far-right narratives and empower people so that they can finally collectively respond to their real needs and aspirations. The national and international institutions -like the European Union- need to be transparently reshaped by the people to meet the democratic imperative of our times.

Container 4: Struggle and Win together

To succeed, we have to figure out how to struggle and win all together. The common interest of changing society towards the emancipation of all is not given, especially since it’s possible to be exploited oneself and still benefit from the alienation of others—for example men over women. We have to stick together in face of reactionary repression and avoid fragmentation that only helps the capital and its allies. 

To achieve this goal, we need to learn from recent mobilizations and actions across Europe, neighboring regions and all around the world. In addition, fostering cross-border dialogues and promoting equal, meaningful participation requires we fight against all forms of oppression with an internationalist perspective.

We propose unified actions and strategies, which are essential to harness the diversity within our struggles and craft a cohesive, common perspective. We need alliances, common actions to shift the balance of power. The upcoming EU parliament elections will shape Europe’s future and its relationship to the world, hence a chance to make our proposals visible.