Friday, June 13, 2008

The following is a callout from the Frence CNT (the CNT-Vignoles), one of the most active anarchosyndicalist unions outside of Spain. The following item has been reprinted from the A-Infos website, but it was originally published at the website of the CNT. The following has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar and spelling.
France, Invitation to the Euro-Mediterranean counter summit in Paris (5/6 July)
CNT* has launched, with other French associations of solidarity with struggles in the Mediterranean zone countries, a counter-summit in Paris on 5th and 6th of July.
The reason :
One week later, Nicolas Sarkozy and the European union will organize the Euro-Mediterranean Summit to create a new institution : The Union For the Mediterranean
---- Here's the declaration and the program of this initiative called "For a Mediterranean Union of peace, freedom and social justice".
The idea is also to give an international aspect to this initiative, because the project of Sarkozy concern all the countries of the European Union.
---- For this, we ask you, if you agree, to sign this declaration and to participate to this initiative.
At this counter-summit will be present syndicalists and activists from Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey and Europe. The CNT invites you also to come and participate to this two days of mobilization.It'd be good that you tell us as soon as possible how many members of your union would come, to be able to organize for housing, welcome etc...
Red and Black Regards
CNT International Committee
A Mediterranean Union of Struggle.
Far from being a new idea the Mediterranean Union is actually a direct descendant of the 1995 Barcelona declaration and conference. The French foreign affairs minister, Bernard Kouchner, has presented it as a renewal of the Barcelona agreement. The conference was attended by all the members of the EU along with 12 countries from the south and east of the Mediterranean: Morocco, Egypt, Israel, The Palestinian Authority, Jordan,Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Albania and Mauritania.
Although the aims and objectives of these talks may be worrying they are far from surprising.
The main focus was on economic issues, namely the creation of a free trade zone and the liberalisation of markets over the next two years. This will mainly translate into privatisation of southern businesses and very likely takeovers of these business by capitalist groups from the north. The dramatic social consequences of these policies are well known: lay-offs,increased inequality and the development of the local bourgeoisie, reduced access to services and increases in prices. The French foreign affairs ministry has clearly stated its position on relations between France and the Maghreb region "The Maghreb countries (Morocco, Libya, Tunisia,Algeria and Mauritania) are a market and an economic partner. We are the main exporter to Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. The entire region has very good prospects for the future: reforms, privatisations, major construction projects and new markets linked to modernisation.
"There are also issues of 'security' notably the so-called struggles against terrorism and corruption. In the second case there is never any progress because far too many interests are at play and in both cases used as an excuse to throw militants into prison and to increase classic repressive measures (police, army) and new technological methods (notably DNA databases). We can of course also see the spectre of immigration behind these questions of security. The region has developed a certain expertise in migration: methods of control and repression have been increased (naval patrols), sub-contracting of the management of migratory flows to countries on the front line (notably Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania) to prevent the arrival in Europe of African migrants. Freedom of movement is good for capital and good for the bosses, but not for human beings, especially the poorest. The French Foreign Ministry has also said "We have a cultural proximity to these countries and we have many common interests: links with France and with the EU, the challenge of globalisation, Islamist pressures, Migratory pressures (as countries of emigration and, increasingly, as a point of transit) and terrorism(especially as a target).
All of these forms of repression are also used against any protest movements: trade union rights are under atttack, sacking and even arrest of militants (those arrested in Morocco on May 1st for example) Thi is far from the supposed respect for and defence of human rights that ths union is supposed to develop and that the Barcelona conference is supposed to have advanced.
Finally this union is supposed to ensure peace. But on what basis? On the status quo as it seems to be so far or on the end of the exertion colonialist and imperialist power, of the north against the south, Israel over Palestine, but also between the southern countries, in sum the right of people in these countries to control their own lives?
This 'new union' is a tool for the powerful and their interests, so we call for the creation of a Mediterranean union of people in struggle,aiming to further the following causes:
-the respect and development of basic freedoms, notably in terms of trade union rights and freedom of expression and organisation.
-the release of all political prisoners, the end of regimes of terror and the right to a fair trial.
-the end of policies of privatisation of public services and of attacks on
workers rights and living conditions.
-the free movement of people, the closure of detainment centres and the annulation of anti-immigration laws.
-An end to the effective political, economic and social colonisation of the south by the north and also within the southern region.
-The respect of non-official and non-state-sanctioned cultures.
Here's some information about the concrete program :
- a demonstration on Saturday 5th of July from 14 PM to 18 PM in a popular place of Paris ;
- a meeting-concert on 5th of July evening with speeches of international people that we invited (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine, activists for human rights and migrants questions);
- 6th of July morning: Euro-Maghreb coordination meeting
- 6th of july afternoon,meeting to discuss about Mediterranean struggles and how to organize together for international solidarity ;
Coordination mailing list
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist syndicate

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