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European Alternatives

Democracy, Equality & Culture Beyond the Nation State


20/01/2022

European Alternatives (EA) is a transnational grassroots organisation imagining, demanding and enacting democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state. We act in the belief that a transnational renovation of our political imaginations, institutions, citizenship, collectivity, and actions needs to take place. Otherwise, we will not be able to truly understand and address the most urgent political, cultural and social challenges that Europe is facing in our time: the climate crisis, human rights violations at the European borders, socio-economic inequalities, democratic deficits, and the emergence of right-wing forces leading to a backlash on fundamental rights of all marginalised communities.

EA was founded by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolò Milanese (latest books: “Shifting Baselines of Europe”, “Planetary Politics” & “Citizens of Nowhere”) in 2007 in London on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the European Union. Our unofficial “celebration” event, the “Festival of Europe”, a civil society-initiated series of debates, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions, was the beginning of our story. We started small as a group of like-minded individuals with almost no material resources, only our energy, ideas and our email accounts, but it rapidly became clear that there was a need for an organisation, a structure, an institution, a medium to inspire, empower and call for a new generation of Europeans to act for a more just and fair future and reclaim citizens’ democratic control over our lives, economies, and ecologies.

In 2021, EA links three hubs operating as independent legal entities in three different European cities: European Alternatives Berlin e.V., Alternatives Européennes Paris, and Studio Rizoma Palermo. We are a cross-border team of 3 co-founders and co-directors, 7 staff members, interns, and multiple freelance collaborators working and traveling in changing constellations on different projects in many places around Europe with a variety of powerful partners (Another Europe is Possible, Arts of the Working Class, documenta Institut, European Community Organizing Network (ECON), Global Labour University, Maynooth University, New Economy Organisers Network (NEON), ulex project).

Our work focuses on organising citizens’ forums and assemblies, courses and trainings for activists, transnational campaigns and actions as well as conferences, performances, exhibitions, publications, and festivals involving academics, artists and grassroots movements, by using innovative online methods (multilingual websites, social media, videos, podcasts, magazines, web documentaries, etc.) and by involving marginalised groups (migrant communities, youth groups, mobile workers, artistic collectives, cultural organisations, local grassroots initiatives, etc.) in activities with a transnationalist focus. Our goal is to:

  • Articulate a radical, long-term vision of democratic, solidary and open politics, society and culture beyond the nation-state.
  • Create participatory spaces of active citizenship to question and rethink Europe’s connections with the rest of the world, its global role and its colonial history.
  • Build the civic capacity and mutual solidarity networks of members, activists and organisations working for progress and common good around Europe.
  • Experiment with models of governance and tools for action that lead to transformative change in political institutions, society, the economy and our imagination.
  • Educate a new generation of informed activists and skilled organisers to support new transnational movements, public campaigns, and citizen power for systemic change.
  • Develop new economic models which are socially just, sustainable, and democratically controlled based on solidarity, care, and responsibility for humans and nature.
  • Advance human, fundamental, civic, democratic, digital and social rights for a diverse and inclusive European community across borders.

Our mission and values guide how we work to pursue our mission:

  • Transnational and local: We believe local and regional initiatives become powerful by going beyond national boundaries and interests.
  • Transdisciplinary and diverse: We believe alternatives are generated at the intersection of activism, research, education and culture and are enriched by diverse expertise and perspectives.
  • Experimental and creative: We believe in the necessity of acting and learning through experimentation and especially in the power of the arts and culture to unlock future imaginaries.
  • Empowering and participatory: We believe in spaces for citizens to exchange and build networks and in activities and events which give space for co-creation and participation.
  • Inclusive and feminist: We believe in a culturally open society and in inclusivity as a precondition for sustainable anti-patriarchal alternatives to emerge.
  • Anti-racist and anti-eurocentric: We believe involving other parts of the world in our reflections and activities is necessary to make new alternatives based on the perspectives of people from all over the world.

The Berlin hub of EA is represented by Georg Blokus and Kasia Wojcik who are mainly responsible for all projects of the “School of Transnational Activism” (see also our work-in-progress “Online Handbook for Transnational Activists”) as well as “Workers Without Borders” (latest report on policy demands and best practices of care, agricultural and delivery workers) and “Trust Without Borders”.

Our latest project is the “Academy of Migrant Organizing” as part of the School of Transnational Activism, a reflection, research, and education program featuring 9 migrant organizers representing the whole spectrum of political struggles in Germany – from climate and diaspora movements to refugee and black solidarity to housing, queer and workers’ rights. The public program consists of an Online Workshop on “How to Organize Migrant Power through Feminist Artivism, Urban Movements & Workers’ Collectives” on the 29th of January 2022, an Assembly of Solidarity on the 19th of March 2022 in Chemnitz, and a Community Conference from 8th to 10th of April 2022 at Oyoun in Berlin.

On the 25th of January 2022, you can also join our “Voters Without Border Berlin” online citizens forum featuring Daniel Gutiérrez (DWE & Solidarity City Berlin), Sanaz Azimipour (“Nicht ohne uns 14 Prozent” & MigLoom), Tareq Alaows (#LeaveNoOneBehind & Seebrücke), etc. for a discussion about how to push for full political rights for all.

From the 21st to 25th of April 2022, we are organising our biannual “Transeuropa Festival”, this time in the city of Porto on postcolonial feminism and migrant workers’ rights. In autumn, we will be organising our next festival edition of “Between Land & Sea” in Bremen, bringing together migrant organizers, climate activists, and workers from Northern Africa, our friends from Sicily, and many other places around Europe to tackle “the climate crisis as a planetary class struggle”.

 

Join us

Are you a progressive activist, academic, or artist, part of a grassroots initiative, civil society organisation or social movement? Across borders, citizens in communities and cities build a new Europe of solidarity and justice. Join us!

 

Contact us

European Alternatives Berlin e.V.
Manteuffelstr. 57A, 12103 Berlin
berlin@euroalter.com 

 

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Bündnis Neukölln

Together for democracy, respect and diversity


13/01/2022

For years, civil society in Neukölln has been rocked by a series of right wing attacks. These attacks focus on people from Neukölln who are viewed as migrants, and on people who are politically active for a diverse and democratic society. The people who make Neukölln what it is, who every day defend democratic and peaceful cohabitation in our district are made to feel fear and horror. The long-term failure of police investigations into the acts has led to anger and incomprehension among those affected any many people who live in Neukölln.

The Bündnis Neukölln – Together for democracy, respect and diversity is a platform of information and action from engaged people of Neukölln, who see themselves as being together against exclusion and racism. The alliance consists of a broad network of civil organisations. As well as many engaged individuals, trade unions, social organisations, parties, churches and anti-fascist initiatives are all part of the group.

For more than a decade we have fought against the right-wing threat with diverse activities and meetings. As well as numerous demonstrations and rallies – like the traditional rally on the International Day against Racism on 21st March at the Rudower Spinne – in non-pandemic times we organise among other things public meetings, talks and “cleaning strolls” against Nazi propaganda. Here we work actively together with the victims of right-wing attacks, show our solidarity, and support their demands with our actions and public outreach.

We always welcome new supporters! As well as our monthly meeting there are regular meetings of the action group “Aufstehen gegen Rassismus” ad well as the team which organises the “Offenes Neukölln” festival. Our working group “house hunting” is fighting for living space for refugees. Interested people are always welcome.

Bündnis Neukölln, c/o Offenes Neukölln e.V., Postfach 93 02 11, 12053 Berlin

info@buendnis-neukoelln.de
www.buendnis-neukoelln.de

Offenes Neukölln e.V.
IBAN: DE27 1005 0000 0190 9783 09
BIC: BELADEBE (Landesbank Berlin – Berliner Sparkasse)

Radio Berlin International

International political radio from Berlin


07/01/2022

Radio Berlin International is a fortnightly broadcast in English on reboot.fm 88.4 MHz in Berlin, 90.7 MHz in Potsdam and streaming online at http://reboot.fm.

Every two weeks, the program introduces listeners in Berlin and elsewhere to the people in our city fighting for a better world.

Produced by the editorial collective behind TheLeftBerlin.com, Radio Berlin International welcomes everyone with an interest in grassroots activism to get involved, whether by taking a turn at presenting the show, nominating an interview guest, or recording a field report.

Tune in every other Sunday at 7pm Berlin time to hear live interviews with activists, field reports from protests and exhibitions, and radical music. You can also hear past broadcasts on our website. For more information about getting involved, write to radio@theleftberlin.com

Justice Collective

Challenging policing, punishment and prisons


15/12/2021

Justice Collective is a Berlin-based project that acts:

  • To reveal how governments punish, including in ways that target people experiencing poverty and inequality, people of racialized groups, and people making a life for themselves in new places;
  • To build and connect international and internationalist movements — because while local contexts may differ, people in different places confront similar causes of carcerality; and;
  • To end societies’ increasing reliance on policing, punishment, and prisons. To build communities that choose justice over jails; care over carcerality.

Justice Collective is a project coordinated by Mitali Nagrecha, and is the result of collective work with people and initiatives across Europe. Mitali is a lawyer and advocate originally from the US. You can learn more here.

Tools: Education, Organising, Action

Topics: Punishment & Inequality, Punishment & Racism, Punishment in Europe

Contact us at: info@justice-collective.org

Antifascist Music Alliance

Loose group of people who are fighting fascism, far right activity and white supremacy in music


09/12/2021

Logo of Antifascist Music Alliance. A black circle which is white on the edges. 'Antifascist Music' is written at the top part in white letters. And at the bottom 'Alliance' is written, also in white. In the middle there are drawings of a music note, headphones and microphone all in red and black on a white backdrop

Information recently surfaced showing that Dominick Fernow aka Vatican Shadow, Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and his label Hospital Productions are affiliated with white supremacists. After this information came to light, little acknowledgment was made by the publications that covered his work over the years or by the agencies and labels that have released his music. We contacted Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, and his booking agency Ostgut in August 2021 directly with our asks (below). Ostgut has quietly removed Vatican Shadow from their booking agency listings, but no other actions have been taken by any of the organizations.

What’s the deal?

Fernow was pictured in a Pitchfork interview by Brandon Stosuy with Mikko Aspa, his frequent collaborator. Aspa makes National Socialist music and spreads neo-fascist music and literature through his record store in Finland. In the same interview, Fernow mentions other Nazis like the band Absurd, whose singer Hendrik Möbus sieg heiled at a concert, posed with Nazi flags at Auschwitz, and “publicly mocked” the 15-year-old that he and his bandmates strangled to death in 1993. Fernow’s label Hospital has released music by Montreal National Socialist Black Metal band Akitsa. With Fernow’s black metal projects, his lyrics have also been sexually violent. This is just a short list of his ties and actions. Dominick Fernow has been very open and proud about his ties to white supremacists. The journalists, platforms, and agencies that have supported him and those who have collaborated with him must have been aware of these ties.

In 2018, Resident Advisor published a long, positive profile about Fernow written by Andrew Ryce. Resident Advisor also published many reviews and news pieces, for his work and for his label. Many of Fernow’s events have been listed on Resident Advisor’s ticketing platform, thus financing his activities. His booking agency Ostgut, is of course also responsible for backing him financially and reputationally.

These entities support Fernow as an artist, but have remained silent on his actions. This is very serious. Propagating and normalizing National Socialist ideology is dangerous for non-white people, Jewish people, Roma/Sinti people, queer people, leftists, and others. Because Resident Advisor, Ostgut Booking and Pitchfork’s support was public-facing, public-facing actions should be taken.

What can we do?

We can join together as promoters, artists, labels, clubs, music journalists and, of course, fans and listeners to demand that Pitchfork, Ostgut Booking and Resident Advisor take public-facing actions against fascism in electronic music. 

Call to action

  • Sign our open letter in the form here
  • Encourage any organizations or individuals in your network to sign
  • Post about the open letter on your own channels: hashtag to use #AntifaMusicAlliance
We post regular updates on Twitter
The list of signatures is visible here