SENZA CENSURA n.10
Italy, february 2003
AGAINST WEF AND AGAINST NATO SECURITY CONFERENCE
United struggle against WEF in Davos on 25th of January 2003 and against NATO security conference from 7th till 9th of February in Munich
Which security? Against the terror of war and capitalism!
During the last years, the term of "security" has become a central slogan of propaganda in politics, economy and media. After the attacks on September 11th 2001, public panic, especially in western societies, was used to enforce new wars on the international level and increasing repression on the interior level. The US-war on Afghanistan, the escalation of the civil war in Columbia and of Israel's long-term occupation war against Palestinian population and the military presence of US-, EU- and NATO-troops on all continents stand for an imperialist version of "international security". Also inside societies, the propaganda after September 11th has planted the war of the so-called civilised world into the heads of people. Not only new laws and investigative authorities shall guarantee more "security", but also a new normality of self-control and denunciation. "Security" is the new big promise metropolitan governments use to insure themselves the support of the population. No matter if new immigration laws are created in the European Union or in Switzerland, parties are doing their election campaigns, states are planning wars or citizens are expected to help the police- everywhere it's about "security". Consequently, the name of the "Munich Conference on defence issues" (Wehrkundetagung) was changed into "Security Conference". This year, it will take place from 7th till 9th of February, two weeks after the WEF (World Economic Forum) in the Swiss mountains taking place on 25th of January.
Horst Teltschik, organiser of the Munich military conference, head of BMW's own Herbert Quandt Foundation and former minder of German chancellor, explains it this way: "What the WEF in Davos is for the top representatives of international economy, the Munich Security Conference is for the members of the strategic alliance."
"Freedom" and "Security" discussed on these conferences by economic leaders, politicians and generals mean world-wide war, exploitation of people and nature, male dominance on women and racist oppression. On a global level, they organise the security of their production sites, of the traffic of goods, the flow of capital and the access to natural resources and they are planning to continue the "long enduring war on terrorism". The military task plans for an attack against Iraq are publicly discussed.
We say: The Munich military conference and the WEF meeting in Davos are two sides of the same medal- so, in Munich and in Davos, we together will bring international resistance against war and capitalist globalisation on the streets.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a private institution with office in Geneva. The members are the world's 1000 biggest private economic enterprises. Condition for membership is an annual volume of at least 1 billion dollars. Since it was founded by Klaus Schwab, who had just become professor of economy in Lausanne at that time, in 1971, the WEF has developed from a simple seminar of management to one of the most important forums and networks for worldwide implementation of the dominating system of free market economy.
In the past, for example, during the meetings organised by the WEF, the Uruguay agreement of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades) from which the WTO (World Trade Organisation) emerged and preparatory negotiations for the creation of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Organisation) were initiated. These are milestones in the global process of liberalisation, which guarantees always new and facilitated access to markets for transnational corporations.
The annual meeting always takes place in the end of January in Davos. On a world wide level, it is the biggest privately initiated meeting of elites. Besides this, the WEF organises several regional meetings on all continents, for example the European Economic Forum in Salzburg.
Besides about 1000 bosses of companies, who represent the members of the forum, a number of important politicians, scientists, chief editors of the biggest media corporations, and some few well-selected representatives of "civil society" (trade unions, NGOs) are invited. The global elite consists almost exclusively of privileged men; the participation of women in the Davos Forum is below 10%. The participants are personally invited and the invitations are not automatically renewed. This procedure of invitation underlines the character of exclusiveness and gives the guests the feeling to belong to the club of global leaders. Some of the guests are members of several clubs which were created by the WEF: For example the "Club of Global Leaders of Tomorrow" or the club of "Industry Governors". The club structure and the informal way of meeting at the Forum are ideal conditions to create links of loyalty between economy, state and so-called "key actors" of civil society. During the last five years, the WEF was confronted with more and more criticism and resistance in Switzerland and internationally. The authorities reacted by forbidding all demonstrations during the WEF and by totally sealing off the mountain village of Davos. Nevertheless, the protests against the WEF in Switzerland grew bigger and larger every year. For this reason, Klaus Schwab rapidly had to transfer the annual meeting 2002 to New York. The authorities couldn't organise enough police forces to guarantee the safety of the participants.
The annual meeting 2003 shall take place under the motto "creating confidence", again in Davos from 23rd till 28th of January. The WEF wants to win confidence by improving its policy of information and communication. Additionally, the WEF organises public debates outside the Davos congress centre which shall be open for all interested people. At the same time, the Davos authorities signal to be ready to permit a demonstration for the first time.
The "Olten Coalition", a broad alliance of different leftist groups in Switzerland, calls for demonstrations and actions against the WEF. The common platform of the "Olten Coalition" includes, among others, the demand for closing the WEF and refuses a dialogue with the WEF, which would only serve to improve the image of the WEF. The "Olten Coalition" mobilises for a big demonstration on 25th of January 2003 in Davos.
Like every year, the "Munich Security Conference" (former "Conference on Defence Issues") takes place from 7th till 9th of February 2003- a meeting of governmental representatives of the NATO states and about 200 highly important military strategists, generals and arms experts. The assembled EU- and NATO-representatives, the ministers of war and the foreign ministers of the USA, Germany and the other EU-states want to make the public believe that this conference would be for protecting peace and international security. The opposite is true: They are planning the next war! Behind the closed doors of the noble hotel "Bayerischer Hof"- protected from the public- they design new plans for wars and sceneries of wars in the whole world.
The "Coalition against the NATO Security Conference" also mobilises to Munich for February 2003:
- From 10th till 12th of January 2003: anti-war-congress in the Munich trade union's house under the motto: "Gobalise Anti-Capitalism- against the NATO policies of war".
- Friday, the 7th of February 2003: rally against the municipal welcome for the NATO-war strategists, at 5 p.m. Marienplatz
- Saturday, 8th of February 2003: Big international demonstration, 12 o'clock, Marienplatz
This security guarantees global exploitation
For a long time, the reality of many people, also in western European countries, has been characterised by a massive loss of social securities: Cuts in public welfare, privatisation of health care, pension and education system and privatisation of public spaces. So all the social life becomes a ware. A safe existence is only achievable for fewer and fewer people, according to racist and sexist criteria of exclusion. Material safety is more and more privatised and pushed back into the sphere of individual responsibility. This creates de-solidarisation and alienation, increases the competition between people and often leads to a racist defence of privilege - globally and locally. Also psychological agony increases extremely. Those who are left behind have been "unfortunate". But this logic of competition and paralyse is not without any alternative. The perspective of collectivity, resistance and solidarity is open for all of us.
In a situation of states destroying social securities on a large level under the circumstances of capitalist globalisation, "security" made by police and militarisation is the promise given by the social elite to everybody. This promise of security shall create identity by the construction of images of "the enemy", solidarity with the system of profiteering and with the ruling classes of this world, a broad acceptance for global wars and massive cuts in personal freedom.
The politics of social construction of enemies
The ruling discourse on "security" divides people and defines who can participate in social life and who can't. This becomes especially obvious in the case of European states' migration and refugee politics. Refugees and migrants are used for racist election campaigns and presented as "criminals", "illegal" people, dealers or potential "terrorists". "Security" for Europe shall be guaranteed by new deportation camps, destruction of the Asylum right, or the SIS (Schengen Information System) made for quicker deportation of Asylum seekers into hunger, suffering, torture and persecution. On the EU summit in Seville, European governments have openly declared war on "illegal migration".
Military and migration control cannot be separated any longer: From now on, several EU-states will use military aeroplanes for mass deportations; and during international war strikes like in Kosovo and Afghanistan, refugees of war are confined in huge refugee camps "close to their homes", so that they can't set off for the rich countries.
The mobility of refugees and migrants, whose resources have been robbed by colonialism and capitalist exploitation, shall at least be controlled. Migration, which cannot be stopped totally, shall be kept within boundaries useful for the economic interests for flexible and rightless labour. Thousands of refugees have already lost their lives in front of the walls of Fortress Europe.
But the social construction of "enemies" doesn't only affect refugees and migrants, but all for whom there's no place within a social order dividing people according to their economic use: drug users, homeless people, small "criminals", resistant youngsters and poor people in general- all of them are declared a "risk of security". Vast parts of inner cities are nowadays supervised by cameras - no-go-areas for all who do not stay there for work or consumption. The fewer the rich and powerful use to calm down social tensions by the means of public welfare and the more luxury and promises of consumption, which fewer and fewer people are able to afford, are publicly presented, the more police force rules.
And last but not least, the militarisation against so-called "inner enemies" is also done for repression and prevention of protest and resistance. According to the new "Anti Terror Packet" of the EU-states, diverse actions, which belong to the basic methods of social movements, shall be criminalized as "terrorism": forms of occupations, blockades and sabotage. The EU-list of "terrorist organisations" also includes supporters of political prisoners in Bask country, Kurdish and Turkish leftist organisations or the Colombian guerrilla FARC. The police brutality in Gothenburg and Genoa and the restrictions of the freedom of movement and demonstration in Davos and Munich gave us a taste of how European powers are going to deal with visible resistance against capitalist globalisation in future.
It is cynical or naïve to claim that capitalist economy would make the world a safe place. It's the opposite. Capitalist world market only creates economic stability and security for those who, in this system of growing profits, become richer and richer. The majority of people is left behind. In 1989, the collapse of the state-socialist eastern block was celebrated as the "end of history" and an age of perpetual peace and wealth was announced- the opposite has been established. The "new world order" announced in 1990 by the leaders of the western world has brought anything else to human kind than peace and safety- millions are dying of hunger and of diseases that could be healed and on all continents war is raging.
The new global equality announced by the preachers of free market only means that today, there are again sweatshops in London and at the same time, there are islands of riches protected by barbed wire and armed security, surrounded by mass poverty, in Rio de Janeiro. The lawless exploitation of workers in the infamous Maquilladores in the free trade zones are no exclusive phenomenon of the so-called Third World. Also inside the rich states, there exist plans for unlimited plundering.
For us, it's nothing new that the neo-liberal remedies of IMF and World Bank, like privatisation of public facilities (public transports, education, water, post, telecommunication etc.), structural adjustment programmes and export orientation lead most of all to destruction of vital social infrastructure. And the terror of world market most of all affects women, who, in order to feed their kinds and families have to arrange with the shortage of vital resources.
Such circumstances often provoke massive resistance and can only be pushed through by using violent force against the people concerned. Also in Europe, strikes and labour struggles are more and more often the answer against social dismantling. In Columbia, army paramilitary and private armed forces are fighting a bloody war against the people and against all social movements. In many African countries, the former colonial powers, although talking about "democratic changes", still count on corrupt dictators to guarantee neo-liberal exploitation.
Global war as international crisis management
The paradigm of capitalist globalisation has been shifted during the last years. During the 80ies and early 90ies, the basic strategy was de-regularisation, causing partial collapse of state structures in countries of the so-called Third World and far-reaching abolishment of public welfare in the rich countries. But this process of de-regularisation has brought up the necessity of new forms of regularisation. For some years, economic de-regularisation has been backed by police-military interventions. "Political globalisation" means nothing but militarisation of social politics as a crisis management of exploitation.
The borderline between peace and war is disappearing more and more: under the slogan of "long enduring war on terrorism", the presence of police and military and war-interventions form a flexible system of global control- the permanent state of exception of war becomes an illusion of perpetual peace. The creation of military protectorates like in Kosovo or Macedonia belong to this flexible system of control as well as the expansion of coalitions of war. The planned eastern expansion of NATO stands for imperialist Colonisation by integrating a whole region into the existing military structures.
The inner-political situation in countries of the so-called "Eurasian Balkan" - Afghanistan, Georgia, Kasachstan, the Caucasian countries and other states of the former Soviet Union- are considered as "highly unstable". In these countries, there are huge supplies of oil, natural gas and other resources: At the same time future transit and transport ways between the eastern and western border regions of Eurasia pass through this region. Because of these material interests and because of the need of "security" defined by NATO-states, this region gets an enormous political and economic importance. So the eastern expansion of NATO is another step towards further interventions in Central Asia. Considering possible new constellations and coalitions of power (for example the axis Russia, China and India), and the exposed geo-strategic position, the Western countries don't want to give up the chance to dominate the region of Central Asia.
The present misery in Afghanistan is a result of 20 years of foreign aid for different forces of war favourable for the respective interests. Wars fought by NATO-states and the logic of de-stabilisation complement perfectly one another. According to the cynical principle of "creative destruction", every war opens up new potentials for exploitation: Re-construction of destroyed countries, new access to human labour and natural resources, and profits for arms industry.
The hunger for even more exploitation doesn't know any limits. The next aggression of war is openly planned against Iraq. For more than three decades, the Middle East has been a focus of imperialist aggression because of its oil and gas resources. The next step of "war on terrorism" takes place in this geo-strategically important region: A military strike against Iraq involving 150000 soldiers (perhaps using tactical nuclear weapons) is prepared and publicly discussed since the end of the year 2001- up to now, there has been no relevant resistance against these plans in the societies of the rich countries.
Repression and integration as internal Crisis Management
Strategies of integration and containment are also important to protect the interests of capitalist exploitation in western societies. Especially European social democrats and other "reformist leftists" are themselves a part of conservative policies, enforcing neo-liberal conversion of societies or harbouring Keynesianist illusion. With policies of "we are all citizens", they have long given up the struggle for change and instead, they try to sell us their wars and their social cuts as "capitalism with a human face". We are not only talking about tactical criticism against a war on Iraq or some ecological and social phrases, but about the principal attitude towards military interventions, the daily war against refugees, the increasing repression against the people and the continuing exploitation. From this point of view, social democracy is still a party of war. For this reason, we reject the conception of "civil Europe" as an alternative to the supposedly more aggressive US-imperialism as well.
The conception of "sustainable development", which has become fashionable during the last years, is shown as a reasonable and softened sort of capitalism. Under this popular slogan, many formerly critical NGOs participate in renewing capitalist production. But every adherence to the perspective of growth leads into the ecological catastrophe, every capitalist order means exploitation. The conception of "sustainable development" is no promise for a better future, but the threatening strategy of sustainable exploitation. Against all promises of sustainability, the so-called new technologies in the sections of biological and nuclear technology and genetic engineering mean even more insecurity about the consequences of growth.
Behind the attractive-sounding phrases of renewal, there's often nothing but the conservation of existing relations of power. The strategy of "embracing" social movements, the integration of NGO's into far reaching decisions are no contradiction to a roll back of previous standards on other levels. The most important function of this integration is the disappearance of an open opposition. The "dialogue" propagated by the WEF in Davos is an attempt to hide the own scandals by creating confidence without obligation and to avoid substantial negotiations. We will not join such strategies of integration. There's no dialogue with power!
Imperialist competition and the dynamics of war
As we see looking at the dispute before the war on Yugoslavia or the way the USA are planing an attack against Iraq on their own authority, the powerful states on this earth don't always act in unity when they are organising control and exploitation. Their alliances are characterised by deep breaks and competition, finding their expression in wars between representatives (in the wars in Ruanda and in Congo, the competition between France and the USA played an important role; another example are the Balkan wars), in wars of trade or in the present conflict concerning the International Criminality Court (ICC). The refuse of some European states against an attack on Iraq don't have anything to do with their "love for peace", but with different economic interests and ideas of order for the middle-east.
Although the USA under the Bush administration often prefer harder (military) methods for "international security", while the EU tries to present itself as the defender of human rights, their aims are still the same: Getting the best pieces in the global regime of control on markets and resources. Looking at the plans for a quick implementation of a European army of intervention, we see that these differences are more a consequence of the still limited possibilities of EU-states for effective military action than a consequence of moral scruples: From 2003 on, 60000 soldiers belonging to the EU-intervention troops shall be ready to be sent out inside a radius of 4000 kilometres around the EU within 60 days. Inside this intervention army, the relations of power are clear: A German general will command the troops, the biggest contingent will consist of German soldiers. 13 years after taking over the GDR, Germany , within the European Union, gets the means necessary to fight for its interest to be a great power also on the military level.
Against patriarchy and militarisation of society
Militarisation of society is always connected with an increase of patriarchal oppression: Especially women and children are affected of patriarchal structures of wars and militarised societies. So our anti-war politics must put a radical focus on the connections between war and increase of male violence against women and children, the connections between war and rape, between military and prostitution.
In a patriarchal society, the human relations and the division between production and reproduction are tied to gender-hierarchy. The most extreme expression of this is sexualised violence committed by men using their bodies as weapons of oppression. The history of national states and their colonial conquests is inseparably connected with the construction of soldier-man. In the age of modern patriarchy, there's no more need for biological criteria of exclusion- today's military can deal with the presence of women , as long as the identifications of "blue and pink", of who is regarded as a man, who is regarded as a woman, still stay in power. Let's sabotage the sexist definitions of gender, let's destroy the diverse constructions of "soldier-man"!
No justice-no peace!
War is a permanent social situation: almost all aspects of society are subjected to the logic of militarisation. War doesn't take place on TV, but at the borders, in the refugee camps, in land-mined and poisoned regions. The permanent war doesn't know any limits of space and time- only from our privileged point of view, war is an exceptional state of oppression. Bot capitalist globalisation and the war going along with it are facing an increasing resistance. People in Bolivia are fighting against privatisation of their drinking water supply, Argentineans are fighting against the stranglehold of IMF, Indian peasants against patents on seeds for agro-multies like Cargill and Monsanto. The struggles against the summits in Seattle, Prague and Genoa organised by grassroot movements show that also here, in the rich countries, resistance is growing. Also the mobilisation against the G8-summit in June 2003 in Evian/France at the Lake Geneva is already going on.
It's the diversity and the determination of these new internationalist struggles we are referring to and from which we consider that today, it is more important than ever to see worldwide exploitation and its protection by the means of war as two sides of the same medal and to resist massively against this system. We also say: it is not a protest movement's job to please the ruling and powerful classes of this world. We don't accept being divided into "good ones" and "bad ones", but we choose our own means of resistance. The next wars are already prepared and protest will not be sufficient if we want to prevent them. If we want to stop the war machine, we must name, block and dismantle the responsible ones, the structures and their logics.
Worldwide resistance cannot be stopped: No justice- No peace!
Globalise Anti-Capitalism- against the NATO-policies of war
An other Globalisation is not only necessary, but also possible!
AG- Kultur und Kampf Herbrechtingen
AJaK - Anarchistische Jugend ausser Kontrolle
AK Internationalismus München
Anarchist Federation - Poland
antifa hg frankfurt
Antifaschistische Aktion Hannover
Antifaschistisches Aktionsbündnis 9.6. Kaiserslautern
Antifa Sofa Landshut
Anti-WTO Bündnis Basel
APR, Radio Student 89.3 Ljubljana
Autonome Antifa Eppelheim
Autonome Anti-Kriegs-Gruppen Berlin
Autonome KommunistInnen Berlin
Axis Of Evil Munich
Bundersweite Antimilitaristische Koordination "Krieg ist Frieden" (KiF), BRD
c.s.a. malepasso (ital)
c.s.a.tonita choiggia (ital)
DADAvos - Globalisierungskritisches Forum Graubünden (CH)
fels (für eine linke Strömung)
FI Eierplätzchen Köln
Front für Rechte und Freiheiten (HÖC), Türkei
Infoladen Grauzone (Innsbruck)
kaffee und kuchen (zuerich)
kulturförderverein wichtig e.v. münchen
kulturschock zelle Reutlingen
organisierte autonomie (oa) nürnberg
Rote Aktion Kornstraße (RAK) Hannover