From August 9th-14th 2011 there was in Freiburg in Breisgau the European Network Academy (european summeracademy of Attac) . Around 1300 people participated -for above all activists of social and ecological movements and members of left organisations and parties. There were many interesting seminars, workshops and debates.
I only want to mention here only some of the highlights . Thursday evening Hugo Braun moderated a podium discussion ("Streitgespräch") between Alessandra Mecozzi (FIOM/ CGIL), Alexandra Strickner (Attac Austria), Cristina Asensi (Spain M15- the "indignados") and Ulrich Brand .
We could see the wide range of intiatives, new movements und their creative proposals. But it was also clear that "movement" ALONE does not lead to fundamental changes. In Spain for example the indignados had and have an enormous range and strong support in the society . But at the communalelections the conservatives were the big winners .This development has to be reflected in a deep manner : the "hate" against the official politics is more than understandable but that cannot mean to "ignore" the general political framework or the bourgeois parliament . There can be no "surpass" around a combative left political projekt .
In a workshop in which Horst Schmitthnner from der IG Metall participated too we made a critical balancesheet of the social forum process- for above all about the situation in Europe .The conclusion of many cvomrades was: we have to IMPLEMENT the proposals and decisions we made in Paris and Budapest (enforcement of the networks, more debates about contents, a permanent interactive website, few but well prepared international campaigns, a minimum of organizational strutures to realize these points - instead of deploring again and again -like in a pray- the actual negative situation .
Transform!- Europa organized a very well attended seminar: "Social movements and parties - synergiepotential and limts of cooperation". Here too there was very broad consensus about the deepgoing chracter of the combined capitalist crises. Open remained with what project und with which allies ( "new historical block"-Gramsci) the desaster has to answered: only with a "reformist alternative" ( defending the "republican instutions", cooperation with the "productiv" capital against die "financial monsters",....) or a radical projekt in the sense of Marx which is attacking the roots, the basis structures of capitalism itself and is formulating the demands in that sense: f.e. radical debt cancellng for Greece , building of counterinstitutions to the bourgeois state apparatus, organs of selfdefence against the far right etc.- demands which start from TODAY - but their realization is leading BEYOND the bourgeois society.
Finally I want to speak about the two day seminar on the internatinal rise of the far right. It was made together from the network against the far right ("Prague spring II"- a network in the frameword of the ESF proceess) and transform!-Europe.
Beside the general evaluation (crises of capitalism, sociale fragmantation, "no hope " in many fields of the society....- factors which are used by the far right with its national and und social demagogy ) there was a very dense discussion on the situation -in Europe- after the massacre in Norway by a christian fundamentalist, the tea party in the USA und the special situation in Eastern Euope.
All participatnts underlined that right wing populism has reached already since a long time in the "middle of society" and that we have to act in that sense : it is neoliberal mainstream which is becoming more and more authoritarian . He is fragmenting the society and creating so the basis for the rapid growing of the far right in all its facettes ( from populists over far right extremists to hard core fascists and Nazis).
The network will participate in the Mesopatanian Social Forum in Diyarbakir ( 21.-24. Septembre) and organize and alleuropean conference on the far rigt in KIEW from Octobre 21st- Octobre 23rd.
Sunday was the final assembly: concrete actions against the capitalist crises were presented. The most important ones will be in Octobre: a march will start in Madrid and end in Brussel. Around this march there will be allover Europe actions and demonstrations .
Hermann Dworczak ( activist in the Austrian Social Forum; 0043 / 676 / 972 31 10 )