Social Suport: The call for action and to build alternatives to the current financial system

Social support: the call for action and to build alternatives to the current financial system

From clandestinity Enric strategically planed what would be the best time to appear again, reversing the action of complaint against him into a denunciation of the banks and the established system. Thus, he published a statement asking the opinion of other activists to probe the ground and assess whether Catalan civil society would defend a case like this, defending the freedom of those who challenge openly the economic and political power in our society. This statement amends:

 

“My goal in the long run and from now on is preparing the ground to convert my trail in a popular lawsuit against banks and everything which it represents, therefore by extending it to the current capitalist system. A trial that could be both a new tool for reunion and strengthening all those who are to build an alternative society to the present.

If this idea goes ahead and I get to return someday to carry it out, will be if a majority of you also believe it, if you are willing to win that trail, if you think it will have a beneficial effect for our fight. I hope to move it forward someday, since it’s going to be the way to come back and never hesitate, that I want to come back to be again amongst you all, but I don’t think it’s only me to decide. I would like to ask you to discuss this in the meetings of the gropus and meeting places and thus would be then, that we could decide.”

 

So the idea was to gain strength and expand the trial with a popular trial to the bank, giving an ethical and political treatment to an hypothetical judgment against the person of Enric. This idea already was outlined in the pages of Crisis:

And if someday from my own will or not, am I will be ever judged, I warn, the only veredict that I will accept will be the absolution from the court considering that my action has not been criminal, due to its ethical and solidary motivation and against those who do more harm to the society and towards the common well. Beyond that, I won’t negotiate any lower sentence, or pay a deposit or fine or negotiate the debt. If the state is unable to overcome the pressure from the established powers, let everyone see a person like me held in prison.”

 

From the beginning of the publication, many people showed their interest, writing directly to Enric with the desire to continue his action. Therefore, we generated a common website where different people discuss, share and collectivize doubts and the will to take action. A forum was created to discuss issues related to financial disobedience, initiatives and actions, proposals … thus encouraging action and towards self-organization.

From the start of these forums, and therefore seeing the web as a tool that would have continuity, the so called “Crisi” (Crisis) collective was stablished, which would be responsible for providing continuity and content to the call of “Crisi” publication. As the task would be to coordinate the web and conduct proposals to come out of the forum. Under the circumstances and considering that people from many different places would take part, it would be a group that would work across network Internet.

The political context, especially triggered by the massive bank bailout that President Bush had submitted to the U.S. Congress, represented an opportunity to start an international campaign against the bank. Therefore, a call to action was made. Let’s highlight the text wich circulated, encouraging people with different strategies to claime and visualize the crimes that banks were commiting.

This action aims to be an appeal for everyone to think about what one can and want to do to change the state of things within its means and even what seems impossible …

If I have carried out this financial disobedience, risking my freedom to show that the economic system is more vulnerable than it seems and to get all this money for the construction of alternatives, perhaps many other people can do something more if they trust themselves, as far as they get rid of the false fears we are deliberately educated inside the system and if we firmly believe that only through grass roots action of the people, we can change the state of things.

Taking as an example the style of action I have chosen, perhaps each one, according to his personal and economic context, may realize there are things that are within one’s reach:

* Tenants, suffering the price rise (which usually come after the increase in purchasing prices of housing) can join together to organize a rent strike like in the years 1930/31, I know that there are people who are thinking about it …

* If you are started paying a mortgage only few years, and I still have to work a lot at a job you do not like, maybe you can stop paying your mortgage and squat zour flat. If you do it alone you may have a problem, but not bigger than you already had, you could consider to dedicate yourself to what you like and be consistent with your ideas and vocations. If enough people organize themselves, it will be the banks wich have the problem …

* If you are already on the way for living with no bank account, because you have to pay a fine (very common nowadays) that you don’t want to pay, why not expropriate some money from the bank before it reaches the point of canceling bank accounts?

Of course, with these options and others that you can think about, you will be debtors all life (or at least until the financial system in crisis is in effect), so it would be advisable to take in consideration accompanied by a personal plan to live differently so, without checking accounts or properties.

Now if you can not or do not want to do any of the above actions, there are two simple things that everyone can and should do as soon as possible: not asking for any loans and get the money from the bank. Keeping loans, credit cards and checking accounts, are being accomplices to the banks that are the heart of a capitalist system that is spreading the destruction of the planet, poverty and slavery in our lives. Remove the money from banaks is something that anyone can do if simply organizes somewhat to manage payments and receipts otherwise.

And if this calling arrives too late because you already have dept and you appear on the lists of bank debtors… Why don’t you contact us and we assemble a debtor’s syndicate? Because there are more indebted  than unemployed people… and to live without current accounts is an art that is worth it to share.

After that, an unitary Campaign was structured for the strike of bank users, highlighting the need for direct action.

“September and October 2008 will go down in history for what has been classified by many analysts as the biggest financial coup d’etat of our time. The plan is to “save” Wall Street and the United States government debt: 850,000 million dollars is what the government says will be spent to “save” the financial system of USA – says  the president of a country that has a debt of 9,600,000 million dollars. “ […]

Again, Bush takes profit from the hegemonic situation of its currency and country to move forward with a plan that will finance the debts of private companies at the expense of most of the citizens of the world. […]

Meanwhile in Europe, the same policies of “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor” are carried out in a less obvious but major banks threatened with bankruptcy are also rescued with public money. In total, European subsidies are still higher than those in the United States. Shame!

Thus, saving the investments the richer while millions of people around the world are losing their homes or are enslaved, working very hard to pay the debts, and there are 2900 million people who not even have dept, having to survive with less than $ 2 a day. With 850,000 million dolars, word hunger would come to an end, and all humanity would have access to health and education.

Like this, the states now clearly show what side they are, as they are allowing people to lose everything, on behalf of the profit of the banks.

It is not acceptable. Given that, we have to raise up, we must say it is enough. We must move to direct action! Therefore we call a global strike of banking users. This is an indefinite strike and will not end until they cancel the debts of workers in the same way that the losses from speculators on Wall Street were canceled.

If hundreds of thousands of people around the world agree to do not pay our debts, and we support each other, we are unstoppable. If many more answer the calling and take the money from the banks, we’ll stop this system that enslaves us.

So, we claim the abolish of the current international financial system and the re-creation of a new one with fair rules, which are to meet the people’s needs and not the speculators’.
How much power could have a record of defaulters, if we are all in the list? Which strength would have their embargoes if they are affecting millions of people? With what would they speculate if we get the money from the bank?

Take part in the indefinite strike! Remove the money from banks, so they cannot speculate with our savings! Not pay your mortgage and stay living at home, do not pay your personal loans, let the rich pay the crisis! […]

During the first weeks of October, he continued to write articles about the global economic crisis as one entitled “Is consummated the financial coup d’etat in EUA1 and another one entitled “Before the financial crisis, why states do not create their own money “2

 

Towards the end of October, it became public the G-20 meeting on November’s 15th and 16th, according to the heads of state involved this meeting should help to stem the crisis and to begin to discuss reforms the international financial system. Nicolas Sarkozy again demonstrated his interest in mediatic protagonism defining the porpous of the meeting as “refound capitalism” but no one believed that they had the intention to do such changes, as it was shown weeks after. Before this news was soon to run a call to public rallies on November 15th about 40 towns in Spain, with the slogan “Let them pay for the crisis.”

Days before the meeting of G-20 Enric writes an article about it, titled “This November 15th, G20 will decide for us all. This is their democracy.”

He said among other things:

“The 20 heads of state present not speak on behalf of the people of their countries, even of those who voted, as the agreements they reach in the Summit were not part of any of their political programs. However, to none of them have occurred to submit his proposals to a referendum, and they didn’t talk about having their agreements subject to a referendum of the population of these 20 countries and even less consulting of the world population.

So, in the name of whom really decide Bush (acting president), Sarkoszy, Merkel, Lula and others? We think they speak on their behalf and of their advisers. On behalf of the government bureaucracy structures that rule and seeing the decisions we certainly agree that in many cases they do so in the name of the same powers that have caused the financial crisis or major corporations.

The unjust economic decisions in favor of the banks and against most people, made by the governments wich have preceded the summit have in recent weeks, with his undemocratic procedure, are fortunatly awaking multiple answers from civil society that is announcing massive mobilizations”[…]

“These protests are only a beginning. We must go much further because from civil society we can be protagonists of our own future. It is not enough to manifest ourselves, the current situacion requires sustained actions, of disobedience, boycotts and not collaboration with the financial system. It is not sufficient to act against the system, we must pose questions and above all, to construct from an alternative society, making clear that one can live without economic growth and banks.

The web www.17-s.info is spreading information about these manifestacions and promoting actions that will lead us now, more than ever, to another society based on social and ecological justice (…). “

This article was wide spread and some broadcastings quoted Enric’s words when they spoke of the response to the crisis. The demonstrations were followed irregularly, but in Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Washington and Zurich Rejkyavic (Icelandic state went bunkrupt) they gathered thousands of people. On November 17th appeared to publish an interview in which Magda Bandera asked Enric about the summit, the crisis and demonstrations. This began to generate that Enric’s opinion went beyond his insubmiss action and the 17-S, discussing another current affairs. Several alternative media request specific articles or newspapers. Among them, Diagonal, El Viejo Topo, Polemica, and llibertat.cat decrecimiento.info.

The Campaign for the strike of bank users was already officially launched on November 12th. In the early days of the campaign many people are registered with many different profiles: activists, solidarity, heavily indebted people, etc.. He emphasized that the proposal shoul not be seen as a “destructive” action or an action that once performed, we didn’t know where we haded, instead, he wanted to show with some very clear and pilot experiments, that we can live better without banks, not in an hypothetical alternative system but here and now, getting organized in our neighborhoods or communities.

Therefore in the campaign’s methodology text was written the following:

“Since the participants, especially those who stop paying debts and have a seizable home, take a personal risk, the way we as a group of strikers have to overcome this risk is solidarity and mutual support. Everyone that joins us is asked to show solidarity. So between all the participants, we will create a network of interpersonal support to ensure that no one is missing a roof or a meal. Beyond that, the strike aims to encourage the setting up of an alternative society. Prove that you can live well, actually better, without banks, will be the main targets of the campaign. Thus, remove the money from the bank will become a step to reinforce alternatives. The possibility of investing money and stop paying these debts can be a way to get involved in community solutions to covered basic needs “

To promote these alternative, forums on the web had been added into themes, all specific proposals that appeared in the article on the social movements of the Crisis publication, including proposals from Ethical Bank, which should be one of the main options to be promoted in the campaign.

To make a summary of the status of these financial alternatives:

“Complete information: You can contact Coop57 to http://www.coop57.coop (You can create saving accounts but not open current accounts, it is not a bank and it is highly recommended for the savings too). It has presence in Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia and Madrid. It is a cooperative project.

You can contact Fiare to http://www.projectefiare.cat (You can create saving accounts but not open current accounts, it is a bank project, but while working as an agent of the Italian Popular Ethic Bank). It operates in the Basque Country, Navarre, Catalonia and Madrid. It is a cooperative project.

To open bank accounts, currently the only ethical option is Triodos Bank. http://www.triodos.es which has offices in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​and operates by internet and telephone throughout all the state. It is an ethical bank, with Dutch private and public capital, which is considered ethical because its funding is allocated to social, environmental and cultural projects.

You can find more information about other minor ethic finance projects in Catalunya at http://www.fets.org Association for ethical and solidary funding.

You can also find information on other similar projects in the rest of state in the “red Rufas”: http://www.economiasolidaria.org/redes/red_rufas “

1You can find the article on the website of CRISI, the link below: http://www.17-s.info/es-consuma-el-cop-destat-financer-als-eeuu-catcast

 

Speak Your Mind

*