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Open letter to the movement organising for May Day
Open letter for the movement against war, racism and corporate greed
Since the Zapatista declaration in 1994 and the French public sector
workers strike in 1995 we have witnessed and taken part in a new social
movement . The movement has grown exponentially and deepened from the
60,000 that shut down the WTO in Seattle 1999 to the millions that marched
across the globe on February 15th last year.
Our strength has been our unity together in our common outrage and desire to change this incredibly corrupt and unequal society. We are united in our desires for a world
without war a world where the resources currently spent on military will
be spent on schools and hospitals, a world without borders where all
immigrants are welcome and a world without poverty.
Our movement has shaken the establishment and ruling classes across the
world. Bush and Blair, seemingly infallible when Baghdad fell last year now seem like trapped dogs with nowhere to turn. They are terrified that the fate of the
hated Spanish Prime Minister Aznar awaits them at their next elections.
Ahern too is terrified of the deep unpopularity of his government because
of their support for the war on Iraq, their racism and their policies that
have benefited the rich to the detriment of the majority.
Ahern’s government knows the visit of George Bush in June will draw massive protests. It is in this context that we are witnessing the biggest security re-organisation of the state since its foundation. They have spent the last few months training 1,200 riot police and will be deploying water cannons, armed gardai and the army itself on
May Day. They are frightened of the huge numbers that have taken to the
streets to oppose them and want to do all they can to ensure Feb 15th is
Their strategy is very similar to that which the Italian government
adopted in the run up to the Genoa G8 summit. The strategy of tension
aimed at breaking a movement that is on the rise. A strategy aimed at
intimidating the majority from joining the minority.
We must be clear of what is at stake on May Day. On one side we
have the state, determined to demonise and break our movement for fear of
massive protests and on the other, us, a growing movement whose tactics on
the day will determine the future of our movement.
In Genoa we saw clearly the power of the state. The big lesson learned was
that we cannot defeat the state through tactics that are based on small
number elitely padded-up protestors confronting the police. It will be
through a mass movement that involves millions confronting the power
points of the system in workplaces, schools, hospitals and colleges. It
will be through the mass movement of millions united on the streets. What
we do on May Day must be determined by what can create social disobedience
rather than simply civil disobedience (as Luca Casirini called after Genoa).
If May Day passes peacefully with thousands on the streets taking part in
a day of action against war and corporate greed then nothing will stop us
from creating the biggest demonstrations this country has ever seen when
George Bush comes here in June.
But if there is violence from our side on May Day, the state will have the excuse it so desperately needs to smash our movement, ban protests when George Bush comes, scare people off and stop us from creating the day that could hasten the fall of this rotten government and state.
Three years after Genoa, we must be aware of the lessons.
The state will place provocateurs in our demonstrations.
But we can create the situation that makes it impossible for them to justify their attack. We can make May Day a launch
pad for the days of protest in June. I am confident that this is what we
want and what the movement requires.
We must unite in our calls for peaceful demonstrations on May Day as we have done. But we must go further. The Another Europe is Possible Coalition will be having over 50 clearly identified and co-ordinating stewards on the AEIP carnival and march focussed on ensuring all attendees abide by the principles of peaceful action and non-confrontation. We will put these principles to the mass meeting at the start of our demonstration.
We call on all groups organising to do the same and ensure that we can unite in creating a day that will lay the foundation for creating the days of protest
mobilisations against Bush!!!
Rory Hearne, Convenor,
Another Europe is Possible May Day 12 noon Central Bank