The Art of Organising Hope/ The Balcony Project: Proclaiming the European Republic!
On the 10th of November 2018 at 4pm artists and citizens all over Europe will proclaim the European Republic from balconies in theatres and other public spaces. 100 years after the end of WWI, which laid waste European civilization for decades – they are not only recalling history but taking their future into their own hands. On the initiative of Ulrike Guérot and Robert Menasse with the support of Milo Rau the European Balcony Project wants to empower the European Citizens to take responsibility for the European project. The idea of the common good – the res publica – serves as the guiding principle of a future European order, a European republic. It is a Europe without nations, without borders – a citizen-centered, decentralized Europe.
After the proclamation, political activists – participants of the Alternative European Summit / The Art of Organizing Hope – from all over Europe will discuss the manifesto that sums up the principles on which a future European Republic should be based and the claim for European democratic institutions that frame the single market and the single currency in Europe. They complement or counter the draft by Guérot and Menasse with their own ideas for new democratic institutions that have emerged from their many years of political work on the field, in grassroots movements, trade unions and so on. They are shaped by the experience of the EU's austerity policy after the crisis, which has hit people in their regions particularly hard. Or they belong to the group of people to whom access to the EU is denied. They have responded with their political activities to situations where central infrastructures such as water supply, health care, basic food supplies have been threatened or fundamental human rights no longer guaranteed.
Quin Minassian is a political activist. In the middle of the crisis in Greece, together with a doctor and other committed people, she founded a solidarity clinic in the Piraeus district of Athens. To this day people without health insurance can be treated there unbureaucratically and provided with medicaments. The solidarity clinics are the heart of the grassroots movement that emerged from the protests at Syntagma Square under the motto "Nobody is alone in crisis". It has produced a total of 400 different forms of self-organization throughout Greece.
Maria Montavez Sanchez and Fransico Garrido Torres are two of the founders of Cerro Libertad, an occupation of a country estate of 75 hectares and 1500 olive trees in the Spanish Andalusia. This finca is property of the bank BBVA who has done nothing to stop the deterioration of the land and the farm in five years time. On April the 1st of last year, activists started their occupation of the cerro, restored the house and cultivated the land. ‘Land belongs to those who work on it’ is their motto. The police will come to evict them on the 19th of March 2018. The inhabitants of Cerro Libertad are asking their network for support, because they don’t plan on giving up. This is a battle between agricultural workers and a bank speculating on neglected farmland.
Brendan Ogle is an Irish trade union official and one of the great inspirers of the movement Right2Water that started in 2014 as a reaction on the austerity agenda of the Irish government, enforced by the EU. The Irish government decided to privatise the water supply by installing the company Irish Water. Motivated by the unions, inspired by the European Citizens Movement and starting from the principle of water as a human right, Right2Water developed a new organisational three-pillar model with unionists, community organisations and progressive political parties to successfully resist and change policy decisions.
Abou Bakar Sidibé, filmmaker. While fleeing from Mali to Germany, he spent 15 months at the border fence in Melilla. Using a camera he documented the fates of people at the border. This resulted in the award-winning film "Les Sauteurs – Those who jump". Since his arrival in Germany, he has been committed to political, economic and social fundamental rights and transparent administrative procedures for refugees.
3pm – 4pm: debate
4pm – 4.30pm: Proclaiming the European Republic from the balcony
4.30pm – 6.00pm: end of debate