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United! Are We? - An imaginary country and an imaginary situation... With real consequences

Just for a few minutes:

Think of a country, where a consistent austerity program is ongoing for a number of years. Cuts are hurting people in every aspect of life and more and more people are becoming unemployed.

Imagine that in this country, there is a level of demoralisation and despite some signs of fightback from various trade unions, community groups etc., these campaigns are still independent of each other and small in size.

Further imagine that the youth of the country is emigrating to find jobs and a better life somewhere else.

Assume - not very difficult to do so - that the media keeps telling the people of this country that “there is not much people can do and things are the way they are, and that people need to be 'good' and share the burden and pain.”

Further assume that the media shuts down all its pages, screens etc. and does not report any campaigns-protests. What is more, people are constantly reminded that protesting does not work and that they should not bother with it at all.

While there are thousands of angry members in trade unions, imagine a leadership that instead of pushing things forward, pacifies the members with all sorts of bureaucratic attitudes.

While some local anti-cuts, anti-austerity campaigns succeed, some others don't, and people start admitting the defeat...

There is always talk of a left unity in this imaginary country but there are also some terrible experiences of united electoral campaigns or united left blocks.

There are elections coming soon and everyone talks about the importance of using this process to mobilise people to fight-back against failed austerity programs of failed governments.

Consider the situations where there are also, still not politically organized, but visible racist attacks on migrants, minorities and various sections of society. There are sinister attempts of blaming asylum seekers and migrant workers for the suffering the people of this country must endure.

While there are some anti-racist campaign groups, the overall space of anti-racism is filled with NGOs.

And... Some day in a town of this country, a Muslim women or a migrant worker becomes the victim of a horrific racist attack.

What do you do?
Angry? - Yes?
Upset? - Yes?
Can't make sense of it? - No!
Did you see it coming, slowly but surely? Maybe!

All of that is fine, but what do you do?

Do you show your anger in different individual styles and leave it at that? - Some do so!

Do you show your anger by organising protests to show your opposition to racism and show solidarity with the victim? - Possibly! Hopefully!

Who do you it with? Alone just with your own people? - Some think this is the way to go...

Together with others that you can agree with on specific issues and can have a common goal? - Many also think that this is a good idea.

Who are the others?

Just Random groups and organisations? - Most likely Not. This wouldn't work!
Or some groups, organisations that you have worked with in the past? - Hopefully this is the case.

What do you say to those other organisations and groups?
All welcome” – I sure hope so
Or, “All welcome but don't come as a group, don't bring your banners, don't distribute your flyers?” - I sure hope not!

What happens if you start banning political parties, trade unions, other groups from coming together under their own identity but together with all others as a united front?
- They don't turn up!

What happens if they don't turn up?
- You and your protest starts, stays and ends small.

Who are all of these 'others' that are excluded from joining in? - Together, the vast majority of people that you can fight-back with...

So think again.... A country... Austerity... Cuts... Lot's of anger... Demoralisation... Signs of people fighting back... Media propaganda... Further cuts on the way... A tense society... Job losses... Misguided anger and racism directed towards migrants, Muslims, Roma people, Travellers, in other words, anyone who can be easily blamed for billions wasted...

And now, you tell me: You want to have a protest against that imaginary horrific racist attack where no other banners, flyers, leaflets, no political parties, no other identities in solidarity are welcomed?

What privileges do you possess to make this fight a fight of only yours?

Now, you tell me again: Why is my union, my political party, my associations and many more people like me with all sorts of progressive identities are banned?

Now, you tell me on more time: A politically motivated attack, by a politically organized party, on a politically active and affiliated person happens, and it happens due to the political situation in the country, and you don't want any politics in your protest...?

To hell with that...!

You may not agree with all other political views but do you really have a choice, can you really afford to exclude the 'others', the others you can and you should work with?

Can that said victim of the racist attack afford this situation?

Your answers matter. They matter because we need to fight a strong enemy. A united and forceful enemy... A polically motivated enemy.

And united we must fight!

Saying "no politics!" is the worse form of politics....
Solidarity!

Language: 
English
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