[Pga_europe_process] evaluation in pieces by glocal group hanau

infoladen infoladen_hanau at gmx.net
Thu Oct 7 20:46:51 CEST 2004

Right into the silence on this list, we would like to share some of
our impressions out of the conference in Belgrade with you. Also with
the hope to hear some more voices about it. Except very few comments
we did not find much about the conference in the web, and we are
really interested how others evaluate it.

some pieces of an evaluation
by glocal group hanau

PGA-conference in Belgrade About a partly broken „activist ghetto“ but
also a conference without a program, about electricians in the rain, a
fantastic combination between samba-band and roma-orchestra, an
impressing workers-assembly but also about a network without
obligations and a lack of continuity...

In the beginning we had been very sceptical: especially the missing
program made us worry, the big infrastructural challenge seemed to
kick out the content. We had some reservations concerning the
reliability of groups and people related to PGA  - and at first these
realities seemed to correspond with all this.

Sunday we got a first feeling for the special quality of this
conference: the workers assembly was really impressive for us –
although we couldn’t get everything about it’s content. It would be
very interesting to have a special report about it from people who
attended it all the time. For us it seems to be a big step forward
that this assembly had been possible in the frame of a pga-conference.
Also the participation in the strike of the electricians left us
impressed. We did not expect it like that. Also the talks with people
from the local roma-community, the visits in the refugee camps – all
this seemed to be a new quality of openness and the clear wish to
refer more to the daily based struggles, to ask more than to
declare... samba band and roma orchestra on tuesday night made us feel
this real mixture of interest in other social realities. In many of
those links the local social reality got very visible.

What left us unsatisfied was the low participation of eastern european
activists – for which one reason had been for sure the unclear
situation between activists in Belgrade itself. But the more important
problem had been that for a very long time the questions of visa and
travelling funds were not transparent for people. This has to become
better for the next time.

PGA is not a well-known network. From our point of view, one of the
reasons is the lack of mobilisations and campaigns to identifie it
with. PGA shall be network and tool but not organisation – is the
argument we mostly heard, when we asked about it before. In Belgrade
we have faced a change of atmosphere. A change in the question of
summit-hopping as well as in the declared willingness to think about
campaigns and the relationship to other struggles. The relation
towards the Anti-G8-mobilisation to scottland next summer seemed to be
differenciated. A local grounding stays essential – and summit-hopping
without it somehow senseless. Nevertheless those big mobilisations
brought the anticapitalist movement to public opinion – what lead to
the fact that we now have to deal with everything what follows this
step. But in contradiction to „summit-hopping-bashing“ of the last
years most people shared the opinion that we also need such bigger

As another outcome the idea of ESTAFETTE is a possible campaign which
could become one step further in both directions: it could make PGA as
a network more visible and recognizable. On the other hand – and this
is for sure the more important line – ESTAFETTE could be something to
really exchange experience via the different actions concerning the
links to more daily struggles around appropriation. Espacially if we
manage to document it in a good way, having in mind some questions
concerning these possible links, how the actions where dealing with
the ongoing undeclared  struggles around (re)appropriation... Some
examples we refered to in the preparation of the workshop „breaking
the activist ghetto“: „all over eastern europe you can find them: big
markets where you can buy everything, eg. also faked passports. all
kinds of label-piracy from newest dvd's till nike-shoes are sold. one
of the various ways how people use forms of approriation to organise
their survival. (...) four days long in lecova, slovakia a supermarket
has been repeatedly attacked by a group of more than 80 romas who
looted food. they declared that they were forced to loot as they don't
have anything to eat. in poland struggles against eviction of flats
have emerged. the inhabitants were not able to pay the rent - and not
willing to become homeless. and also the struggles against
privatisation of factories can be seen as a term of reappropriation,
be it in front of the factory gates in ozarow near warsaw or in
occupied factory of "jugoremedija" in the city of zrenjanin,
serbia...“ Out of these reasons ESTAFETTE seems to be the right step
to carry on with the spirit of this years conference – and we are
looking forward to see how it will work out...

....we stay sceptical about the continuity of working on such a common
project. We fear the collaps of the dynamiks of such meetings like the
conference. To continue discussions via mailinglists seems to be
complicated for a lot of people. So we are very much in favour to talk
about it in London at one of the autonomous spaces around the ESF as
well as in january in Linz at the wintermeeting.

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