This year blocupy is once again staging the European Protest Days in Frankfurt / Main to protest against the European Union’s crisis regime. On 31st May and 1st June 2013 we want to join together to bring resistence against the politics of poverty, induced by the Government and the Troika – the ECB, the EU Commission and the IMF – and bring the resistence into the centre of the european crisis regime: to the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) and to many German banks and companies – those profiting from those policies.
We are part of these protests and aim to enrich them with queer-feminist interventions: On Friday morning there will be a queer-feminist dance blockade. We want to shake up the prevalent conditions! At the same time small care-mobs will be under way, carrying out various activities and blockades decentrally all over the city. The aim of the care-mobs is to visualise the terms of reproduction and their crisis. In the afternoon we will join up to build a larger care-mob. During the demonstration on Saturday we will express our criticism and the queer-feminist block will call for a “Care revolution”! Come and visit the camp, ask your questions, bring your ideas and contribute to the resistence against the crisis and help make the restrictions in our lives more visible.
Our double burden: capitalism and patriachate!
The current european policy of crisis exerts an immense pressure on all areas of social reproduction, whether in labour conditions in the health sector, in child-care, in education, nursing or the double burden in various forms of family or private life. Whilst the public debate focusses on recovery plans for banks and states, we will be putting people’s living conditions in the focal point and scandalising the current assignment of burdening tasks to women.
However, not only women – and not all women – are affected by capitalism, patriarchy and the current crises policies in the same way. Capitalism and patriarchy are based on the concept of the white, heterosexual, well-off and healthy man, who neither works in the area of reproduction and care nor is dependent on them.
Capatalism and patriarchy reproduce power structures which affect all who do not comply or do not want to comply with this concept: it restricts their lives and can even lead to exclusion. The current crisis solutions are worsening all these restrictions. Care work is being shifted in a neo-liberal manner into the private sector, thus removing the care work crisis from public discourse.
The reproduction crisis has many facets. It is showing itself in every country and in different manners. Here in Germany we see that:
women’s shelters, emergency hotlines and counselling centres are often threatened by austerity measures, although the worsening of economic conditions has lead to an increase in violence against women.
Youth education work takes place under precarious conditions
hospitals are being privatised and decreasing staff numbers no longer allow for adequate care.
Low wages and Hartz IV worsen every day life for many people, especially those with children, the number of people suffering from burn-out is on the rise.
Living conditions for people without documents or residents permits are worsening,
waiting lists for child day care are growing ,
there are not enough sign language interpreters and personal assistents for people with disabilities.
These crises results are not publicly present. The results are being handled in the private sector and are being solved individually. In general it is women who are made responsible for solving the problems, who „out of love“ accept being exploited as normality. The crisis of reproduction is a global and diverse crisis which we can only confront with global resistence – resistence which has long since begun. We are fighting singularisation and individualisation with solidarity and are developing collective strategies.
A revolution does not have to begin in factories. We learn from rural, indigenous, anti-colonial and feminist movements. We stand side by side with the resistence in factories and we are expanding the resistence to the reproduction sector. Here unpaid exploitation is cutting labour costs considerably , increasing profits, becoming part of the capitalist logic of valorisation.
Taking a broader view allows new perspectives and strategies for a life without capitalism. There are already numerous approaches all over the world which put life in focus. In every country in which the Troika is currently enforcing saving measurs and impoverishment, alternatives to capitalistic production, solidarity and resistence are developing. We share our solidarity with those who are affected by the war of the rich against the poor. We share our solidarity with those who are uniting to build a new life and resist the destruction of mankind and nature.
Capitalism is the crisis, every day, all over the world. Since 2008 it has spread to regions which have up till now been in the slipstream of capitalism. We will carry resistence from the outskirts of the crisis to the heart of the European crisis regime. We will cross the bloccupy protests in Frankfurt with feminist mobilisation.
Take away the basis of patriarchy and capitalism: put life in the focal point! Take part! Rise up! Dance! Take care!