Gathered in Brussels on 15 and 16 March, the members of the Alter Summit network unifying social movements, trade unions and NGOs have taken an important step forward in their attempt to create a European social movement. Eleven weeks from now, all those in favor of a democratic, social, ecological and feminist Europe will have their eyes on Athens, where numerous events are scheduled to take place on 7 and 8 June.
The choice to organize happenings calling for another Europe in Greece is of crucial importance. For three years, the country has been a laboratory of destructive austerity policies dictated by the Troika. Time has come to make it the laboratory of a new European vision placing solidarity and the needs of the people in the forefront and to tackle the refoundation of the European Union on new basis.
On 7 June, a huge assembly will be held in the Peace and Friendship Stadium of Athens. Thousands of activists and committed citizens from Greece and across Europe are expected to attend speeches presenting the “Manifesto of the People”. This text is based on a long and fruitful discussion led by the components of the Alter Summit network and expresses their common views on what a much-needed reorientation of the European Union should look like. Later on in the evening, an International Cultural Event motivated and inspired by a strong solidarity with the social and political struggles of the Greek people will entertain the participants and help spreading the political message in a stimulating way.
The next day will mainly be dedicated to the exchanges of practices and ideas on particular topics that shake up Europe: the danger of the extreme right, social and environmental justice, feminism facing austerity, what democracy for Europe? etc. These exchanges will take the form of assemblies and should help to define how to develop a European wide social movement. A bigger space will be given to grassroots activists from Southern Europe since they have suffered at most of the harsh consequences of austerity. The sharing of their daily resistances will play a central role and contribute therefore in developing a greater sense of solidarity in the participants coming from the north. In the early evening, a massive demonstration will carry the messages of the Alter Summit throughout Athens. This is a chance to attract the attention at a European level and, at the same time, to give hope by destroying the far too well widespread idea according to which there would be no alternative.
In the upcoming weeks, it will be crucial to make the Alter Summit better known in the European countries, and in particular to build links with the ongoing struggles and the forces who might share its objectives. Several tools will be available, such as a flyer, a Call and the website: www.altersummit.eu