Slovenia. Building solidarity and resistance against capitalist devastation…


A Call-Out from the Balkan Anarchist Bookfair May 24th – 26th, 2013, Ljubljana – Slovenia

Participants, anarchist organizations, groups, collectives and individuals take this opportunity to spread a call for a larger international uprising against capitalism.

As people revolt against the capitalist system, austerity measures and political elites, numerous experiments in direct democracy from below, and non-hierarchical organizing in places of work, of study, and of daily life are taking place, or are at least starting to be imagined. Equally, we are confirming through our daily experience that such movements are always vulnerable to criminalization, to attempts at centralization, and to the usurpation of the new political terrain at the hands of existing and emerging elites. In times like this it becomes all the more important that the anarchist movement analyses the dynamic social and political situation in real time, and then acts on it through direct action.

In the Balkans, a region that has known the rise of nationalisms and conflicts for a long period of time, it is our aim to transform the region into an area of strong transnational communication and build networks of solidarity. As the situation in the Balkans is closely linked to the general development of the EU and its periphery, there is also a need to connect and support each other in this wider region. We find it important to build up links with anarchists in places where the movement is emerging in recent years as an active and progressive force of wider social unrest and revolutionary activity. Examples include current initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Our struggles go beyond national and regional borders, and embrace people around the globe fighting against capitalism and for a world of solidarity.

Anarchists from countries and regions beyond the Balkans stand in solidarity with comrades from the Balkans in the struggle against nationalism and against austerity. We publicise each other's struggles within organisations and collectives and also in propaganda. The aim is to realize our ideas and analysis of the situation amongst people in the places where we work, live and study. By doing this, we try to overcome the artificial division between center and periphery of european and global capitalism, as well as the chauvinism predominant in the richer european countries and the "West" in general. We aim to connect the struggles in different areas of the world and recognize each other as equals that can mutually learn from and support each other.

While we struggle against social and economic injustice, we reaffirm our determination to fight against all forms of domination, discrimination, hierarchies and chauvinism in our daily lives as well. Minorities defined by the authorities along such lines as ethnicity and/or religion face additional pressures, which must be overcome to realize social change.

We wish to invite everyone to join us in the common process of building a political space to reflect on the new terrain of struggle that is being imposed on us by capitalism, and on ways of standing our ground, fighting back and taking the offensive. As capital pushes us to the margins of society and robs us of control over our lives, people invent new forms of mutual aid, solidarity, political and social organization. The questions for anarchists are clear: how can we organize resistance from below? How can we cooperate with and intervene in wider social movements, so that we build relationships against and beyond capitalist exploitation? And how do we develop concrete, sustainable alternatives that not only resist capitalist devastation, but open the way for a revolutionary transformation of our everyday lives?

It is important to build up infrastructures of resistance and defend existing ones, to exchange knowledge and experience of the common struggles, leading to the acquisition and development of new and more effective tools for the total abolition of the existing order of domination and exploitation.

Like the resistance taking place all around Europe as in other parts of the world, this is a process with many different forms of struggle and expression. All are equally important and none should be ignored, pushed aside or criminalized. It is in this multitude that we engage in a process that re-orientates power towards control over our own lives and that cannot be captured, branded or instrumentalised by any particular interests, groups or parties. In this way, it opens a process of reclaiming space for people to intervene in the discourse of the crisis politics being applied.

Our solidarity goes out to all suppressed people struggling for liberation. As examples we name the struggles against the planned gold mines in Chalkidiki, Greece as well as in Romania and Bulgaria, the occupation and self-management of the factory of Vio-Me in Thessaloniki, as well as the recent uprising in Slovenia. We also want to stress the importance of standing together against the repression these and other movements are facing.

The Balkan Anarchist Bookfair is a concrete step to fighting back against nationalism, developing international solidarity and fueling future projects. In the last ten years we tried under very difficult conditions in a war-beaten region to construct another world andset the foundation for a departure from the capitalist system, the state and all relations of power, towards liberty and emancipation.

A beginning was made, and we invite everyone to continue this path together.

General assembly of the participants of the Balkan Anarchist Bookfair 2013
Ljubljana, 26. May 2013