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Newsletter of the Salzburg-antiwef-coordination
by wipe out wef
Email: kontakt (nospam) antiwef.org
07 Aug 2002
This newsletter summerises the International meeting from activists to prepare the activities against the WEF in Salzburg (12th to 19th september). The meeting took place from the first to the second of July in Vienna
The people who came to the meeting came as well from eastern european countries as from EU-countries.
The next international meeting should be in early August in Salzburg. Invitations will be spread through the mailinglists (look for point 6 Communication).
(1) What happened last year in Salzburg plus information about Salzburg in general
(2) Legal situation/Repression
(3) Different austrian groups mobilising against the WEF
(4) Discussion about strategies against the WEF
(5) WEF agenda 2002
(1) WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR IN SALZBURG plus Information about Salzburg in General
Last year the first European Economic Summit took place from 1st to 3rd July 2001 in Salzburg. The former five Summits had been Middle and Eastern European Summits. The transformation of the Summit is a result of the increasing importance of the meeting in Salzburg.
Last year activists organised street theater, street parties and different smaller actions/demos. A forbidden demo with 1200 people entered the green and the yellow zone and touched the red one). 919 activists were encircled by police for 7 hours, more than 100 people have been accused. Although actions were rather peaceful; 3000-4000 cops from allover Austria transformed Salzburg into a fortress.
The Border situation last year: Schengen contract was temporarily suspended like in Gotheburg or Genua.
There were controls of the inner-EU-borders and all over Bavaria (southern Germany). Austrian and german police worked closely together, e.g. borrowed equipment.
Last year police set up three security zones in the inner city. We expect a similar situation this year:
Red Zone: location of the congress centre and some hotels where delegates stay. It?s only allowed to enter with a special ID. The red zone is very small and covers only the close surrounding of the congresscenter.
Yellow Zone: Entrance only allowed with a proof that you work, live there or have to visit a doctor (or similar)...
Green Zone: Where everyone?s ID can be checked without a reason, can be searched and sent away.
The Zones cover the whole inner city. In salzburg there is no underground or tram, only busses, which all pass the Zones. People might have to walk because busses can be controlled before entering a zone.
Salzburg is a rather small city with 140.000 inhabitants. A river (Salzach) separates the city into 2 parts. The city is close to the German/Austrian border. There is no WEF-representation office or building in Salzburg.
Infrastructure fixed till now:
- Independent Media Center
- Infopoint near the trainstation
- Free/cheap vegan food
- First aid for demos
- legal support
(2) LEGAL SITUATION/REPRESSION
Because of last year?s protests over hundred people were accused. 79 individuals had been identified through video and photo material, about 30 people are still unidentified. A few charges have already been dropped. Some people have been sentenced to money-fines. People all over Austria and in Germany had visits from the police at home and at work before and after the actions in Salzburg. Some accused people try to make a process together to make their process and the repression more public. The austrian parlament is into deciding a new law that forbids wearing masks on demonstrations. It is unclear whether this law will be fixed before Septembers actions.
The WEF and the police are trying to realize Arbenz? advices for dividing protest into people who are willing to have dialogue with the WEF and ?in no real dialogue interested with violence smypathising? protestors. Regarding to this definition no dialogue means violent.
(3) DIFFERENT AUSTRIAN GROUPS MOBILIZING AGAINST THE WEF
Anti WEF Koordination (AWK): The AWK is a group of indivduals and groups from austria. We will provide infrastructure for the protests in September (action days from 12th to 19th September). We also want to give a chance to different groups to coordinate their protest. We neither want dialogue with the WEF nor the police. People should not consume protest but mainly participate and plan autonoumos their actions.
Salzburg Social Forum (SSF): formed by peace initiatives, christian activists, green party, student groups, different communist groups, ATTAC Salzburg; The SSF is independent from Austrian Social Forum which has not been founded yet.
The SSF calls itself an open platform where all groups can join.
The AK (official workers representatives) Salzburg is planning a dialogue with the WEF (like ATTAC did last year). ATTAC Salzburg is organising a discussion on globalisation with representatives from Salzburgs economy this year. The ?leader? of ATTAC Salzburg has also great influence in the AK. For this reason it could be sayed he is organising both, the dialouge with the WEF and the discussion with the representatives from Salzburgs economy.The SSFs position is no dialogue with the WEF (the AWK questions this statement for the reasons mentioned).
The SSF concentrates mainly on the demo on Sunday but they also have a cultural team which tries to organise cultural events around the zones. SSF wants to lead the demo through the red zone. The SSF takes a strictly non violent position and only cooporates with groups who define themselves also as non violent.
ATIG-F (austrian-turkish communists): organize migrants march on saturday (day before big demo)
(4) DISCUSSION ABOUT STRATEGIES AGAINST THE WEF
The discussion on the last international meeting ran about if we should mobilise only to Salzburg or ask people to do action in there own cities (espeacially if they live far away). The costs for transport to and living in Salzburg may be not affordable for everybody, we ask these people and everybody else who is not able to come to Salzburg to take action whereever they are. This will bring a more global aspect to our protest.
There was also a dicussion about action days: Experiences with ?days of action? in other countries showed that rarely people did their own autonomous actions. If there are several big actions and meetingpoints people are more willing to participate in these and plan their own actions as well.
The ideas so far (the timetable is expandable by your actions):
thurdsday 12th workshops, start of the infopoint
friday 13th workshops, Battle on the bridge
saturday 14th workshops, NoBorder action, migrants march
sundy 15th (WEF opening), SSF demo
monday 16th (WEF Forum), demonstration into the congress center
tuesday 17th (WEF Forum), beach party in the yellow zone
Battle on the bridge: a battle on the main bridge in Salzburgs inner city in the yellow zone should happen with water pistols and vegetables to make fun of mainstream media reports (violent anarchists, chaots...), cause confusion and demonstrate against the new law against wearing masks on demos in Austria; in the end march/parade to the infopoint through the inner city as far as possible.
NoBorder action: on saturday two meeting points should be set up for busses, individuals, cars one on the german, one on the austrian side of the border. The demo coming from Austrian side of the border should cross the border and try to get back united with people from the other side if possible. This is also meant to cause troubles and confusion for the borderpolice and to make a spot on the border situation during the WEF and in general. Later the demo goes back to join the migrants march.
Demo on Monday:
Because the SSF demo takes place on Sunday when only the opening of the WEF takes place. We do another demonstration on Monday when the meetings take place to interrupt and close the Summit.
Beach Party: Party at the Salzach (the river) in the yellow zone to reclaim the city and have some fun.
An autonoums block on Sundays demo is also planed. The blocks should lead to the congresscenter.
Different workshops will be offered during the action days. Everybody is asked to enlarge the offers with own workshops to topics you are interested in. Brief overview:
- legal info
- first aid for demos
- theory Negri/Hardt ?The Empire?
- creative workshop
- preparation for action (e.g.: battle on the brige, pink silver)
(5) WEF AGENDA
Selected Agenda Items:
How Can Europe Be More Competitive?
Migration and Integration
Balancing Social Imperatives and Economic Growth
Economic Outlook for Europe
"Bridging Europe": Reconnecting Europe and Its Citizens
Restructuring the Balkans
Russia and Europe
Fighting Corruption and Organized Crime
European Security and Foreign Policy
European Government versus European Business
Although these are some topics of the European Economic Summit it is unclear what the WEF will exactly discuss. The WEF meetings are informal meetings which means there are no official decissions. Although there are some big plenar discussions they don?t have much influence on the policy of the WEF-members. The more important part of the meetings are the dinners the working breakfast and the cultural programm which provides the surrunding for informal discussions between members (and also between members and poiticians). The results of these discussions mostly don?t get public. The newspaper reports concentrate on the results of plenar meetings to which media is invited. The European Economic Summit is meant to provide a place for eastern european politicians and western corporation representatives to get in contact.
For example Austria is No.1 investor in Croatia which is relayed to the WEF.
There are two new e-mail lists set up:
to subscribe send a mail to
?majordomo (at) antiwef.org? and write in the body
?subscribe antiwef-sbg-de? (for german)
?subscribe antiwef-sbg-en? (for english)
or visit http://www.antiwef.org where you will find a simple formular to subscribe.