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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch
Anne Roth on Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:44:00 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch


A few unstructured thoughts from one who just went to see (and pay for)
the evening event:

There was a LOT of interest by German media, unsurprisingly, since
Varoufakis draws a lot of attention. No other left event intending to
start an initiative for whatever would have that effect.

No complaints. If it takes stars to shine some light on the fact that
there is an alternative - fine. The same goes for the format of the
event which under all other circumstances I would have found nothing but
painful.

Speeches about the general state of things, slogans, politicians'
general view of the world, for hours one after the other. In the name of
founding a movement - seriously? Eastern Europe mostly left out, far
less women on stage than men, hrm.

But, in the face of this dominant shift to the right which has finally
also hit Germany as a backlash to Merkel's handling of the refugee
situation I'm actually grateful for any initiative that draws attention
to the fact that there is life on the left side of politics. It's good
to get politicians, activists, intellectuals this different together to
show there is a need and the possibility for change.

In some areas of the German left there was criticism that all people on
stage support boycotting Israel or something of the kind (I don't know
if that's actually true) and therefore are all antisemites. That's a
given in German politics and to be expected. No need to agree with that
position necessarily but I wanted to add this observation as it was part
of the public mumbling during and after the event.

I left around midnight (next day was Wednesday, regular school/working
day: who was this event for, actually?) with some questions after 3,5
hours of speeches. I had stayed just long enough to hear the first
questions from the audience and, like them, would like to know: how?
What are the steps towards a movement, any activity, what will those
activities actually be? There will be events, and there will be
something digital, they said, but how? I admit I arrived already with
the strong belief that you can't 'found' a movement but since, I'm sure,
the people on stage understand that, I was very curious to hear what
they had in mind instead. Unfortunately that wasn't talked about really
and maybe the leaders of parties etc. simply aren't the right people to
come up with ideas for new movements.

At least some basic information about where, how, when, who, what next
would have been good to have and at this stage I don't even know how I'm
going to find out but I hope there will be more concrete steps and
information soon.

Another question concerns the non-public parts during the day: how did
that come to be actually? How did people get chosen, who chose them,
what was the aim, what were the outcomes? Again: what next?

My younger self would have totally rejected the whole thing simply for
its form but today, like I said, I'm all for almost any kind of
initiative that is just that: an initiative and not just words, against
the neoliberal-conservative-fascist monster we face.

Anne



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