Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe O l d e n b u r g
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Synthesis of organisational discussions
Coordination of 21/22 September - Paris
A) Aim of these marches:
- These marches will open new lines of communication between different European organisations concerned with the struggle against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion. They will enable the establishment of a durable European network of the participating organisations. - During these marches and the preparatory meetings scheduled for February, information will be exchanged on different unemployment compensations at the European level and initiatives to combat social exclusion. These discussions should result in a coherent common program of demands which will include both structural solutions and emergency proposals. - These marches should be the right time to mobilise the unemployed and the job insecure, but as well the ensemble of trade union, association, and political partners The goal is to gather at Amsterdam more than thirty thousand demonstrators from the different European countries.
B) The Calendar:
- Preliminary European meetings on unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion: These meetings are scheduled for Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd of February 1997 at Brussels. Before the end of October, the March Secretariat and the Belgian Delgation are to reserve a 500-600 seat room for this meeting. Five hundred persons are expected to be present at these reunions (between 50 and 100 for each country). These meetings will aim for three objectives: - The formulation and adoption of specific demands complementary to the Florence Appeal. Commissions dealing with specific themes will be set up in November and December in order to elaborate these propositions. - Official statements of the partners confirming their support for the organisation of the marches. - Publicity launching. An appropriate communication policy must be worked out beginning February 1997. The February 1 and 2 meeting will be preceded on Friday the 31st January by a technical coordination.
- The European marches against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion: From April 15 to June 15 1997 organisation committees in each country will work on organising initiatives: press conferences, reunions, local gatherings, demonstrations, "human chains", concerts, marches. Symbolic actions such as occupying vacant housing, occupying unemployment insurance agencies, "sit-ins" in front of ministries, can be programmed for the same day in different countries. A special youth event should be organised. The day the marches get under way, the 15th of April, there should be marked initiatives in all countries concerned. Furthermore, certain actions will manifest, on both a political and geographical scale, our desire to extend this movement to include the people of the countries of East Europe and south of the Mediterranean.
- The Amsterdam demonstration of 14 and 15 June 1997: There will be an Intergovernmental Conference in Amsterdam on the 16th and 17th of June. Our objective is to gather more than 30 million people from different European countries. The coordination of September 21 and 22 marked a preference for the date of demonstration Saturday the 14th of June. This date will be confirmed in collaboration with the Amsterdam organisation collective. The demonstration can end with a concert or super festival.
- October 1997 evaluation reunion: In October 1997, a meeting will be held to draw conclusions so far, prepare further European initiatives and consolidate the network exchange.
C) Organisation of the marches
The marches will go forth in a linear fashion, without the obligation to keep on walking. Different kinds of transport can be used under condition of continuous progression towards Amsterdam and to facilitate publicity. Different marches will be organised starting in the most distant localities and converging at Amsterdam. They will be met in towns on the way and will be the occasion for events concerning the meaning and purposes of the march. This was the method used in the marches of AC! in April and May 1994 in France. It requires two months of organisation and a significant influx of participants as the march progresses to Amsterdam.
During these two months, publicity events on a European scale will be organised in a programmed manner. In October and November, organisation meetings can be held in each country, following the example of the reunion of October 26th in Great Britain, or reunions encompassing border regions of different countries. Itineraries and the dates of major publicity events must be addressed before the end of December to the European Secretariat to draw up the dossier for Brussels. The ensemble of organisational details will be decided at Brussels, February 1st and 2nd, based on the national collectives' projects.
- Intercommunication and exchange of ideas: Since the major objective is the exchange of ideas between the organisations of different countries, the program of the marches must be thought out in such a way as to facilitate and encourage such intercommunication. To that end, a common material, translated into several languages, will be written and distributed at each event in each country. Groups of marchers will be transnational, so that at rest stops meetng participants can get to know the opinions of those of other countries. For example, it is conceivable to include 10 to 15 marchers from other countries in each large-scale march. Important publicity events, as well as press conferences, should be organised on a transnational basis, so that the participants can grasp the European aspect of the movement.
- Means of support: To enable a French marcher (for example) to participate for one month in a Spanish or German march, sponsorship can be worked out with trade unions, associations, and/or municipalities so that transport and food expenses will be taken care of. Publicity events can also find necessary financial support through co-organisation with associations, towns, trade unions and the publicity media itself.
D) Communication structure:
- Logo or emblem: The proposed logo representing a foot was chosen by the majority of those at the coordination of 21/22 September. The graphic artists will be asked to improve on this. A letterhead and poster presenting the project will be distributed to each national secretariat. The Secretariat will produce a badge. It will be available beginning November.
- March Newsletter: From March to June, a monthly newspaper can be put out. It will tell about the various initiatives, organisational stands, relevant aspects of each country's history and program propositions. This newsletter will be made up of articles written in different countries and consequently translated into other languages for distribution by subscription, during the marches and publicity events, in the countries involved.
- Pertinent publications: It is possible to publish books or booklets in several languages concerning the propositions as well as publications describing the different systems currently in use in Europe. These publications will provide background and support for press conferences and those speaking for organisors in each country.
- Internet link-up: Internet service is already an established communication factor in organisations and part of the program in certain countries (England, Holland...). Until such time as a French WEB site is acquired, documents can be sent to the following address: e-mail: email@example.com When they are acquired, an announcement will be distributed with WEB site (or sites) address.
- The mass media: Communication with the media is indispensable for the success of this project. In addition to press conferences using the media in each country, it is essential to establish partnership relationships with certain press or televised media to ensure the continuity of information.
- Legal problems: Legal problems such as movement of unemployed persons or immigrants over certain national borders are under study.
- "European Marcher" supporter card: In Brussels, a "European Marcher" card will be proposed, in different languages, which can be sold not too dear and in great quantity, so as to help fill the cash boxes of each national collective.
E) Organisation Secretariat:
- Coordination: Until the preliminary meetings in Brussels, the secretariat will be assured by the French Delegation. Telephone conferences will be made available every month, if possible, in English and French, as well as a message box available to all. A technical coordination meeting will be held at Brussels, Saturday the 30th of November.
Mailings will go out directly from the European Secretariat to all Appeal signatories. In return, a financial contribution will be asked to cover mailing expenses over a period of four months, October 1996 to January 1997. - small associations: 200 French francs - small trade unions: 500 French francs - big trade unions: 1,000 Franch francs - individuals: 500 French francs
Cheques are to be written to the order of "Marches Europennes 97"
- Translations: Since information exchange is one of the objectives of this operation, translation of texts agreed upon by the Secretariat must get maximum priority. A list must be drawn up of the languages to be used and availability of voluntary translators.
Language training sessions can also, be set up so that organisors and future marchers can communicate with greater ease.
- Filing system: Files on signatory organisations and associations are kept up to date by the European Secretariat. In particular, the secretariat will regularly issue a list of all these associations with a one-page description of each one's history and activities. This list is to be distributed in the various languages used by the coordination. Similarly, a list can be drawn up of individual speakers, specifying the theme of their talks and the language used.
- Financing: Jurg Schuppisser (Belgium), Christophe Aguiton (AC! France) and Jean Desessard (MNCP France) are in charge of finances. This commission will find funding and will draw up a provisional budget for common expenses. It must be noted that apart from the expenses undertaken by each country there will remain a certain amount of spending which cannot be reduced.
Original in French, Friday 27 September 1996
English translation, Sunday 29 September
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Last Modified: Sunday, October 13, 1996 at 08:59 PM