After a day of intensive debate, analysis and planning for cooperation and action, the Europe against Austerity Conference heard Coalition of Resistance Secretary Andrew Burgin propose the following Declaration, on behalf of the European Preparatory Committee. The Declaration was unanimously endorsed by the Conference which was attended by over 600 people:
This European conference meets not a moment too soon.
The peoples of Europe face an unprecedented social, political and economic crisis.
Our governments are implementing the most savage spending cuts designed to destroy all the social gains of the post-war period. These will wreck the lives of millions by devastating jobs, pay, pensions, health, education and other services.
The world financial crisis of 2008 was transformed into a crisis of state debt — nation states bailed out the financial system, but in doing so seriously weakened their own balance sheets. Greece stands on the verge of default and other states will not be far behind.
The only solution offered by the ruling elite is austerity for the great majority and bailouts for the banks and the wider financial system.
While ordinary people face great hardship, trillions of Euros are being poured into the pockets of the rich. There has never been a greater disparity of wealth between capital and labour — between rich and poor.
Throughout Europe people are fighting back. They are determined to defend their societies and to overturn the barbarism of austerity. Our aim is to help unite these struggles. We need a common European front to defend the peoples of Europe. We are committed to opposing all cuts, privatization and attacks on the welfare state and to build solidarity with resistance to these attacks.
Thus we support resistance by the trades unions through strikes and other forms of industrial action. We say no to imperialist wars and their endless drain on resources and say yes to welfare, peace and justice.
We oppose the scapegoating of immigrant communities for the economic crisis and the stirring up of racism and islamophobia which divides and weakens our resistance. We will campaign against the rise of the far-right which seeks to do this.
The way forward relies both on resistance and the elaboration and promotion of an alternative economic strategy: the banks must be placed under democratic control. Private banks must be socialized and the financial markets regulated. The European Union and national governments must meet the needs of people — not impose austerity programmes. Taxes raised for the rich and corporations. Illegitimate debt must be renounced. The creditors must be held responsible. We won’t pay for their crisis!
An alternative economic and political strategy would support welfare, develop homes, schools, and hospitals, protect pensions and foster a green approach to public spending — investing in renewable energy and public transport, thereby creating millions of new jobs.
This conference resolves to build on the links developed in preparing this conference and to establish an ongoing European co-ordination to organise and support resistance to debt and austerity.
We pledge to support the mobilisations of the Indignados on October 15, actions against debt and International Financial Institutions from 8th to 16th October and the G20 in Nice in November. We also pledge to work towards a common day of action against austerity in 2012 and call on the trade union movement across Europe to prepare a day of industrial action against austerity.
For more information about the European Conference Against Austerity & Privatisation, visit <www.europeagainstausterity.org>.