A few words about us – Who we are
A few words about Real Democracy Groningen
We are people from different nationalities that participate in the grass-roots political group of Real Democracy Groningen based on the principles of direct democracy. We first gathered together in the spring of 2011 at the squares of Groningen participating in the huge wave of protests against the policies that hurt the rights and the lives of the people. We follow the spirit of hope and resistance as it emerged in Tunisia and in Egypt, that crossed the Mediterranean to Puerta del Sol and the Syntagma square and spread all around the world with the Occupy movement.
We came together in order to be on the same side with the workers and the young people and we decided to take action and struggle as a reaction to the huge waves of austerity and budget cuts imposed by governments leading to the deterioration of our lives. All these measures are the consequence of the way that the states decided to confront the systemic crisis of 2008which resulted in decreased profit rates for the owners, and huge increase of debts and deficits, mainly in the EU. The policies that were implemented were a mixture of support for the banks and the multinational companies, in order to be safe, and of cutting much of the funds intended for the welfare of society. As a result, the unemployment skyrocketed, poverty increased and the living standards deteriorated in the periphery of EU while in the core this situation is in front of us. In the Netherlands, a number of measures have been while other have been accelerated: education cuts, deterioration of cleaners’ working conditions, dismissals in the mail and the transportation systems, cuts in the health care system, increase in the retirement age to 67 with the agreement of the labour unions. The gap in society in terms of income, which is rising dramatically, should be closed.
This is by no means a new development. However, today it is obvious to nearly everybody that former justifications fall apart. We finally now question what has been presented to us as inevitability and intrinsic to human nature, namely that we all are self-interested profit-maximizers, that unlimited economic growth is the only road to welfare and that a free market system is the best to regulate all aspects of human life. The history of the past decades has shown us that these “truths” were rather assumptions that served the interest of a small minority than the people in general.
This is a situation that we must change!
Crisis has spread in a pan-European level and until now the elites have increased their profits by socializing the burdens of the crisis. The role of the EU, which is part of the problem in this battle, cannot be hidden: the objective of the EU and the IMF is to save the banks and not the people. We fight against the policies and directives of the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF.
A common tendency among the working class is to throw up their hands in despair in the belief that humanity is corrupt by nature and that all efforts at moral progress are pointless. The best antidote to this attitude is to demonstrate the power of social movements. The people must take the future in their hands and to react within their grass-roots labour and student unions. We support and encourage the workers, who go on strike overcoming the fear of dismissal and fight for their rights. We stand by those who are now weak, isolated and disempowered. The message is solidarity, the means to express it is commitment.
We furthermore have to act in a way of pan-European, international coordination in order to face this harder and deeper attack from the governments, EU and the banks. People in each sector (like students, cleaners, workers in transportation systems and workers in the postal service) have to interact and to be connected in order to create a powerful movement that will demand an equal and just society.
In the last months apart from our weekly assemblies in which we have discussed issues of concern to the participants we have also joined the working struggles of the subsidized workers and the cleaners in Groningen and we organized demonstrations against current crisis consequences and solidarity demonstrations to struggles in Greece and Spain. Additionally we have organized several discussion and information events for the general public.
We struggle for:
- Ensuring that the workers get their entitled gains of their own production
- Job security, stable employment for everyone
- Free education, health care and housing for everyone
- Power in politics and economy shall be handed to the people by democratic means
- Abolishing social, racial and gender segregation
We will decide for ourselves and we will not let the others prescribe our future without us!
We will not pay the crisis that they created!
We are not the problem, the system is the problem! We are the solution!
Real Democracy Groningen