European Marches against unemployment
Text prepared for the meeting of 21 and 22 September at Paris
The situation in September 1996In June 96, in Florence, different delegations called for the organisation of these marches and the holding of preparatory meetings.
This appeal was taken up by organisations in different European countries. Thus, we may look forward with a certain realism to the organisation of these initiatives.
The collection of signatures must nevertheless continue.
The modalities of the preliminary meetings in Brussels and the calendar of the march itself are to be set out in Paris on September 21 and 22.
Preliminary European meetings on unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusionIt is anticipated that these meetings will be held at Brussels on January 17 and 18.
The secretariat of the Marches (or the Belgian Delegation) must make sure of the availability of the European Parliament for this reunion).
500 persons are expected to be present.
This reunion has three objectives.
The European marches against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusionDuring April, May and June 1997, committees in each country will work on organising initiatives. These may take the form of press conferences, reunions, local gatherings, demonstrations, human chains, concerts, marches ...
Symbolic actions such as occupying vacant buildings and unemployment insurance agencies and sit-ins before ministries might be scheduled for the same day in different countries.
The Amsterdam demonstration of 28 June 1997It would be effective to coordinate with the marches, the massive European demonstration against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion.
The objective is to gather more than thirty thousand people from different European countries.
The demonstration can wind up with a concert or a super festival.
October 1997 evaluation conferenceIn October 1997 a meeting will be held to draw conclusions, prepare further European initiatives, and consolidate the network exchange.
C) Organisation of the marches
Two methods:La première méthode consiste à concevoir les marches de façon linéaire, sans qu'il y ait obligation de continuité pédestre.
Différentes marches sont organisées à partir des villes les plus éloignées pour converger vers la destination finale d'Amsterdam. Elles sont accueillis lors de leur passage dans les villes étapes et sont l'occasion d'organiser des événements.
Cette méthode a été utilisée lors des marches d'AC ! d'avril et mai 94, en France.
Cette méthode nécessite l'organisation des marches sur trois mois et la montée au puissance au fur et à mesure de l'approche d'Amsterdam.
La seconde méthode consiste à organiser dans un délai d'un mois des marches dans chaque pays. Ainsi, chaque pays est maître de son organisation. La cohérence du projet est la simultanéité des initiatives et les propositions programmatiques communes.
En septembre, il faudra dresser l'inventaire des forces et des moyens dans chaque pays, pour donner corps au projet.
The first is to think of the marches in a linear way, except for the obligation to keep walking.
The second method is the organisation within one month of marches within each country. Thus each country is in charge of its own organisation. The coherence of the project lies in the simultaneity of initiatives and common program propositions.
In September, it will be necessary to draw up an inventory of the means and capacities of each country , so that this project may take on real substance .
Intercommunication and exchange of ideasSince the objective is exchange between the different organisations of different countries, the organisation of the marches must be conceived in such a way as to facilitate and encourage such exchanges.
To that end, a common material, translated into several languages, will be written and distributed at each event in the different countries.
Groups of marchers will be transnational, so that at rest stops meeting participants can hear the opinions of those of other countries.
Important publicity events as well as press conferences should be organised in a transnational manner so that the participants can readily appreciate the European aspect of the organisation.
Sponsorship:So that a French marcher (for example) can participate during one month in a Spanish or German march, it might be possible to organise a sponsorship, say with a union, association, or muncipality which can pay for food and transportation expenses.
Similarly, for necessary financing purposes, publicity events can be organised with the support of associations, towns, unions and mass media.
D) Communication structure:
Emblem:In September, the coordination will give its opinion on the various proposals for emblems or insignia.
A letter-head and a poster presenting the project will be distributed to each national secretaryship.
The March Newsletter:From January to June a monthly paper can be put out which will report in several languages the various initiatives, the viewpoints of the different organisations, historical background in each country and programmatic propositions.
Financial backing should be obtained for this project (the European Parliament, for example).
Pertinent publications:The publication in several languages of books concerning the propositions as well as books outlining the different systems currently in use in Europe.
These books provide background and support in press conferences and for organisers.
internet link-up:Starting in September an Internet server can be established - EUROPEAN MARCHES AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT, JOB INSECURITY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION - setting forth initiatives, historical background on organisations calling for the March, programmatic propositions ...
The mass media:Communication with the media is indispensable for the success of this project.
In addition to press conferences with the media in each country, it is essential to maintain relations of partnership with certain printed or televised media in such a way as to ensure continuity of information.
An example assurance of a regular weekly program on ARTE.
The Coordination :At this time, the work of the secretariat is being carried out by the French delegation, and Christophe is in charge of coordination.
In September, however, the balance sheet of secretariats of each country should be drawn up and the role of a European secretriat defined.
In particular, access to telephone conference facilities and message boxes must be made available for all.
In September, it will have to be decided if secretariat mailings are
Translations:Since information exchange is one of the objectives of this operation, translation of texts put out by the Secretariat must get maximum priority.
Therefore, a list must be drawn up of languages used, translator availability and practical estimation of time needed.
Starting in October, language training sessions should be set up so that organisors and future marchers can communicate more easily.
Filing systemThe European secretariat keeps up to date the file of signatory associations and organisations.
In particular, it also regularly issues a list of all these associations with a one-page description on the activities and history of each one.
This list is distributed in the various languages used by the coordination.
Financing:In September, a commission will be set up to look after financing.
Actually, apart from expenses undertaken by each country, there is a certain amount of spending which cannot be reduced.
Translation: Cynthia Powsner
21-22/09/96 in Paris