Below, please find two letters written this morning, and posted to the mailing list of the European Social Forum. The first is my response to the most recent newsletter from the Anti-imperialist Camp; the second contains reflections on the lack of a common movement for a neutralist and denuclearized European Union.


Beyond the euro

Hello anti-imperialistic comrades,
and thank you for your newsletter. Although I cannot remember having ever subscribed to it (some friend or acquaintance seems to have put me on your mailing list) I often at least skim-read it. Sometimes, I also try to read your postings with the linked articles with more care and afterthought.
Where I cannot follow you is when you declare yourselves to be enemies, not only of imperialism and the euro, but of the European Union, a concept that was given a more precise meaning, if not actually invented by the Italian political theorist (and MEP, 1979-1986) Altiero Spinelli. The sad fact is, that you have only empty words to put in its stead. Of course, you are not alone in this throwing the baby out with the bath water. The lack of a common idea of the EU is our main weakness, which I do not hesitate to call a sickness of mind.
But this weakness-sickness cannot be cured with phrases like "popular sovereignty". Nor should we try to do away with the EU in the name of "democracy", because democracy will not come to Europe without a "European Union", that is, without a democratic European state, based on an agreement between the citizens of the European countries.
Yes, the present EU is dominated by a Capitalist oligarchy. But how can anybody fail to recognize that the rulers of this EU have stolen the original ideas of the EU which were laid down in, for instance, the Manifesto of Ventotene (1941)?
The article on "Italy in Revolt" by Leonardo Mazzei is quite alarming ( here ). I congratulate the author for avoiding the usual mistake of simply dismissing the present social protest movements in Italy, which are called the "forconi", as "populist" or "fascist". However, if you declare yourself enemies of European unity, where else can those movements end up, if not in pernicious right-wing nationalism?
Agreed, the common currency, the euro, has failed. Every day, it is becoming more ghostlike. But would it not be possible, for the time being, to re-introduce national currencies? Indeed, it is possible and even probable that this will happen anyway in a number of European countries.
Conclusion: favour the Euro Exit, but reinforce the political project on European Union!
In a second posting, I shall add a word about the EU we all need.
Greetings from Finland,
PS This is an open letter. Therefore, I CC it to the mailing list of the European Social Forum.


ICAN or/and ICAN

It sounds like a joke. And why not? Funny, we have not only one ICAN, we have two of them!
Yesterday, somebody summarized this coincidence in a tweet:
#goodbyenukes and goodbye #Troika: ICAN (Int'l Citizen debt Audit Network) to join ICAN (Int'l Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)!
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is something that I have known about for some time already. Nobody, who is involved in the preparations of the Sarajevo Peace Event 2014 (see can avoid stumbling over it. The present writer is involved in that project, which has its origins in a plan to organize a Thematic World Social Forum against War and Militarism. It will be in Sarajevo 6-9 June, 2014. It will certainly also be a good occasion to commemorate the last century of the peace movements -- and to relaunch them!
The other ICAN, then, where did that come in? Most recently, it popped up in the first newsletter from Troika Watch, which was posted on this mailing list. Please read it at their website , if you missed the posting. It is very good and inspiring, although it has nothing about Ukraina, NATO's missile shield and the Russian nuclear missiles in old Königsberg (Kaliningrad). But that will be covered in later issues, we may hope and believe.
The Troikawatch newsletter is produced by "a group of people that mostly know each other from meetings like the European Social forum, Firenze 10+10, the Altersummit, EU in crisis or Blockupy. Some of us work for progressive NGOs like the Bretton Woods Project, CEO, CADTM or TNI, others are activists in networks like Attac or ICAN". There it is again, the International Citizen debt Audit Network (ICAN)!
The first image that hits the eyes of the visitor at (the website if ICAN !) is the symbol of peace, painted on the stomach of a young man. This is the now widely used symbol originally designed for the British nuclear disarmament movement, and reused by millions of people in the European Disarmament movement of the 1980s. (Nowadays ☮ is also available in Unicode as U+262E .)
Yes, ICAN is ICAN. And yet ICAN is not ICAN. How can that be? And why?
In my previous posting, I promised to add something about the EU we all need. Here:
The EU we all need starts with END, meaning European Nuclear Disarmament. (Funny how these acronyms can sometimes take on real meaning!) We need a denuclearized and neutralist power between the USA and Russia. Many Americans, and quite a few Russians as well, understood this already in the 1980s. Therefore, they gave END all support they could, while continuing to fight against the armaments of their respective military blocs.
Climate justice is impossible without disarmament. Think of all the fossil fuels and raw materials that are consumed by the armies and in the production of new weapons systems for deployment on the soil, in the seas, in the air and in outer space! Not to speak about the immediate climatic threat of even a "limited" nuclear war!
As long as our economies are war economies, we may as well forget about preventing the global warming. A stark reminder of the reality of the war economy is the recent report "Don't Bank on the Bomb", on the Financing of nuclear weapons producers, from the Dutch Inter-Church Council (IKV). (See
Why do we let the banks of Europe continue to invest billion after billion in the production of nuclear weapons?
Why is ICAN not ICAN?
OK. Is it not time that ICAN becomes ICAN?