On 3 March 2016, the 2nd Self Organized DiEM25 Finnish Gathering was held at a lecture hall of the University of Helsinki, Finland. Around 80 people found their way to the event which was organized in rather short period of time and advertised mainly in Facebook and with a few posters around the campus.
Heikki Patomäki, Professor of World Politics at the University of Helsinki, opened the gathering providing a brief overview of the history of the discussions on the state of democracy in the EU and connection between it and economical power. Then he shared some key points about the global trends e.g. failed and soon-to-be-failed economic policies and the rise of authoritarianism and nationalism in many countries. In addition he introduced some of his own ideas about more functional and equitable structures for the new version of the EU.
One of the organizers of the event Katariina Pietiläinen, introduced the proposed 6 battlegrounds and steps to the Conventional Assembly, and some ideas about organisational aspects at the local level in general. In the discussion ideas around the need of making information about the ideas and facts behind DiEM25 easily accessible, and of gathering together other activists, movements and organisations which are now fighting the same fight in different stages separately, were raised. Could the idea of democracy build bridges between them?
Thomas Wallgren, docent in philosophy and long-term activist, shared in a most structural way!, he’s experiences, hopes and doubts about diem-like movements. He pointed out that there is strong wave of activism rising due to the painful experience of how the Troika crushed down on Syriza after its victory in elections. DiEM25 seems to shine with the brightest light amongst them in Europe. Still it is highly important to think how to create solidarity and cooperation between different like-minded initiatives and of what we could learn about former struggles and failures in order to avoid fragmentation of ”good people”.
Pietiläinen, Patomäki and Wallgren all spoke in their role as social movement acticvists. They are also known in Finland as activists of the Green Party (KP), Left League I(HP) and Social Democratic Party (TW).
The discussion was lively and a variety of questions, ideas, doubts and views was shared. One participant recorded some 50 contributions to the debate with a strong male dominance (more than 80 % of speakers). Spirit was high and many people showed their interest to be part of organizing structures and action around DiEM25 Finland. After the event in the university around 30 people continued the discussion in the pub nearby and many new friends was made. The amount of work is huge before us, but people seemed to be in accordance with the idea that something new needs to be built up.
The cold wind of austerity and unreasonable politics has finally reached Finland and many people feel that their government has lied and failed them big time. Our goal is to make those people to connect the dots and see that the people in other European countries suffer symptoms of the same disease. The disease of the democracy-free decision making.
Video of the event (in Finnish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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