A great initiative to mobilise citizens for our powerful social and ecological programme for Europe
At DiEM25, we know that power has to be built from the bottom up. The task is all the more difficult if one wants, as we do, to build a pan-European transnational movement to democratise the European Union. But as Brian Eno said at DiEM25’s launch in 2016: ‘Start cooking, the recipe will follow.’ And recently, we’ve found one good recipe.
On the initiative of French NC member Brice Montagne, DiEM25 Belgium and France organised a tour to several cities in both countries to build popular support for the Green New Deal for Europe. Throughout January and February, Brice travelled to 15 cities and presented the Green New Deal to local activists, environmentalists and citizens. And it was a resounding success: we managed to reach around 400 people multiplying our ideas, created new DiEM25 local groups along the way, reinvigorated some that already existed and built a feeling of transnational solidarity. This is the right way to grow our green solidarity network.
Interestingly, it wasn’t the big cities where the tour was most successful. Just one example: the small French town of Matignon all the way on the northern coast of Brittany. Though the town has just around 1,600 inhabitants, we filled a hall with over 80 overly enthusiastic people. Here, one could sense that, perhaps for the first time in a long while, someone came to speak to the locals about Europe, about big ideas and the socio-ecological transformation. Not only that, all over Belgium and France people wanted to take this one step further: we were frequently asked whether it would be possible to receive training on giving these presentations to spread the message in their own communities and beyond.
This Green New Deal tour showcases that there’s a huge appetite for a mix of ambitious solutions for the just transition, talking to people about Europe in a meaningful way (and not just during election time) and building a transnational working-class movement.
We’re already thinking about replicating these tours in other European countries. Together with other organisations we want to grow a big green solidarity network. Now we need to get to action, because time is running out and austerity is not an option anymore. Let’s get visible around the continent in every country, every city and every little village to protect our planet and human lives.
We have a plan! So let’s bring the plan to the people!
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