On june 6, the Euro-marches against Unemployment, Poverty and Social Exclusion will be received in the city of Eindhoven (the Netherlands). The city-governement will officially welcome the march on entering Eindhoven, has offered the City-hall for a forumdiscussion on the Treaty of Maastricht and its consequences on may 29, and will subsidise the events with (at least) 8600 DF.
Eindhoven (200.000 inhabitants) is the fifth city in the Netherlands, and residing-place for two well-known multinational companies: Philips and DAF-Trucks. DAF-Trucks was declared 'broke' some years ago, which led to the firing of everybody (6000 workers) and the rehiring of only some 3000 people (for less pay, worse conditions etc.), while Philips (a.o. Operation Centurion) is reorganising and closing down facilities permanently.
The city-council tries to counter the very high unemployment (15 percent) by promoting itself as a 'high-tech-center'. Nearly every penny, cent or franc is dedicated to attracting 'capital'.
Getting the (financial) support of this neo-liberal local governement is for us no problem: we decide on the program - a program in support of the excluded -, we decide on who we want to invite for participation - not the (neo-)liberals. In short: they jump on our train - and we are going to tell them that our train is 'something completely different' from their train.
The initiative for receiving the March in Eindhoven was taken in the beginning of march by the district-office of the Voedingsbond FNV - a trade-union, affiliated to the Dutch FNV - and the local branch of the Socialist Workers Party (Fourth International). At this moment the Comittee 'Marches: Stop Eindhoven' is a very broad coalition of political parties (SWP and the GreenLeft), progressive church-organisations, womensorganisations (a.o. the Womens Union affiliated to the FNV), the Voedingsbond FNV, organisations of immigrants and youth and elected representatives of people that are living on social (in)security. A number of other organisations, among others the main organisation of refugees, the umbrella organisation of retired people, and two local anti-racist organisations and the local 'Peace-shop' (with projects for a multi-ethnic Bosnia) have offered their support for the initiative. Also the local (social-democrat) PvdA supports the march, but not active. Missing are the social-democratic trade unionfederation and the Socialist Party (SP); they didn't respond at all to numerous invitations.
Every week, some 15 representatives of the aboved mentioned organisations meet for planning activities and discussions. All of them agreed that we should pay special attention to the situation in Bosnia, the reason for that being that 'our' march started in Sarajevo and that the German governement is planning to forcefully evict tens of thousands of Bosnian refugees, something we are opposed to.
Activities - as planned until now - will be:
And after all those events...? The first discussions have already started. There is a proposal from a Bosnian refugee from Srebrenica (where the Dutch military did a really wonderfull job...), who is part of the organising wellcome-comitee, for organising a city-link between Eindhoven and Tuzla.. We want to put pressure on the FNV for getting involved in activities and discussions on the EMU.
We want .... to continue.
See you, in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, ...