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IRREGULAR RHYTHM ASYLUM
1-30-12-302 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 160-0022
tel:03-3352-6916 | email: info@ira.tokyo
website: http://ira.tokyo
Opening Hours 13:00〜20:00 (Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays)
Berlin Says Hello to Tokyo!

A year ago, we were in a similar situation to you. In June 2007, the G8 Summit was held in Heiligendamm, near Rostock, in Northeast Germany. A month before hand, we were busy both preparing for the Mayday Parade in Berlin and getting ourselves ready for a week of action against the leaders of the worlds eight most industrialised countries. It was a busy time. It was hard work. Stressful. But also inspiring and great fun!

We were faced with a similar problem to that which we're sure you're now confronted. How do we use the chance provided by the G8 Summit whose democratic and political illegitimacy is widely acknowledged to talk about our everyday lives and the way we work? How do we go beyond simply talking about the powerful world leaders' control, domination and exploitation of the global South to making connections between these processes and the way that we're required to live and work under neoliberalism where we are?

We never found a perfect answer to these questions. In fact, we never came anywhere near doing so. But we felt and we think that we were right that the idea behind Mayday offered a few great ideas.

Some of us had experienced summit protests before. In Seattle, Cancun and Hong Kong against the WTO. In Prague, against the IMF and World Bank. In Davos, against the World Economic Forum. In Munich, against NATO. And in Genoa, Evian and Gleneagles against the G8. At each of these events, the focus was on global politics, the global economy and militarisation. One of the strengths of this new movement was its ability to talk about genuinely global problems. And in doing so, it allowed people everywhere to see what they had in common: being on the 'wrong side' of global capitalism.

But everywhere, this seemed to remain abstract. In comparison to these 'big problems' like war, or climate change, or famine it felt odd to talk about more personal, everyday matters. Like: How am I going to pay my rent next month? How can I earn enough to live on, while still doing something vaguely interesting with my life? If I want to stay in this country, how on Earth am I going to get a visa?

And this is where Mayday came in! We'd already organised a parade in Berlin in 2006 and the second was a huge success in 2007. We decided to travel to Heiligendamm together, with other Mayday organisers and participants.

Together, we took part in a series of events where we tried to make a connection between the mechanisms of global governance of which the G8 makes up one part, and the way in which we experience life and work under neoliberalism in our everyday lives. We formed a block of precarious superheroes in the main demonstration against the Summit. We took part in- and helped organise a demonstration for Freedom of Movement and the Right to Remain. And we participated in the mass blockades of the G8 Summit, which lasted for a whole of three days. In doing so, we tried to articulate our demands and desires for a better life.

We demanded: a universal basic income; global freedom of movement; and equal rights for everyone.

If this global movement is going to go anywhere, we need to take the best of both the movement against international summits and the Mayday process and bring them together. We need a global perspective. We need to increase international flows of communication and exchange. We need to coordinate our movements and struggles. We need common demands and means of constructing common directions. But we also need to look at our own lives, and those of the people around us. We need to organise in our neighbourhoods, our schools, universities and workplaces.

Mayday, then, needs to go global. We hope that the 2008 Mayday parades, and this year's protests around the G8 in Japan will move us further in this direction.

We wish you lots of luck, strength and fun today, and as you prepare for the protests against the Summit in July. Some of us, at least, hope to see you there!

Make the G8 Precarious! Flexi-fight the new world order!

FelS Berlin


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