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As the war in Ukraine continues, we women and men, LGBTQI people, migrants and workers from all over Europe and beyond call to strike the war on May 1st. We want to take back May 1st from its ritual manifestations and make it a day of workers’, migrants’ and feminist struggle for a transnational politics of peace. Now it’s time to join forces transnationally among those who refuse this war and those who pay the price of this military aggression, in Ukraine, in Russia and everywhere else. Let’s make this 1st of May not a one-day action, but a moment to accumulate strength, to oppose war’s long-term effects, to strengthen our transnational organising.
We are against the war in Ukraine that is destroying the present and future of millions of people. Rape, murder, and death is accompanied by increasing authoritarianism and total militarization. We are on the side of those who are fleeing the war and of those who organise themselves against all those horrors. We strike the war because the strike has historically been the tool workers have used to oppose wars, because it is the way millions of young people are fighting climate change, because it is the way millions of women around the world are fighting patriarchy.
This war is just the latest episode in misery. None of those who are in power is willing and able to provide us with what we need. Not Putin’s authoritarian regime, that is destroying Ukraine, is oppressing those who are opposing the war in Russia and exposing entire populations to its consequences. Not the US or NATO, significant players in shaping and enforcing the world order based on self-righteous values, creeping barbarism and endless wars. Not the EU and its member states that respond to war by increasing military expenses and turning peace talks into miserable propaganda. They all prove to be as short-sighted and irresponsible as they have been in all the crises of the last years: the financial crisis, the climate emergency, the refugee’s crisis, the pandemic. They treated migrants as pawns and today they are using those who suffer the war in the same way, while entire populations are exposed to the consequences of the economic sanctions, including massive food shortage in the Global South. For them, the war is another excuse to dismantle welfare, curtail wages and increase living costs, while there are industries who profit from the war and its prolongation. In the face of war, social security for which we have fought is treated once more as meaningless luxury, sacrificed on the altar of ‘big politics.’
We strike for those women and children who are fleeing the war in Ukraine, who are now welcomed, but will soon be placed at the bottom of the labour market, right above non-Eu migrants. We are on the side of all migrants who move to have a better life and clash with the racist European border regime and the harshest exploitation. This war has shown that it is possible to welcome hundred thousand refugees. It did not seem possible for Afghans, for Syrians, for Iraqis who have been massacred at the point of genocide without the European conscience even noticing. Our transnational politics of peace fights for an unconditional residence permit for all those who want to enter the EU or any other country and to decide where and how to live.
We strike for the women turned into prey for the conquerors. The war is the harshest manifestation of the violence against which women and lgbtqi+ people have been fighting all over the places. Even when crossing the borders of Ukraine, women encounter the restrictions of abortion, the impunity for aggressions and the readiness to exploit their essential and devalued labour. Our transnational politics of peace fights against patriarchal violence in all its forms and takes up the force of the feminist strike, of the women resisting in Ukraine and of the Russian feminist anti-war resistance to refuse women being treated as sexual preys, mothers of the nation or cheap disposable workers.
We stand with the workers who are fighting in Ukraine against the war and against their bosses using the war to increase workloads and withhold their wages. We are on the side of those drivers, teachers and students in Russia raising their voice against the war and of those migrants who pay with their low wages the livelihoods of entire families disrupted by the war and economic sanctions.
We say no to war politics and empty diplomacy imbued with a colonial mind-set: we choose our transnational politics of peace to build a movement that crosses the fronts of war and connects our struggles across the borders, to fight the battles that are worth fighting for.
This is a call to strike everywhere the war!
This is a call to a collective fight against their war!
We call everyone to mark our difference the next May 1st.