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Vom 16. bis 18. Mai 2014 veranstalteten wir gemeinsam mit der interventionistischen Linken Wiens und der Initiative Anticapitalista als Blockupy Wien ein transnationales Vernetzungstreffen zum Thema Care: Krise und Widerstand im U5 (Universitätsstraße 5, 1010 Wien). Es beteiligten sich verschiedene Gruppen und Individuen aus Serbien, der Türkei, Deutschland und Österreich daran. Das Treffen fand im Rahmen der European Days of Action statt an denen sich auch IOPS Dublin beteiligte.

Das Programm bestand aus folgenden Teilen.

  • Freitag: Ankommen, Kennenlern-Runde

  • Samstag

    • Begrüßung und Einstieg in das Thema: Was ist Care?

    • Workshop: Welche Rolle spielt der Begriff in konkreten Kämpfen?

    • Diskussion und Workshop: Wie kann Care-Arbeit neu organisiert und gerechter aufgeteilt werden?

    • Gemeinsame Teilnahme an einer Demonstration gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit

  • Sonntag: Ausblick, Abschlussplenum und nachfolgende gemeinsame Erklärung:

From the 16th to the 18th of May 2014, we met on invitation of the Blockupy Platform Vienna to form the Transnational Care Meeting as part of the European Action days. We are active in different political groups, movements and projects. For three days, we discussed how the crisis affects our common social infrastructure, our social relations of care and our political struggles.

Care work is a fabric of all social relations – both materially and emotionally. Yet, it is mostly invisible and neglected in public debate and in our political struggles. Especially in the recent crisis, the pressure on care work grows drastically: austerity policies destroy public infrastructure like health care, education, child care and social work. Care workers are confronted with increasing working hours and more challenging requirements. The breakdown of social infrastructure and services hits especially those how cannot afford to pay for a market-based care work. While wealthier parts of society rely especially on migrant care workers which often have to work illegally and under highly precarious conditions, in other parts of society, this care work is pushed into private households. It is mostly women who fill these care gaps, often on top of already existing gendered care obligations. Therefore, care work is highly connected with class, race and gender discrimination.

While these conditions lead to burn outs, care work overload and frustration – conditions we also experience in our personal lives – our aim is to build up alternative forms of care infrastructure. We see the urgency to defend public infrastructure against the attacks by neoliberal privatisation and austerity. At the same time, we refuse the simple alternative of state and market: What is at the core of our struggle is the idea of a socialised and democratic care infrastructure which allows us to care for each other in self-determined and collective ways – without creating new dynamics of self-exploitation. We depart from two perspectives at the same time: on one hand, we build up and strengthen already existing alternative networks of care such as self-organised kindergartens, community kitchens and collective forms of living. On the other hand, we will reinforce and support struggles in the health sector, in undocumented, illegalised household work and beyond.

Care work is transnational, and so are our struggles. Therefore, we want to strengthen transnational networks, especially with Central and Eastern Europe, as Austria is part of and benefits from these transnational care spaces. One of our prospects is the mobilisation for the Blockupy action days to make the opening ceremony of the European Central Bank impossible in autumn 2014. Our care struggles will be an important part of the movement that builds a democratic and post-capitalist Europe from below.

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