Open Letter to Gezi Forums and networks on the idea of organizing the 3rd Agora99 in Istanbul in 2015
Starting in 2011, the world witnessed a wave of truly transnational and global grass-roots uprisings. In Tunisia, Egypt, Iceland, Greece, Spain, Israel, Chile, the UK, the US, Turkey, Brazil and in many other places people took to the streets to protest against injustice and inequality and for democracy. Struggles that had been ongoing for years gained new visibility and new movements and struggles formed.
These uprisings spread from on place to another ignited by distinct local issues. However, self-organisation, connectivity and horizontality have become characteristics of all of these uprisings: They practice new forms of democratic decision making and do not have leaders. They organize through assemblies, working groups, and convergence spaces and allow mass participation grounded in social networks and online meetings.
Also, transnational and translocal ties that connect groups, movements and individuals on regional, national and international levels have allowed to spread and continue these uprisings, creating networks of dignity across the world. Larger assemblies allowed for self-reflexion and exchange. One of them has been Agora99.
What is Agora99?
The idea of Agora99 emerged in the transnational general assembly held at the end of the first Blockupy action in May 2012, in Frankfurt. An open working group was created to coordinate and organise the efforts to set up a transnational and transversal space for the autumn of the same year.
The first Agora 99 took place in November 2012 in Madrid, Spain. As an open meeting, made up of transversal assemblies and thematic workshops, Agora99 allowed collectives, networks and individual activists who had joined 15M, Occupy, Blockupy and other grassroots uprisings to come together, meet face to face, exchange, support each others actions and consider the relevance of the 15M uprising in the European context.
The second Agora99 was organised in November 2013 in Rome. It was similarly organized in occupied factories and self-organised social spaces. There we met and updated each other about the ongoing struggles at all levels, with the energy received from the Gezi protests in May–June 2013. The Rome Agora99 was participated by comrades from Germany, Italy, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, the UK and other parts of Europe. Uprisings in Brazil, Bosnia and Bulgary brought fresh air to Rome. Turkish comrades delivered a message from Gezi forums.