Luisa gives her vote

Germans give their vote to people in other countries (Bundestag elections)

Berlin, 10 September 2013. Austerity measures for crisis-hit countries, exports of weapons, and restrictive asylum policies: These are only three examples of how German politics affect people all around the world. The German government takes decisions that influence people’s daily lives, but most of them are not allowed to participate in the election of this government. To protest against this democratic deficit in international and global politics, a network of political activists called Egality started an “Electoral Rebellion”. On their Facebook page, Germans give their votes to people in other countries such as Spain. With this action they call for a new form of democracy that goes beyond national borders. Hundreds of Germans and people from all around the globe have already joined the Rebellion.

What participants say

“It has always given me goose bumps to hear stories about people in the past who fought for poor people’s right to vote,” says Luisa from Germany, 28 years old. “Electoral Rebellion is a great way to transport this spirit to our global age, and to non-violently protest against the lack of accountability of decision makers to those affected. Precisely because I love my right to vote I would like to give it to someone who is just as influenced by the power of the German government as I am.”

Joan Marc from Spain, 38 years old, has received Luisa’s vote. “I do mind that the people that take decisions about the future of my country are not being accountable to us, Spanish citizens, who will suffer the consequences of their decisions. This is why I’m happy to be given the opportunity to vote in the German elections.”

How does “Electoral Rebellion” work?

On the “Electoral Rebellion” Facebook page, Germans can post to offer their votes. People in other countries respond that they wish to get a vote and contact a German vote giver. Before election day, the new voter tells their „vote buddy“ where to mark the ballot paper on their behalf.

Background: An idea from the UK, adopted by Israelis

A similar project has already been successfully piloted during the UK General Elections in 2010. Thousands of British people gave their votes to people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana – three countries greatly affected by British politics. BBC, Times, CNN, Aljazeera and the Guardian reported on the project (see more on http://giveyourvote.org). In January 2013, Israelis gave their votes to people Palestinians. Egality is a worldwide network of political activists.

Participants of „Electoral Rebellion” are available for interviews in German, English and Spanish.

For further information, please contact:

Filip Nohe, +49 (0)176 23952375 or +49 (0)30 80617832, filip at egalitynow.org
Sonja Wyrsch, +49 (0)152 55377482; sonja at egalitynow.org

People in Greece! Vote in the German elections 2013!

Áνθρωποι στην Ελλάδα! Ψηφίστε στις γερμανικές εκλογές 2013!

German politics affect Greeks
In September 2013, German citizens will elect their next parliament and government. But the decisions taken by the German government affect not only people living in Germany. It also influences policies affecting people elsewhere.

Transnational issues need transnational democracy
This is where we see a fundamental problem: a lack of democracy at the international level. Everyone should have an equal say on the decisions that affect them. What concerns all, must be decided by all.

Let’s rise up for real democracy!
To protest the lack of democracy, to reclaim our popular sovereignty, and to show our solidarity with people in Greece, we want to give our votes in the 2013 election to people in Greece who are affected by the policies of this unaccountable, undemocratic system. With this act of rebellion, we want to provoke people to think about democracy in new ways beyond the nation state.

We want to hear your stories. How are you affected by policies dictated by people you did not elect? What do you think about this idea? Would you be willing to proactively participate? Get in touch: egalityberlin@gmail.com

Previous campaigns

Give Your Vote 2010

Poster from Give Your Vote 2010 in the UK

The 2013 Germany elections campaign builds on the Give Your Vote campaign run by Egality London activists: In May 2010, thousands of people in the UK gave their votes to people outside the country to protest the lack of democracy in international decisions on climate change, migration, trade and war.

 

Real Democracy

‎نريد ديمقراطية حقيقة
דמוקרטיה אמיתית

Real Democracy Facebook Page

 

The “Real Democracy” campaign in early 2013 was an act of refusal, a democratic rebellion similar to Give Your Vote in the UK. Israeli citizens gave up their own votes and instead voted as their Palestinian counterparts told them to. Visit the campaign’s facebook page for details about the campaign: http://www.facebook.com/ElectoralRebellion

 

Video about Give Your Vote in the UK

GERMAN // DEUTSCH

Give Your Vote – die Welt wählt mit!

Zur Bundestagswahl 2013 wollen wir die Grenzen nationaler Demokratie sprengen und Menschen in anderen Ländern, die von der Politik der Bundesregierung betroffen sind, unsere Stimmen schenken.
Unser Projekt knüpft an Give Your Vote in England an, das unsere Schwesterorganisation Egality London durchgeführt hat: Tausende Menschen in Afghanistan, Bangladesh und Ghana nahmen 2010 an den britischen Parlamentswahlen teil – und protestierten so gegen das Demokratiedefizit bei Entscheidungen zu Klimawandel, Migration, Handel und Krieg.
Wenn Du mithelfen willst das Projekt umzusetzen, dann schreibe uns: egalityberlin@gmail.com

Statement by the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order

written by: Fred – Egality Berlin

Yesterday Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, stated: “Everywhere, people talk about reforms, but it remains business as usual, with undemocratic participation in global decision-making and growing inequities worldwide”.

Already in september a video with the title “There is need for international Democracy“ was uploaded by the official youtube channel of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):

Links:

  • official website of the independent expert: website
  • Alfred de Zaya’s first report as independent expert: PDF
  • full report on Alfred de Zayas most recent statements: www.ohchr.org/news/12719

Film on world referendum online

written by: Fred – Egality Berlin

WORLD VOTE NOW captures insights into the political landscape across the globe. Primarily it is not a film explaining the necessity of global democracy. It is rather a documentary of the filmmaker’s discoveries along his search for a more democratic global order. Like any film also this one has some flaws, but it is none the less a must see for any global democracy activist!

World Vote Now

From the film maker:

When we shot “World Vote Now” from 2001-2009, in 26 countries around the world, we got a first glimpse of what kind of global democratic system is needed and what is possible. Nobody could have predicted the incredible events that have since followed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the wider Arab Spring. Nobody could have foretold that millions of people would rise up to have their voices heard with the “Indignado” movement in Spain, Greece and across Europe, the Occupy Movement across North America and in mass-protests against tyranny and a broken system from Russia to China. People everywhere are fed up! We have heard the public outcry! It’s time to get organized and build a true global democracy.

Watch the full film for free on vimeo in english or spanish.

Termine im September

Da der nächste ausführliche Newsletter noch etwas auf sich warten lässt, hier eine kurze Übersicht interessanter Termine, die in den nächsten Wochen anstehen:

8. September in Berlin:
“Mitgliederversammlung des Komitees für eine demokratische UNO e.V.”
11. September in Rom:
“Manifesto per una Democrazia Globale”
14.-15. September in Überlingen am Bodensee:
„Staaten in der Krise – Schlägt die Stunde der Zivilgesellschaft?“
15. September weltweit:
“World Wide Views on Biodiversity”
15. September in Berlin:
Friedensdemonstration “Global Peace”
5. Oktober in Strasbourg:
#OccupyFakeDemocracy

Neuigkeiten aus der Bewegung für Globale Demokratie:

  • Das Building Global Democracy Programm hat aktuell keine Förderung und wird daher vorerst nur auf Sparflamme weiter existieren. Trotzdem bleibt die Webseite eine der wichtigsten Quellen zum Thema Globale Demokratie. Der letzte Newsletter kann hier angesehen werden: Link
  • Indiens Minister für Wissenschaft und Technologie, Vilasrao Deshmukh, ist im August überraschend verstorben. Herr Deshmukh war ein aktiver Unterstützer der Kampagne für ein UN-Parlament und sein Tod ist wahrer Verlust für die Bemühungen hin zu einer demokratischeren Weltordnung: Link
  • Die Kampagne für ein UN-Parlament (UNPA-Kampagne) hat in Ergänzung zu den offiziellen Kampagnen-News jetzt auch einen Blog gestartet: Link
  • Das Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance (Australian National University) hat ebenfalls einen Blog gestartet in dem zum Teil auch über Globale Demokratie diskutiert wird. Im Lesekreis haben wir zum Beispiel den Text “Does Global Democracy Require a World Parliament” diskutiert.

Und auch bei uns ist die Sommerpause endgültig vorüber. Diese Woche hat das zweite Gruppentreffen von Egality Berlin nach der Sommerpause stattgefunden. Wenn ihr probeweise an einem unserer wöchentlichen Treffen Teilnehmen wollt, dann schreibt uns: berlin@egalitynow.org

Ausführliche Informationen zu weiteren Themen findet ihr dann hoffentlich bald in unserem neuen Newsletter : )

Intellectuals from all over the world call global leaders and world citizens to move towards a Global Democracy

written by: Fred (Egality Berlin) as a crosspost from http://globaldemocracymanifesto.wordpress.com/

Today will be launched the MANIFESTO FOR A GLOBAL DEMOCRACY, a pluralist statement on the need of giving global answers to on-going global crises such as poverty, nuclear proliferation, climate change and financial instability. In order to do so, it proclaims the need of extending democracy and citizenship beyond national borders, democratizing international organizations and moving towards democratic global institutions.

The manifesto has been signed by many of the most recognized authorities on global politics, such as professors Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Daniele Archibugi, Jacques Attali, Bertrand Badie, Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Mary Burton, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Susan George, David Held, Fernando Iglesias, Mary Kaldor, Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, Lucio Levi, Giacomo Marramao, George Monbiot, Toni Negri, Heikki Patomaki, Beatriz Sarlo, Saskia Sassen, Fernando Savater, Roberto Saviano, Juan José Sebreli, Richard Sennett, Vandana Shiva and Andy Strauss.

Many of them will be present at the international press-conference taking place tonight in London. Details about the event tonight: Link.

MANIFESTO FOR A GLOBAL DEMOCRACY

  • Politics lags behind the facts. We live in an era of deep technological and economic change that has not been matched by a similar development of public institutions responsible for its regulation.  The economy has been globalized but political institutions and democracy have not kept pace. In spite of their many peculiarities, differences and limitations, the protests that are growing all over the world show an increasing discontent with the decision-making system, the existing forms of political representation and their lack of capacity for defending common goods. They express a demand for more and better democracy.
  • Global welfare and security are under threat. The national and international order that emerged from the end of World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall has not been able to manage the great advances in technology and productive systems for the benefit of all humanity. On the contrary, we are witnessing the emergence of regressive and destructive processes resulting from the economic and financial crisis, increased social inequalities, climate change and nuclear proliferation. These phenomena have already affected negatively the lives of billions of human beings, and their continuance and mutual reinforcement menace the peace of the world and threaten the survival of human civilization.
  • Global crises require global solutions. Within a social universe determined by globalization, the democratic capabilities of nation-states and international institutions are increasingly restricted by the development of powerful global processes, organizations and systems whose nature is not democratic. In recent years, the main national and international leaders of the world have been running behind global events. Their repeated failures show that occasional summits, intergovernmental treaties, international cooperation, the multilateral system and all the existing forms of global governance are insufficient. The globalization of finance, production chains and communication systems, and the planetary power reached by destructive technologies, require the globalization of the political institutions responsible for their regulation and control, and the global crises require coherent and effective global solutions. That’s why we call for the urgent creation of new global agencies specialized in sustainable, fair and stable development, disarmament and environmental protection, and the rapid implementation of forms of democratic global governance on all the issues that current intergovernmental summits are evidently incapable of solving.
  • We need to move forward to new, more extensive and deeper forms of democracy. The current model of technological-economic globalization must give way to a new one which puts these processes at the service of a fairer, more peaceful and more humane world. We need a new paradigm of development which has to be sustainable on a global basis and which benefits the poorest of humanity. In order to avoid the deepening of global crises and to find viable solutions to the challenges posed by globalization we must move forward to more extensive and deeper forms of democracy. The existing national-state organizations have to be part of a wider and much better coordinated structure, which involves democratic regional institutions on all the continents, the reform of the International Court of Justice, a fairer and more balanced International Criminal Court and a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as the embryo of a future World Parliament. Yet, this institutional change will not be successful if it only accrues from the actions of a self-appointed elite. On the contrary, it must come from a socio-political process open to all human beings, with the goal of a creating a participative global democracy.
  • Globalizing democracy is the only way to democratize globalization. Beyond our differences about the contents and appropriate methods to move towards a fairer and more stable world order, we the signatories share a strong commitment to the development of a global democracy. On behalf of Peace, Justice and Human Rights we do not want to be governed at the world level by those who have only been elected to do so at the national one, neither do we wish to be governed by international organizations which do not represent us adequately. That is why we work for the development of supranational political spaces and for regional, international and global institutions that live up to the challenges of the twenty-first century; institutions that express the different viewpoints and defend the common interests of the seven billion people who shape humankind today.
  • We ask every human being to participate in the constitution of a global democracy. We share the appeal to “unite for global change” and for “real democracy” with the world social movements. Both postulates express the growing rejection of being governed by political and economic powers on which we have no influence. Autonomy and self-determination are not only valid at the local and national level. That’s why we champion the principle of the right to participate in the making of fundamental global decisions that directly affect our lives. We want to be citizens of the world and not its mere inhabitants. Therefore we demand not just a local and national democracy, but also a global democracy, and we commit to work for its development and call on all the political, intellectual and civil-society leaders of the world, all the democratic organizations, parties and movements, and all persons of democratic persuasion on the planet to actively participate in its constitution.

More information on the manifesto: http://globaldemocracymanifesto.wordpress.com

 

 

Solidarity with #occupyLSX

written by: Fred – Egality Berlin

Shimri from Egality London wrote this morning:

“Eviction in London. I am now looking at the police evicting our main camp in St. Paul’s. The London general assembly called for solidarity actions in front of British embassies in case it happenes. We will be lighting candles for freedom of protest every night in the next few days. Love and solidarity to all of you.”

The camp in London has been a great inspiration for so many of us. It has truly changed the public debate. In remembrance and solidarity we look back:

On october 14th the “United for Global Democracy” manifesto is published in the Guardian: A manifesto for regime change on behalf of all humanity. One day later the #occupyLSX camp came into being. From october until this morning the camp has been a place for learning and debating democracy.

Here is a video from one of the discussions on global democracy that took place in the Occupy London Tent University:

Jan Aart Scholte Speaking At Occupy LSX

Double standards in diplomacy – Citizens of the world wake up!

written by: Fred – Egality Berlin

Today, only minutes after it was revealed that the United Nations Security Council was unable to come to an agreement on the wording or actions to employ against the Assad government in Syria, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, and many other diplomats said they are “disgusted that Russia and China prevented the UN Security Council from fulfilling its sole purpose.

On the other hand it is not even a week ago that most of the very same diplomats were celebrating a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which had put sovereignty of nation states above human rights. And this is no exception, let’s for example not forget that the United States of America still refuses to sign the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Beeing a diplomat implies living and representing such double standards. Sadly only a very few question their role in the game. All those diplomats not questioning their role, but instead preserving traditional international law, should be aware that they are also responsible for the consequences of today’s institutional architecture: genocide, famine, climate change, financial crisis, etc.

Let’s be clear though: the responsibility is not on the diplomats alone. Thomas Pogge rightly compares citizens who do not question the current international system that allows one-fourth of the world’s population to live in abject poverty to passive Germans during the Nazi era.

Thomas Pogge on Global Poverty

I therefore call on the citizens of the world to wake up. We have to ask ourself: is global justice possible without global democracy? We finally have to put pressure on those diplomats who are acting in our name against our own will!

And to be clear, I personally do not simply want the United Nations Security Council veto power to be removed. I want the whole system to be changed. I call for democracy at every level, from the local to the global!

Some Links on the issue of UNSC veto power:

(please contact us if you feel your website should be linked too)

Egality stands with pro democracy protests

written by: Fred – Egality Berlin

We stand with protesters all around the world that are calling for real democracy!

Only if we are united in solidarity we will be able to not only change democracy on the local level, but also make international institutions democratic, which is extremly important, because for the most part it is the democratic deficit on the global level that destroys our democracies. As a recent article in The Guardian explains, it might be the lack of democracy at the global level that will bring down the arab spring. I strongly recommend reading ”The IMF versus the Arab spring“.

Photo: Spanish Revolution by Mauro A. Fuentes Álvarez via Flickr
And would it not be possible to write a similar article “The IMF versus the Spanish Revolution“? Don’t we almost always face the power of the global financial market when we go and fight for democracy at the local or national level?

In the Guardian article the author quotes a tweet by Paul Kingsnorth: “Could someone please arrest the head of the IMF for screwing the poor for 60 years?”

I personally would not necessarily say that it was the head of the IMF that is responsible for currently more than 1.000.000.000 people going to bed hungry every day. In my opinion it is the whole system of global governance that is to blame. And it is not only to blame for “screwing the poor” in the Global South, but also for destroying the middle class in western countries. It urgently needs to be reformed and democratized!

Here a nice video based on a lecture given by George Monbiot

Video: Photocopy Democracy by T.D.

 

Egality activists are currently involved and help organize pro-democracy protests world-wide: in Cairo, Palestine, La Havre,  Madrid, Berlin and London. Wherever they happen, we support democratic revolutions, and couple our support with a call to globalise them. If you want to take part: get in touch!