Politicians of all parties and public authorities assume that unemployed and low-paid workers just didn’t offer themselves and their labour intensively enough and in the right way, that they didn’t engage enough in self-promotion as entrepreneurs of their own labour power. With this attitude the needless human suffering that accompanies austerity, ascetism and hard work is consolidated. The logic behind this is that in capitalism humans always have to do something for being considered their right to live.
The change of law concerning Hartz IV now states that those who increase, maintain or do not reduce their need of assistance have to pay back the Hartz IV benefits already received and do not get further benefits in the future.
Increasing one’s need for assistance means to endure every occupational situation in order not to have to apply for (more) Hartz IV. Bad conditions include excessive working hours, work intensification, subcontracted labour, senseless work, mobbing as well as unpaid extra work. If you quit your job because of this, to make matters worse, you become a debtor of the jobcenter. If you refuse a job, you do not only risk a 30% sanction of your unemployment benefits but on top a refund claim because of “antisocial behaviour” (sozialwidriges Verhalten). And the wages expected in the future are only paid as loans.
In this way people are pressed into exploitation at work, having to justify themselves in the case of job loss and beg for whatever job available. We from the unemployment initiative call this forced (extra) labour under the impression of the punitive state. And we are against it. Today it may be widely accepted as reasonable to be forced to produce unnecessary rubbish that harms humans and environment or provide useful services as unpaid volunteers. Our vision of a good life looks different. Contact us if you are put under stress by the jobcenter. If you want to file an objection against the accusations of the jobcenter there is suspensory effect on the refund claim of the jobcenter.
Basta and Berlin Migrant Strikers.
Dear Supporters of BASTA!
In the end of 2016 we asked you via mail to suggest topics that are in your mind for the second edition of our School of the Unemployed. The events shall be about unemployment, jobcenter and poverty. Some of you responded to our mail. First of all there are specific emphases now as a result of the suggestions some of you made:
– Theater workshop: Less stress at jobcenter appointments
– Letters to the jobcenter on a level playing field: Developing text modules
– Poverty among the elderly
– Sanction regime and the media star sanktionsfrei.de
– Extraparliamentary political structures by and for unemployed people
– Unconditional basic income & solidary economy & equivalent economy
Dear friends and fellows,
First of all a happy new year to all of you without nasty job assistances and sanctions. We contact you because we need your ideas, creativity and knowledge. This year Basta will be at FAU (free workers union) in Grüntaler Str. 24, 13357 Berlin every 4th friday of a month from afternoon to evening to create an “Open space”.
We thought to transfering practical knowledge and skills during these afternoons. Some of you already told us about your skills, professions or hobbies, which they would like to share with others through Basta. Now this should become more concrete:
- Can you imagine to prepare one of those Fridays in 2017 together with us and share your knowledge?
- This can happen in many different ways from “how can I install my pc?” to fixing things in your home, basics of oil painting or massage or sports skills, discussing philosophical questions, music etc. Everything is open right now.
- Your ideas and passions are very welcome. Please just tell us through mail or come to the first meeting at FAU on 27th January if you have any idea.
We can talk about further information like roomsize, needed material and content then together. On 27th January there will be the first afternoon starting at 5 p.m. There we will sit together for planing the next month, eating cake, drinking coffee and share ideas.
We are happy hearing from you and your thoughts about it. Best wishes from Basta*
Discussion with Wilhelmsburg Solidarisch, Officina Precaria, FAU Berlin and Basta:
It’s Monday morning and the weekend is over. There’s the blues again – trouble at work, trouble with government agencies, trouble with the landlord. As strong as we feel at demonstrations or amongst our circle of friends, we often feel alone facing the troubles in everyday life. It seems to be the same for others, too: there’s the neighbour who seems to be nice but is always tired and harried from her job, or the friend who is facing a lawsuit for being unable to pay his bills. But more often than not, everybody is dealing with allegedly private, personal problems alone.
To counter this miserable condition with political action, for quite some time now some left-wing groups rely on self-organization in everyday struggles. Be it in their respective neighbourhoods or having a specific topic (e.g. renting and evictions or unemployment), people get together to exchange experiences and find solutions for the impositions of bureaucratic-capitalist normality. They organize themselves as those affected by the terror of labor, deportations or the craziness of government agencies. Bureaucracy is countered by clever joint political action, isolation with practical solidarity.
This open forum will discuss the current state and future perspectives of self-organization in everyday struggles in a (self-)critical way. We want to give some of the above mentioned groups an opportunity to talk about the questions that arise out of their political praxis: What strategic topics and problems are currently debated? When are the groups successful – and where do they fail? What do everyday struggles and self-organization have to do with the possibility of broader social transformation?
The following groups will be represented on the panel:
• BASTA! is counseling unemployed people and organize them for joint political action against „Jobcenters“.
• FAU Berlin successfully engages in grassroots union work.
• Oficina Precaria Berlin supports, counsels and organizes migrants facing problems with German government agencies and the German social system.
• Wilhelmsburg Solidarisch relies on self-organization and direct action where people are facing problems with landlords, government agencies and their bosses at work.
The event will be held in English. A simultaneous translation into German will be available.
Friday – 2/12 – 19.30
Rote Flora – Achidi-John-Platz 1