„And because a mass movement is not in sight yet, we must at least throw a wrench into the capitalist machine, we must, in order to show the potentials of anti-capitalist struggles worldwide for the future, block the normal execution of what exists. Because without an end, there is no new beginning.“
(From the …ums Ganze! call to block the port of Hamburg in 2017)
Hamburg, gateway to the world. A world for which ever clearer scenarios of disaster are drawn by the month. A world which is perishing, so that everything can remain as it is. In which goods move freely while people die at borders every day. In which profit is placed above the livelihood of humanity.
To appeal to a government, whose leader compared climate activism to the Nazi rule, is a waste of time. And we don’t have much of that left. Only irreconcilability is appropriate. We therefore call for collective resistance by targeting and disrupting the supply chains in the port of Hamburg.
Like in a fever dream, capitalism keeps everything moving, everywhere, all the time. Before we can marvel at the immense collection of goods on the shelves, all their individual parts have traveled immense distances. The capitalist profit logic has always sought global organization and expansion of production. This principle took its violent beginnings with colonial wars and transatlantic slave trade. It is still the basis of global shipping and the Port of Hamburg today. Within a short time, capitalism has turned the entire earth into a fossil factory. Waterways, railways and roads connect raw material extraction, production and sales markets.
Logistics enable nearly unhindered competition around the globe. In this system, regions that have centuries of colonial oppression behind them, are still at the mercy of the industrialized nations in the North. Natural resources are extracted in the global South, creating enormous destruction, in order to process them profitably in the North. While tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla claim to be mindful of their supply chains, they source coltan from places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, cooperating with warlords who have been proven to use child labor. The containers and automated docks belie the brutality of the market economy.
Harder Better Faster Stronger.
The capitalist mobility paradigm
Container ships are carried by water, but moved by capital. This continues on land: whether it is the transport of goods, driving to work, or tourism, there is little movement that does not serve the generation of profit. Meanwhile, the capitalist mobility paradigm is completed with the delivery of goods in 10 minutes on the backs of riders. Everyone is well aware of the effects of this madness. Shipping alone is responsible for 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, 15 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, and 13 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions.
One More Time
Shutting down the Port.
While the pure production costs for the producers of a single product are falling, how quickly a product can change its location is becoming increasingly important for its profit rate. With Just-In-Time production, essentially meaning lower inventory levels, production has become cheaper, but also dependent on well synchronized logistics. It was not only the involuntary blockade of the Suez Canal by the container ship Ever Given, that tore enormous holes in supply chains in recent years. Because even (and ever more) in a digitalized economy, goods have to continue to move through space, so capitalism remains dependent on hubs like the Port of Hamburg. The port is not only a symbolic place of the world market and German export capitalism, it is also a neuralgic point. With the blockade of the port during the G20 summit in 2017, we caused millions in damage, just by interrupting the daily business for a few hours.
Think global – Act global
The climate protests of the last years have already had a great impact on public discourses. Together with Ende Gelände, we want to push this further and actually interrupt the destructive course of capitalism now. The present is already the catastrophe, a material intervention is long overdue. And disrupting logistics gives us a powerful tool that can be used globally.
The logistical networks of the world are guided by a cold, destructive, material compulsion. It is a network based of division and isolation of the people that are dependent on it. But we do not want to break up capitalist supply chains in order to fall back on regionalism or even national isolation – we want a global network of people under entirely different conditions. We want the globalization of solidarity. The transnational struggles against racism, for feminism and climate justice could be their starting point.
That’s why we will go to the port again this summer and block it. This time we will go together with Ende Gelände and many other activist groups during the protest week for climate justice in Hamburg. We want to disrupt the logistics of capital and create new bonds of solidarity among ourselves.
vogliamo tutto – blocchiamo tutto