This August, escape from Brexit island


04 August 2017

The current forecast for our island is bleak, with stormy skies and rough waters – and the weather’s not looking that good either this summer. The more we find out about Brexit the worse it gets, with recent news shedding light on how we’re facing a breakdown in safety, medicine and animal welfare standards if we leave the EU. And that’s even without the implications of a disastrous pro-corporate trade deal with the US.

We might be stuck with Brexit, but Global Justice Now certainly won’t be leaving the European movement - in fact we think these times call for a strengthening of ties with our European allies. That’s why we’ll be joining the European Summer University for Social Movements (ESU) in Toulouse this August for five days of discussions, organising, debate and celebration.

The ESU happens every three years and is organised by ATTAC, an international network which fights the power of big corporations and the 1%. Global Justice Now is proud to be a member of the ATTAC network and we worked with ATTAC activists in Paris in 2015 where they played a leading role in the UN climate talk mobilisations.We’ve also been helping to organise the ESU itself.

Speakers at the ESU include Susan George, author of the iconic How the Other Half Dies, Shalmali Guttal, director of Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South, Zoe Konstantopoulou, ex-speaker of the Greek parliament, Pablo Solón, leading Bolivian climate justice activist, radical Cameroonian academic Achille Mbembe, and French YouTube sensation Usul!

But of course it’s not just about listening to speakers, but about learning from successful social movements too. Mobilisations against TTIP and CETA saw millions of EU citizens take action against corporate power, with TTIP on its last legs as a result. From Germany’s ‘energy transition’ movement, to the radical municipalism of Barcelona en Comú in the Catalonian capital, there’s lots of inspiration we can take and lessons we can learn from Europe’s grassroots movements.

Over five days, workshops, organising sessions and speakers from around the world, will deal with issues of inequality, refugee rights, democracy, climate justice, war, neoliberalism, the future of the EU and more. At night there’ll be music and entertainment to enjoy too.

Plus the weather is usually a lot better in Southern France and Toulouse is a picturesque city within striking distance of the south coast and the Pyrenees so if you ever needed one it’s a good excuse to escape Brexit Island.

It’s not too late to decide to come! Check out esu2017.org for more information.

Image: A session at the last ESU in Paris in 2014.

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