A call not to lose our breath

FairCoop expresses our sympathy and support to MACAO, a collective threatened with an eviction order from the local administrative municipalities in Milan.

MACAO, as an independent centre for the arts, culture and research, has been experimenting for years with new forms of welfare policies from below to promote cultural production and the 'commons'.

Faircoop and MACAO collaborate and cooperate in developing networks and connections, and in the use of cryptocurrencies to encourage the spread of circular economy practices. We have worked together to create economic and technical tools, always keeping in mind the sustainability of human life.

In the statement issued by MACAO collective shared here, a well-known and alarming frame is exposed: On one side, the rise of the xenophobic and authoritarian right across Europe; on the other, the blindness of neoliberal leftists who have often paved the way and prepared the ground  for this situation to happen. The picture depicted within this frame cannot be a matter of indifference for us. 

The more frightening - they say - is not the loss of the space itself, but to lose one's breath: the right to citizenship, to the bodies' self-determination, to social justice, to conflict, to creation, to free expression of sexuality and to a life worth living.

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(Below, the full-text statement spread by MACAO collective)

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REQUIEM FOR NEOLIBERAL LEFT

In this phase, we want to be as blunt as possible. We don’t think this is a time for rhetorics, for circumlocutions or moderate responses. There’s too much at stake to not speak directly, avoiding that kind of reticence and ambiguity whose only purpose is to safeguard one’s comfort zones. Yeah, MACAO is in jeopardy, but so is the rest of Milan, so is the mere possibility of imagining and building up political spaces rooted in people’s needs and dreams.

As much as we may love them, it’s not just a matter of defending places and pathways.

On friday (September 14) we found out through ANSA that the Municipality of Milano will give over/ sell the liberty buildings of Via Molise to the investment fund run by BNP Paribas. The mechanism is simple: given the cession, the municipality will be able to financially report the value of the buildings included in the fund and "try" to make money by selling public heritage. The fund, that would run until December, has resulted up until now in the partial selling of the buildings that have been assigned to it; the Municipality of Milano has decided to spread it and to prolongue its duration, hoping for a good phase in the real estate market, so as not to have to repay the bank for the unsold buildings'. 

The buldings of Via Molise have therefore been included in the spreading of this Fund, including MACAO’s building, for a total value of 22 million euros. 

And, similarly to auctioned houses. The value of the building is established by its availability, meaning that is must be empty, and that it must be cleared before being sold. 

So: the debt in the public administration is growing and the councillor for budgeting clears and sells MACAO.

What we cannot process is the fact that this administration (one of the few remaning “left wing” governments in Italy) decided to disqualify a year-long political conversation concerning the use of public resources for the common good and for the self-determination of individuals, reducing it to a matter of satisfying the “need for a youth bundling centre”. Moreover, while doing this, they pretend to place themselves in a neutral zone: the lesser evil for the greater good.

We are tired of feeling the harm caused by this mindset on our skin, all the while the shape of this 'greater good' is established by lobbies, financial institutions and corporations, justifying horrors like the Libyan torture camps, the terrifying domestic female death toll, the constant economical blackmail under which we live, the repeal of article 18, the and the Copyright act. It is this same mentality that put us in a conservative, reactionary scenario, paving the way to the rise of the right, setting us back decades.

The logic of the lesser evil has brought us to a conservative and reactionary world, allowing the bullysome growth of the attack on rights and sending us back decades: times when women were "Women", non-conforming folks lived in hiding, dissidents went to the borders - and trains were on time.

In the relationship between who lives in the city and who runs it, we want administrators that are capable of another dialogue, that are willing to take risks. In Naples, but not only in Naples: In Barcelona and in London, just to give two of the biggest cities in Europe, dialogue is not a charitable concession given from a father to his children, as stated in the declaration from Assessore Tasca.

In the last years we have seriously accepted this political challenge, we took risks, even sitting at the table with the institutions, bringing our competences and our (unpaid) work to create innovative juridical tools with the aim to bring Milan into conversation with the most innovative cities in Europe. We have done it not only because it is the world we want to live in, but also because we are sure that it is the only way to live up to the challenge raised by the sovranist rights and the only way to not see Milano crumble under their weight.

What we are worried about, what we are scared about, is not losing a place, but losing air: the right to citizenship, to bodies’s self-affirmation, to social justice, to conflict, to creation, to every form of sexuality, to a livable life.

It is not true that left and right no longer exist. Although today reality is more complex, this false story is one of the reasons for which we have swallowed every reduction of rights, spaces, and possibilities we have been subjected to. Right and left really do exist; but as the former has a clear vision of the future, the latter is fumbling.

We cannot allow ourselves to keep on living this tale of death, we will not allow a “left wing” administration to drag us down with them into a tomb of their own making. In order not to let Salvini’s shadow take the city, it seriously needs to be able to imagine something else, and what’s currently there has to get lost and die.

We are talking about a funeral. We are inviting you - you who want to imagine, challenge, choose - to the Requiem for the Neoliberal Left to be held on October 5 at 18.30h in front of the Palazzo Marino. It will be a secular rite and will be for everyone.

 

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