This post only expresses the opinion of the author (Pj)
When I was in the Berlin DiEM25 event, June 21017, facilitating a workshop about topologies of grassroots movements, I experienced two types of reactions. On one hand there was a lot of attention to both my presentation and the work that DiD was doing, which by then was widely known among the grassroots activists. The second was fear to be associated to DiD, to such an extent that in my closing workshop I was requested by a member of the organization not to propose DiD as a hub for a future network of pan European groups that would provide the necessary topology for our organization to succeed. I did as requested. Nothing came out of that effort.
The image of DiD is quite controversial, and we have got word of it, and we have tried to put a remedy, but we do not seem to succeed. Why? It pains me that we spend most of our time trying to be “non confrontational” (listen to our meeting recordings and read our meeting minutes if you have any doubts about it) instead of building the communication structures that we so badly need.
It is quite obvious that we represent a checkpoint, a necessary observer ever watching the way in which decisions are made, regardless of their content. Shouldn’t that be positive? I believe our very existence has helped to put the discussion about internal democracy in the middle of the table and I am aware that this has reduced the speed at which the movement was progressing, but I hope it will pick up real momentum once we all decide in which direction we are moving. Indeed we have repeatedly made the point that we do not think there are any evil doings from anyone against internal democracy, but that we have moved forwards too fast not paying enough attention to this critical issue. The obvious reason for that is that there is no clear solution to the problem of democracy. Not in DiEM25, not elsewhere. We have to find the solution among all DiEMistas.
However, we have been pictured by some as a faction that aims to split the movement. It must be understood that this is by no means the case. We are truly convinced DiEMistas who put an enormous amount of effort in trying to make this project succeed. I would like to share with you some records of our activity for you to be reassured:
“It was agreed upon that our activity should contribute to the good health of DiEM25 and in no way be understood as a threat to the organization. “ Founding Meeting Sept 14th 2016
“Aims of DiD:
1. Engaging with the DiEM25 members
2. Defining democratic governance
3. Reviewing the organisational principles
4. Setting up a dialogue with the CC
5. To experiment with the tools of democracy”
And finally in the About section of this blog: “This is a blog for people who would like to explore the possibility of making DiEM25 the spearhead of democracy in the twenty first century: inclusive, efficient, effective and corruption proof.”
How can we be misunderstood? In which way can this be a faction?
Some people think the name “Democracy in DiEM25” is bad for DiEM25. I do not agree. On the contrary, a movement which is conscious of its own shortcoming and addresses them upfront is a movement that people can trust. But, you know what? We are more than happy to change it, if the rest of the DiEMistas think it would be best. Do you?
At any rate we are determined to do what we were set to, we are now working in a new large scale debate initiative called the DiEM Café in which you will be invited to take part. We are working on an analysis of persistent democratic deficiencies in the movement. We are working on setting up other transnational groups and networks. We are working for DiEM25 and we hope to work with you.
If you still have doubts, meet us, write to us, question us until you can trust that DiD is there for you, for DiEm25.
Salud, paz y democracia.