The virus has been going around the world now for more than a year. Entire sectors of public life have been put to a standstill. The capacity of the Dutch healthcare system is pushed to its limits. While public money is being used to bailout big corporations, the health care system is underfunded and increasingly more privatied. Health care insurance is expensive and health care is not accessible for those who cannot pay. People in marginalised and vulnerable groups cannot be treated properly or are not treated at all. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their livelihoods. Many lives have been lost because of the pandemic and the state’s mismanagement of it, but it does not and it did not have to be like this. Let’s not believe their lies, we are not “all in this together”. The rich get even richer because of this crisis from the safety of their beautiful homes, while the (frontline)workers, the poor and the marginalised carry the biggest burden and are forced to risk their lives.
It’s not just the pandemic, there are systemic problems with capitalism and the state. Here we will try to tackle some of them:
Systemic Racism / Police Violence
Lockdown policies and the pandemic in general, does not affect all people in the same way. The curfew only applies to the poor as the rich can afford to pay the fine. People with gardens can still go outside. If you don’t have a home you can not self-isolate. Those of us who live in working class and historically immigrant neighbourhoods, have to deal with more police presence and aggressive policing then those in middle class and rich neighbourhoods. As proven, amongst other things, by the ‘toeslagen affaire’ (benefit scandal) this country is institutionally racist. Now the state is using this crisis to further extend police powers and crackdown on our rights to protest and exist in public. Giving more power to cops will only increase racist police violence. Ethnic profiling, mass surveillance, and predictive policing are posing a threat to our communities.
The police do not protect us, we protect each other. Stop institutional racism and the Dutch Police / Surveillance state. They are not here to help us but they are here to protect the rich.
In one of the most expensive cities in Europe, the housing situation has worsened during the pandemic. The privatisation of the housing market has reached the point that social houses are being sold to the private sector. Housing prices are expected to rise again this year, big businesses are getting rent cuts while we struggle to pay rent. Even the suburbs we have been pushed into are being gentrified and are becoming unaffordable. At the same time houses everywhere in the city are intentionally left empty for the rich to speculate with. People without homes have no certainty and shelters are getting closed down. Social places that offer spaces for people affected are facing serious financial problems, are getting evicted and solidarity is being criminalised. Because of the lockdown, domestic violence is increasing as well as serious mental health concerns. We want proper housing for everyone.
We might think that because many people have stopped travelling that C02 emissions are decreasing and that at least this is a positive development for the environment. However, individual lifestyle consumption choices are not to blame for the climate crisis. The crisis is capitalism. Capitalism is incredibly inefficient. For example, Airplanes continue flying empty, because it’s cheaper to do this than to leave them standing at the hangars. Sounds ridiculous? – it is!
The capitalist system will continue to drain the planet’s resources, pandemic or not. Everything must give way in order to maximise profit. Government regulation will not stop this. Large multinationals are working together with states. In this way, there cannot be an effective response to the climate crisis. We have to get rid of this idea of infinite growth. We have to get rid of states and capitalism. There can be no infinite growth on a finite planet.
After the overcrowded Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos burned down last year, the EU continues to intentionally ignore the fact that humans are dying at its borders every day. Push backs by the EU coastguards of FRONTEX, inhumane conditions in camps during a pandemic, drowning of people whilst sea rescue and solidarity at the borders is criminalized, and the racist EU cooperates with states such as Turkey and Libya to stop people at the borders by any means. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic the situation has only worsened. The EU will not change, we need to rise up to make change happen.
Conspiracies and Nazis
The far-right tries to make use of this uncertainty to mobilise people for their gains. Conspiracy theories fail to show the real systematic issue. Capitalism is not a conspiracy it is very real and observable and can be abolished. Nazis mobilizing? – not with us!
We have every reason to be angry: While the upper class is able to stay home, we still have to work under dangerous conditions for a low wage – we are the ones that work illegally, the industrial workers, the craftspeople, the retail workers, delivery people, the taxi drivers, the nurses. We are the ones who make sure that we are all healthy, that there is still food to get at the supermarkets – the social workers, the educators, the cleaning staff and the sex workers. But we are also the people who are not native Dutch, who are not taken care of because we do not have the same rights to work or access to social services. The ones who do not have enough, or any money to afford a flat in this ridiculous housing market. We are the ones without citizenship and therefore, without any rights. We are the students that struggle to pay high tuition fees. We are the now unemployed workers struggling to get by. We did not create the crisis, and yet should we now bear the consequences? We should “tighten our belts” because we are now “all in the same boat”? Yes, now we are all in the same boat – but the capitalists, bosses, landlords, politicians, and managers are in another.
Corona Crisis? Not on our backs!
Come in action – let’s make the rich pay for Covid 19!
Another World is Possible!
20.02.2021 Amsterdam (Wear facemasks and try to keep to social distancing)
- Proper housing for everyone Squat the rich, renters keep your rent!
- Change your locks, resist evictions, community resistance now
- Stop the surveillance state and stop police violence. Let’s defend ourselves and protect each other.
- Antisemitic conspiracy theorists and QANON-ers are dangerous and do not represent an answer to the crisis. Racists, antisemites, cops and Nazis off our streets!
- Destroy capitalism before it destroys the earth.
Make the rich pay for the Covid19!
Originally posted at: https://acaamsterdam.noblogs.org/post/2021/02/09/corona-is-the-virus-capitalism-is-the-crisis/