Vienna update

11 06 2023

To update my last post about the Vienna “peace summit,” I recommend Fabian Sommavilla’s account of the day-long conference. Here’s some more context on the cancelation of the event.

I also recommend University of Salzburg economic geographer Christian Zeller‘s excellent analysis of the summit, shared at Emancipation, Journal of Ecosocialist Strategy; see “Somewhere between anti-imperialism, conspiracy theory, and the need to speak honestly.” Written on Friday, Zeller’s account describes organizers’ efforts to give the summit a “quasi-diplomatic status.” He notes:

The organisers did not conceive their “summit for peace” at all as a gathering of pacifist grassroots movements fighting dictatorships, occupying powers and war – everywhere and always  – but as an event that only apparently pursues alternative geopolitics against the hegemony of the “West”. This orientation towards multipolarity, which also respects dictatorships, is far from an emancipatory perspective, as the Indian communist and feminist Kavita Krishnan has clearly pointed out.

Zeller concluded:

The organisers of the “peace summit” have brought their fiasco upon themselves. The process of personal and political erosion in the run-up to the event shows that the strategists of the only seemingly alternative geopolitics, who are completely anchored in reactionary concepts of geopolitical camps (“campism”), are not succeeding in gaining hegemony on the broader left. This is a welcome outcome.

In response to the summit, Zeller proposed

that we organise — together with trade unions and groups in solidarity with the social resistance in Ukraine against the Russian occupation — an international conference to support the Ukrainian trade unions and civil society, both in their resistance against occupation and for a socially just and ecologically compatible reconstruction of Ukraine.

This ended up becoming Saturday’s alternative “solidarity summit,” which also took place in Vienna (but about which I have not yet seen any news).



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