Last edited by JulieBoeri
Sat, 04 Oct 2008 09:17 CEST [diff]

Monday 15 Sept.
Babels Letter to the NOC

Dear friends,

The situation is desperate and you seem to have singularly failed in your promise to organize and provide solidarity accommodation for the ESF volunteers. Today, Monday 15th, we still do not know where more than 100 volunteers will sleep starting *tomorrow*. What are we supposed to tell people who have agreed to come to work for free for the forum and have nowhere to sleep? To sleep in the street?

The NOC had agreed on a budget for Babels several months ago. Babels has been very diligently seeking the cheapest ways of bringing nearly 500 interpreters to the ESF, to interpret into 18 different languages in over 200 seminars. While Babels has been making systematic efforts to keep costs well below the agreed budget, the Finance Group of the NOC has devised ridiculous schemes to save one cent here, one cent there, without looking for long-term solutions.

The result is that people are forced to sleep 10 in a room, sometimes on the floor, without mattresses or without covers, and many have to change accommodation (if they are lucky to have one) every two days. Interpreters require a calm space to prepare for their very demanding work during the forum. (Try interpreting for 30 minutes and you will understand why it is not possible to sleep in crowded places.)

If no LONG-TERM solution to the accommodation is found BY TOMORROW MORNING 9am, we will be obliged to tell volunteers who are coming
tomorrow morning and Wednesday to purchase a ticket to go back home, BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY CAN SLEEP. This would be a considerable waste of resources for the ESF, and would make interpretation during the ESF impossible for 80% of the seminars. The NOC does not seem to have realized the extent of this problem, despite repeated warnings.

While the NOC seems to worry about details and to try to save money AT ANY COST, treating its employees and forum volunteers as slaves, ESF employees and unpaid volunteers working in Malmö are spending sleepless nights trying to find solutions to a problem caused by lack of leadership among the NOC.

If you do want interpretation at the ESF, we need you to keep your promises!

Another World Is Possible

In solidarity,
European Babels Coordination for Malmö 2008
Yan Brailowsky (France), Anna Simola (Finland), Barbora Molnarova (Czech Republic), María Brander de la Iglesia (Spain), Lina Filopoulou (Greece), Julie Boéri (United Kingdom), Irma Marcenaro (Italy), Grégoire Seither (France), Rodrigo Ginés (Finland), Pietro Mazzarol (Italy)

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