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Stolen Cameras Fundraiser

Fundraiser for cameras to Sahrawi citizen journalists


Join us in supporting a people that never gets any attention in the media and help them get the tools to share their story. Your donation will make an impact whether you donate a lot or a little. Anything helps. Thank you for your support. Learn about the campaign and the Sahrawis below.

We are biking 48,000km and fundraising for cameras to Sahrawi citizen journalists. Why is this needed? Sahrawi journalists are the only ones that document human rights violations in occupied Western Sahara. The occupying Moroccan regime does not allow foreign journalists or human rights organizations entry to the occupied territories. This has led to Western Sahara being one of the most underreported areas in the world. The brave Sahrawis who document the human rights violations often get their cameras stolen and are harassed by the Moroccan authorities.

Western Sahara is Africa’s last colony. Morocco has been occupying Western Sahara since 1975. The indigenous people of Western Sahara, the Sahrawis, are being subjected to grave human rights violations on a regular basis. They are beaten, imprisoned and tortured when they demonstrate peacefully. They face a litany of abuses. Many who demonstrate are women who have been sexually assaulted by the Moroccan police and military without any way to punish their raper.

This is why we need this campaign and your support. Almost no one has heard about the daily violations against the Sahrawi people. The ongoing arrests, beatings, torture and rape of the indigenous Sahrawi people will only be known if the Sahrawi journalists have access to camera equipment so they can document it and share it with the outside world. Without proper documentation these violations will continue in the dark.

We, who live in freedom from oppression, need to support those that fight for theirs. By donating to this fundraiser you are supplying Sahrawi citizen journalists with camera equipment so that they can continue their important work documenting human rights violations and help open the world’s eyes to one of the last colonies still existing today.

If you have a camera you don’t need or are working in an organisation that has a supply, you can also donate that. Just contact Solisarity Rising on social media or the e-mail address below.

This campaign is initiated by Solidarity Rising and all proceeds will go to Sahrawi citizen journalists. For any inquiries contact us at,

  • Make a donation here
  • Read theleftberlin interview with Sanna and Benjamin from Solidarity Rising here.

Rise Up (against neocolonial activism)!

A new documentary highlights important struggles abroad, but is reluctant to show similar fights in today’s Germany


The documentary “Rise Up” by Marco Heinig, Steffen Maurer, Luise Burchard and Luca Vogel was released in Berlin last week. The film is built upon inspiring stories, a compelling narrative and breath-taking images. What else is there to ask for? In times of a global pandemic, wars and ever increasing inequality we cannot but welcome such a work that, more so than books and academic discussions, has the potential to reach a wide audience and encourage us all to resist injustice. On top of this, I had the pleasure of being in the premiere in a somewhat epic scenography: in the gorgeous Freiluftkino in Friedrichshain and in the presence of a committed audience that remained despite the rain, sheltered only by their open umbrellas.

Having said that, as a critical scholar, I must say that there is, nevertheless, a core aspect of the film that is deserves to be pointed out. The goal of this essay is to open the discussion and highlight that, even within transformative initiatives, there is room for improvement.

An Afro-South African female activist shares her decades-long struggle against Apartheid and how she was all but satisfied by the end of the legal segregation system. Instead, she keeps on struggling for racial and gender equality in her country and abroad. A young Chilean feminist from the suburbs invites the public to feel and understand the struggle against the neoliberal government of Sebastian Piñera and the remnants of the last dictatorship. An Afro-American male activist opens the door to his long commitment to fighting police brutality in the core of the Imperium. A female East German socialist sheds light on her long fight against the DDR and how the goal was never to become part of capitalist West Germany but to achieve real socialism. Finally, a young white female activist shares her current activism in Rojava against state terror.

What is the message that the movie is transmitting with this choice? Is present day Germany too perfect to find a cause to fight for?

The problematic issue is as follows. On the one hand, the Latino activist in Chile, the female and Afro activist in South Africa, the Afro-American in the USA and the socialist activist in East Germany were/are all fighting against local injustices affecting their communities. In other words, the movie shows the struggles conducted by these “others” (Latino, socialists, Afro) and the social problems they face in their places of origin. On the other hand, when the documentary turns to the young white German activist (from current capitalist Germany), there is a striking difference from the other cases. She shares that she got to believe she should have been born in the active 1960s; i.e., that she was born in the wrong time and place as she could not find a community to fight with. She needed to discover the misery and human rights violations in Rojava to understand that she was born at the correct moment. In short, the creators chose a white, presumably middle-class, young, German who is the only one not fighting against local injustices.

What is the message that the movie is transmitting with this choice? Is present day Germany too perfect to find a cause to fight for? While all the other territories of “others” are full of injustices to be fought against, Germany offers no other possibility than travelling all the way to Rojava to find a reason to “rise up”? Would the film not be better off by pointing out the activism against gentrification and corporate power that leave countless people without the right to housing in Germany? Or those with a migration background, people of colour, and the many others affected and fighting against racism? Or those suffering from the empowerment of far-right extremism? What about those victims of police brutality as the 16-year old asylum seeker killed by police (body cameras suspiciously shut down) just last week? Unfortunately, the documentary only offers silent images of those conflicts but fails to put them at the forefront.

…the “bad” (imperialism, colonialism) and “good” (human rights, activism) tools of Northern intervention follow the same ethnocentric and stigmatizing mechanisms that… encompass harmful consequences for the so-called “others”.

This unfortunate choice ends up reproducing what Makau Mutua, a Kenyan-American critical scholar, characterizes as the saviour-savage-victim metaphor: the savages and victims are usually in the Third World, while the saviours are located in the North. In his article “Savages, Victims, and Saviors: The Metaphor of Human Rights”, he explains that “the human rights movement is marked by a damning metaphor. The grand narrative of human rights contains a subtext that depicts an epochal contest pitting savage, on the one hand, against victims and saviours, on the other”. This describes Northern countries as successful in terms of controlling their savages under the guidelines of international law (they are the “good” states), in opposition to the “evil” states, which express themselves through anti-democratic, or other authoritarian culture. In turn, the victim figure is so powerless that they need help from the North. That is how the saviour is represented by the “good” Northern countries, international non-governmental organizations, senior white academics and also good-heart activists that get involved in the situation to protect the victims from the savages. In short, within this metaphor, the North intervenes as a “saviour” in internal conflicts between “savages” and “victims” mostly located within or between global South nations. Savages, and victims “are generally non-white and non-Western, while the saviours are white.”

In his work, Mutua goes even further and traces a parallel between human rights and colonialism. He acknowledges that “colonialism was driven by ignoble motives while the human rights movement was inspired by the noblest of human ideals”. How­ever, he points out, despite these differences, “both streams of historical moment are part of a Western push to trans­form non-European peoples.” Additionally, Mutua argues that for the purpose of self-legitimization, both, colonialism, and human rights/international law have developed narratives of salvation and mankind. Colonialism has been associated with the “progressive” goals of civilization and development. In turn, human rights are framed within a narrative of equality and fraternity in which all nations are formally regarded as equal partners joined together to ensure global values. Thus, the “bad” (imperialism, colonialism) and “good” (human rights, activism) tools of Northern intervention follow the same ethnocentric and stigmatizing mechanisms that, as described by the SVS metaphor, encompass harmful consequences for the so-called “others”.

Does the documentary reaffirm this pervasive SVS metaphor? Unfortunately, I left the park feeling that, despite its good intentions, the film ends up endorsing that “savages” are perpetrating terrible injustices in Rojave, that the local population is the victim suffering them, and that the white young do-gooder German activist, who was not inspired enough by the injustices in her territory, is the saviour who travelled miles to save those out there.

Rise Up is currently showing in some German cinemas


News from Berlin and Germany, 25th August 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany


Gasag passes on gas surcharges to customers as of October

Gasag, the main natural gas supplier and vendor in Berlin, announced on Friday that it would raise its prices by a total of 3.63 cents per kilowatt hour, including 19 per cent VAT. That should be felt by Berlin customers from October onwards. According to the company, as things stand, an average Berlin household with an annual consumption of around 12,000 kilowatt hours will face additional monthly costs of around 36.30 euros. For a single-family home with 20,000 kilowatt-hours, this means an extra 60.50 euros. The company is also passing on three different gas surcharges in full to consumers. Source: Berliner Zeitung



Higher fares after 9-euro ticket

The 9-Euro-Ticket will soon expire, but those who use buses and trams from September will not just pay the normal fares again in many cases. Passengers must prepare themselves for rising prices in local public transport. In and around Stuttgart, for example, fares will rise by an average of 4.9 per cent at the turn of the year, in the greater Nuremberg area it will be 3 per cent. In the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, there was already a 3.9 per cent increase in July. Passengers will be able to use the 9-Euro-Ticket for the last time on local transport throughout Germany in August. Source: tagesschau

Inflation: what’s in store for consumers?

Prices in the eÉuro area are higher than ever – in July they were 8.9 per cent compared to the summer of 2021. In Germany, the momentum is somewhat weaker due to government intervention, with a price increase rate of 7.5 per cent. But fuel discounts and nine-euro tickets will be abolished in September, and wages are likely to rise. Many service providers – hairdressers, for example, – will also have to add the high energy prices to their prices. In addition, there will be hefty additional charges next year when landlords send out the statements for 2022. Source: dw

More people in Germany dying because of heat

As soon as temperatures climb above 30 degrees in Germany, more than usual people die (especially those over 65 years). This is part of a trend: since 2018, there has been an excess mortality of thousands of people in Germany every year due to heat, warned researchers. The climate crisis is a matter of life and death. It is therefore incomprehensible a national heat protection plan has not yet been planned in the country. France could serve as a model: there, the problem was tackled with a four-stage heat action plan with clear guidelines for the authorities, and a heat register for older people. Source: taz

Journalists who attacked police killing are acquitted

On Monday afternoon, the anti-fascist journalists Darius Reinhardt, Leila Robel and the social scientist Philipp Weidemann were acquitted. They were charged with defamation at the Fulda district court. The accusation related to an article by Robel and Reinhardt they published on the Amadeu Antonio Foundation’s portal “Belltower News”, in 2019. They wrote about Matiullah J., who was shot dead by the police in 2018. The judiciary assumed then self-defence for the policemen and dropped the case. The public prosecutor agreed with parts of the defence’s statement and asked for acquittal. He argued it was a matter of free expression of opinion. Source: nd

Frankfurt Hospital workers also demand minimum staffing levels

Encouraged by the successful industrial action for relief in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, workers organised in the ver.di trade union are also demanding a collective agreement on relief for the approximately 4,000 non-medical staff at Frankfurt University Hospital. This should include minimum staffing levels for the wards and departments as well as compensation for the strain in the form of additional days off if the regulations are not adhered to. At Vivantes and Charité in Berlin as well as at the six university hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia, strike action was necessary to push through such collective agreements. Things have not quite reached that stage yet in Frankfurt. Source: nd

New rules for compulsory masks from October

From October onwards, FFP2 masks will be compulsory for long-distance and air travel, and masks and tests will be compulsory in hospitals and care facilities. In the first stage, there are still exceptions to compulsory masks indoors. The second stage comes on the condition of a strong corona wave, expected by Federal Health Minister Lauterbach. He said the new Infection Protection Act should provide the “tools” to deal with the pandemic. At this point, the mask obligation would apply without exception, and States could also impose minimum distance rules, a mask requirement for outdoor events and a participant cap for indoor events. Source: rbb

Riots in Rostock-Lichtenhagen: the Shadows of Reunification

In August 1992, a mob of neo-Nazis and neighbors hunted down Vietnamese contract workers and Roma refugees in Rostock. On 24 August 1992, on the fourth day of that pogrom, residents of a shelter, called “Sunflower House”, were trapped in it – and it was set fire. “Now you will be barbecued”, the mob shouts to those inside. Only by a miracle does no one lose their lives. The political failure at the time of reunification still has an impact today. Michel Friedman (Deutsche Welle) says: “If society had learned, we would not have the many deaths after the racist attack in Lübeck in 1996, (…) and in Hanau in 2020.” Source: dw

Hypocrisy, Holocaust and Abbas

The manufactured outrage over Abbas’ remarks obscures Israel’s routine exploitation of the Holocaust. Guest article by journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein


Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Germany, where he held a press conference with German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz. During the event, he was asked a Gotcha question:

Asked whether as Palestinian leader he planned to apologize to Israel and Germany for the attack ahead of the 50th anniversary, Abbas responded instead by citing allegations of atrocities committed by Israel since 1947.
“If we want to go over the past, go ahead,” Abbas, who was speaking Arabic, told the reporters.
“I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed in 50 Palestinian villages… 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,” he said, taking care to pronounce the final word in English.

Before delving into Abbas’ statement, it’s important to note that Mahmoud Abbas is no more the spokesperson of the Palestinian people than Donald Trump is the spokesperson for the American people. He is little more than a doddering potentate. A figurehead for a corrupt regime, who has betrayed, rather than served his people. My criticism below of the manufactured controversy over his remarks, is by no means a defense of the man himself or his leadership of the Palestinian people.

That being said, all of the faux outrage directed at Abbas’ response obscures a number of unsavory aspects of the incident and the world’s response.  First, why should Abbas apologize for the Munich Massacre? Though the Black September militant who organized the attack claimed Abbas provided financing for it, the claim was made 23 years after the Munich massacre. The Palestinian Authority, which he now leads, did not even exist.

Does Joe Biden owe an apology to Canada for America’s invasion during the War of 1812? Do Mexican journalists ask Joe Biden to apologize for stealing most of what is now the American Southwest in the Mexican War?

The question asked during the news conference was deliberately provocative. Unfortunately, Abbas was unprepared for it and walked right into a trap. He should have merely said something like what I wrote above and dismissed the question for what it was.

Second, the question was clearly asked in bad faith. Abbas’ outrage was justified. But lost in the maelstrom of denunciation is that Abbas was clearly engaged in hyperbole. The fact that he mentioned “50 slaughters, 50 massacres” before he added “50 Holocausts,” confirms this. Abbas does not literally believe Israel committed 50 Holocausts. Hyperbole is a common trope in political debate, including by Israel and its leaders.

For example, Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban defended Israel’s 1967 conquest of the West Bank and refusal to withdraw. He claimed that doing so would return it to “Auschwitz borders.” The statement was ludicrous on its face, given that Israel had proven during the war (and every war since) its absolute superiority to all the Arab armies it faced. Nevertheless, the mere mention of “Auschwitz” was enough to silence anyone bold enough to level criticism.

Similarly, Shimon Peres told a group of foreign diplomats in 2006 that an Iranian nuclear weapon (which Iran does not have) would be “a flying gas chamber.” Of course, this was hyperbole. But no one took him to task because Israelis are allowed to draw outrageous historical parallels to the Holocaust, while no one else can.

David Ben Gurion, desperate to ensure a Jewish majority in post-1948 Palestine, used Holocaust refugees to do so. Such a demographic majority was critical to his claim that Israel must be majority-Jewish; because this validated its claim to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. After the survivors immigrated, they were left to their own devices. One could argue that German reparations offered them more support than the State of Israel did. To this day, the few remaining survivors receive virtually no government support. Many live in abject poverty.

Third, Abbas’ statement was borne of desperation.  Israel has engaged in apartheid and mass murder of Palestinians for the past 70 years. The International Criminal Court has found sufficient evidence that it plans to open an investigation of potential Israeli war crimes. Though controversial, a number of genocide scholars have argued that such ongoing suffering constitutes genocide. I have similarly argued this here. When an entire people face enormous suffering with no recourse, they will do and say things for the sake of dramatizing their suffering to the world.  Given how little the world cares about Palestinian suffering, Abbas’ use of the term was completely understandable.

Israel’s is not the genocide of Nazi Germany carried out over a four-year period.  Nor the genocide of Pol Pot or Rwanda, which also happened over a much shorter period than Israel’s 70-year systematic campaign to erase Palestinian rights, civil society, and existence. Israel’s criminality over that period constitutes a creeping genocide, not carried out in a single systematic program, but rather over decades with multiple complementary methods of gradually erasing Palestinian identity. It’s akin to dropping frogs into warm water and raising the temperature until they are boiled alive.

Israel’s defenders bristle at the use of the term. But the UN definition of genocide clearly fits Israeli policies since 1948. Though actual extermination and mass murder are major factors defining the term, there are a number of other definitions which clearly match Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. One of them is the Nakba, the expulsion during the 1948 War of 1-million indigenous Palestinians from their native homes (and 300,000 more after the 1967 War). As Hanin Majadli wrote in Haaretz:

For years, the Palestinians have been trying to tell the story of their Nakba because, from their perspective, it is their holocaust.
…We also heard this week that the army killed five children in an attack in Gaza during Operation Breaking Dawn. Not a holocaust, but how would you describe this disaster? And this is just one disaster out of hundreds and thousands that sometimes occur every day, every week and every month, and in every operation. How would you describe the fact that, despite all this, Israel doesn’t recognize its crimes…
…One thing Israeli Jews are experts at is being shocked that their catastrophe, their trauma, their tragedy, is not recognized. Because only they exist, only they are victims. It is a little ironic that Abbas is now being crucified.

Another objectionable characteristic of the Israeli response to Abbas is the implicit view that Jews, and by conflation Israelis, have the sole right to use of the term “Holocaust.” That this event was sui generis. That Jewish suffering sets the Holocaust apart from any similar act of mass murder.

This is one of the reasons Israel has refused to label the Ottoman slaughter of Armenians as genocide. In addition, Israel has supplied weapons to a number of regimes engaged in genocide, including Rwanda, Burma, and South Sudan. Any Jew who wishes the world to recognize the Nazi Holocaust should treat other peoples who suffered similar tragedies as they would be treated. And above all they must never aid and abet contemporary genocides.

Arguing against Israel’s sole ownership of the Holocaust, survivors themselves like Hajo Meyer, Hedy Epstein, Chava Folman-Raban, objected to Israeli policies and did so in the name of themselves and their fellow victims. They likened Israeli crimes to those of the Nazis. As my friend Tony Greenstein wrote to me: Israel exploits the souls of the Jewish dead to legitimate its crimes. Let’s name it Holowashing. Such abuse of their memory is a chilul ha’shem (desecration of God’s name).

Personally, many of my relatives were murdered in the Holocaust. Thus, I do not note such parallels lightly.

Even Israel’s then-deputy chief of staff, Yair Golan, warned in an unprecedented speech that Israel was turning into a latter-day Nazi Germany:

“If there is anything that frightens me in the remembrance of the Holocaust, it is discerning nauseating processes that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically back then, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and seeing evidence of them here among us in the year 2016,” he said.
…He called on Israelis to…“uproot from among us buds of intolerance, buds of violence, buds of self-destruction on the path to ethical deterioration.”

If an IDF general can compare Israel to Nazi Germany, why can’t a Palestinian, actually suffering under the Israeli jackboot?

Further, the victims of the Holocaust were Jews (and Roma, gays, socialists, etc.), not Israelis. Israel did not yet exist. So why should we permit Israel to wrest this historical tragedy from the Diaspora Jews who were its victims?

When Eichmann visited pre-state Palestine in 1937 he said that were he born a Jew, he too would be a Zionist. He too clearly distinguished between Diaspora Jews, whom he despised; and Zionists, whom he praised (because they would rid Europe of the “Jewish problem”). Israelis too shared a similar disdain for Diaspora Jews in general and Holocaust survivors in particular.

Ben Gurion once infamously said that he would prefer rescuing half of European Jewry – if it meant they emigrated to Israel – than saving all of the Holocaust victims if it meant they did not come to Israel. In fact, Zionist Israel despised Holocaust victims, seeing them as going like “sheep to the slaughter.”

Israel’s implied monopoly on the term, unfortunately enables it to define who may or may use it, and how they may use it. Israel’s outrage concerning the German incident is an attempt to constrict debate on Palestine. It is a form of linguistic policing which denies Palestinians access to their own suffering.

Does a rapist get to tell their victim what terms the victim may or may not use to describe the crime committed? Does white America have the right to tell Native Americans that the former didn’t commit genocide? These examples warn against permitting perpetrators to define their own crimes.

It’s also troubling that the world has embraced Israeli hegemony over issues like anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Germany, in particular, has codified the misguided IHRA “definition” of anti-Semitism as law. This has led to the absurd result of arresting Israeli Jews for protesting against Israeli policies. It has led to the dismissal of German-Palestinian newscasters from their jobs on trumped-up charges of being anti-Israel and, by extension, anti-Semitic.

In the case of the Heidelberg 3, they were victorious and all charges dropped against them. An independent report commissioned by Deutsche Welle vindicated the Palestinian staff and found the charges against them were also unfounded.

Germany, because of its role in the extermination of European Jewry, must navigate a minefield of moral ambiguities. While it must embrace traditional democratic values of free speech for critics of Israel, it must also pay respect to Israel as the state borne out of the Nazi Holocaust.

But the German government has become unmoored in facing that conflict. It has abandoned free speech in favor of the Israeli juggernaut. It has permitted itself to be extorted (willingly) by Germany’s Israel Lobby and the Israeli government itself.

Because of guilt over past sins, Germany feels the only way to make amends is by capitulating to every Israeli demand. The current debate over anti-Semitism in Germany has little to do with the Holocaust or anti-Semitism; and everything to do with a political means for Israel to assert its control over its own image throughout Europe and the world. The only way it can suppress criticism of its crimes against the Palestinian people is by invoking the red-herrings of Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

In Germany’s context, it’s important to remember what I wrote above: that the Holocaust was a crime against Jews. Its moral obligation is to Jews, not to Israel. Nor does Israel represent all Jews. In fact, the conflation of Israel with Judaism and Jews is a longstanding anti-Semitic trope.

Israel must not be permitted to distort the lessons of the Holocaust in order to protect it from its own crimes. By giving Israel carte blanche in this regard, the world compounds these crimes and renders it complicit in them.

Corbyn: The fight against social inequality is the core challenge of left-wing politics

A German journalist reports from a rally in Edinburgh


Introduction: Sarah Alemu from Wedding, Berlin, was in Edinburgh to witness an interview with Jeremy Corbyn. This is her report.

The Edinburgh fringe festival is the world’s largest theatre festival. It takes place every year in August in the Scottish capital. As part of this year’s festival, Scottish journalist Graham Spiers spoke on 9th August with Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the British Labour Party and MP for Islington North in London.

Like other events in the festival, the meeting was limited to just 60 minutes. The Grand Hall of the Stand’s New Town theatre was full to capacity – outside you had to wait for 45 minutes in a long queue of young and old people who were clearly Corbyn fans.

Spiers began by asking Jeremy what would have been different if he had become prime minister in 2017 or 2019. Corbyn replies that things would be very different. The first thing that he would have done, and which should be the duty of every government, would have been to help the many homeless people in the country.

He stated that life would also have been better for many young people. At present, many are looking at a very uncertain future, particularly in England, where they still have to pay tuition fees, and leave University with large debts.

Labour is very popular among young voters under 30. It had been more of a problem to appeal to older voters, which according to him needs to be worked on in the future.

Corbyn spoke of further core tasks of his politics, such as fighting inflation, getting the gas problem under control, job security, wage increases, and more social justice in general. In recent years, the gap between rich and poor has widened – wages have been falling in the last ten years. The need to revoke the Conservative Party’s anti-union laws.

Corbyn received much applause when he said that it was not wage rises which had caused the current immense inflation, but the profit-making of those who already have a lot. When asked why he had lost the election, he blamed great resistance against himself. Rich and influential people did not want a Labour Party with progressive politics. He estimated that at the beginning of his election campaign, 90% of the press were against him.

Corbyn only spoke briefly about resistance within his own party. Overall he seems to be cautiously optimistic about the future of his politics. As an example, he referred to the slowly increasing membership of trade unions. He also said that within Labour, an internal party debate is necessary.

So, he said, MPs must have a closer connection to their constituencies. The current problem with the Tories is that they lack this closeness to the people. It is frightening how little care they show. This is an opportunity for the Labour Party.

Corbyn also mentioned the health system, and in particular care. He went on to say that state control over the housing market is an important part of left-wing politics. It is not acceptable to leave rent rises to the market – this would lead to an explosion of costs, as we can see in Edinburgh.

Asked about the renewed referendum for Scottish independence, he replied that Scots must have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to live in an independent state. However, he conceded that his government would have made more money available to the Scots. It sounded like he hoped that Scotland would vote against independence. But the “Better together” campaign of the Scottish Labour Party, together with the Conservatives had been a huge mistake.

The Brexit campaign also weakened the Labour Party. There were Labour strongholds which voted for Brexit. Labour would not have been able to convince them with the aim of staying in the EU.

The interview lasted for approximately 40 minutes, after which there were 20 minutes for questions from the public. One of the first questions asked Corbyn for his views on refugee politics. Corbyn clearly called for the right of refugees to stay. It is not illegal to ask for asylum.

However, he saw a problem with the way in which refugees from different countries are treated unequally. If something applies to Ukrainian refugees, for example, it should also apply to refugees from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Palestine, etc.

Asked about the chances for a change of government, Corbyn was cautiously optimistic. The Labour Party could win the next election. However, for this to happen, they need a credible programme which is close to the people and with the growing inequality in the country as a central issue.

Asked to elaborate more, Corbyn mentioned four big themes that should be central to Labour’s election campaign – housing the homeless, taking the “Big Five” (electricity, gas, rail, post and water) into public ownership, investing in social housing and controlling private rents.

After exactly one hour the meeting ended with standing ovations. Unfortunately, Corbyn left the stage very quickly, and since photography during the interview was strictly forbidden, interested observers were left with a stage containing two antique chairs in the centre.

Translation from the original German: Phil Butland