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No Climate Justice Without An Open Civic Space

Call to Action: Protest rally in Berlin around the COP27 Climate Summit. Friday 4th November at 12 noon.


An alliance of Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, theleftberlin, the LINKE Berlin LAG Internationals and Egyptian human rights activists are jointly demanding a clear positioning of German foreign policy towards human rights violations in Egypt.

On 6th November, the 27th World Climate Conference will be taking place in Sharm-el- Sheikh, Egypt. The main discussion at the summit will be which measures are necessary to defend the effects of the climate crisis on the countries most seriously affected. And who must pay for this.

A German delegation is also travelling to this important conference. Human rights movements worldwide are criticising General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s abuse of the event for his own propaganda and to cover up repression, police violence and torture in his own country,

As a climate justice movement and in solidarity with Egyptian human rights activists, we want to point out the compelling connections between climate crisis, human rights abuse and political calculation before the summit begins. With the rally and subsequent demonstration, we are addressing the German foreign minister and the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.

There are now an estimated 60,000 political prison in Egypt. Torture and murder are on the agenda. Press and scholarship are drastically censored. An independent report of environmental and health dangers from industry or transport in Egypt is impossible. But the host of COP27, General el-Sisi, practices green propaganda with paper straws and solar panels to affect the mood of the international guests and present himself as the defender of the African continent.

El-Sisi is being advised by a large US-American PR agency: Hill&Knowlton. In the past, Hill&Knowlton led a Greenwashing campaign for the tobacco industry. It is currently doing the same for oil and gas corporations. This is beyond satire. An agency, which is painting the public image of climate-damaging industries green, is responsible for organising the PR for the most important climate conference of our time. We denounce this!

This entanglement of industry and politics cannot remain without comment! Human rights must be valid worldwide and we will not allow them to be treated as an uncomfortable footnote. Debates about climate protection without an open civil society and political freedom are a farce.

Germany is one of the most important financial sponsors and trade partners of Egypt, and could be able to exert influence. But instead of demanding that el-Sisi adhere to human rights, foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has offered el-Sisi another stage through the joint organisation of the “Petersberg Climate Dialogue” in July in Berlin, at which the ruthless dictator could be presented as a “green leader”.

With our rally and demonstration on Friday, 4th November 2022 in Berlin, we want to provide a voice and a face for those people who the Egyptian dictator el-Sisi is trying to silence: activists in the country’s prisons and representatives of the resistance in exile. And we want to honour those who have been killed in the fight for freedom and dignity.

We demand that our foreign minister Annalena Baerbock raises the catastrophic situation of human rights in Egypt at COP27.

We demand that German foreign policy connects all financial or political joint work with the dictator Abdel Fatah el-Sisi with clear conditions.

NGOs, journalists and civil society must be granted access to the debate about climate protection methods, political prisoners must be released and the repression of critics must be immediately stopped.

We will start at the Green party headquarters where we will hand over a letter to Frau Baerbock. From there we will march to the Egyptian embassy, where we will hold up photos of political prisoners and read out personal letters and histories of people affected by el-Sisi’s politics.

Rally and Demo on 4th November 2022

Start: 12 noon
Green Party headquarters
Platz vor dem Neuen Tor 1

End: 3pm
Egyptian Embassy
Stauffenbergstraße 6-7

This call to action was issued by Extinction Rebellion Berlin with the support of Free Alaa, Fridays for Future, die LINKE Berlin LAG Internationals, theleftberlin, Occupy Cop 27 and others. The open letter to Annalena Baerbock will be published on on Tuesday, 1st November


Suggested Further Reading:

Lettuce Liz and Kami-Kwasi

WTF UK? An attempt to explain what has just happened


I’ve been asked to explain what is going on in British politics at the moment. Right, well there was this lettuce and the lettuce beat the Prime Minister in a tabloid newspaper competition and the Prime Minister resigned. Now the guy who lost in the competition to be the Prime Minister last time round has been crowned Prime Minister. He is yet to face the lettuce. I know, I know. It doesn’t make much sense. Lettuce go back a few days and look at what has happened.

Odious Prime Minister Boris Johnson was finally given the boot in July this year. Excellent. But then he was replaced by someone almost as awful. This awful person was Liz Truss, former Lib Dem and reportedly a brief member of Socialist Worker Student Society (sorry comrades). Liz Truss was voted in by 57% of the 170,000 or so “mad swivel-eyed loons” that make up the Conservative Party membership.

On becoming Prime Minister, Truss met the Queen, who promptly died. She then set about causing chaos both within and external to the Tory party. Together with her new Chancellor and fellow radical free market libertarian Kwasi Kwarteng, her government presented a ‘mini-budget’ to the House of Commons. Policies in this ‘mini budget’ included abolishing the 45% higher rate of income tax, reversing plans to increase corporation tax and removing limits on bankers bonuses. It contained billions in unfunded tax cuts. The country, already on its knees in a so-called ‘cost of living crisis’ was not particularly impressed. Approval ratings for Truss, Kwarteng and the Tories nosedived. No thanks to the official opposition who are still busy with their internal purges and promising to be tougher on protesters and “failed asylum seekers” than the Tories.

The pound crashed. The financial markets didn’t like all this increased borrowing. There was talk of the pound reaching parity with the dollar before the end of the year. People suddenly started talking about ‘gilts’ (UK government bonds) because the Bank of England started buying them in an effort to calm the markets and prevent the collapse of some large pension funds.

Prime Minister Truss had succeeded in upsetting everyone. Working people saw this rightly as a ‘mini-budget’ of the rich, prioritising tax cuts for high earners and unlimited banker’s bonuses. Homeowners saw their mortgage interest rates skyrocket. Many on the right watched the market turbulence in horror. Tory party colleagues were aghast at the mess she was making. The swivel-eyed loons wanted to bring back Boris. Everyone was pissed off.

Truss dealt with this by sacking her Chancellor after 38 days in the job. This was a bit unfair as she was fully supportive of the economic policies he had tried to deliver. But Tories hate fairness anyhow. The Tory party was in disarray, letters of no-confidence in the Prime Minister were reportedly piling up. A new Chancellor, the poisonous Jeremy Hunt, was appointed to calm the markets.

A vote on fracking was held in the House of Commons. This was briefed to Tory MPs as a vote of confidence in the PM, then it was ‘un-briefed’ when it looked like they might vote against it. The actual vote ended in farce, with reports of Tory MPs being dragged into the voting lobby and the Chief and Deputy Whip resigning during the proceedings, then un-resigning later. It was an embarrassing and shameful spectacle, and in that way representative of the Truss government and the Johnson one before it.

On Friday 21st October, Truss resigned as Prime Minister. At 45 days in office, that makes her the shortest-serving UK Prime Minister. The Daily Star tabloid newspaper celebrated as its ‘wet lettuce’ outlasted the Prime Minister. The runner-up in the last Prime Minister selection was crowned Prime Minister without a hint of democracy. Ultra-millionaire Rishi Sunak, caught boasting to Tory supporters that he’d changed the rules to redistribute money from deprived areas to richer ones, is seen as a safer pair of hands by the financial sector. The Tory Party is divided over his appointment, maybe there is potential for the lettuce to claim another head.

The important lesson to learn is, you can fuck the poor but don’t fuck the markets. Lettuce (sorry) hope that the wave of industrial action currently sweeping the country is strong enough to sweep away this self-serving Tory government. Whether it will Romaine’s to be seen.

News from Berlin and Germany, 27th October 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany


“The mullahs must go”

Tens of thousands took to the streets in Berlin last Saturday in solidarity with the protests in Iran. The roads towards Berlin’s Siegessäule were full before the official start of the Iran Freedom Rally at 3pm. Dozens of coaches are parked on the Straße des 17. Juni; Iranian exiles from all over Europe responded to the call for a demonstration. The protest was announced by the transnational collective Women*_Life_Freedom. Many participants carried Kurdish flags, too. Hamed Esmaeilion, an Iranian-Canadian activist, spoke to great cheers. The wording of his emotional speech was reminiscent of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. Source: nd

Berlin Police raid chat group

The Berlin police launched a major raid against members of a Telegram chat group. According to the report, the reason was messages which included violent fantasies against politicians and comparisons between Corona politics and the Holocaust. Four Berlin men aged 41 to 57 and a 66-year-old woman are being investigated. They are accused of incitement of the people, use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations, public incitement to commit crimes and depiction of violence. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops were confiscated during the raid, and several violations of the Weapons Act were also found. Source: rbb



Pension justice for Eastern Germans

More than 30 years after the annexation of the GDR, the East is still left behind. The traffic-light coalition is doing nothing for pensioners in East Germany who have been fighting for more than 30 years for recognition of their life’s work. It is shameful that the coalition is obviously relying on a biological solution to save funds, so Christian Lindner also gets the “debt brake”. The previous federal government had already promised to pay at least partial compensation to pensioners whose entitlements were not taken into account in the pension transition. The “Ampel” coalition wanted to finally implement this plan, but funds were not available in 2022. Source: jW

Boris Palmer: risk and opportunity

Boris Palmer (“die Grünen”) is generally regarded as a controversial figure, but in Tübingen the situation is clear: Palmer has won the mayoral election, for the third time in a row. He won because, from the majority’s point of view, he is a very good mayor. He has brought the city forward economically and ecologically. But Palmer´s victory can be also considered complicated for his party due to some of his statements such as those concerning refugees. Given the whole figure, Palmer’s victory is both an opportunity and a risk for the party. Source: Süddeutsche

Blackout 2022 in Germany

Since the Ukraine war started, the energy supply in Germany (and ultimately in the EU) has been in danger. In the worst-case scenario, a blackout is imminent in 2022. In Bremen, the police, fire brigade and disaster control are preparing themselves against this. For instance, emergency power and digital radio ensure that work can function smoothly. Using digital radio, the crisis teams will be able to communicate with each other independently of the telephone network and electricity. Clinics are also equipped with emergency power generators. Furthermore, the Bremen fire brigade is on standby and can help with additional generators. Source: kreiszeitung

Corona variant BQ.1.1 in Germany

The so-called “hellhound” has arrived in Germany. The new Corona variant BQ.1.1 seems to live up to its nickname. Experts are increasingly concerned about the variant which currently rapidly circulating. It may make sense to already consider a fifth Corona vaccination against the virus. In Germany, 15 per cent of the sequenced Corona samples currently come from BQ.1.1, according to Moritz Gerstung, professor at the University of Heidelberg. The data is not particularly robust, however, as sequencing is rather rare in Germany compared to the rest of the world. This means the number could be much higher. Source; kreiszeitung

Brandenburg extends infection protection ordinance

The state of Brandenburg is extending the current infection protection regulation against the Corona virus until 24 November. This was announced by the Potsdam Ministry of Health, Ursula Nonnenmacher (“die Grünen”). This means, for example, that the obligation to wear a mask in public transport, hospitals, and for patients in doctors’ offices will remain in force. Patients will also be required to take a test. In Brandenburg, the Corona traffic light has been red since 6 October. Nonnemacher said the cabinet has agreed on discussing further protective measures when necessary. Source: rbb

Germany faces recession

After the economic forecast dropped again in October, the Munich-based research institute “Ifo” points out the business community expects a negative business trend in the future. According to its index, the retail sector, for example, is afraid of losing more customers due to high inflation. The concern is justified. Due to the recent high inflation of ten per cent, consumer behavior is at its lowest level in 16 years, according to a survey published on Tuesday by the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV). According to the survey, 65 percent of the interviewees are already saving on everyday expenses. Source; jW

Legalize… maybe in 2024

The Federal Cabinet has agreed on key points for the planned legalization of cannabis. According to a plan, presented by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), the purchase and possession of cannabis is to be permitted within limits. However, a concrete bill will only be drafted when it becomes clear that the EU has no legal objections to the release of cannabis – which is by no means certain. Also, Bavaria reiterated its criticism of the plans of the “traffic-light” coalition. Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) fears, among other issues, of a “drug tourism to Germany.” Source: Süddeutsche

La Jaima de Tiris

Western Sahara Support Group in Berlin

La jaima de Tiris is a group in Germany which wants to tell people about the history, the culture and the struggles of the Sahrawi people. Western Sahara has been fighting for its self-determination for decades and is currently colonized by the Kingdom of Morocco. Until 1975, Western Sahara was a colony of the Kingdom of Spain. The struggles, the history and even the existence of the Sahrawi people is generally unknown in Germany.

La jaima de Tiris was launched on 1st June, 2022 and is open to any interested person. It meets regularly every last Friday of the month, usually in Neukölln. Next Friday, October 28th the group is inaugurating a photography exhibition “Remarkable Saharawi women: from tradition to emancipation”. Through a series of portraits of women we will learn about the life and work of dozens of fighters for the defense of Human Rights in Western Sahara.

The exhibition will be held at Nansenstr. 2 (12047, Berlin-Neukölln) and will be open from Friday, October 28 (19-21h) to Sunday, October 30 (Saturday 14-20h, Sunday 12-18h). Members of La Jaima de Tiris will be present to tell more about their project and their upcoming activities. The official inauguration, as well as the official presentation of the group will take place al 20h.

If you want to contact La Jaima de Tiris, you can write to, or follow their activity on Facebook (@lajaimadetiris) and Instagram (@lajaimadetiris).

Remembering Marxist historian Mike Davis

Ingar Solty from the rosa luxemburg stiftung looks back on the US American historian who died yesterday


I just learned that the U.S. American historian Mike Davis died at the age of 76 last night. This is such sad news.

I remember vividly my first encounter with Davis’s work when reading “Prisoners of the American Dream” for the first time. I will never forget the way it blew my mind: how a book could ooze out Marxism from every page (and a page-turner it was…), a Marxism of flesh and blood without the stale academic jargon of yet another repetitive Poulantzasian finger exercise in “the internationalization of the state,” a Marxism that reached your head because it sprang from the real world of social injustices and the brutality of the real instead of ahistorical intellectual endeavors in high places, a Marxism you could feel in your bones weary from routinized, alienating, hard manual labor, a Marxism you could feel in your heart with a mixture of the anxiety of job loss and hazardous workplaces on the one hand but also, on the other hand, the hidden memories of childhood aspirations and the raw and yearning dreams of a better life.

It is this kind of humanist Marxism – rich in history and detail – which, unlike French structuralist abstractionism, could never be said to be in crisis, could never devolve into quite the epistemological opposite it set out to be (a new state-theoretical idealism for instance…), because it has sunk its roots deep into the very fabrique of the world we live in. It is this kind of humanist Marxism which could and will never end up being just a short-lived fashion among self-indulgent thinkers in the academy brought to you by short-lived fashion-oriented publishing houses selling the newest radical chic. Or blindly following the zeitgeist of neoliberal counter-revolution and a neoliberalized higher education system. And in that sense Mike Davis’ writings were also furthest away from the current tradition of selling the author’s biographical story instead of the intellectual rigor and enlightening nature of his or her book.

Davis was not about form but about content. His books didn’t need a sales pitch. Just as carrier pigeons deliver the messages to the farthest reader, they would necessarily find their way to an attentive audience. They could do this because of their truffle nosing abilities concerning yet unwritten and hidden histories (“Late Victorian Holocausts”), concerning the greater world-historical trends resulting, for example, from free trade-induced mass proletarianization around the globe (“Planet of Slums”), and concerning the ways in which capitalism structures, organizes and disorganizes spaces – urban, suburban and rural – and impacts not just how we work but how we live – and where (Davis’ urban social historiography of his hometown Los Angeles).

Mike Davis had the magnificent talent and gift of being able to show how even the smallest unit and microcosm contained the greater totality of the universe. No one could study urban riots in London or Southern Californian wildfires like he did pointing to the economic, social and ecological destructions of capitalism allowing us to see and feel that what appears natural and as natural disasters to be accepted like fate are in fact very un-natural, human-made disasters and the opposite of fate, the result of a specific economic and social system in which very specific rules and logics apply from which very concrete people benefit who also tend to be the ones calling the shots.

Obviously, whenever Davis would write another one of his lucid and poignant new pieces for the Los Angeles Review of Books, New Left Review or other outlets, we would translate it for “Das Argument” or “LuXemburg” and the images he created in his texts stick with me. There is hardly a curriculum, talk or a paper where I don’t reference one of his works. Mike Davis was in the major league of a 21st century Marxism capable of making, to quote Marx himself, “the petrified conditions dance by playing them their own tune” and creating, in a nutshell, a new tune of how things can, should, even must be completely turned around for us to have a future on this planet.

Mike Davis will be sorely missed.

Mike Davis (author and activist): born 10th March 1946, died: 25th October 2022