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Andrew Tate used Neoliberal Eastern Europe to enable his Sexualized Violence

Tate did not choose Romania as a base for his sickening business randomly


When people hear I am from Romania, they often tell me about the trips they took there at some point. Some people travel to Romania because clubbing is cheap in Bucharest. Others visit Transylvania’s beautiful medieval towns. Outdoors types still hope to find some untouched wilderness in the Carpathians.

Andrew Tate, former kickboxer, self-proclaimed misogynist, and founder of Hustler’s University, had special reasons to go to my home country. “I like living in countries where corruption is accessible for everybody,” he said in an interview. “I like living in a society where my money and my influence and my power means I’m not below or beholden to any of these bullshit laws.” In case you’re wondering which laws exactly, Tate provided the answer in a now deleted video. “40% of the reason” he moved to Romania was that “in Eastern Europe none of this garbage flies.” The garbage? Police believing the victims of rape in the MeToo era.

On December 30th 2022, the garbage did fly, and Andrew Tate, his brother, and two Romanian collaborators were arrested for human trafficking, rape, and forming a criminal group. Even though the poetic-justice version of the story, involving an unrecycled pizza box and Greta Thunberg, is not true, there has been enough coverage of the investigation to reach even those lucky enough not to have heard about Tate before.

Some of Tate’s followers are fanatic enough to take to the streets and fight against the “agents” of the “Matrix” who arrested their idol. The rest of us might find such sci-fi possibilities less concerning than the actual miscarriages of justice. It recently came to light that in 2015, before moving to the Wild East, Tate was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in the UK. But the Hertfordshire Police waited four years before passing the case to the Crown Prosecution Service, who then promptly decided not to pursue the investigation.

Before his recent arrest, it had perhaps been easy to dismiss Tate as an online grifter and his followers as impressionable boys. Even now, when World Vision Romania sketched a profile of the audience susceptible to Tate’s appeal, it only referred to rural male teenagers, affected by poverty and looking for a way out, who receive insufficient attention from their parents. These boys see themselves as superior to women and as deserving more than they get. The only place for them to turn to for validation is the internet – where they receive it in a systematic manner.

Misogyny in Romania

This portrait will not be unfamiliar to anyone aware of the conditions in post-socialist Europe. Neoliberal transitions precaritized millions and left them grasping at individual solutions of upward mobility. Upward or outward. The unofficial estimate of Romanian children with at least one parent working abroad is 350,000. Because of migration or other reasons, many Romanian boys may lack “positive role models,” as the World Vision study puts it. Does that make them vulnerable to being sucked into online worlds of misogyny and grifting? Undoubtedly. And it is essential to properly recognize the systemic economic pressures that have shaped younger generations in a semi-peripheral Romania. But that should not lead us to ignore the fact that Romania is a deeply patriarchal country where violence against women is itself a structural issue, and a hotbed of human trafficking in the EU.

Because, after all, Tate was not wrong in his vile optimism about Romania’s law enforcement. The FILIA Center, a Romanian feminist organization, notes that in 2021 around 75% of the rape and sexual assault cases in the country were closed by dropping the charges. Another study shows that in 2016, out of 27,000 complaints of domestic violence, only 1,467 went to trial. The same source estimates that three quarters of women who suffer from sexual abuse at the hands of a partner or former partner do not register complaints. Romania is a country where silence and coverups are still the norm, due to the lack of material resources, of crisis centers, and of support systems, and due to the egregious behavior of the police themselves.

Tate’s declarations show that this, for him, is a business opportunity. A Romanian commentator reacted to the World Vision study by agreeing that the problem it highlights is real. But the violent entitlement to women’s bodies is not isolated to the Romanian countryside. He notes that Tate is selling not only power over women, but also financial power. This draws in both the Romanian youth lost in transition and the young men who have (temporarily) won at the neoliberal game. They hope that Tate will show them not only the secret to sex, but also how to use their money to make more money.

The swindled, not the swindlers

Some of Tate’s Romanian imitators and associates have indeed been successful, such as internet personality Vlad Obu, who has also come to the attention of Romanian law enforcement in January. But most of Tate’s fans are the swindled rather than the swindlers. 1,000 of them, lacking any sense of irony, paid $100 for a “Resist the slave mind” t-shirt. The website of “The Real World” (Tate’s continuation of Hustler’s University, shut down in 2022) claims 200,000 members – paying $49.99 a month. Tate does have a secret that helped him make millions. But that secret is convincing others that paying him money will make them rich.

If Tate is not offering actual money-making techniques, what is he selling his fans? The answer is masculinity and power. He is selling the illusion that he can help them get what they feel they have been denied: money, sex, power. Because violence and control over women secure men’s position in the family and the community, a demand for what men believe they are entitled to but do not receive. Tate made this clear in his reasons for coming to Romania. He is a man with immense fame and money and he believes that this entitles him not only to more fame and more money but also to literal ownership of women’s bodies, to power over others, and to a certain social standing.

Capitalism, pornography, and power

Tate is, after all, a capitalist, and his justified belief that in Romania he could treat women and the law as he saw fit was also a belief that he could gain money and influence in the Eastern European sex work market. Although the sexcam industry is a legal gray area in Romania, it is also booming. A studio manager gives three reasons for this: “poverty, an abundance of underemployed beautiful women who speak English, and exceptionally high-speed internet.” Although factually accurate, such a framework might play into neoliberal disguises of insecurity as flexibility and of constraints on opportunities. Some of the estimated 100,000 models in Romania have indeed found their ticket out of precarity. But many of them are stuck in the “intricacies of platform capitalism” and in “asymmetric staff power relations.”

Nothing makes this clearer than the investigation into Tate’s own sexcam business. The human trafficking accusations refer to the “loverboy method:” Tate would promise young women that he would marry them before forcing them into producing pornographic material on OnlyFans and TikTok. He did not choose to do this in Romania on a whim. Online pornography follows the same global structures of capitalism as other digital platforms that thrive in the periphery and semi-periphery. High inequality, lax law enforcement, cheap labor, all make Romania a key link in the “global value chain of the sexcam industry.” While sexcamming itself might be semi-legal, it depends on a dark underside of trafficking and constraining young women (and sometimes men) into an informal infrastructure of studios. A dark underside that is by no means exclusive to online pornography: either industrial or sexual, forced labor is an intrinsic part of the capitalist (semi-)periphery.

What Tate makes painfully visible is how capital depends on and benefits from structural gendered and sexualized violence. His case also shows that the state is far from innocent in all of this. It is not yet proven that Tate’s boasts about using corruption in Romania to his advantage were true, although I would be surprised if they weren’t. What we do know, however, is that many of his Romanian employees and collaborators were former police officers or special agents.

But this story has a happy ending, right? Tate has been arrested and will hopefully be punished. This shows that the sustained anti-corruption campaigns of the Romanian state and civil society are working, and things are changing. But while few would deny that Tate’s arrest is a good thing, the issues are much bigger. After all, anti-corruption in Romania has meant cementing the country’s integration into European and global capitalism – the same capitalism that made Tate’s success possible in the first place. Someone will soon take his place in both the sexcam industry and in the online manosphere, someone who will now know better than to boast publicly about paying off law enforcement and will fit right in. Andrew Tate is a symptom of global structures of capitalism and gendered violence. He might soon be gone, but the structures remain.

From all the untold and unnamed before and in between these names … to Emmett Till, …Rodney King… Eric Garner, Breona Taylor, George Floyd…

In 2023, Just Add Tyre Nichols


After George Floyd’s death progressives the world-over hoped that things for black people in the hands of the USA police would improve. But we knew that without an on-going mobilization of working peoples and progressives, the outrage over Floyd’s death would not lead to adequate change. Following public pressure, bodycam videos have finally been released showing the brutal death of Tyre Nichols – on January 7th – at the hands of five black policemen in Memphis. It horrifies us again.  But what else should it do? We describe events briefly, and then reiterate why reformist measures are needed, but will not lift this oppression from the Black and Coloured people of the USA.

“The police officers kicked Tyre Nichols in the head, pepper-sprayed him and hit him repeatedly with a baton, even as he showed no signs of fighting back. At one point, after Mr. Nichols stood up, one officer struck him with at least five forceful blows while another held Mr. Nichols’s hands behind his back. Soon, Mr. Nichols, 29, was on the ground — not far from the home he shared with his mother and stepfather — crying out in anguish: “Mom, Mom, Mom.”

New York Times 28 January 2023

That the officers were black themselves merely shows how the police system subverts the oppressed to assist in on-going oppression. As Mr.Nichols mother RowVaugan Wells said: “To the five police officers that murdered my son, you also disgraced your own families when you did this.. I’m going to pray for you and your families, because at the end of the day, this shouldn’t have happened. This just shouldn’t have happened. We want justice for my son.” (New York Times 28 January 2023)

Mrs Wells was extraordinarily gracious. While not wishing to add any hurt, prayers are likely not enough to change the systemic issues here. While these police officers were quickly dismissed and charged with second degree homicide, the officers may yet escape just conviction. That will in part depend on whether a ‘Special Grand Jury’ is convened to hear their case, the most likely option. That system has long been abused, and enables the authorities to escape their just desserts.

As ‘The American Bar Association’ told a hearing in 2000:

“The grand jury is a unique body in our legal system. It possesses awesome powers: The grand jury’s work is conducted in secret… Courts do not generally supervise its work closely…. But the grand jury has also come under increasing criticism for being a mere ”rubber stamp” for the prosecution without adequate procedural safeguards. Critics argue that the grand jury has largely lost its historic role as an independent bulwark protecting citizens from unfounded accusations by the government.”

Constitutional Rights And The Grand Jury; Reforms

Both the police and the legal systems are stacked against Blacks and African-American victims, and the working class. In ‘The German Ideology’ Marx and Engels warned that the law is only the expression of the will of the ruling class, it becomes the law of state: “The individuals who rule in these conditions – leaving aside the fact that their power must assume the form of the state – have to give their will, which is determined by these definite conditions, a universal expression as the will of the state, as law, an expression whose content is always determined by the relations of this class, as the civil and criminal law demonstrates in the clearest possible way.” (Volume 5 CW p.39; The German Ideology)

This pan-USA struggle pits the Black working class against the police. But African-Americans have not been silentover the last 50 years. Black populations have mounted repetitive resistance, nearly always precipitated by police violence:

“These types of uprisings have been a nearly perennial occurrence in the United States for more than fifty years. In the month following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., black uprisings erupted in more than 125 cities, leading to 50 deaths and more than 15,000 arrests. In the years that followed (1968–72), at least 960 segregated black communities witnessed 2,310 separate incidents of what journalists and state security officials described as “disturbances,” “uprisings,” “rebellions,” “melees,” “eruptions,” or “riots.”… this type of collective violence almost always started with contact between residents and the frontline representatives of the state—the police—and then quickly moved to other institutions.”

Elisabeth Hinton, The Minneapolis Uprising in Context

Marxist-Leninists understand that while resistance is primarily voiced by African-Americans it is also loudly echoed by non-Blacks – including many who are white. Such solidarity recognizes the validity of Marx’s dictum:“In the USA, every independent workers movement was paralysed as long as slavery disfigured a part of the republic. Labour in a white skin cannot emancipate itself where it is branded in a black skin.” (Karl Marx, Capital Vol 1; Chapter 10)

Dr. Martin Luther King prophetically recognised toward the end of his life that only “social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. There is no other answer. Constructive social change will bring certain tranquility; evasions will merely encourage turmoil.” (Cited by Elisabeth Hinton, The Minneapolis Uprising in Context),

But capitalism does not easily hear such words. The more far-sighted capitalists recognize there must be changes if the system is to survive. But again: “capitalism would not be….. etc”!

The problem facing the working class and its supporters is that there is no viable organised Marxist party to fight for a socialist path. Decidedly Biden and the Democratic Party is not that. They may make some reforms which we willingly take. But, they are always far short of what is needed. What is needed is a determined workers party both in theory and practice – that can assist in forging the needed links between all sections of a divided class of workers.

This article was originally written for the American Party of Labor

Trans Rights demonstrations throughout Great Britain

The London government’s refusal to pass Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill makes Scottish independence more likely.


In December the Scottish government decisively passed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) bill  with support from all parties. The bill makes it easier for Trans people to gain legal recognition of their gender by acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which allows for the changing of their sex identity on birth certificates.

A GRC also allows Trans people to have their gender recognised on their marriage license and death certificate. It takes away the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to acquire a GRC and lowers the minimum age of application to 16 from 18.

However, the bill was prevented from gaining royal assent, needed in UK law, by the Tory Westminster government on 17 January – which saw Section 35 of the Scotland Act used for the first time in its history. Scottish secretary in Westminster, Alister Jack, said the bill was being blocked as he believed it would have “adverse effects on the Equality Act”. Section 35 gives the Secretary of State for Scotland, a Tory appointed minister, the power to, in certain circumstances, veto legislation enacted by the devolved Scottish Parliament.

This has led to protests from Trans people and their allies in many towns and cities across England and in Scotland too.

About 1,000 people protested in Glasgow on Saturday the 21st, while at the same time, similar numbers protested outside Downing St, the home of the British Prime Minister Rushi Sunak and the heart of the Westminster government. Up to 2,000 ­protesters had shown their anger in central London the previous Wednesday night. Other protests included Bristol and York.

Trans activists are furious about this development. Many point out that even though the reforms in Scotland do not include nonbinary people, they nevertheless are a step on the road to making life easier for Trans people. They also deny that Trans rights cut across or harm the rights of women. Many point out the closure and under funding of resources for women and the recent rape and murder of women by the British Police forces by policemen such as David Carrick and Wayne Cousins as representing the real threat to women.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon replied to those that say the Gender Reform Bill would make it easier for “predatory men” to access women’s single-sex spaces, saying,

“I don’t believe that will be the case. You have some of the groups that are subject to violence by predatory men – Rape Crisis ScotlandWomen’s AID ScotlandZero Tolerance Scotland. These are groups that work with vulnerable women every single day. These organisations support this legislation, so it’s important to be clear. Actually, most of the key women’s organisations in Scotland do support this legislation.”

Sturgeon also pointed out that no one needs to show their birth certificate at present to enter women only spaces, “the point is this bill does not give a predatory man any more ability to abuse women than that predatory man already has.”

It seems likely that the Scottish government will pursue this through the courts and ask for a Judicial Review.

They point out that Westminster politicians are weaponising a vulnerable section of society, Trans people, in order to appeal to core Tory voters at a time when the government looks weak.

The move by the Tories has fuelled anger in Scotland at the Westminster government. A poll carried out for a national newspaper by Find Out Now suggested that 54% backed Scotland leaving the UK, with 46% in favour of remaining.

Many people living in Scotland are increasingly disgruntled with the UK government and the Tory party. They feel that they did not vote for the Tories, yet have to put up with their increasingly economically harsh and authoritarian rule. Many now support calls for Scottish independence.

The use of the Section 35 ruling has been hailed by some as “the end of devolution.” The devolved Scottish parliament was supposed to satisfy the feelings of Scots that they should be able to control their own affairs. However, the use of a veto by Alister Jack to block legislation that the Tory Party does not like will seem to many as a major step backwards regardless of their views on the GRR.

This comes only a couple of months after Westminster ruled in a court judgement that the Scottish Parliament did not have the right to call a referendum on independence for Scotland.

Scottish Civil Society Organisations have issued this statement.

2023’s Czech presidential election is a Post-Soviet farce

In Saturday’s election, Czechs are being asked to choose between a billionaire and a former chair of NATO


Members of the Politburo once asked Stalin which communist deviation was worse, the right-wing one represented by Bukharin or the left-wing one led by Trotsky. Stalin immediately replied: “both are worse – each in their own way.”  Surprisingly, this classic Soviet joke also applies to our choices in the current Czech presidential election. Which of the two finalists is worse? Both. Each in their own way. 

On January 14th, former prime minister and billionaire Andrej Babiš and former NATO military chairman Petr Pavel advanced to the second round. In the foreign press, the role of the Czech president is often described as purely ceremonial. Of course, Czechia has a parliamentary regime, and presidential powers are primarily representative, but historically the president has always enjoyed a great deal of informal influence. This includes the ability to raise policy issues and shape the nature of political debate in Czechia. 

Contender 1: Petr Pavel – the General

The first round of the election was narrowly won by Petr Pavel, who garnered 35.40% of the vote. His campaign was backed by a long list of Czech capitalists. He was financially supported by Martin Hájek, the 21st richest Czech according to Forbes magazine, Dalibor Dědek, the 59th richest, and Ondřej Fryc, the 91st. Their generous donations to Pavel’s campaign had a hidden purpose. It doesn’t hurt to have a man in the Czech presidential palace who owes you a favor.

Pavel, known among his supporters simply as “the General,” built his campaign on the slogan “Let’s Return Order and Peace to the Czech Republic.” One cannot but describe this slogan as fascistic – which is perhaps why so many capitalists support it. But what is Pavel’s idea of order anyway? It is hard to say, since the General’s ideological development has shifted throughout his life. Although his campaign marketing experts try to portray him as a champion of the mythical Western values of which the Czech bourgeoisie speaks so fondly, this was not always the case. In 1983 Pavel joined the Communist Party. Just before the fall of the proto-socialist regime he was trained as a military intelligence agent. His political testimony survives in archives, where his thorough knowledge of Marxism-Leninism is documented. 

For years, the Czech bourgeoisie portrayed members of the Communist Party as being morally decrepit at best and criminal at worst. Now “their” candidate is a former career Communist – something Pavel shares with his opponent. Andrej Babiš was also a Communist Party member and, according to archival material, actively cooperated with the secret police (he vehemently denies any cooperation himself).  

This will be the first time in the existence of the independent Czech Republic that the president will not be a militant who actively participated in the Velvet Revolution, which ended the proto-socialist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. The career Communist background of both candidates shows the utter impotence, ideological emptiness, and lack of coherent vision for the future offered by the current liberal capitalist system, which has been unable to nurture a new generation of political leaders for 30 years. 

Contender 2; Andrej Babis – the “Czech Donald Trump”

Andrej Babiš won 34.99% of the vote in the first round of elections this year. Originally from Slovakia, he is the fifth richest Czech according to Forbes. Apart from the media, his business empire also includes the agricultural conglomerate Agrofert, whose subsidiaries include the Vodňanské kuře poultry farm, notorious for employing agency workers from Bulgaria and Vietnam. These workers often reside in the Czech Republic illegally and are forced to work 12- to 14-hour shifts in freezing temperatures with noise levels that exceed standards set by the Labour Code. 

Babiš has described himself as the Czech Donald Trump. Like Trump, his political career has been marred by a series of scandals. Just before the first round of the presidential election, a court found him not guilty in the Čapí hnízdo farm case, where there was reasonable suspicion of misuse of EU funds. Babiš is currently under investigation in France on suspicion of money laundering and tax evasion based on findings from the Pandora Papers. However, the ongoing investigation did not prevent French President Macron from receiving Babiš on a visit just before the elections. Before that, Babiš managed to have breakfast with Bernard Arnault – currently the richest man on the planet. One can only wonder what the two billionaires discussed over coffee and croissants. 

After chaotically failing to contain the pandemic (another parallel to Donald Trump) in 2021, Babiš narrowly lost the parliamentary elections when two opposition coalitions formed against him: the Spolu (Together) coalition uniting three right-wing parties and the centrist Pirates and Mayors coalition. The current government, composed of both coalitions, is a classic neoliberal government – it is planning to charge for certain health care premiums, at a time when it is difficult to provide any standard health care at all in some peripheral zones of Czechia. It is also considering raising value added tax on selected products such as medicines, which are now in short supply in the Czech Republic. It is not too surprising that of all European leaders, the Czech Prime Minister enjoys the least trust in his country.

How did we get here?

Before the presidential elections began, the ruling trio in the Spolu coalition expressed support for three different presidential candidates, one of whom was Petr Pavel. This is now Babiš’s strongest weapon in the campaign. He describes Pavel as a pro-government candidate and warns that if he were to become president, the right-wing would control all centers of power since it already has a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament. By admitting that he voted for the Spolu coalition and using right-wing arguments in his attacks against Babiš, Pavel essentially gives his opponent the benefit of the doubt. 

Babiš defines himself against the right and effectively styles himself as the protector of the poor – after all, it was his government that increased pensions and salaries of state employees. Now however, due to rampant inflation, wages are falling in real terms. Given that no left-wing party has been represented in the Czech parliament since the last elections, Babiš’s posturing as a friend of the people is working well in the media. According to polls, his voters associate him with sensitivity to social conditions, despite the notoriously appalling treatment of rank-and-file employees in Babiš’s companies. 

Given the unpopularity of the current government, Babiš is probably counting on the fact that his ANO movement, which he founded in 2011 as a center-right formation, could win the next parliamentary elections. If Babiš were to become president, he would probably put a non-confrontational technocrat at the head of his ANO party who would have no problem forming a government. With the presidency and government under his direct control and his vast business empire under his hand, his position of power would be unshakeable. 

What we can expect

There is no need for a complex analysis to understand what the Czech presidential election really represents. It is a struggle between two feuding groups within the Czech oligarchy. On the one hand there is the business tycoon Babiš, who calculated that it would be cheaper to enter politics directly instead of influencing it from behind the scenes. On the other, there is a cohort of smaller oligarchs who fear that Babiš might gain a hegemonic position. and influence Czech politics from the shadows in a more traditional way . 

Realizing that much is at stake, both are campaigning in an incredibly brutal way. The hidden problems of the Czech Republic are coming to light in these elections – disregard for poor periphery regions and latent racism are on full view. After the first round of the election, Czech Twitter, which is mostly used by the middle class, was flooded with insults against people living on the periphery who mostly voted for Babiš. The Dekomunizace (Decommunization) Association displayed a banner with a photo of Communist president Gustáv Husák – the only Slovak president in the history of Czechoslovakia – hanging behind a half-naked Babiš with a caption above both: “No more Czecho-Slovaks!” The internet is full of similar racist attacks on Babiš’s origins. 

Pavel describes the election as a battle between two worlds – his, who holds the upright pro-Western views, and Babiš’s, who is dishonest and pro-Russian. Pavel is thus deliberately helping to polarize society – a polarization which even led to someone sending a bullet to Babiš’s wife in the mail. Babiš, of course, is not lagging behind in this regard. Indeed, immediately after the results were tallied he compared Pavel to Putin, saying that, like the Russian president, he was a Communist spy. 

This atmosphere of heated hatred is completely unnecessary. The Czech Republic will continue to be an oligarchy. As The New York Times described with the detached insight of an outside observer, “No matter which of the top two candidates […] eventually triumphs, the departure of Mr. Zeman, the Czech president for the past decade, should put the country’s foreign relations back on an unambiguously pro-Western path.”


Although it is difficult to maintain an impartial position during a period of highly visible nationwide campaigning, the Czech Left should not forget that it does not have a horse in this race. We now have a great opportunity to observe the situation calmly and to analyze machinations of manipulative oligarchs in Czech society. At the same time, this election is also a warning to us. Unless we redouble our efforts and succeed in bringing the left back into Czech parliamentary politics, the next elections will be yet another clash between different shades of the right. 

Translated and edited by Florent Marchais, freelance journalist and activist based in Paris, France

News from Berlin and Germany, Thursday 26th January 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany


To those who drink inside: Syndikat reopens

Two and a half years after its eviction, the Neukölln neighbourhood kneipe Syndikat is back. On Friday evening, the bar at Emser Straße 131 near the Neukölln S-Bahn station will welcome patrons again. The collective is taking over the former premises of the alternative culture pub Laika. Unlike the old pub in Weisestraße, there will be a large non-smoking room. Also, it will probably “no longer be completely noisy until 9 o’clock in the morning, but maybe only until 5 o’clock”. Central, however, is still the idea of being in close exchange with the neighbourhood, “and supporting each other.” Source: taz

16-year-old attacked during election campaign in Berlin

During the Berlin election campaign, a 16-year-old was attacked and confronted with Nazi slogans while distributing information material of die Linke Party in Rummelsburg. According to sources and witness statements, the youth had distributed flyers in the immediate vicinity of a die Linke election booth on Friday, a police spokesperson said on Saturday. He then stuck a leaflet on a residential building wall after which a 56-year-old man hit him on the hand. The 56-year-old man then joined a group of people who shouted national socialist slogans. A 50-year-old man also gave the Hitler salute to police officers who had been alerted. Source: bz

Strike on Wednesday paralyses all areas of BER Airport

The trade union ver.di called on all employees to stop work this Wednesday. Around 35000 passengers were effected with every flight cancelled. The employees of the ground handling services, the airport company FBB as well as aviation security were called to an all-day work stoppage, the responsible ver.di secretary Enrico Rümker announced. The strike is prompted by parallel collective bargaining rounds for which no solution has yet emerged in any of the three sectors. The ver.di demands wage increase of 500 euros more per month, considering the area of ground services and the airport company FBB. Source: tagesschau


Germany to send tanks to Ukraine

Germany announced yesterday that it will send its Leopard-2A6 tanks to the Ukrainian army. While Germany will send 14 and in total 90 of the German-made tanks will be sent from other EU countries, something which was impossible without the permission of the German government. Many questions still remain, such as other possible military support for the country engaged in a brutal war with Russia. Along with the Leopard tanks from Germany, the US announced also on Wednesday a commitment to send air defence systems as well as tanks. This points towards a change in strategy for the allies of Ukraine. Source: taz

Neo-Nazis initiate protests against local refugee shelters

It is not only in Saxony that extreme right-wingers are returning to the issue of refugees and their accommodation now that the Corona restrictions have expired. In Franconia (Franken) there have been rallies held in Scheßlitz and Breitengüßbach against refugees, organised by the neo-Nazi III.WEG. This thematic change from Corona to refugees is to seen by many extreme right-wing movements. Yesterday in Scheßlitz, protesters marched along the main street for the second time this year. The gathering was led by Roger Kuchenreuther, a long-time activist of the neo-Nazi III.WEG. The organisers did not hide their political background. Party flags and typical signs stating “against asylum flood” were carried. Source: endstation-rechts-bayern

Democratic demonstration and a broken nose

In Lützerath, alongside a defeat in the fight against climate change, many have left with physical injuries. As A.´s family (his family does not want to be named) travelled by car to the demonstration in Lützerath on the morning of January 14, the mood was good. In the aftermath of the protests, the initiative “Lützerath lebt” reported 145 injured demonstrators. A. is one of those 145; a six-second video on Twitter displays a policeman beating his face. He came away with a broken nose, for taking part in a democratic demonstration. All this to protect a private property of RWE. Source: taz

No return from Afghanistan

Somewhere in Afghanistan, 29-year-old Qais R. is hiding from the Taliban. 5000 kilometers away, in the security of the Frankfurt district of Bockenheim, R.’s fate is being decided. In 2021, R. was deported to Afghanistan on the second to last plane forcibly removing people from Germany to Afghanistan. Today, no one is forcibly deported to Afghanistan, the situation there is far too dangerous. But what about the people who, like Qais R., had the misfortune to be brought back shortly before the change of power? Isn’t the situation just as dangerous for them? Lawyers have brought a case to the court and a judge will announce their decision next Tuesday. Source: fr

No Wagenknecht Party

The MP Sahra Wagenknecht (die Linke) met in Berlin with influential supporters in mid-January to agree on the timetable for founding a new. The outcome was inconclusive as they do not want a split in the Left. However, it is also true that the Karl-Liebknecht-Kreis Brandenburg (KLK) was founded three and a half months ago, and already formed its own marching block at the Liebknecht-Luxemburg demonstration in Berlin, some days ago. Fellow die Linke MP Niels-Olaf Lüders says that he, at any rate, is not working towards a split. On the contrary, he co-founded the KLK to counter dissolution and to persuade disappointed members from leaving the party. Source: nd-aktuell