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Letter from the Editors, 28th September 2023

Safe Abortion Day, Fight Fortress Europe, and new expropriation referendum is launched


Hello everyone,

Today (Thursday) is Safe Abortion Day, with several events organised to defend a woman’s right to choose and to protest against the fact that abortion in Germany is still illegal.

Also Thursday at 7pm, the Palestine Campaign (formerly Nakba75) is organising a showing of the film Ghost Hunting. Released Palestinian prisoners relive and recreate harrowing experiences from their time in Israeli detention facilities. Following the film, there will be a discussion with Saja, who works as a human rights lawyer and is part of the committee against torture in Palestine. The event is in English, and will take place in Refugio, Lenaustraße 4.

Tomorrow (Friday), the Ararat Collective is organising a demonstration against Azerbaijani genocidal aggression. The demo has the following demands:

  • The military aggression against, and forcible deportation of the Armenian population in Artsakh must be recognized and responded to as a continuation of the Armenian Genocide.
  • Immediate sanctions against Azerbaijan and a termination of the EU‘s strategic partnership with them.
  • A legitimate peacekeeping mission for Artsakh and safety ensured for all Armenian inhabitants.
  • Access for international observers to document war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It starts at Hermannplatz at 5.30pm.

On Saturday there is a rally, Fight Fortress Europe! Before FC St Pauli’s game against Hertha Berlin, they will be protesting together with Seebrücke Berlin against the GEAS reform and Fortress Europe. The rally begins at 5pm at Coubertinplatz in front of the Olympiastadion. The organisers want to use the opportunity to let people know about Europe’s inhumane asylum and migration politics. Seebrücke is our Campaign of the Week.

On Monday, it’s the next planning meeting of the Berlin LINKE Internationals. For the first half hour or so, there will be discussions on our political walking tours, the coming public meeting on the ongoing decolonialism in Africa, the upcoming Christmas party, and the main topics and speakers for next year’s Summer Camp. This will be followed by an exchange of opinions about how the international Left should react to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its political aftermath. The meeting will be held in Ferat Kocak’s office, Schierker Straße 26, and starts at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.

There are many more activities this week in Berlin, which are listed on our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events which we are directly involved in here.

In News from Berlin, Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen announce a second referendum, cyclists protest the CDU’s attempt to cut down on bicycle lanes, tenants in Rigaer Straße fight gentrification, and mayor Kai Wegner plans a fence around Görlitzer Park.

In News from Germany, AfD fail to win a mayorship – but the vote is close, and the Ifo Business Climate index reports that the German economy is stagnating.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

This week’s Video of the Week is the new Crowdfunding Video for Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen. Real estate companies continue to make big profits with rising rents. However, the Berlin government is not working on the implementation of the expropriation referendum, for which 59.1% of Berliners voted. Therefore, we now have to write the law for the socialisation of big real estate companies ourselves and bring it to implementation through a second, legally binding legislative referendum (“Gesetzesvolksentscheid”). Together with your support, we will take back the city! You can donate to the crowdfunding campaign here.

You are also encouraged to join Right2The City, DWE’s working group for non-Germans. Right2TheCity meets on alternate Wednesday evenings at Nansenstraße 2, and is contactable by Instagram or by mailing For more information, follow this linktree link.

You can follow us on the following social media:

If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board


We create a bridge to Safe Harbours


We are a political movement, supported mostly by individuals from civil society. Everyone who supports our political goals and wants to participate is already part of the movement. Through demos and protest actions in the countryside and in the city, we fight with our numerous local groups for migration policy based on solidarity and human rights—in short: away from isolation and towards freedom of movement for all people!

For years, these images and news have been omnipresent and have given the impression that dying off Europe’s coasts is just as inevitable as the catastrophic accommodations for those who have fled. We have all become somewhat accustomed to these images and for many it appears as if there is no alternative to European asylum policy, but there are alternatives. We at Seebrücke are absolutely sure: A world is possible in which no human being has to lose their life on their way to a safe future. A world is possible in which coincidences such as birthplace or passport do not decide where a person is allowed to live. A Europe is possible that protects the rights of all people instead of “the border”—including those who have had to flee.

As a broad civil society movement, we are creating a vision of a world without isolation, without camps, and without deportations. We look to a Europe of solidarity and voluntary commitment, of inalienable human rights, and the right to asylum. Even if this vision of Europe as open and in solidarity will not become reality tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow) on account of the political majority and the political debate that has shifted far to the right, we have to fight for freedom of movement globally and for equal rights for all people, and we must, step by step, forge the path there.

Our Vision

The terrible news from the European borders does not stop: Every year thousands of people die in shipwrecks in the central Mediterranean Sea or, with Europe’s help, are prevented from fleeing and are dragged back to Libyan torture camps. In the camps at Europe’s outer borders, such as Kara-Tepe, Samos, or Lipa, tens of thousands of people seeking protection live in indefensible conditions. Everything is lacking: Shelter, food, basic medical care. The people there are at the mercy of wind and weather.

We currently consist of more than 180 local Seebrücke groups that use protests and actions to draw attention to the indefensible conditions at Europe’s outer borders. We are represented in big cities like Berlin or Munich as well as in small communities like Dargun or Neuendettelsau.

With demos and protest actions in the countryside and in the city, we demand a reversal of German and European asylum and migration policies: away from isolation and towards solidarity and accommodation! Here, the focus has been and continues to be the municipalities. By taking responsibility for asylum policy themselves, cities, counties, and municipalities can show that a policy based on solidarity and human rights is also possible in practice.

We all are Seebrücke!

Feel free to send an email to or to visit our website.

News from Berlin and Germany, 27th September 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


“Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen” announces second referendum

Two years ago, a referendum on the expropriation of large real estate companies in Berlin was successful – but it has not yet been implemented. The initiative “Exporpriate Deutsche Wohnen Co.” has announced a second referendum to socialize large landlords. This time the people of Berlin will vote on a socialisation law, as representatives of the initiative announced on Tuesday at a “public press conference” in front of the Rotes Rathaus. This should prevent the senate from delaying the implementation of the request, as the initiative has repeatedly accused the state politicians of doing. Source: rbb24

Cycling infrastructure: Berlin’s war on bikes begins

The CDU government in Berlin, which had used drivers’ rights as a wedge to win big outside the Ring in the last election, wants to reward their motorist voters. Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) declared that he opposes bicycle lanes that slow down cars. The party’s bike-bashing has already prompted furious reactions. This summer, riders mounted huge protest rides during rush hour several times a week, many organised by the group Respect Cyclists. Following the outcry, the CDU relented a little. After reviewing 19 planned new bike paths, Transport Senator Manja Schreiner allowed 16 to go ahead. Source: exberliner

Fight against gentrification on Rigaer Straße

Whenever the media mentions Rigaer Straße, it is usually about the autonomous residents of the Rigaer Strasse 94 house project, the last officially “partially occupied” house in Friedrichshain. In the past there were many other occupations, house projects and left-wing bars there. But gentrification is spreading: last Friday, tenants from the house at Rigaer Straße 15, directly opposite Rigaer 94, protested against the sale and development of their two inner courtyards. According to the residents, these will soon be sold by their landlord and managing director of Mihu Immobilien GmbH, once they receive the building permit. A building application must be submitted by October 17th. For this reason, some of the residents are now mobilizing and seeking contact with neighborhood initiatives and other tenants. Source: nd-aktuell

Wegner wants a fence around Görlitzer Park by early 2024

Security in Görlitzer Park in Berlin has been discussed for years. Now the measures are to be implemented very quickly: a fence around Görli will be in place by the beginning of next year at the latest, according to Governing Mayor Wegner (CDU). The fence is supposed to be a temporary solution: “How long it is needed depends on how the situation in Görlitzer Park develops,” he declared. “If we close Görlitzer Park at night, we will deploy the police forces that are now in the park in the surrounding residential areas, for example in the Wrangelkiez.” Source: rbb24


AfD loses mayoral race in Nordhausen

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has failed to unseat the incumbent mayor in a runoff election in the central industrial town of Nordhausen. AfD candidate Jörg Prophet won 45.1% of the vote in Sunday’s local polls, while independent candidate Kai Buchmann managed to get 54.9%. Buchmann, formerly associated with the Green party, said he was “very happy” with the result and that he would use the next six years in office to try to “get the best out of it for the city.” Recent polls put the AfD at around 21.5% support nationwide. In Thuringia, where Nordhausen is located, the party is polling at around 32%. Source: dw

Ifo index: “German economy is stalling”

The mood in the executive suites of German business hardly worsened in September. The Ifo Business Climate index only fell slightly by 0.1 points to 85.7 points compared to the previous month, for the fifth time in a row, as the Munich Ifo Institute announced last Monday. Although companies were still dissatisfied with current business, they were less skeptical about their prospects than before. “The German economy is treading water,” said Ifo President Clemens Fuest in an interview with DW. There is not one predominant problem, but a combination of many different causes for the poor economic development, such as less demand for German goods nationally and worldwide. Source: dw

Letter from the Editors, 21st September 2023

Demonstrate for better education


Hello everyone,

Tomorrow evening (Friday) from 6-9pm, there will be a meeting Let’s talk about Strikes – Inputs about strike movements in France, Myanmar and Bangladesh with authors from Communaut and activists from International Confederation of Labor, ICL.The workshop will be held in English and take place in Neukölln or virtually (more information when you register). The participation fee is based on self-assessment, that means you can decide for yourself how much you wish to pay.

Tomorrow at 8pm, there will also be a film showing of Start Wearing Purple, the film about Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen’s fight to expropriate the big landlords. Choosing hope over despair, Berliners are banding together to get their houses back from big investors. Situated in the middle of an inspiring and refreshing movement that could turn the tables around the world, Start Wearing Purple is not only a report and documentary, but also a call to action. The film is in English and German, starts at 8pm and is part of a week of action at Alt-Stralau 68 against the A100 motorway.

On Saturday, there’s a demonstration for a change of direction in Germany’s education policy. Did you know that each year nearly 50,000 young people leave school without any qualifications? Are you aware of the feeling of helplessness when political representatives just plug holes, rather than starting a serious change in education? Do you not want to wait any longer for schools and daycare centres become what they should be? Then get active! and come to the demo–11am at Brandenburger Tor.

On Sunday afternoon, there is a series of films and discussions about China under lockdown. At the end of 2022, in the immediate wake of the widespread “blank paper” or “A4” protests, the Chinese government suddenly lifted all Covid measures. In the rush back to “normality,” the prevailing sense of release and excitement was so strong that three years of experiences with Covid in China seemed to vanish. But the surveillance technology developed during the Covid years in China has taken hold throughout society. It starts at 3pm at the FMP1 Salon, Franz-Mehring Platz 1.

There are many more activities this week in Berlin, which are listed on our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events which we are directly involved in here.

And here’s one for your calendars: Monday, 23rd October from 7-9pm, the Berlin LINKE Internationals are organising a public meeting in Karl Liebknecht Haus: Ongoing Decolonisation: France’s Economic and Political Interests in West Africa with speakers Professor Dr. Baz Lecocq (Executive Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies), Franza Drecsel (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung) and Nathalie Yamb (Cameroonian/Swiss communication specialist and activist). More information to follow.

This week’s Campaign of the Week is the Center for Popular Education–Bildungzentrum Lohana Berkins which provides education for migrants by migrants and is currently holding a crowd funding campaign. The Lohana Berkins Education Centre has helped many migrants learn German and understand their labour rights. We have participated in important debates on the right to the city and the struggle for climate justice. But we need your help to grow, to become more professional and to reach more and more migrants who want to participate in our courses.

In News from Berlin, 250,000 people march throughout Germany in the latest Climate Strike, Last Generation climate activists spray paint the Brandenburg Gate, and O2 will extend its coverage throughout the Berlin U-Bahn network.

In News from Germany, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution gets permission to monitor the AfD in Bavaria, a neo-Nazi group is banned and more are targeted, CDU works with AfD in Erfurt to implement tax cuts, booster vaccines against Covid available, and a TV documentary criticises Internet speed in Germany.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

New on theleftberlin this week, Jérôme Chakaryan-Bachelier looks at imperialist interests supporting Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia, a photo gallery of Saturday’s demonstration against “pro-Life” fundamentalists, Phil Butland remembers how theleftberlin website started and where we want to go, Palestine Speaks, Palastina Kampagne, and the Judische Stimme report from a meeting about antisemitism which ended in antisemitic abuse and broken ribs, and Claudia Haydt argues that die LINKE is a party of peace and must remain so.

In this week’s Video of the Week, Ramsy Kilani speaks at last week’s anti-colonial climate protest about why there is no climate justice without freedom for Palestine.

You can follow us on the following social media:

If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board

Ten Elements of a Leftist Peace Policy

Die LINKE has always been a party of peace. This must continue


For some time now, unrest has stirred within left-wing political party die LINKE.  In addition to discussion of a possible split, the party has seen a string of conflicts over core themes. Of particular note is the dispute over peace policy. The virulent concerns are also addressed at party-internal regional conferences.

At the south Germany regional conference Claudia Haydt, board member of the IMI who is also active within die LINKE, proposed principles which die LINKE must adhere to in order to continue operating as a credible party for peace. She did so in a 10-item list. The drafted list does not intend to summarise a comprehensive policy, but rather serves as a catalogue of tasks that will help meet the present pacifist-political demands.

Over the past months, many of those actively engaged with die LINKE have been repeatedly confronted with the question: what does this party stand for? Such questioning makes ascertaining the hurdles facing a left-wing political party all the more important in securing the party’s future. As such, consistently relating the fight against poverty to the fight for human rights is essential, just as action against climate change is only effective when combined with comprehensive social policy.

We fight for the rights of individuals (as with the Selbstbestimmungsgesetz  [1]) and for a strong community in which wealth is redistributed from the top downwards. Equally so, the interests of the people must be foregrounded in leftist peace policy. Solidarity with the victims of war, violence, and those in need motivates our stances on international issues. Nonetheless, falling into the trap of imperialist violence in the name of leftist values is not a solution.

Die LINKE’s programmatic framework decisions, met at the party convention, as well as the stances of the party executives bear a pacifist imprint. Unfortunately, public statements by prominent party members repeatedly and fundamentally contradict this message. Therefore, it is necessary to answer with clear peace policy messaging and action. 

In the following, I will list ten items with which we can and must position ourselves against the present socially hegemonic militarisation discourse. The following will also largely disregard issues concerning the geopolitical parameters of current events and the nature of armed conflict—not because these concerns are irrelevant, but because there has yet to be a consensus reached within the party on how to approach them. Here I prefer to concentrate on areas which correspond to the predetermined party programme and the shared political actions and positioning, which are possible and necessary today: 

1. Die LINKE is a party of international order: we uniformly criticise violations of international law, regardless of whether responsibility lies with Russia, NATO, Turkey, Germany, or Saudi Arabia. We do not ignore human death and suffering, regardless of where the affected live or the colour of their skin.

2. We do not defend warring factions. Wars of aggression remain wars of aggression, though the aggressors may refer to history in justifying their actions. Nonetheless, an understanding of the interests with which war is pursued is worthwhile. Striving to understand conflict dynamics does not make anyone an ally to the aggressor. We should not accuse each other of this—insofar as no attempt to justify violence is being made. The search for peaceful and sustainable solutions is not realistically possible without the full picture of a conflict in mind.

3. Military alliances are not collective security systems. Security systems include potential foes. That is demonstrably not the case with NATO. NATO was founded as a military bloc and remains as such today. Thus, NATO cannot be a partner for peace. Simply because Putin’s invasion is clearly bad, NATO is not suddenly good. Our leftist goal of a collective security system which includes Russia is difficult to negotiate at this time. Nonetheless, it is right that we not give up hope  for long-term, peaceful order in all of Europe. 

4. Every weapon finds its war. Armament kills even long after wars end.  To say that weapons remain in their intended destinations and meet their intended targets is to turn a blind eye to reality. Not only do they make their way from one war zone to the next, but they also pose domestic problems. That is how, to this day and in this very country, organised crime is outfitted with weapons from the Yugoslav wars. For these reasons, we must not allow doubt to arise in the fact that armament is and remains problematic—arms production and export alike—no matter where it takes place. Let us halt the mass expansion of the weapons industry and further pursue the goal of economic conversion.

5. In addendum to the above: those who build tanks, warplanes and warships do so with steel and other valuable resources. Steel is forged in furnaces. Furnaces use unthinkable amounts of energy and release corresponding amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Conduction of but also preparation for wars destroy human and natural means of existence. Additionally, investing in the arms industry creates a deficit of billions which are desperately needed for socio-ecological reconstruction. We can either fight the climate catastrophe or arm ourselves. In other words: those who invest a minimum of 2% of the GDP in armament have given up on the goal of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees celsius. 

6. The global security turning point pursued by Scholz and his Ampel-coalition [2] drives us into an era of mass cuts of social services. Excluding military spending, we are already witnessing budget cuts in all areas. Instead of improvement, care-related professions have seen federal grants slashed; rather than being salvaged, hospitals are being closed, and there is not enough money to fund a basic child allowance for families. The Ampel-coalition passes one armament project after another. Orders for tanks, attack helicopters, and warships are often paid over a period of ten to fifteen years. The exceptional 100-billion-euro credit financing these payments will expire in 2026. Thereon, in accordance with NATO’s 2% spending goal, a remaining 20 billion euros must be drawn from the general budget—a sum nonetheless insufficient to cover the costs of the armament schedule. We must stop this armament madness and the consequential social clear-cutting as soon as possible.

7. It is no accident that debate surrounding mandatory civil service has increasingly swept the political landscape as of late. This obligation, imposed on young people, is intended to fill personnel gaps in the military and social system, and it would be applicable to all genders. However, this is a step backwards rather than a sign of progress. Within the framework of mandatory civil service, young people are registered, sorted, and—according to evaluation metrics—groomed to become either cannon fodder or cheap labour in haemorrhaging health and social sectors. As such, let us take a clear stance against mandatory civil service and in favour of a more robust public sector. Moreover, the freedom to evade military service may also be an important international step toward peace. That young men who have escaped drafting in Russia cannot rely on finding refuge here is unacceptable. 

8. An increasingly powerful arms industry has increasingly strong political influence. The arms industry is among the economic sectors at highest risk for corruption. After all is said and done, this matter concerns billions in public funds and comparable amounts in private profits. The arms industry poses a danger to democracy. The influence of arms industry lobbying in politics is already far too great. The more money that flows into armament, the greater the danger becomes—with Germany being no exception. The Federal Bureau of Defence Technology and Procurement has, to date, broken its own anti-corruption rules in 450 cases. Increases in defence programming and with rules being relaxed last year via the Procurement Acceleration Act will see a dramatic increase in the political power of the arms industry if we do not stand in clear opposition to it—another benefit to the credit of DIE LINKE in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania successfully speaking out against Rheinmetall’s settlement in the region.

9. There are alternatives to global escalation, to the spiral of armament, and to military confrontation. As long as we are unable to overcome global exploitation through fair international cooperation, the path to world peace will prove extremely difficult. As we know, capitalism carries in it war as a cloud carries rain. However, steps toward  deescalation are possible today. This includes the aforementioned strengthening of regional structures for security and cooperation. It also includes new generations of global disarmament agreements, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and regulations halting the use of killer drones and lethal autonomous weapons. Furthermore, foreign cultural policies and all measures which build bridges, person to person: financing for peace service, but also for international student exchange, sufficient funding for humanitarian help, and financing for international development to at least meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sadly, the necessary financial resources to meet these goals are missing—we will not settle for this.

10. As mentioned previously, DIE LINKE must not allow doubt to spawn around the fact that it is a, or rather the, party for peace. Unfortunately, another party has, for the moment, been relatively successful in selling itself as such in the Bundestag. In doing so, the so-called ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) is committing phenomenal label fraud. Although the AfD’s policy against Russia is less confrontational than the governing Ampel-coalition (perhaps additionally due to their admiration for Putin’s reactionist social politics), it is, through and through, a military party that places crucial emphasis on a strong German military with its reactionary political goals. The AfD’s parliamentary representatives have ranked among them several military and armament lobbyists, and the party acts as an antagonist in debates concerning military armament. AfD using the idea of peace as a justification for their policies is a perversion, and the same goes for when other nationalist, reactionary powers use this logic.

True peace policy is international and based on solidarity. On the spectrum of political parties in the Bundestag, only DIE LINKE stands for these values. This we must prove — self-assuredly and clearly — through our stances, actions, and alliances.


1 Proposed policy to ease the process for transgender, non-binary, intersex, and other gender diverse individuals in seeking name and gender marker changes.

2 From ‘streetlight’, Ampelregierung is the name given to the governing coalition of the SPD, FDP and Green party (red, yellow, and green, respectively) as shorthand.

This article first appeared in German on the website of the Informationsstelle Militarisierung. Translation: Shav McKay. Reproduced with permission