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Julian Assange is free. Are we?

Denouncing war crimes is a duty


Julian Assange was finally given back his freedom. After 5 years of detention, the journalist and Wikileaks founder was released from Belmarsh prison. Yet, the decision has a bitter aftertaste for human rights defenders, journalists and academics. The decision that eventually led to his freedom was a deal with the government of the United States, which had charged the investigative journalist with espionage. Through the organization Wikileaks, which was founded by Assange, documents proving war crimes committed by American troops 15 years ago, were published. These documents were leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former United States Army Soldier. Until the date, Manning was incarcerated for seven years for violations of the US-American espionage act for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.

Yesterday’s release of Julian Assange was much celebrated around the world. But it actually represents a setback for human rights defenders. Charges against Assange had not been dropped. By signing the deal, he agreed to his conviction of espionage. 

Through Assange’s imprisonment, limits for press and academic freedom have been drawn: do not publish illegally obtained documents. Yet, the inhumane treatment of Julian Assange, denounced even by the UN-Special Rapporteur on Torture, points to a second boundary: do not mess with the government of the United States. 

It is easy to be a human rights defender in the West when it comes to the “usual culprits”: Russia, Iran, China. Conferences are frequent and funds abundant. Despite the obviously dangerous nature of their profession, researchers and journalists covering Russia war crimes in Ukraine enjoyed abundant support from the European community. And they should. But the same cannot be said about human rights defenders covering Palestine. They were silenced, defamed, victimized by police violence, and lost their jobs – and were even temporarily banned from German territory.

Before the public persona Assange comes the human being. His freedom should be celebrated. The real question is: has the government deal legalized his illegal imprisonment? He might be free, but has he obtained real freedom to continue his mission? 

Is the public allowed to hold Western governments accountable? Are human rights defenders allowed to do their work, regardless of the country’s flag? 

In Latin America, state violence is researched by a large community. The investigation of human rights abuses is an established practice in academia. In Germany, in the middle of two wars, and against the repression of critical voices regarding war crimes in Palestine and institutional violence, holding Western governments accountable has become an act of great courage – even in a country with a so-called Feminist Foreign Policy. 

Assange is free, but are we free? 

Bloque Latinoamericano Manifesto, Part 3

As part of an ongoing transformation, Bloque Latinoamericano are publicising their political manifesto.


This manifesto is from the Bloque Latinoamericano, which has been translated by The Left Berlin team. We will be publishing it in three parts; this is the last part.


Organic/Organizational Questions

In this chapter, we present some methodical and organizational thoughts on how we conduct our daily political work. These stem from the experiences that we have gathered since our organization’s founding.

Grassroots Work

Grassroots work consists of making organizational tools available and addressing those who are not presently organized and do not have the initial impulse to organize politically

Using a framework of methods developed in Latin America, we understand grassroots work to be the construction of spaces for specific sectors, as in the development of initiatives that respond to concrete problems and needs arising from structural inequalities, and we offer solutions through self-organization and self-management. Grassroots work is essential to constructing popular power, meaning the gathering of forces for the transformation of society and the prefiguration of alternative forms of social organization.

Our grassroots work is based on a diagnosis of the need of the Latin American diaspora in Berlin. We observe, particularly in migrant communities but also in society at large, considerable deficiencies in access,  especially with regard to adequate housing and working conditions. The needs of the community are not limited to access to material resources, which are guaranteed to a greater extent in Germany than in Latin America, but also include the needs for community belonging, care networks, and emotional support. These needs arise from the deep penetration of neoliberalism throughout the economy and societal fabric. 

In carrying out grassroots work, we cooperate with very different people whose worldviews are not necessarily leftist, even if we are not willing to work alongside right-wing convictions. We believe that the accessibility of grassroots movements is essential in breaking free from a subcultural logic strongly anchored in the left in Germany. This logic tends to be self-isolating and only views those who have already internalized system-critical discourse and ways of living as subjects of social transformation. 

In our work with the migrant community in this area, we have developed methods allowing us to draw upon individual experiences to recognize their collective character and relationship to structural problems. Through discussions and political education, we have managed to understand the causes of shared hardships that have connected us to respective grassroots movements and driven us to organize. A substantial part of grassroots work is practical and concerns collective, if only partial, solutions to unmet needs. Involvement in grassroots movements is attained through the distribution of labor according to the interests and needs of the participants. 

Grassroots work only makes sense to us in conjunction with the building of a political organization. Without the political struggle for an overall restructuring of society, grassroots work can become charity work. The role of political organization is to develop visions for social transformation that go above and beyond meeting concrete needs under the current structure. 

The Relationship Between Political Organization and Grassroots Work

As a political organization, the Bloque Latinoamericano Berlin creates new grassroots movements and promotes existing ones. These spaces are attended by both Bloque members and non-members who share the goals of the grassroots space and who want to organize themselves due to specific hardship or a specific need or demand.

Because these are public spaces, members of other political organizations can also participate without the necessity of an alliance between them and the Bloque.

The role of the Bloque Latinoamericano in grassroots movements is to guarantee their perpetuity and political life. It does so by ensuring that meetings take place and that proposals for defining goals and the execution of political actions take place. Participation in these spaces is a central educational experience for all those active in the Bloque. Even if the Bloque offers support, this does not mean that its members have to take on all tasks. On the contrary, the goal of these spaces is that they are adopted by those who animate them—an important part of which is the assumption of responsibility.

The political line of a grassroots movement is the result of participants’ collective debate. Members of the Bloque Latinoamericano bring suggestions discussed within the Bloque to the table, but decisions within the grassroots movement are made democratically. 

Our Policy on Alliances

We understand ‘alliance’ as cooperative political work with other organizations on the basis of agreements that can be negotiated at varying levels. This means that we do not have to agree with our allies on everything in order to work together.

Our policy on alliances is founded on concrete practice and objectives set in the phase at hand.  Some alliances are long-term and based on deeprooted political understanding (strategic alliances). Others surround daily and mid-term political work (tactical-political alliances). We also enter into short-term alliances in order to carry out concrete political activities or gain visibility for specific issues.

Tactical flexibility is a central element of our policy on alliances. We see the necessity in staying true to our principles as an organization. That does not, however, hinder our flexibility in our manner of reaching concrete goals for which cooperation with other organizations is of high importance. 

We find that our alliances arise in three main fashions: Firstly, through the struggle to improve living conditions of the migrant community, shared with both other migrant and non-migrant broader movements, for example, the movements for access to housing and better living conditions. Secondly, we work with migrant and international organizations under the shared goal of bringing visibility to and supporting struggles in Latin America and other areas of the Global South. Finally, we form alliances with organizations that share our visions or forms of political engagement beyond concrete struggles, such as anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist stances or the necessity of grassroots work, and developing a practice strengthened by desire and emotion. 

Our Understanding of Militancy

As with any political organization, the backbone of our collective is us as activists, as we uphold its structure and daily work.

Why are we politically active? We self-organize to be free, to have autonomy over our lives and bodies, and we are moved by a great feeling of love, empathy for, and solidarity with all those who suffer the consequences of capitalism, the cis-hetero patriarchy, and racism. We have chosen the path of organizing anger and defending now and build a more just world day by day.

We know that to be politically engaged means to strive for political transformation and that in doing so, we will compulsorily make mistakes. But we know too that without revolutionary practice, there is no future and that we cannot remain idle out of fear of error or stumbling blocks—to the contrary, we strive for a constant, practical implementation of that which we think and believe with the conviction that we will be through criticism and reflection in the position to develop better tools for transformation and new relational frameworks.

Our organization offers multiple levels of participation, from grassroots movements to the structure of the organization itself. We are aware that we each have different capacities to contribute to political work according to our life circumstances, wishes, and motivations. We see this diversity not as hindrance but as wealth. We expect  the members of our organization to be regularly present and to maintain functional communication with their comrades, to act transparently and responsibly, and to value equally each member’s contribution to the building of our political project. 

The Role of Political Education and Collective Learning

In order to have a realistically transformative practice, we consider it essential to reflect upon our own practice and develop theoretical and conceptual tools that help us to understand the structural problems we are confronted with and outline alternatives. Political education has essential meaning in doing so. It is our pathway to broaching experiences of others’ struggles, their failures and successes, but also to new forms of knowledge and new concepts of reality. 

Political education serves the purpose of democratizing knowledge internal and external to the organization in that it breaks with the private acquisition of knowledge prevalent in formal education and academic institutions. If we truly want to break with the dominant positions of the elite, if this is truly about the construction of worldviews that give meaning to the world, it is crucial that we begin to take charge of the spaces in which this occurs and use all the tools at our disposal. In our political work, we learn together and in connection with practice. We learn what we need for social transformation and we shape learning environments around respect and the value of different forms of knowledge: popular, academic, sensory, historical, bodily, and so on.

We are of the opinion that education takes place in different spaces: in the execution of practical tasks, on the streets, and in political discussions. The Bloque Latinoamericano regularly organizes training opportunities with the goal of broadening our imagination to develop tools to mark out our mutual horizon beginning with questions raised by our political work while going beyond the immediate. In planning and designing these spaces we refer to the perspectives of Educación Popular, inspired by social movements in Latin America from the 1960s to the present. The task of preparing and moderating educational spaces is a rotating responsibility that each member can and should take on for a time.

The Role of Emotion and Desire in Militancy

Not only has the capitalist system taught us a way of reading the world, but has also taught us how to desire and affectively restrict ourselves. We therefore want to question our inherited individualist, cis-heterosexist and consumerist behaviors in our organization. 

The experience of migration is wrought with individual emotions and leaves emotional traces of lived structural violence in our bodies. We know that it is often these feelings that motivate many to align with our organization in search of others with similar experiences and motivate building networks of affection based on a shared understanding and experience.

Within the Bloque Latinoamericano, we try to offer a space where individual emotions, which often motivate a search for belonging and community, are welcome. We know that when emotions become collective emotions they can be a force for political practice. The challenge for us is to find a balance between holding space for emotionality and, at the same time, systematically examining our inherited cis-het and consumerist sensibilities. 

It is our suggestion that we construct a space in which honest dialogue and active listening are facilitated and in which members feel free to express their views and emotions. Nonetheless, we are of the opinion that offering the right to a ‘safe space’ can be a trap in that for the ‘safety’ of some, others must be excluded. 

Informal meetings between Bloque activists, members of grassroots movements, acquaintances, friends and all belonging to our network have just as central importance as political meetings. It is in these spaces that the bonds of affection, trust, and solidarity among comrades are fortified.  

Finally, we emphasize the importance of desire and pleasure in militancy, as they form the structural foundation which guarantees the functionality of the organization. Without desire, there is no movement, and ideas and ideological guidelines cannot translate to tangible action. Not only does political organization not contradict the politics of emotion, we affirm that desire and pleasure must be present for our project to materialize.

“The existing system does not adequately support people from minority backgrounds”

Interview with Kumar Muniandy about his new play Second Class Queer


Hi. Thanks for talking to us. Could you start by briefly introducing yourself?

My name is Kumar Muniandy. I’m from Malaysia, and my grandparents were taken by the British from India. They were displaced in Malaysia for colonial work as rubber tappers. My parents were born as first generation Indian Malaysians. I’m second generation.

I moved to London when I was 23 and wanted to be an actor. I stayed there for 17 years, went to drama school, but didn’t really succeed as an actor for many reasons. I left the UK a few years ago, travelled around a bit, and all my friends said Berlin would be the cheapest city to move to.

Next week, you’ve got a play on at the English Theatre Berlin. What’s the play about?

It’s a story about an Indian Malaysian queer gay guy who goes speed dating and meets five men. And through this conversation with five different men, we get to see gradually what he’s actually going through. Not to give too much away, but he hadn’t opened up to his late mother that he’s gay.

And he blames himself for his mother’s death. A guilt he carries on his shoulder since her passing. But at the end of the play, he opens up to his mother out in the open. But the juicy part is the conversations with these five men. You need to come and watch it to experience these moments.

And the play’s a comedy? 

Yeah.. people laugh.

It’s a comedy about racism, homophobia and colonialism? Do you think these subjects can be funny?

Yes. I think it depends what state of mind you are in, and what kind of positionality you hold in the place you are. I always think about survival mode, like many people who toil all their life to belong somewhere. I think if I was in London, I would be less stressed, less powerless, because I know the language. I can speak freely. I can defend myself. 

But here in Berlin, my B1 level German is not good enough. It’s sometimes difficult, whether it’s a mild or intense (all the -isms) situation, I have to protect myself.

I used to shout back and complain whenever people were rude or treated me unfairly, always pointing out their behaviour. But that only made things worse for me – it fired back in many forms – cancellations, blacklisted, labelled as violent, etc. So now, I’ve switched tactics and use humor instead.

I make the situation comical when some people joke about colonization, my skin colour, why Indians ‘shake their heads’, and are slightly racist to me without even realising. Most of the time, I feel powerless because the existing system does not adequately support people from minority backgrounds, who are not in the status quo. This can make it difficult for us to feel secure and have our voices heard.

And I pass (and benefit) as a cis looking man (even though I don’t identify myself as a cis man) and I’m brown – and it is already tough to navigate the system here so I can’t imagine for other marginalized folks who don’t pass as cis and have rich melanin skin dealing with the system. So yeah, I make jokes now.

You say it’s partly a language thing. Are there other aspects of racism which are specific to Berlin and Germany?

Yes. I often talked about and (attacked) white people, white people, white people. But before we even move to white people, I look at my own South Asian community, which has its own racist discrimination, which derives from colonization (caste, colourism, nepotism and so on..).

For example, when I’m in Malaysia, people have said to me to go back to India, but when I’m in India some have said: “oh you’re not really Indian because you’re Malaysian”. It’s the same thing that happens here but in another form of disassociating me from ‘them’.

It’s not just about race and colonialism. You’re also talking about the gay experience. There is a point of view, which you often hear, that gay men and women from the Global South are particularly repressed, because they’re not as enlightened as the West. Is this your experience?

I would say yes, and no, but can I answer the question in a different way? 

The only place that I feel that I don’t have to justify my existence, is if I go to a queer BIPOC spaces, and among the LGBTQAI community. I’m gay, I like men. And I can just walk in and don’t have to prove it to anybody. I just get accepted. It’s the same thing when I go to a cinema. I’m just watching a film. We’re all equal watching a film. In the context of queer spaces among the LGBTQAI community, I can’t exist fully in Malaysia as there aren’t safe spaces like in Berlin or London, from my experience.

So yes, this is a huge part of freedom here. When I go home to look after my parents every year, I have to be in the closet, and pretend to be macho. Here in Berlin, there is freedom but one pays the price for having a rich melanin skin. You get exotified but you also get vilified at the same time. A friend once told me this and it has stuck in my head forever: ‘we are like dogs on a leash’. Gassi gehen oder…?

We’re in a room with a lot of elephants in it. One of them is the strangeness in Germany since October 7th. Have your experiences changed? Society seems to have gone mad. Has this affected you?

Yes, definitely. I think I’ve gotten more depressed, I am floating between feeling guilty, feeling lucky and some feelings that I don’t know how to identify and deal with. I get to fly home and be with my parents since my country is not getting bombed. My parents are going through challenging health conditions, and I have the opportunity to look after them. I have those blessings.

Here in Berlin, I try to focus more on supporting other countries like Myanmar, Congo, Sudan, Kurdistan, to name a few, those causes which don’t get as much press and solidarity as others. I go to screenings, try to help with donations or be there for an individual who’s from these countries.

You’re not Palestinian, but you are a brown person in Berlin. Has the way you’ve been treated in the past year changed?

No. I think it hasn’t changed. There’s always been prejudice against me because of my skin colour when I enter a space. I talk about this in the play, which are all real incidents which happened to me. 

I’ll give you an example. When I was in London in 2003 the Iraq war started. Because I’m brown and look like a Middle Eastern man, I was stopped and questioned every day. They didn’t believe that I was an actor going to a drama school.

At the airport in London, security would always check me. It happened in Germany as well. And I looked at other brown guys going in. And there were some who were also queer (I think?), and they were really proud of themselves, confident and wore clothing that didn’t look like a cis straight men, you know, with earrings, headphones, scarves, nail polish and really fun confident looking. And they were never checked.

I thought, I’m going to do the same thing and see what happens. And you know what? I was not checked either. So whenever I fly home, I wear my skinny jeans and tight t-shirt. I try to put on a fake earring or a headphone, and pretend that I’m a really cool person. I am already an effeminate person, but I just extend it. And they don’t touch me. They don’t even check my bag.

(​​Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience at airports I’ve been to and may not reflect everyone’s situation. I don’t intend to suggest it’s always the case for people who express themselves through clothing and appearrances).

Why do you think this is? I can see a line of thought that security thinks that all brown people are Islamists, but they also think that no Islamists are gay. So it must be confusing to them.

I guess. But interestingly, I was at a dinner party two years ago, and I was telling this to a group of people and there was this guy called Chris from America. I told them that I had to learn to be really queer gay looking at the airport and how it was successful to not get racially profiled through bag checks.

And he said, “lucky you. We are Black. We have no way out. It doesn’t matter if we’re femme or not, we still get racially profiled”. And that put me in my place and I realised sometimes I have advantages that others don’t have.

Let’s talk about the play a little bit. What is the role of Art in talking about society?

As an actor, I’ve usually just been asked to play terrorist roles, or a shopkeeper, problematic Muslim dad, Indian Yogi rapist harassing white women, these kinds of roles, with a thick Indian accent. I was never able to play a lawyer or whatnot. I think it’s important for people to see the reality of other people. 

To be honest with you, I was just so tired of not getting any acting jobs. I have a mentor but also a good friend, she’s a Nigerian British artist who lives here and London, and I spoke to her about my idea for a play. And she said: “just write it”. And some good friends in the Berlin free scene stepped in as well and encouraged me to write and show the play. Through this process, I realized, I just want to say something. 

My aim is not to be amazing on stage or show how good an actor I am. I just want to say something and leave. And people related to it, both white people, BIPOC folks. I think we need new voices. I guess there’s more exposure than before, but we need even more.

There’s a belief that the theatre world tends to be white and middle class and has certain assumptions. How true is that belief?

Five years ago, I would say yes, but now there are other demographics coming in. There are so many theatres in Berlin which are focussed on special causes and identities. Staatstheater is definitely white and middle class, but the free scene in Berlin, the small fringy type theatres are different.

But I still think that these spaces are more available to white queer, or white passing communities than BIPOC folks in the name of moving away from heteronormative patriarchy. It’s still dominated by white queer folks.

But you think that the rise of white queer people brings other people in in their wake? Why do you think things have gotten better in the last five years?

Yes and no. Because of George Floyd. Everything kind of kicked off from that. But it was just temporary, and it’s gone back down to the same usual shit. All the people who screamed Black Lives Matter and about inclusions were only there for three minutes. People who talked about inclusion are the ones who are still getting the jobs, opportunities. It’s still the same.

The other thing is funding. If you have funding then the theater will give you the space to do your thing. I would say that things have improved a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit. There is still alot of nepotism and tokenism under the name of inclusion and diversity.

How is the play going?

The crowd seems to really relate to what I’m saying. The character I’m playing is also problematic himself. So I’m not just showing victimization or he’s an angel, but that it’s from both sides. I think people appreciate that.

Do you think it’s dangerous to portray a minority character with flaws?

For me, theatre or film is about showing human flaws and private thoughts in a public place. I am more interested in portraying people’s flaws and my aim is to heal. Everything is kind of flawed and three dimensional. I want to show that but at the end, I want to convey healing – that’s what is important for me right now.

What happens next? Do you want to take the play to other places? Do you want to write a new play? 

I did a play called White Talcum Powder, which I performed here in the Ufer Studios, it’s in development. Most British people who come to see the Second Class Queer play said “this has to come to London”. So I’m going to London in July to find a theatre – wish me luck – so far no lead. 

Any chance of future plays or do you first need to relax?

I’m not getting any younger. I will strive to do more work. I’ve written a few things. I think artists in Berlin (or artists in general) have tons of work under their pillows. It’s all about resources, funding, opportunies – if you get it or not.

Even when I’m relaxing, I’m still writing or finding ideas. I don’t have the luxury to relax. I have no stable income and I’m looking after my parents. I come from a colonized and homophobic country.

Like other folks who are in the same situation as me, the oppression and colonisation DNAs are still operating. It will never leave. So I need to do the work to stop that in one way or another. This is why my play is called Second Class Queer. I’m a second class citizen in Malaysia. But I’m a second class queer in Germany.

If people go and see your show and like it and want to see more, how can they encourage the theatre community to book you?

I’m going to put up flyers on the wall with a QR code, email address, and Instagram account. You can take a picture, or fill out the questionnaire and email me about it. Or you can also just email the theatre and encourage them to put the play on again next year.

I want to translate the whole play into German and play it auf Deutsch next year. But that needs money/funding. When I hire people, I want to pay them well. The aim is to rewrite the play to suit the German audience and to poke some buttons. I think it will work.

Do you have ideas what those buttons would be?

Not yet because I need German born/naturalised folks to collaborate with me and talk about it. I understand the politics here and there, but my experience is different from the BIPOC German experiences. I want to get their opinions, experience but also mix with the Berlin/Germany’s diaspora’s realities in the German version of the play. We’ll see.

So, of people want to send you feedback then they should?

Definitely. Yeah.

Second Class Queer is showing at the English Theatre Berlin from Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th July. You can book tickets here.

Für eine internationalistische Linke

Statement on Palestine (in German) by Die Linke Wedding and Linksjugend Wedding


You can read the English version of this text here.

Die Europawahl liegt nun hinter uns. In Mitte blicken wir mit einer gewissen Erleichterung auf ein stabiles Ergebnis, ohne gravierende Verluste. Im Wedding haben wir in einigen Stimmbezirken sogar Gewinne einfahren können. Besonders freuen können wir uns in diesen Tagen aber nicht. Europaweit sind faschistische Kräfte auf dem Vormarsch, und das bundesweite Ergebnis der Linken ist trotz mancher Lichtblicke desaströs. 

Angesichts der Tatsache, dass das Thema “Friedenssicherung” bei den Wähler:innen an erster Stelle gestanden hat, werten wir dieses Ergebnis nicht zuletzt als Kritik vieler Menschen an der widersprüchlichen Positionierung unserer Partei zu Israels Kriegs- und Besatzungspolitik und anderen friedenspolitischen Themen. Auch wir als Aktivist:innen an der Basis der Linken haben in den letzten Monaten und insbesondere im Wahlkampf eine zunehmende Frustration verspürt. Frustration darüber, dass Positionen wie die Ablehnung von Waffenlieferungen, die Opposition gegen jede Form von Unterdrückung und das Einstehen für demokratische und gleichberechtigte Verhältnisse im Kontext des Krieges in Gaza von Mitgliedern unserer Partei in der Öffentlichkeit permanent angegriffen worden sind. Wären diese Positionen in unserer Partei verinnerlicht worden, wäre unsere Haltung bei Ausbruch der neusten Eskalation unmissverständlich gewesen: Waffenstillstand jetzt, Unterstützung einer demokratischen politischen Lösung, die auch das Selbstbestimmungsrecht des palästinensischen Volkes berücksichtigt, klare Ablehnung aller Angriffe auf Zivilist:innen von beiden Seiten. Statt eine solche internationalistische Haltung einzunehmen, schlossen sich unsere Abgeordneten unmittelbar nach dem 7. Oktober mit allen anderen Parteien im Bundestag inklusive der AfD zusammen, um Waffenlieferungen nach Außen und Repression nach Innen zu fordern. Für die Verzehnfachung der Waffenlieferungen an Israel seit Oktober 2023 und für die massive Verschärfung staatlicher Angriffe sowohl gegen die Palästinasolidarität als auch gegen die palästinensische Gemeinde trägt unsere Partei darum eine nicht zu leugnende Mitschuld. 

Im Bewusstsein der Gefahr, die diese öffentliche Haltung für die Glaubwürdigkeit der Linken als internationalistische Partei bedeutete, haben wir in den vergangenen Monaten einerseits gemeinsam mit vielen anderen Genoss:innen der Partei auf Demonstrationen und Veranstaltungen unsere Stimme gegen Krieg und Besatzung erhoben. Und andererseits haben wir diese Stimme auch immer wieder in unsere Partei selbst hineingetragen. So ging etwa der Beschluss „Sofortiger Waffenstillstand und Stopp der Unterstützung für den Krieg in Gaza“ der Hauptversammlung des Bezirksverbands Mitte vom 23. März auf unsere Initiative zurück. Wir haben uns dafür eingesetzt, dass das Wahlmaterial zumindest in Mitte durch Plakate ergänzt wird, die einen Stopp der deutschen Unterstützung für den Krieg in Gaza fordern. Und wir haben gemeinsam mit vielen anderen Genoss:innen in der Linken unsere Gruppe im Bundestag dazu aufgerufen, einen Antrag zur Anerkennung Palästinas zu stellen. 

Während wir bei jedem Schritt stets bemüht gewesen sind, einen freien Meinungsaustausch innerhalb unserer BO zu gewährleisten und uns auf allen Ebenen bei der Ausarbeitung der Parteiposition einzubringen, müssen wir konstatieren, dass der Umgang mit internationalistischen Positionen vonseiten bedeutender Teile der Partei in den letzten Monaten besorgniserregende Züge angenommen hat. In diesem Kontext heben wir beispielhaft hervor:

  • Die Teilnahme von Berliner Abgeordneten der Partei am Bündnis „Gegen antisemitischen Terror“ und spezifisch ihre Unterzeichnung einer Erklärung, die staatliche Repression gegen den u.a. von Mitgliedern der Linken mitorganisierten Palästina-Kongress faktisch legitimiert und zum Gegenprotest aufruft. Die beiden Abgeordneten machten sich Eins mit deutschen Rechten aus CDU und FDP, um den Organisator:innen des Kongresses, zu denen viele jüdische Linke zählen, „die Verbreitung antisemitischen Hasses“ vorzuwerfen.
  • Die Organisation einer Blockade gegen eine linke palästinasolidarische Demonstration durch eine Landtagsabgeordnete der Linken in Halle.
  • Die Unterstützung vonseiten einer sächsischen linken Abgeordneten und Sprecherin für antifaschistische Politik für ein Vereinsverbots gegen Handala Leipzig.

Während in der Öffentlichkeit mit Hetze und Verleumdung die staatliche Repression gegen linke Aktivist:innen innerhalb und außerhalb der Partei angefeuert wird, wird in der Partei selbst die notwendige Debatte eingeschränkt. So entschied sich eine knappe Mehrheit der Delegierten auf dem Berliner Landesparteitag vom 27. April für eine Nichtbefassung der beiden palästinabezogenen Anträge aus Mitte und Neukölln, die in ihren jeweiligen Bezirken eine breite Unterstützung gefunden hatten. Einige von denen, die innerhalb der Partei die inhaltliche Debatte abwehren, fordern nach Außen hin lautstark die Kriminalisierung von Palästinasolidarität und Unterstützung für Israels Krieg.  

Das neuste Wahlergebnis zeigt, dass die Tilgung internationalistischer Positionen aus unserem öffentlichen Profil und die Unterstützung der deutschen Staatsräson die Glaubwürdigkeit unserer Partei nur noch weiter untergräbt. Denn gerade jetzt ist eine starke Linke nötig, die die Ablehnung der deutschen Unterstützung für Israels Krieg in der breiteren Bevölkerung und die wachsende Solidaritätsbewegung zu einem geeinten politischen Ausdruck verhilft. Eine Linke, die überall mutig gegen Unterdrückung, Repression, und für einen sofortigen und dauerhaften Waffenstillstand eintritt. Eine Linke, die dort geeint auftritt, wo es zählt, weil sie eine demokratische Debattenkultur aushalten kann. Wir ziehen aus dem Wahlergebnis den Schluss, dass nicht nur wir an einer solchen Linken interessiert sind, sondern auch unzählige Mitstreiter:innen außerhalb unserer Partei, mit denen wir seit Monaten auf der Straße sind, sowie weite Teile der Bevölkerung, die auf der Suche nach einer Alternative zu Militarismus und Waffenlieferungen sind. 

Um diese Menschen zu erreichen und sie für eine internationalistische Linke zu gewinnen, wollen wir als BO Wedding von nun an innerhalb der Solidaritätsbewegung als Mitglieder unserer Partei deutlich erkennbar sein. Wir folgen damit dem Beispiel unserer Genoss:innen aus Neukölln, die seit langem mit Parteifahnen und -transpis an den wöchentlichen Friedensdemonstrationen teilnehmen. Mit ihnen und allen weiteren Mitstreiter:innen wollen wir deutlich machen: Wenn die Linke als sozialistische Partei bestehen bleiben soll, muss die Verteidigung und Ausweitung internationalistischer Positionen in der Linken ein Anliegen der ganzen Friedensbewegung werden!


Basisorganisation Wedding 

Linksjugend Wedding

News from Berlin and Germany, 26th June 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Berlin: several racist attacks in a short space of time

Several racist attacks have happened in Berlin in the space of just a few days. On Wednesday, a stranger punched a 13-year-old in the face on Eylauer Straße. According to the police, the boy had accidentally bumped into the man. The man left the scene directly after. On Friday, a 44-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man attacked a family in Wrangelstraße. The police took both into custody but released them again. On Saturday, a stranger threatened a family in a supermarket in Louis-Lewin-Straße. According to the police, the stranger insulted and threatened the 25-year-old father of the family, his 28-year-old wife and their one-year-old child. He managed to flee. Source: nd-akutell

Berlin social administration cuts funding for women centre

The Berlin Senate Social Administration has cut funding for an association that has been recognised for decades. The Frieda Women’s Centre had “repeatedly failed to fulfil its notification and verification obligations towards the Senate Administration over a long period of time, or only did so with considerable delay”, as announced by the spokesperson for the Social Welfare Department. The association did not comment on the matter when asked. In the past, it has faced accusations that leading members have made antisemitic and anti-Zionist statements and taken part in pro-Palestinian events. Source: msn

Berlin: major daycare centre strikes this week

The trade union ver.di has announced another daycare centre strike in Berlin next week. Teachers in around 280 municipal daycare centres have been called to strike on Thursday, 27 June. The union wants to further increase the pressure in the ongoing wage dispute. Today the situation in Berlin’s daycare centres will also be discussed by the Committee for Education, Youth and Family in the House of Representatives. In addition to the parents’ initiative “Unicorn seeks education”, a ver.di representative will also be speaking. In recent weeks, there have been repeated strikes at daycare centres in Berlin. Source: berliner-zeitung



Anti-Muslim attacks rose considerably in 2023

The number of anti-Muslim attacks, threats and discrimination more than doubled in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to a report from the Alliance against Islamophobia and Islamophobia (Claim). The document shows 1,926 attacks were registered nationwide in 2023 – an average of more than five per day. Claim director Rima Hanano sees the shift to the right by the democratic parties as partly responsible. Case numbers from regional reporting and advice centres as well as from the 2023 statistics on politically motivated crime were taken into account for the situation report. The number of unreported cases is expected to be quite high. Source: nd-aktuell

“We will defend the welfare state”

In an interview with the public-service broadcaster ARD, Chancelor Olaf Scholz (SPD) affirmed, despite the traffic-light coalition government´s struggle over the 2025 federal budget, to defend the welfare state. The federal budget currently has a shortfall of around 25 billion euros. Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner insists that the debt brake should be adhered to and thus demands significant cuts in the budgets of several ministries, especially the social affairs department. Scholz expects the budget to be passed next month. The Chancellor left open the question of whether an emergency situation could ultimately be declared due to the high costs of the billions in support for Ukraine. Source: tagesschau

Fewer people than expected live in Berlin and Germany

The population in Berlin as of 15 May 2022 of 3,596,999 people. This figure was announced by the Federal Statistical Office for the 2022 census. This is 128,651 fewer inhabitants than previously assumed – and therefore comes in way below the expectation. Not only in Berlin, but across Germany, the population has also grown less starkly in recent years than previously assumed. However, this was around 1.4 million fewer inhabitants than previously assumed on the basis of the official census. There were also above-average deviations for the foreign population. According to the 2022 census, around 10.9 million foreigners were living in Germany on 15 May. This is almost one million fewer than previously assumed. Source: rbb

Germany announces a new military service policy

The German government wants to increase voluntary military service and mandatory German army (Bundeswehr) participation. A document outlining that policy explains that while Germany will not reintroduce conscription – scrapped in 2011 – the country will adopt “a new model that primarily relies on voluntary participation, but also includes mandatory elements if necessary”. Under the new model, young men in Germany would be sent a questionnaire about their health and willingness to serve in the Bundeswehr. Women would also be sent the questionnaire, but would not be obliged to fill it out. It is still unclear whether the new rules will only apply to people with a German passport. Source: iamexpat

Most German federal states support introducing soft drink tax

Germany’s Minister for Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) wants to introduce a soft drink tax; nine federal states have now said they would support introducing it. Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Thuringia and Saarland have agreed on supporting a nationwide tax on drinks with a high sugar content. Such support is expected to give Özdemir’s policy proposal a boost. The federal minister has long wanted to implement legislation in Germany based on the UK government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy or “sugar tax” introduced in 2018. Source: iamexpat