Letter from the Editors: 18th May 2023

Nakba demonstration and exhibition, Marx’s Berlin, and Neuköllner Mayday


Hello everyone,

The Berlin police have banned this Saturday’s planned demonstration to commemorate the Nakba – the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their land and homes 75 years ago. This is the second year running that such a ban has been enforced, and is an attack on the freedom of assembly which has implications way beyond our solidarity with Palestinians. Nakba75, the organisers of the demonstration, are going to court to try to get the ban overturned.

Whatever happens, there will still be a full programme of Nakba-related events this Saturday. With the exception of the Jüdische Stimme rally, which will be at Oranienplatz, all events will be in a venue by the river, entrance via Köpenicker Straße 40, Kreuzberg.

  • 10am – 10pm Art exhibition – Kunstkollektiv M20, entrance via Köpenicker Str. 40
  • 12:00: Talk about the repression of (pro)Palestinian voices in Germany, entrance via Köpenicker Str. 40
  • 15:00: Rally organised by the Jüdische Stimme, Oranienplatz, Kreuzberg. This rally, in solidarity Palestinian victims of German state repression, has not been banned yet.
  • 17:00: Activist meeting to discuss the ban, entrance via Köpenicker Str. 40
  • 19:00: Concert, entrance via Köpenicker Str. 40

Things are still in flux, which means that the programme may still change. We therefore recommend that you follow the instagram accounts of Nakba75 and theleftbelin to stay informed of the latest development. We call on everyone who can to attend the events to show the Berlin police and politicians that such repression will not go unchallenged.

Apologies for a false link in last week’s Newsletter. If you are planning on going to the Berlin LINKE Internationals Summer Camp please use this link. This registers you for accommodation and lets the organisers know what food requirements attendants may need. Summer Camp is on 10th-11th June in the Naturfreundehaus Hermsdorf on the edge of Berlin.

Speaker news: Katalin Gennburg, who will be speaking about the crisis of die LINKE was elected deputy leader of die LINKE Berlin last weekend. Other speakers include Ramsis Kilani, Farah Maraqa, Ingar Solty and representatives of many international social movements in Berlin (full programme here). The venue is close enough to Berlin centre to commute, but 30 beds and camping facilities are available on site. Beds are allocated on a first come first served basis with priority for families.

This afternoon and evening (Thursday), Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen, 100% Tempelhofer Feld and DIDF are organising a Neukölln Mayday on Tempelhofer Feld. The motto is: lots of commotion around the Field and socialisation. At 1.45pm there will be a short demonstration for socialisation, for a free Tempelhofer Feld and for financing the social. This will be followed by different musical live acts and pefformances including the DWE Cheerleaders and bands Arte Bella & the Fellas, bowhouseduo, Manu Luis and Esels Alptraum. Stalls, political speeches and popcorn are also promised.

Sunday sees the world premiere of a new Walking Tour on Karl Marx’s Berlin. In 1836, a very young Karl Marx moved to Prussian capital to study philosophy. He stayed here for only four years, until he finished his PhD, and he hated the city for the rest of his life. Two decades later, he recalled the “sand” and the “ennui that reigns supreme at that place.” For Marx, Berlin remained a “metropolis of tschakos (i.e. police helmets) without heads.” The tour starts at 2pm at Luisenstraße 60, next to the Charité tower and end at the Marx-Engels-Forum, near Alexanderplatz. NOTE: this tour is limited to 40 places, so please book early.

On Monday, there will be a meeting about QueerYiddish. This is a 90-minute presentation in English with original and translated Yiddish examples. You can expect: a son with two moms, cruising in 1930s Vilnius, transitioning in the shtetl, a gay bullfighter from Brooklyn, a Yiddish remix of Marlene Dietrich, sapphic bagels, AIDS activism, a ritual spanking, and much more. It starts at 8pm in B-Lage (Mareschstraße 1).

This week, the European Trade Union Congress will be meeting in Berlin. As part of the conference, there will be a fringe event: Building Solidarity with Palestinian Workers. Representatives of various European trade unions and Palestinian speakers will present the current situation of Palestinian workers under occupation, their ongoing struggle and the role of European trade unions in building support for Palestinian freedom and rights, and discuss what trade unionists can do in solidarity with Palestinian workers. The meeting is on Wednesday at 12:30pm at the Holiday Inn East Side Meeting Room I and II, Wanda-Kallenbach-Straße 2. It is organised by the European Trade Union Network for Justice in Palestine, who are our Campaign of the Week.

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, Berlin police ban demonstrations for Palestine, court rules that police are allowed to inflict pain on protestors, Queer Berliners need housing support, and policeman accused of kissing man in the face.

In News from Germany, rail strike called off, EU promises Zelenskyy €2.7 Billion’s worth of weapons, Green environment minister resigns to take corporate post, and cannabis clubs will be restricted.

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

New on theleftberlin this week, John Mullen asks who is winning in Macron’s fight with French workers, the Bloque Latinoamericano Berlin look at the Sisyphean task of Anmeldung for non-Germans in Berlin, Nour Al-Abed says what the Nakba means for Palestinians, and Turkish socialist Memet Uludağ gives his first impressions of the results of the recent election.

In this week’s Podcast of the Week, Delivery Charge peels back the layers of the case filed by Duygu, Ronnie, and Fernando against their firing from Gorillas. The workers in these platform delivery companies are part of the 46% of employees in Germany who are not covered by collective bargaining agreements. We hear from Duygu about her campaign for a strike right that is unconnected with mainstream unions and collective bargaining processes.

The Video of the Week remembers Nakba Day by showing extracts from Rasha Al-Jundi’s project “when the grapes were sour“. This is a collaboration with the National BDS Committee (IG: @bdsnationalcommittee, TW: @BDSmovement, FB: BDSNationalCommittee)

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

Keep on fighting

The Left Berlin Editorial Board