Letter from the Editors, 1st February 2024

“Anti-discrimination” cause repealed. Where now in defending Berlin Artists who support Palestine?


Hello everyone,

We are still struggling with problems with our Server. Most people are getting this Newsletter, but some are not. While this problem remains, we will also post this Letter from the Editors on theleftberlin.com. We hope we can upgrade to a new server soon, which should remove the problem.

Our latest Palestine Reading Group is tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm. Until now, we have been studying texts which we would largely recommend. This week we will look at some texts which support Israel. You can find the recommended reading here. For this particular meeting, we will be using a slightly different format, which requires slightly more space. For this reason, we will be meeting this week in oyoun, Lucy-Lameck-Straße 32 (NOTE: not usual venue). The Reading Group takes place every week. on alternate Fridays and Sundays. You can find the exact dates, and the subject matter for the next few meetings on our Events page. Suggested readings are usually posted roughly 1 week prior to a meeting.

On Saturday, there will be a human chain around the Bundestag protesting against the AfD. Now, it is our joint responsibility as civil society to defend a togetherness in solidarity. On 3rd February, we will show a large action around the Bundestag buildings: We are the firewall! We call on everyone to no longer watch on as the right wing is normalised in Germany and Europe. The action is organised by Hand in Hand, who are our Campaign of the Week. If you would like to demonstrate alongside other international activists in Berlin, we will be meeting outside the U-Bahn Bundestag at midday.

Also on Saturday, there will be a launch of the new book Reading Kofman in Constellation (RKIC)! RKIC is a book of poetry, fiction, comics, film, and essays resulting from a reading group of the same name that took place at Hopscotch Reading Room in 2023. Sarah Kofman (1934–1994) was a multidisciplinary philosopher and thinker whose work touched on themes including but not limited to: metaphor, psychoanalysis, feminism, artistic experience, haunting, death, and food. The event will feature readings, refreshments, and a few surprises. It starts at 3pm at Stations, Adalbertstraße 96 next door to Cafe Kotti.

On Sunday, the campaign ‘Fund Healthcare Not Warfare‘ will be launched in Germany with screenings of “United in Anger” and “Love and Suppression”. From New York to London to Berlin – queer, healthcare and anti-war activists are uniting. ‘Fund Healthcare Not Warfare’ is a new coalition of anti-war, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestine solidarity activists and healthcare movements to demand a permanent ceasefire now and an end to the Israeli occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism.  The films will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. The Event starts at 6pm at Tipsy Bear Berlin, Eberswalder Str. 21

The Berlin LINKE Internationals have their monthly meeting on Monday, 5th February at 7pm at Ferat Kocak’s office, Schierker Straße 26. This month’s meeting will be concentrate on the attacks on Berlin artists for supporting Palestine.  The discussion will be kicked off by a representative of the Arts and Cultural Alliance Berlin (ACAB) who have been organising demonstrations against Berlin’s misnamed “anti-discrimination” clause. This discussion will be preceded by a short discussion of Events organised by the group, including report backs from the Palestine Reading Group and the meetings on Apartheid Israel and Gaza, as well as coming events like the Gaza film and fa on February 10th, a possible meeting on Imperialism in Africa (postponed from last year), and Summer Camp at the end of June.

There is much more going on in Berlin. To find out what’s happening, go to our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events in which we are directly involved in here.

If you are looking for Resources on Palestine, we have set up a page with useful links. We will be continually updating the page, so if you would like to recommend other links, please contact us on team@theleftberlin.com. If you would like to donate to people in Gaza, Fida’a, who spoke at our meeting last week on Gaza, recommends this GoFundMe campaign for medical professionals. She also recommends this call to escalate the pressure on our governments to end the ceasefire.

In News from Berlin, Berlin’s discriminatory “anti-discrimination clause” is withdrawn, warnings against the Nazi party Die Dritte Weg, and AfD sees rise in membership despite revelations of meetings with Nazis.

In News from Germany, the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance is launched, Judith Butler and others call for a boycott of Germany, transport workers to strike on Friday, and new survey shows that many East Germans feel left behind.

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

New on theleftberlin, we interview ACAB about the “anti-discrimination” clause and suppression of support for Palestine on the Berlin Art scene, the second part of Rasha Al-Jundi and Michael Jabareen’s photography/cartoon series It’s So Berlin!, Shav McKay looks at the German media’s reporting of Palestine, Dutch socialist Tobias den Haan looks at the Resistable Rise of Geert Wilders, Dr. John Puntis says why we all need to support the British junior doctors’ strike, and John Mullen reports from France about why the farmers’ protests are a problem for Macron’s right-wing government.

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Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board