Letter from the Editors, 21st March 2024

Discussing the legacy of colonisation in Africa


Firstly, thanks to everyone who attended our evening of film, food and discussion about Gaza last Saturday. We raised €550, which we will donate to the Unity for Gaza: Mutual Aid & Resilient Livelihoods financial appeal, organised by Gaza Collective. Amid the breakout of indiscriminate violence in the ongoing war in Gaza, numerous families find themselves trapped in a dire humanitarian crisis. Our primary objective is to assist them by addressing their urgent needs. This campaign is recommended by Gazan activists in Berlin and we recommend that you also donate.

Tomorrow (Friday), the LINKE Berlin Internationals are organising a public meeting: Neosovereignism in the West African Sahel: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. What role do the military governments and their “neosovereignist” discourse play in West Africa? Are the juntas getting as close to Russia as is often claimed? What repercussions will these ties have? And what is, or could be Germany’s possible role in these new geostrategic developments in West Africa? Join the discussion with Prof. Dr. Baz Lecocq (HU Institute of Asian and African Studies),  Franza Drechsel (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and Dr. Lamine Doumbia (HU Institute for Asian and African Studies). It starts at 7pm in the Rosa Luxemburg Saal of Karl Liebknecht Haus, Rosa Luxemburg Platz.

There are 2 important demonstrations Saturday afternoon. At 1pm, #FreeCongo is demanding the immediate cessation of exploitation, corruption, and genocide by the government of the DR Congo. As well as, calling upon the German government and global corporations to cease their complicity in neo-colonial injustices and for ethical trade practices and reparations. In solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, we urge immediate mobilization to work for a just and sustainable future for all. The demonstration starts at 1pm at Wilhelmstraße 77, 10117 Berlin and ends at the Europahaus.

Then at 2pm, there is a demonstration to mark 9 years of war in Yemen under the title Together for Peace in Yemen and Palestine. The Berlin-Brandenburg-based peace initiative Stop the War in Yemen, together with international organisations and activists for human rights and peace, want to inform parties, trade unions, organisations and particularly the people in Germany– about this illegal war. Specifically a war in which Saudi Arabia and its war coalition have been carrying out against Yemen since 26th March 2015. Help to end this insane genocide through land, air and sea blockades, massive arms shipments by NATO and EU powers, as well as the US drone war from the US airbase in Ramstein. The demo starts at the US Embassy at 2pm.

On Saturday night, the Jüdische Stimme is showing a sneak preview of the film Israelism, a US-American documentary about the presentation of the Israel-Palestine conflict in US-American-Jewish institutions. As two young US-American Jews, who have grown up with unconditional love for Israel, witness the brutal methods with which Israel treats Palestinians, their life take a sharp turn to the left. They join a movement of young US-American Jews who are fighting against the old guard to redefine the Jewishness of Israel. This opens a new deep generation conflict about modern Jewish identity. The film starts at 7pm in the Spore Initiative, Hermannstraße 86. It will be followed by a discussion with members of the Jüdische Stimme.

On Sunday, R2C Kino goes to Lisbon. Right2TheCity, the non-German working group of Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen is showing the film What’s going to happen here? As in many other cities, Lisbon is experiencing fierce gentrification over the last several years. This documentary follows Right to the City movements that resist the capitalistic development of urban spaces and fight to keep Lisbon liveable! We’ll start with a short introduction, and finish with a discussion after the film. Doors open at 18:00, the film starts at 18:30 in B53, B*raunschweiger*str. 53-55 (S/U Neukölln). This is part of the Housing Fight Movie Night series: screening films related to the struggle for fair and affordable housing, while looking at the housing crisis from different angles.

Also on Sunday evening, it’s our latest Palestine Reading Group at 7pm. This week we’ll be discussing Pinkwashing and Purplewashing – the attempt to use LGBTQ rights to justify Israel’s crimes. You can find the selected reading here. The Palestine Reading Group takes place every week, on either Friday or Sunday (partly depending on room availability). Check the page of Events which we’re organising for the coming dates and subjects under discussion. If you’d like to get more involved in the group, to suggest and vote on future subjects, you can join our Telegram group and follow the channel Reading group.  Meetings are currently in the Agit offices, Nansenstraße 2. There is a meeting for moderators (open to anyone who’s interested) half an hour before the meeting starts.

There is much more going on in Berlin this week. 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.

This week’s Campaign of The Week is the campaign Stop Political Expulsion at Berlin Universities. On March 26, Berlin is debating a change to the Higher Education Act, where “politically motivated expulsion” can be used as a disciplinary measure in universities. This not only threatens people’s right to stay in Germany (as visas can be tied to student status), but sets a frightening precedent of shutting down student political organizing and restricting academic freedom. They are quickly pushing this in during semester break, and leaving little possibility of organized opposition. We need a wide alliance of students and non-students to oppose the right-wing turn in Germany: WE CANNOT LET THIS PASS! 

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. You can also find all the reading from our Palestine Reading Groups here.

In News from Berlin, fire breaks out at refugee camp at Tegel, and Berlin’s techno clubs fight for state support.

In News from Germany, CDU suggest restricting support to the unemployed while SPD defends “citizens’ income”, cooperation between the CDU and the AfD is growing, government breaks its promises on climate protection, and fdp blocks bill to fight right-wing extremism.

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

New on theleftberlin, Photographer Rasha Al-Jundi and cartoonist Michael Jabareen look at homelessness and gentrification in Berlin, DD Habib looks at the ties between ethno-nationalism in India and Israel, Phil Butland salutes Welsh singer and activist Charlotte Church, and Nathaniel Flakin looks at Berlin mayor Kai Wegner’s antisemitic friends.

This week’s Videos of the Week are taken from last week’s demonstration for Syria and Palestine held in Berlin on the 13th anniversary of the Syrian revolution.

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 team@theleftberlin.com. And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board