Letter from the Editors: 23rd March 2023

Support the Climate Referendum, don’t pay for the government’s crisis, and preparing Summer Camp


Hello everyone,

As a heads up, starting this week onward this Newsletter will be delivered on Thursdays. The main reason is to give you due warning about the many environmental demos which are now taking place on Fridays. This week we have the added bonus of being able to announce a rally against Macron’s pensions reforms this evening at 6pm at the French Embassy on Pariser Platz. The recent demonstrations in France have been covered extensively on theleftberlin.com. Show your support by attending this protest which has been called by French left wing organisations in Berlin.

This weekend, from Friday to Sunday, the Smart Prisons conference will be investigating systems of surveillance around prisons, detention centres and borders, and the effects of technological violence and discrimination directed at migrants, activists, and dissidents in Europe and worldwide. The Event, with workshops, films and artistic productions is the 29th conference of the Disruption Network Lab, and will take place at the Kunstquartier Bethanien on Mariannenplatz. The conference will also be available via livestream.

Tomorrow night, La Jaima de Tiris invites you to an evening with the author of a comic about Western Sahara. Fine, the author, from the education from below collective, spent a month in 2014 and another month again in 2022 as a guest in the Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria. This is where she developed her comics about the historical background to the conflict and her personal impressions of the place. The event starts at 7pm in Nansenstraße 2. It will be in German and Spanish.

On Saturday, the trade union ver.di is organising a demonstration “We’re not paying for your crisis“, starting at Brandenburger Tor at midday. The demonstration is called together with many civil initiatives, including the Berliner Mieterverein. The demonstration is in support of striking public sector workers, and for affordable energy, public transport, and rents. The organisers are demanding that the referendum for fair rents referendum are finally implemented, and that the big landlords are expropriated.

Sunday sees another referendum in Berlin – for climate neutrality by 2030. As many of us have learned, only people with German passports are eligible to vote in such referenda, but if you do have a vote, don’t waste it. Remember to tell your German friends to vote. You can also join the demonstration on Saturday which starts at 2pm and is followed by a concert. Klima Neustart Berlin, who are organising the campaign for climate neutrality, are our Campaign of the Week.

On Monday, at 7pm, the Berlin LINKE Internationals are meeting at LINKS*44, Schierkerstraße 26. There’s lots on the agenda, among other things, agreeing on the contents of Summer Camp in June. We hope to be able to publish an initial programme in next week’s Newsletter. There’s also a big meeting coming up on Palestine, some possible film showings and – hopefully – a MyFest on 1st May. If you’re interested in getting involved, or just want to hear what’s going on, please come along.

This week is full of activities in Berlin, so make sure you find out what else is going on by looking at our Events page. You can see a shorter, but more detailed, list of Events which we are directly involved in here.

And here’s an Event for your diaries. The next political walking tour organised by the Berlin LINKE Internationals will be on Riots in Kreuzberg. Every year since 1987, Kreuzberg has seen protests on May 1. “Revolutionary May Day” combines Germany’s knack for organization with Berlin’s predisposition for nihilism. This is the very first tour that Revolutionary Berlin tours organised. The first one was in 2009 and they have been updating ever since. It takes place on Sunday, 16th April and is free (donations welcome). More information and registration here.

In News from Berlin, an AfD member has been removed from office as a judge on suspicion of being involved in the Reichsbürger suspected coup, on Sunday Berlin will vote on going Climate Neutral by 2030, with a demonstration and concert on Saturday, and there is some scepticism at Berlin’s plans to expand its underground network.

In News from Germany, social groups groups call for a rise in the minimum wage in response to high inflation, a new electoral reform to reduce the number of German MPs may remove the Left from the Bundestag, and Germany drops down to 16th place in the World Happiness Report.

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

New on theleftberlin this week, we publish two reports from John Mullen about the demonstrations and strikes in France – one written before Macron pushed through his Pensions Law against the will of parliament, and one after. Ali Khan interviews British Junior Doctors about why they are striking, and Phil Butland asks whether the Left should take part in demonstrations against Benjamin Netanyahu which exclude Palestinians.

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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