Letter from the Editors, 23rd November 2023

Join our Palestine Reading Group every Friday


Hello everyone,

This evening (Thursday) at 6pm, Egyptian Diaspora Resists are organising a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy. Under the title Open Rafah Crossing, the demo is demanding that the Egyptian government open the border with Rafah, provide security clearances for the convoy, and allow in all the aid and fuel needed to end the suffering of more than two million people besieged in Gaza. Gaza needs at least 500 trucks of aid every day. Gaza needs clean water, food, medicine, journalists, and emergency responders. The people of Palestine have no choice but to turn to humanity for help. And we, as people of conscience, have no choice but to do everything in our power to provide that help.

Friday at 7pm, you can join a Palestine Reading Group organised by theleftberlin. Following a dry run with two small reading groups last week, we are well prepared and look forward to meeting in the H48 Projektraum on Hermannstraße 48, which means that there will be space for anyone who wants to attend. We will be gathering together before breaking into small groups. The texts will be looking at Zionism and the foundation of the State of Israel. You can register and access the suggested texts here. The plan is to organise weekly sessions, probably on Fridays, on different aspects of Palestine solidarity. More information in future Newsletters. For the most up-to-date information, follow the Reading Group channel in the Berlin LINKE Internationals Telegram group.

On Saturday at noon, Letzte Generation (Last Generation), Scientist Rebellion, and Eltern gegen Fossilindustrie (parents against the fossil fuel industry) are planning a mass blockade of the Straße des 17. Juni between the Brandenburger Tor and the Siegessäule. Over 1000 people took part in the last blockade. The protest is demanding a just withdrawal from fossil fuels by 2030. If you are interested in taking part in the action, but are worried about getting arrested, you can read legal information in English here. Letzte Generation are our Campaign of the Week.

There are a LOT of other demonstrations on Saturday. We are taking our lead from Palästina Spricht who recommend two of them. At 1pm there will be an anti-war demo from Brandenburger Tor, where Nadija Samour from Palästina Spricht and Iris Hefets from the Jüdische Stimme will be among the speakers. Then at 3pm there is a demo against gendered violence and for a free Palestine at Oranienplatz.

At 5pm on Saturday, in the H48 Project Room, there will be a screening of the film Censoring Palestine: The Weaponisation Of Anti-Semitism. This has been added after last week’s screening sold out overnight. As the global far-right grows in size and influence, antisemitic attacks are on the rise and an ongoing concerted effort led by Israel’s government is working to frame Palestinian activist groups as the main culprit. Redfish explores how allegations of antisemitism levelled against critics of Israeli policies are being weaponised to suppress and censor the global movement in support of Palestinian rights. Produced in 2022 the film is more relevant than ever. The film will be followed by a Q&A with international speakers about how we can fight today for Palestinian rights.

On Sunday, at 1pm at Oranienplatz, there will be a demonstration against the abolition of the right to asylum in Europe. At the beginning of December, the EU Parliament will vote on a whole bundle of regulations to tighten the Common European Asylum System (GEAS). As a result, there will be systematic human rights violations. The fundamental right to asylum is at stake. As if these planned tightenings of asylum law were not bad enough, the EU is currently planning a mechanism that could lower the still-valid protection standards for refugees even further: The so-called „crisis regulation.“ You can get more information by mailing stopgeas@posteo.de.

There is much more going on in Berlin, it’s another very busy 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.

Get your calendars out, as there are a lot of events planned for early December. As well as the planned Demo for Palestine on the 2nd and the weekly reading groups on Fridays, we and our allies are organising the following events:

More information in future Newsletters.

In News from Berlin, thousands more demonstrate in Berlin for Gaza, Berlin discusses hosting the Olympics on the hundredth anniversary of Hitler’s Olympics, and the Berliner Senat overturns the referendum decision banning building on Tempelhofer Feld.

In News from Germany, Nazi Björn Höcke to lead his party’s election list in Thüringen and “pose the question of power”, politicians are outraged that the head of Afghanistan’s food and drug body spoke in Berlin, die LINKE prepares its campaign for the EU elections, and head of Germany’s Protestant Church following claims that she knew about sexual abuse.

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

This week on theleftberlin, we publish an open letter signed by several international groups in Germany calling on the German Left to show solidarity with Palestine, Iranian women activists call for Free Palestine, and Nathaniel Flakin talks to Jewish students about why they are afraid of state racism, not Palestinians.

Outside Palestine, Phil Butland looks at the radical artists buried in Berlin, we report from the appearance of Right2theCity (the international working group of Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen and the Berlin Tech Workers Coalition conference, on the opening of a new museum Hari Kumar remembers the revolutionary artist Käthe Kollwitz, and in anticipation of a protest tomorrow, Evan Bernel looks at H&M’s exploitation of Bangladeshi labour.

In this week’s Video of the Week, Berlin-based US-American jew Rachael Shapiro talks about why she supports Palestinian rights.

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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 please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board