Letter from the Editors: 25th April 2024

International Workers’ Day


The Camp for Gaza opposite the Bundestag has decided to stay for another week. You can find out more by joining the Telegram group Besetzung gegen Besatzung / Occupy Against Occupation. Or just bring your tent and join us! The camp is open to everyone with regular workshops and rallies, including a large rally planned for Saturday at 6pm.

The Arab Film Festival started yesterday and will continue until Tuesday. It’s been 15 years since “ALFILM, the Arab Film Festival of Berlin”, has been presenting Arab stories in German cinemas. ALFILM has offered German and non-Arab audiences in Germany the chance to have a different window into the Arab World through genuine storytelling. With its 15th edition, ALFILM is inviting you to reflect on the state of things today, to dare to be critical, to explore the power of your voice, to ensure that you are seen, but also to dream of a better tomorrow. One that will resist being crushed by oppressive forces, whichever and wherever they are.

This evening (Thursday) from 6pm, there will be a meeting: Yemen: From the Arab Spring to International Proxy War. In 2011, a broad coalition of thousands of Yemenis began taking to the streets of Yemeni cities to demand an end to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had governed the country for more than 30 years, and to advocate for improved living conditions, motivated by the hope-inspiring events of the Arab Spring. The political entanglements arising from these events contributed to the outbreak of a brutal international proxy war involving regional and global powers. Mohamed Al-Thawr, Reem Jarhum, and Feda Alkashi will meet for a discussion in “-r0g” located at Knobelsdorffstraße 22.

Also on Thursday evening at 6pm, there will be an Info and soli event for the Freeedom Flotilla, on the occasion of the departure of their “break the siege” mission. The coming Flotilla promises to be the biggest and most powerful yet, also because of the situation in Gaza. We will screen the documentary “The Truth: Lost at Sea”, about the 2010 Mavi Marmara mission. A guest speaker who participated in that very mission will be present to share his experience. Also we will have a short live stream with the ongoing mission and an open discussion. It’s in the Mozaik Center, located at Grunewaldstr. 87.

Thanks to everyone who attended our Political Walking Tour last week on Riots in Kreuzberg. So many people attended that some people agreed to pull out and join the tour next time it’s available–which, is this Friday. Revolutionary Berlin Tours have agreed to organise an extra tour just for you! It begins at Kottbusser Tor, at the corner of Admiralstraße, in front of Südblock at 17.30, and will finish near Schillingbrücke (next to Ostbahnhof) 2 hours later.

On Sunday, it’s the latest R2CKino film against gerntification. This month, we’ll screen the documentary, “A început ploaia/It started raining”. This film offers a touching testament to the everyday revolution of Roma people who are fighting forced evictions from the centre of Bucharest. The film follows the story of the Vulturilor 50 community, who lived on the street from September 2014 to June 2016 in order to fight against the eviction from their home, which enacted the longest and most visible protest for housing right in the history of contemporary Romania. The Event takes place in Bilgisaray, Oranienstraße 45, and starts at 5.30pm.

Also on Sunday marks the 79th anniversary of the liberation of Italy from Fascism, the Italian Association of Partisans hosts a celebration event. Like every year, there will be food and an afternoon program with music and amenities. Since the global situation has worsened since last year, the association has been one of the few pacifist voices in the Italian political and media landscape, which at the moment is dominated by the belligerent government coalition. Because of this anti-militarist and pacifist vocation, the organisation has been under attack since the start of the Ukraine war. The event starts at 12pm in “Clash”, located in Mehringhof at Gniesenaustraße 2a.

Sunday also sees our latest Palestine Reading Group. This week, we’re back in the Agit offices, Nansenstraße 2, and will be discussing The ICJ ruling and the limitations of international law. You can find the selected reading here. The Palestine Reading Group takes place every week, on either Friday or Sunday. Check the page of Events we organise for the coming dates and discussion topics. If you’d like to get more involved in the group, you can join our Telegram group and follow the channel Reading group. The Reading Group starts at 7pm, and there is a meeting for Moderators at 6.30pm open to everyone who’s interested.

Wednesday is International Workers’ Day, which is a bank holiday in Germany. There will be a trade union demo at 11am, starting at Keithstraße 1, additionally MyGrüni is organising a satirical demo in the Villa Quarter (meeting point: Johannaplatz at 1pm), and the Revolutionary 1st May demo will assemble at Südstern from 4.30pm. Meanwhile, all afternoon and into the evening a political festival will be held at Mariannenplatz in front of the Bethanien building. Visit our stall where you can meet members of the theleftberlin team, learn about our future Events, and buy Palestine-themed T-shirts and tote bags. We’ll be there from midday, with the stall officially opening at 1pm.

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.

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. You can also visit the Palestine film evening every Wednesday at 8.30pm in Al Hamra. The title of the film is usually released too late for us to name it in this Newsletter, but you can stay informed by following Al Hamra on Instagram and facebook.

This week’s Campaign of the Week is Gewerkschafter_innen4Gaza  (trade unionists for Gaza). Get involved by signing up on the G4G website! We will launch our first canvassing action on 1 May or International Workers Day. Our campaign and website are freshly launched (and need updating still), so we are excited for any support to help make this a lasting campaign that speaks to a broader trade union audience, both domestically and internationally. On Sunday, 28 April from 11.00-13.00 we have an online Zoom call, if you are interested in participating, sign up on the website.

In News from Berlin, Berlin rents have increased by nearly 20% in the last year, and Tesla plans layoffs in Grünheide.

In News from Germany, AfD festival in Thüringen as the party moves further to the right, increase in right-wing extremism in schools, more Germans are for a speed limit, cannabis to be banned at railway stations, and Björn Höcke uses Nazi phrases in his election speeches.

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

New on theleftberlin, we interview Jara Nassar about the Camp for Gaza opposite the Bundestag, and Anna Younes about the erasure of Palestinian voices from Germany, Emily O’Sullivan accuses Germany of complicity in the destruction of Gaza, we publish a statement from the Frieda Frauenzentrum about 2 girls* centres closed because of private Instagram posts, Ilya Kharkow looks at the relevance today of the novels of Alan Sillitoe, we interview Zohar Chamberlain Regev, organiser of the new Freedom Flotilla, David P. Carroll wrote a poem for Gaza, Nathaniel Flakin looks at the ban on speaking and singing in Irish at the Camp for Gaza, and Noa Paul argues that new asylum laws will make life for refugees even worse.

This week’s Video of the Week is the panel discussion on state repression and cancellations of pro-palestinian voices in Berlin/Germany with Ghayath Almadhoun Udi Raz, and Nicky Böhm. The discussion was held in the Spore Initiative last week.

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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