Minutes of our organising meeting, 24th June 2020

1. What’s happening in the world that we need to react to?

Dropped because of the extraordinary circumstances of the meetings

2. How did the last meetings go?

In terms of content, the meetings were all tremendous and viewed by a range of people from outside Berlin. But its also clear that fewer people are attending online meetings than a couple of months ago, so attendances are going down,


3. Coming meetings: Annexation West Bank plus British railway worker

The meeting on Israel/Palestine is looking particularly good, and we are looking at live streaming from a garden in Neukölln. More information to follow. We have a project group working on this meeting.

The meeting on privatisation of railways will be largely organised by the S-Bahn privatisation group of die LINKE Wedding and we will offer support where its useful.


4. Future meetings

Because of the smaller number of people interested in online meetings, we’ll move back to monthly meetings. As our programme has been disrupted, we’re now looking at meeting on the second Monday of each month.

For our next meeting, we’d like to somehow address 2 different meeting suggestions that have come up, and this is the conflict between “politics” and building mass movements (we’ll find a better title later.

We would like to invite the following speakers:

  • Danielle Obono (France Insoumise MP)

  • Ray Goodspeed (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners)

  • (possibly) Rehad Desai (director, Everything Must Fall)

Intended date is Monday, 10th August, but as we’re changing our rhythm anyway, we’re flexible on this.


5. Web team

Everything is going well. The Web team will organise a meeting in the next 3 weeks to discuss future development of the Website. If you’re interested in attending, please contact Tom or Phil.

6. Summer Camp in Hermsdorf

We believe that it will be possible to run the camp on 12-13 September under the following conditions:

  • limited overnight sleeping. We have 7 bedrooms. For each bedroom there should be one person / couple / family. We can also offer camping places

  • outside meetings. We need a serious Plan B if the weather is bad.

  • Opportunity for people to attend on Saturday and Sunday and sleep at home in Berlin.

We have set up a working group to make a first draft of a possible programme. If you’re interested in working in this group, please contact Hanna / Elizabeth / Phil

It would be good (as in previous years) to invite a speaker from die LINKE or similar for Saturday evening (or earlier, if people need to go home early). Suggestion so far: Franziska Brychy (LINKE councillor) on next year’s national and local elections, and what they have to do with social movements.

7. Money

Partly because of COVID-19, we have spent much less money than expected. We budgeted €200 for the meeting on Golden Dawn and only paid around €100. Other expenses like our planned conference in the second half of 2010 look unlikely to happen.

We therefore make the following proposals for spending:

  • Planned meeting with Marc Botenga (Belgian Workers Party): this should still happen in the second half of 2010 (Judith can negotiate with Marc about when he’s free)

  • Planned conference in the second half of 2010 – postpone to the first half of 2011

  • Instead, print visiting cards and stickers (planned in the 2009 budget but never realised).

  • €200 is still allocated for our end of year party

If anyone has any other ideas for anything that requires money, please get in touch.

8. Resolution for the party conference:

The LINKE Conference decides:

After decades of dispute, the Middle East conflict has still not been resolved. Despite innumerable diplomatic initiatives and negotiations, the Palestinian hopes of national independence and for an improvement of their quality of life have not been realised. The strongest military power in the world – the USE under Trump – justifies and supports prime minister Netanyahu’s strengthened politics of occupation and annexation of Palestinian areas. The German government condemns the increased building of settlements, but it still sends weapons and military equipment to Israel, with which it has a permanent, close military cooperation. Because of this, people in Palestine require international solidarity in their fight for national determination, including from die LINKE. 

For this reason, die LINKE stresses that it

• supports the aim of Palestinian civil society – an end of the occupation and the building of settlements in Palestinians areas, the removal of the Separation Wall, the recognition of equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees.

• Does not support the campaign “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” in Germany, but still rejects the characterisation of this campaign as anti-semitic. We stand clearly against banning meeting rooms and other repression against the campaign, which massively restrict freedom of discussion in the discussion of human rights.

• Stands with determination against anti-semitism, anti-Muslim racism, antiziganism (prejudice against gypsies and travellers) and every other form of racism and exclusion. This also applies to individual people who operate with anti-semitism inside the BDS spectrum.

Human rights are indivisible

We support the intention of this motion, but cannot support it for the following grounds:

  • “die LINKE stresses that it… Does not support the campaign “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” in Germany, but…”

We understand the difficulty of the discussion around BDS in Germany, but feel that there is a difference between not saying that Die LINKE supports BDS and explicitly stating that it does not. We would feel it very difficult to explain to our Palestinian partners why we put our name to a resolution which explicitly rejects BDS

  • die LINKE stresses that it … Stands with determination against anti-semitism, anti-Muslim racism, antiziganism (prejudice against gypsies and travellers) and every other form of racism and exclusion. This also applies to individual people who operate with anti-semitism inside the BDS spectrum.

We find all these statements correct but they have nothing to do with a statement on Israel/Palestine. In particular, we find the sentence “This also applies to individual people who operate with anti-semitism inside the BDS spectrum” problematic. Of course we reject any antisemitic individuals, and of course occasionally antisemites will refer to BDS to attempt to justify their obnoxious views, but we reject insinuation that antisemitic individuals have any serious role within the BDS movement. We therefore find that this sentence reinforces a right-wing narrative that has little to do with reality.

9. Working with Polish refugees / domestic workers

Initiatives are being taken to help organise Polish domestic workers and these initiatives have asked for our help. They are drawing parallels with similar problems experienced by Indian workers. We can promise the following:

  • help liaise with die LINKE parliamentarians and others

  • bring this up in the discussions that we are already having with the rosa luxemburg stiftung (Indian section) and MPs like Caren Lay and Tobias Pflüger

  • Bring these initiatives into contact with similar ones, such as the one with Romanian workers where Adina is active.

10. Next Orga meeting

If no-one sees a great reason why not, the next orga meeting will be on Monday, 20th July.