This week we had our monthly organising meeting, where we discuss our coming activities. Here are the minutes of the meeting, There’s a lot of info here, so if you only want to know about specific things, scroll down to the appropriate header.
Our organising meetings are open to anyone who is interested in the activities of the LINKE Berlin Internationals. They are coordinated on a separate mailing list. If you would like to be added to this list, please contact us on email@example.com
#unteilbar demo, 24 August
In the discussion it became clear that not everyone knows the background to the demonstration. This is understandable, so here is some of that background:
Last year, an alliance came together to organise solidarity work with refugees. They called themselves #unteilbar, and had significant support outside the “usual suspects”, eg from clubs, theatre etc. In October, #unteilbar mobilised 250,000 people for refugee rights,
After that – very little, but two things continued to happen. First, electoral successes for the AfD, secondly the gradual takeover of the party by the explicitly fascist wing. And there are local elections in Eastern Germany this year, including on 1 September in Saxony and Brandenburg, where the AfD is expecting to have good results. So, #unteilbar has called a new demo for a tolerant society on 24 August in Dresden. At least 2 trains and many buses are going from Berlin.
We have so far sold 33 tickets for buses to the demo. Its not too late to book a ticket from us, but there’s only 1 place left in the bus we’re travelling on (after that we’ll sell tickets for other buses). For more information, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll have a leaflet for the demo telling people about our future activities and need people to carry our banner (Refugees Welcome here in different languages). If you can help, please do.
LAG meeting 26 August on #unteilbar
Two days after the demo, we’ll be having our monthly meeting (always the fourth Monday of the month in the Roter Laden, Weidenweg 17 in Fredrichshain (U-Bahn Weberwiese). This month Corinna Genschel, who is responsible for die LINKE’s work in social movements will be talking about what’s happening in #unteilbar, and the specific role of die LINKE in the alliance.
This follows a discussion that Corinna led at our summer camp where we talked about how die LINKE can work “with and against” other parties some of whose policies have contributed towards the disillusionment in politics and the growth of the AfD. At the orga meeting we also discussed how this would work on the parliamentary level – would a Red-Red-Green government change things and how likely is that of happening?
Public meeting on Kundus, 4th September in KL Haus
4th September is the tenth anniversary of the Kundus massacre, which resulted in the most number of people being killed by German troops since the second world war, including many children. A general election was coming, and the ruling SPD-CDU government tried to play down the effects of the massacre (more information here).
The newly elected LINKE parliamentary faction staged a protest inside the Bundestag. One of those MPs, Christine Buchholz, who has worked on the parliamentary commission on Kundus and spoken with many of the victims, will be speaking at a meeting that we’re organising on 4th September.
The meeting is in Karl Liebknecht Haus at 7pm, and we took the decision this evening to provide an English translation and to try to film the meeting.
Pro-choice activities in September
On 21st September there is an annual “pro-life” (anti-choice) demonstration organised by Christian fundamentalists, with leading AfD members in the front row of the demonstration. As ever, we will be joining the counter-protests organised by the Bündnis für sexuelle Selbstbestimmung (https://www.sexuelle-selbstbestimmung.de/).
There will be a planning meeting next Monday to decide what exactly will be happening. More information after then.
On 23rd September we will be having our LAG meeting. This time the subject will be the coming Polish elections, and their possible effect on reproductive rights. Hanna will speak, and we decided that we would invite another Polish activist to also speak (Hanna is on it, backed up by Phil if required).
On 28th September, there is an International Day of Action for safe abortions. At the moment, nothing has been planned for Berlin, but if there is, we will do our best to support.
Solidarity with Sudan
Phil had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with Sara Abbas from SudanUprising. Members of SudanUprising were also at the orga meeting, and Tom has contact with people who organised an international conference for Sudan last month, and are planning another.
We believe that Sudan will continue to be an issue for the coming months, and will try to cover it on our Website and meetings (we would welcome any articles on the subject, and are approaching Sudan Uprising and the MENA Solidarity Network in the UK for possible texts). We have also started work trying to organise meetings of Sudanese activists with members of the German and European parliaments.
In early September, there is a planned meeting of leftists from German PoC movements and movements in the Global South, including Sudan. This meeting will be largely closed, but there should be a plenary session where other activists are welcome. We will pass on more information as soon as we know.
Next year, we want to organise a day school or weekend conference with speakers who have experienced revolutions and social upheavals to compare and contrast their experiences (Sudan and Hong Kong are the obvious current examples, but we’re also thinking of Egypt, Portugal, Chile …) This could be a significant event and needs help organising it. If you’re interested in getting involved, please get in touch.
For our meeting on 28th October, we’d like to get someone to speak about the current protests in Hong Kong. Hanna and Phil are trying to track someone down, but if you have any suggestions, please let us know.
If we can’t get a speaker on Hong Kong, we will invite someone from the climate movement or Sudan.
For the meeting on 25th November, Carol McGuigan, the chair of Labour Berlin will talk on Britain after Brexit.
In the new year, as well as the above subjects, we’d like to invite a speaker from Berlin4Bernie. If you have any other ideas of possible subjects, let us know.
We’re going to have to start planning our Christmas party. We normally have the party in Café Plume, and we have a budget to organise live music etc.
To help set a date and choose the music, we have set up 2 Dudles:
In the music dudle, vote for as many or as few artists as you want (anonymous voting is also ok). Once we get an idea which the most popular artists are, we’ll approach them.
Date for orga meetings
Until now, the organising meetings have been a moveable feast and we have tried to find a date when everyone is free. This has led to a lot of unneccessary work, and has not been very effective as people don’t know to block the date when planning other meetings.
We would therefore like to suggest that future meetings take place on the second Monday of each month (date chosen from when the people at tonight’s orga meeting would be free). If you know of any problems with this, please contact us ASAP
special pleading: actually on the second Monday in September I’ll be on holiday, so it would be great if this time we meet on the third Monday in September (16th)
It looks like we’ve solved all the problems we had in setting up our new Website and will be soon ready for launch. After this, we are very interested in publishing any articles about international politics.
This can be something that you write yourself, or something you can recommend (but we need author’s permission). It does not have to follow any particular line (we’d like to encourage debate) but should be roughly from the perspective of the international left.
Berlin4Bernie is gearing up for the coming US elections, and we’re doing what we can to support them. See our weekly newsletter for information about their meetings
Our long-planned joint meeting with DiEM25 about the left after the EU elections is starting to happen. Some DiEM25 members are travelling with us to the #unteilbar, where we can talk about it concretely. If you’re interested in getting involved, please get in touch
In early 2020 we want to organise a meeting with one of the lawyers involved in the Golden Dawn prosecution in Greece, and the NSU affair in Germany. Dimitra has been in Greece where she’s been talking to one of the lawyers. More information when she gets back to Berlin next week.
Judith is in contact with the leader of the Belgian workers party, which has had spectacular success recently, who is interested in coming to Berlin next year to do a meeting. When we’re clearer about when he can come, we can discuss what this meeting could look like.
Veteran journalist and member of our group Victor Grossman has a new book out, covering his defection from the USA to the DDR. We are talking to Victor about organising a book presentation.
We are supporting 2 meetings organised by the Latin American left on Venezuela. Both meetings will be in Karl Liebknecht Haus. Language: Spanish, with translation into German: