From a correspondent in eastern Germany:
Until just a few months ago, I was pretty hopeless about our future and did not really believe that the good would still be victorious. Nature dies before our eyes and not only nothing is done about it, no, to the contrary, economic growth and industrialization are still being driven forward.
In addition, it turned out that the power of right-wing extremist connections in Germany is even stronger than previously thought, their people sitting in public offices, sports clubs and the fire department as well as in the highest levels of police, army, business and government.
Ready for takeover.
I’m not talking about right-wing populists, but real fascists.
And the Left Party is powerless, without setting real signs. Anyhow, far too few. This is mainly because the various currents within the party are disputed with each other, and the reform-oriented liberal wing, which seeks a government participation at almost any price, is stronger. Sahra Wagenknecht, the most well-known person on the left wing, has disappointed many former friends for over a year with speeches about the need to refuse and expel refugees.
“Believe in future again”
And yet my hopelessness is over, now I believe in the future again.
Everyone will see it a little differently, but for me the change started with Greta Thunberg’s “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (“school strike for the climate”). Not immediately, perhaps, but after the movement quickly gained massive momentum and from then on called “Fridays for future,” I saw a shift in public momentum.
One can reproach the movement for not formulating a clear political commitment and for having no plan to save the world.
But naming things as they should not go on is already a good start and, finally, it was all about gathering millions of children and adolescents. Young people to whom we leave behind a destroyed world, young people who will be in the midst of life in 40 years, when the causes of the climate catastrophe has long since crumbled into the hereafter.
In addition, large parts of environmental protection are now very political, so the usual demands were
supplemented by “system change instead of climate change”. People across the country, whom I have always considered so ignorant and indifferent, are suddenly demanding that the social system be changed. Of course, the Right is currently stronger than ever since the end of the Second World War, and the climate catastrophe is not only in large steps closer, it is already there. A few days ago, the weather stations reported the hottest June day since records began in 1881 at 39 ° C (102.2 ° F), and today this record is broken again, we have 40 ° C (104 ° F)! This is so bad that the fruits on the trees spoil and the vegetables on the patch die.
But something is happening – stimulated by Greta Thunberg’s will to change something unconditionally, not to let it go, the idea of not simply accepting things and conditions but of fighting for a change spreads among the population. Almost every day new news of this kind come on TV, you almost lose the overview. Some I want to call attention here.
Three weeks ago, Walter Lübcke from the CDU [Christian Democratic Union party], a conservative-Christian, but Muslim-friendly politician, was murdered by a Nazi with a point-blank shot to the head, and thousands of people, who were always rather apolitical, now furiously demand a comprehensive disclosure of all right-wing extremists structures throughout the country, in all offices and organizations, not that everything is running in the sand again as usual. By the way, his own party, the CDU, is struggling to demand complete investigation – Socialists and Antifa do most of the work! (Our correspondent adds: After he was murdered, the Antifa, the Left, the Green Party and others started huge campaigns against right-wing terrorism. But not his own party, the CDU, which stood silent for several days. Also it would be really necessary to read the NSU files, to understand the murderer’s connections and networks, but the CDU refuses to publish these files. How crazy is that! It has definitely to do with the close connections of Nazi Underground and the secret police.)
A week ago, about 1000 students formed a human chain around the Bundestag to let only the politicians who are committed to environmental protection and climate rescue. Inside the Bundestag, the Left Party meanwhile called for the proclamation of the climate emergency.
In short, the climate emergency was not accepted, and at some point the students had to let the conservative politicians back through. But even this action was again accompanied by a large media echo, and large parts of the population are increasingly angry about the government.
It is generally assumed that the grand coalition (CDU and SPD) only lasts a short time and falls apart before the end of the legislative period.
Federal ministries are occupied by war opponents, coal mines are stormed.
The ban on salvaging discarded food from supermarket waste containers is heating tens of thousands of minds.
Under the increasing pressure of the population, above all of the youth, more and more cities and municipalities are calling for the official climate emergency on a regional level and make environmental protection the most important topic.
A few days ago, the car toll for foreigners, a populist project of the CSU [the Bavarian branch of the CDU], was finally rejected by the EU court and is over and done with. However, it is not enough for the people, they demand that the responsible politician Andreas Scheuer be held accountable and the wasted tax money be repaid. Scheuer has only been one-year Minister of Transport of the Federal Government and took office with a great arrogance and complacency. He felt in his inviolability. In the meantime his position is enormously under threat, in many places his immediate resignation is demanded.
Call for expropriation of housing corporations
The Left in Berlin-Neukölln has launched a referendum calling for the complete expropriation of the major housing corporations. This petition is extremely successful in the current initial phase, collecting over 77,000 signatures, and the initiators are being interviewed in all, really all, the media. Expropriation of corporations is suddenly a topic in the mainstream media. And while millionaires and economic-liberal politicians are of course bursting with indignation, there are an unbelievable number of voices pointing out that property is also a commitment, according to the German Constitution. And if a group owns 10,000 apartments and makes billions of euros in profits every year, but the normal working or even unemployed people find absolutely no housing, that is not compatible with human rights, and there is a need for action!
It fits well into the picture that the Berlin Senate has just decided a complete rent freeze for five years. No rent may be increased in Berlin for five years.
The property owners are boiling with rage and howling in the media, explaining how bad things are and that they can barely survive.
Also interesting: just yesterday, the huge brown coal mine in Jänschwalde was declared illegal by a court and could, with a little luck, be closed soon. Interesting because I think the court may have ruled differently a few years ago – but judges are, of course, people too who perceive the changes in our environment.
As mentioned above, the Left Party plays hardly any organizing role in the whole new movement, and in the rare cases where they do, then only its left wing. The party, in its present form, is not perceived by many as combative, revolutionary, nor as the “little man’s party.”
The leadership role is currently independent movements, which of course has the disadvantage or may have that there is no single, unified political line and so the climate movement is vulnerable to divisions.
It is the task of the party Die Linke and of all socialist forces to form again a truly left-wing movement without striving for participation in government.
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