Sabine Sieble, managing director of the regional Saxony south-west office of the governing (on state- and federal level) social-democratic SPD party, cried during the antifascist counter gathering on September 1 in Chemnitz. No not because of the migrants, antifascists and journo’s that were attacked in Chemnitz on Saturday and the days before. She also didn’t cry because of the racist government policies. Sabine Siebele cried because of the “strange” demo tourism, militant antifa’s and the band Egotronic. Siebele is a perfect exampel why social-democrats are not comrades. The social democrats are part of the problem.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
The managing director of the regional Saxony south-west office of the governing (on state- and federal level) social-democratic SPD party wrote on Vorwärts (a blog of the SPD party) that many of the low-brow cheery demo tourism and first of all the militant antifa was odd for her. She cried when the situation on the streets threatened to escalate and the band Egotronic played during the counter gathering. Sieble wrote that Egotronic did everything they could to change the motto of the gathering from “Herz statt Hetze” (Heart instead of baiting) into the opposite. I am not a fan of Egotronic and as an anarchist I have my problems with the view of many so-called “anti-deutschen” (anti-germans), but Egotronic had a clear antifascist attitude during their performance on September 1 (and not only on September 1).
Egotronic reacted on their Facebook page with a statement. One of the things the band says on their Facebook page is: “We say to this, that when a member of a party that is significantly co-responsible for the dying at the EU outer border and is deporting people to war zones, has to cry because of one of our shows, we must have done something right.”
In a report about the September 1 counter protests in Chemnitz, Enough is Enough already wrote: “Members of the social-democratic SPD were attacked after they left the antifascist gathering. Yes… some social-democrats were also there. It seems that not all of them are aware that the SPD is part of the problem with their support for deportations and the EU border regime.” Sabine Sieble did not write about the attack against her fellow party members, not about the attacks against migrants, journos and antifascists on Saturday.
In a statement Bündnis Chemnitz Nazifrei wrote on their Facebook page:
“A broad coalition was build for the “Herz statt Hetze” gathering. We had a significant contribution to that, but democratic parties and other parts of civil society also had. This became also visible on the long lists of supporters.
Such a broad coalition demands from all those involved a high degree of willingness to compromise. As Bündnis Chemnitz Nazifrei we tried to exhibit this. For instance; in the past we supported the Seebruecke (Seebridge) demonstrations. For us it is not self-evident that parties who are co-responsible on a federal level for the dying in the Mediterranean Sea are coalition partners. It is not common that we publish calls of politicians that speak across-the-board about extremism after the racist attacks in the past weekend or who claim contrary to the facts that the police was “master of the situation”. It is not common for us to give out a joint press release with politicians who contribute to an increasing restrictive refugee policy with their votings.
Nevertheless it was clear to us that the so often much-trumpeted closeness in the fight against the right was infrequently needed so much, like after the racist attacks at August 26 and 27. Unfortunately our coalition partners don’t see it this way to some extent. Elsewise we can’t understand why co-initiators of “Herz statt Hetze” now speak about a “bad aftertaste” (Sabine Siebl, SPD, EIE), critisize a “militant antifa” and work off themselves on a show of a band.
It is important for us to say two things:
When we, especially in the years 2015 and 2016, protested once a week against the local PEGIDA spin off there was no political prominence (not even local) on the spot. Basically the people who showed a clear attitude every week were committed individuals, a few people who were organised in parties as a member (no official party officials, EIE) and people that probably would be labeled as “Antifa”. These people were the ones that tried to intervene during the racist attacks in the city districts Kappel, Markersdorf and Einsiedel. At the time these were not chic events with bands and Europe-wide attention. However: A bit of humility and repect for this commitment would do us all good. That’s why we can’t understand that our supposed partners are dividing between good participants and antifa’s who practice “demo tourism”
Second: for us it is even more incomprehensible when after the racist and violent attacks of August 26 and 27 suddenly an alleged left problem is being constructed. We are used to it that the so-called “extremism theory”, despite its scientific deficits, is still widely common. We can handle that and bring forward arguments against that. But when our coalition partners actually focus on searching for political opponents on the left in the current situation, or want to work off themselves on a band, then this is so out of touch with reality after the events of the past two weeks, that it is difficult for us to find the right words.
We will take our time to evaluate our gatherings and to sort ourselves.Of course we also have to be self-critical. Nevertheless the submitted critique leaves us behind, to put it mildly, perplexed and we will need some time to answer the question how a future collaboration could look like.”
Bündnis Chemnitz Nazifrei, September 4, 2018.
Sabine Sieble (SPD) of course didn’t write about the fact that the SPD adopted many racist policies of the fascist AFD and is part of a federal government that supports the drownings in the Mediterranean Sea, the criminalisation of life-safers and the suffering at EU borders.
Working together with the SPD, means working together with a party that is part of the problem. In my view that is not an option. I understand that the Chemnitz Nazifree alliance (Bündnis Chemnitz Nazifrei) tried to organize a broad base for the counter protests on September 1 after the fascist mobilizations and atacks in the days before, but because of their racist policies, the SPD is definitely the wrong partner for antifascist coalitions. Antifascist resistance doesn’t just needs numbers, it also needs a clear attitude and a vision.
It was the “social-democratic” SPD that increased the division of society on the German territory. The neoliberal “Agenda 2010” was an SPD product. Later the social democrats supported the CDU when Merkel’s government more than doubled the licenses for the export of arms. Also to war zones. The German social democrats also supported every sharpened asylum law. The list is endless. A political party that is at least co-responsible for the policies I mentioned above and is also part of a federal government coalition with the CDU/CSU, with its minister of interior Horst Seehofer (CSU), who said that he understands the protesters in Chemnitz (meaning the racist mob), but also said: “Migration is the mother of all problems” is everything but antifascist. A wannabe social-democratic party that is governing in a coalition with the CDU and the far right CSU (on federal level) and on a state level (in Saxony) with the CDU with a prime minister Kretschmer who said the police did a good job in Chemnitz on the days when migrants were hunted by fascists and even denied this ever happened, should be banned from antifascist protests.
The situation in Chemnitz is complicated, like in many other cities. Fascism is on the rise across Europe, but the movement against this developement is also growing. We have to keep on building an antifascist movement from below. We have to work on a daily basis in our city districts and villages. We have to overcome the idea of competition between people and instead promote cooperation with each other. Within the capitalist system this won’t be possible.
Tomorrow (September 7) there is another fascist mobilization in Chemnitz. The antifascist counter gathering will start at 17:30 (05:30pm) at Brückenstraße corner Theaterstraße. People from Dresden that want to travel to Chemnitz by train. Antifascists from Dresden meet at 15:30 (03:30p,) at the main train station (Hbf) in Dresden. Antifascists from Leipzig will meet at the main train station (Hbf) in Leipzig. The train from Leipzig to Chemnitz will leave at 16:20 (04:20pm) sharp.