I never was an optimist, but the current cycle of revolts is inspiring and even some developments in this country, Germany, have the potential to grow. As a result there might be more antagonistic actions.
Published by Enough 14. Written by Riot Turtle.
Since the start of the Greek revolt, which started after cops killed 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarcheia (Athens), the breaks between the revolts became shorter and shorter. The Arab Spring, the Ferguson revolt… With the Gilets Jaunes uprising a new cycle of revolts started, later extending to Chile, Iraq, Lebanon, the USA and many more territories. The comrades of Vamos Hacia la Vida, from the Chilean territories are right: “It has begun! This is class war!“. So let’s push it.
The situation in this country is difficult. There are antagonistic splitters that are determined and continue to confront the state and its capitalist allies (I will come back on that later in this article), but there are also other parts that consider themselves as part of the radical left. A friend from abbroad once called these other parts “militant social-democrats”. In this country I would call them event manager, the sound on the huge trucks and the speeches are usually perfect. Every now and then a big event, like today in Berlin. Apparently 20.000 people came to todays human “#SoGehtSolidarisch” (This is how solidarity works) chain, which was organized by “Unteilbar” (indivisible). A perfectly organized charade. Here is why:
As expected the event manager of the “Unteilbar” coalition crawled out of their COVID-19 holes again. Leftwing “radicals” in a coalition with liberals from the governing SPD, the German Greens and other liberals. The SPD is part of a federal government with an all-time high record of arms exports to warzones like Syria (the Turkish army invaded Afrin and other parts of Syria with loads of German tanks and other German weapons), Jemen and other territories. This government is also responsible for an increasing number of deportations and policies that robbed millions of people across the planet of their livelihood due to (WTO and EU) trade treaties. They flooded markets in the global south with agricultural (and other) products, underpriced, to get rid of their “garbage” caused by surplus production. They overfish the African coasts etc. etc.. In the early 2000’s the SPD and the German Greens formed a coalition government which started a series of neoliberal reforms in this country and since then the precarious work sector and poverty in general have increased dramatically. There is much more to say on these subjects but this already says enough about the radicalness of those parts of the left that work together with parties like the SPD and the Greens in alliances like “Unteilbar”.
I wrote on this subject before, and I don’t want to repeat it all over again, but its important to make clear why a break with certain parts of the left is important and inevitable. The people that embraced the Corona state of emergency seem to have forgotten what capitalism and capitalist states are causing. Fortunately enough there are also other voices. Interim, an autonomous magazine from Berlin, summed it up in a few sentences:
“It is argued again and again that “human lives are at stake”. It did so already before, every day was and is about human lives that die from capitalist, racist, sexist everyday life! This system of competition and performance is as widespread as a worldwide epidemic. And this state of affairs has been fiercely aggravated by state regulations!”Interim editorial, June 2020
Many politicians and large parts of the media reduce the US revolt to George Floyd’s murder. Of course the strangulation of George Floyd by cops was the initial spark, but it happened in a time where COVID-19 killed an incredible high number of black and impoverished people in the US (and beyond). On top of that growing poverty and unemployment because of the economic crisis, while many states are providing huge subventions for big business and a state of emergency that has a complete different impact for poor people living in a small appartment in comparison to those that live in a house with a higher salary.
But even in this country the state of emergency has had a different impact on marganlized and poor people in comparison to the, mostly white, so-called middle and upper classes. Last week there were many young people that took the streets in Berlin, Hamburg and many other cities. They protested against police violence and racism. For many people it was the first time they joined a demonstration. In Berlin and Hamburg some of them fought back when the cops attacked the demo.
Antagonistic splinters of the autonomous scene are also fighting back, like after the raids in Leipzig last week. And let’s not forget the intervention in Berlin-Neukölln after George Floyd was murdered. The question is: Are the remaining antagonistic splinters able to connect with those who are subjected to racial profiling and police brutality on a daily basis?
“The practical intervention in Neukölln would now have to be transformed into a practice capable of connectivity, making it possible for the antagonistic splinters to enter into a concrete practical exchange with the rebellious young people, for which it will also be necessary to meet on equal terms. If this could be achieved, the long-propagated “need to come out of one’s own bubble” would not just be an empty claim, but a concrete reality.”Sebastian Lotzer – Pandemic War Diaries – #CoronaRiots
Apart from our presence in our neighbouhoods, the question is the way how this precence is shaped and lived. We might not like the language of the “proletariat”. If so, how are we going to deal with that? When we are serious about coming out of our bubble, questions like these (and many others) will have to be answered. And: We need common experiences from actions and demonstrations.
Among others, the Migrantifa NRW (Migrant Antifa North Rhine-Westphalia) is calling for a demonstration against racist police violence on Saturday June 20. We should be there.
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