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Berlin, January 23: Corona is the virus – Capitalism the pandemic

Berlin. Germany. Call for a demonstration on January 23 in Berlin: Corona is the virus – Capitalism the pandemic. January 23 | 03:00pm (15:00)| Carl von Ossietzky Park | Berlin Moabit |

Originally published by Lockdown Capitalism.

Corona is the virus – Capitalism the pandemic

The governments have been dealing with the Corona pandemic through confinements, lockdowns, curfews, social distancing and the slogan „stay home, stay safe“. The state’s position is clear: keeping capitalism running is more important than protecting and supporting people. Profit comes first.

The unequal treatment of different types of work makes this especially clear. Workers in supermarkets, delivery services, factories, nursing homes, schools and day-care centres simply cannot turn into home-office mode. They are facing the crisis every day without adequate protection.  People are forced to use overcrowded public transportation and spend their day in places where protection measures are not implemented by their employer, subordinating health protection to business profit. Thousands of migrant and extremely precarious seasonal workers are flown in from abroad for this purpose and forced to work in cramped conditions in harvesting and meat processing plants while forced to live in overcrowded accommodations.

Meanwhile, we should feel happy about having a job. Many who previously worked in restaurants, bars and the cultural sector lost their job due to governmental restrictions that focus mainly on the private life. Arts and cultural venues must close, social contact is significantly reduced. What is left is to go shopping.

We will not allow them to isolate us. To crush wage labour and capitalist relations, we must come together and organize in unions and strikes, beyond the crisis.

The injustices created by the capitalist system have increased and become even more unbearable during the current health crisis. Historically invisibilized peoples are even more suppressed and their living conditions deteriorate even further. As a consequence of the state restrictions, people with mental health problems, homeless and illegalized people are left alone and forgotten. Prisoners are isolated as visiting times and yard walks are reduced or even banned, while the guards bring the virus into the prisons. Deportations never stopped and Migrants are held in deportation prisons under inhumane living conditions. Safety rules such as distance and basic hygiene are not possible in overcrowded refugee camps like Moria and Samos. The governments systematically leave people behind, invoking a national unity in which protection is assured to those in control of the economy.

For many people, keeping their distance means losing social contacts and their support systems. Emergency shelters and advice centres are closed or severely restricted, despite the fact that they are highly necessary. Domestic violence has dramatically increased. Yet survivors currently have little opportunity to escape the perpetrators of violence; „stay home, stay safe“ does not work for them. The ever-increasing emphasis on the traditional family model also intensifies the exclusion of people who choose other models of living or those who do not fit into the gender norm.

The appropriation of the notion of „social responsibility“ by governments hides the fact that they are not doing anything for people in this crisis. Instead, they intrude into our private life and push us into individually acting responsibly for keeping an irresponsible economy running. Restrictions and controls for the general public, aid packages for large corporations.

How should we be responsible for ourselves in a society of control and repression? We have to support one another, show solidarity with our neighbours and communities. Mutual aid and Kiezkommunen can be a way of organizing so that no one is left alone.

From the beginning of the pandemic, we faced racist narratives blaming people perceived as Asian for the virus outbreak. So-called Arab weddings were accused of being super-spreader events. On the pretext of security, racial profiling was reinforced, through police controls, harassment and violence which dis-proportionally targets People of Colour. Right-wing groups regain strength in the middle of society, spreading fascist ideology, dragging along antisemitism and racist belief veiled as conspiracy theories.

We don’t need to deny the pandemic. Nor do we have to march hand in hand with neo-Nazis to reject state measures. There have always been struggles and fights against capitalist, neoliberal injustice and oppression. And nationalism has never been a solution.

We see a joint responsibility of protecting each other while taking to the streets to share ideas, organize and fight – for a better tomorrow.

Come to Carl von Ossietzky Park (in front of the prison Moabit) [next to U9 – Turmstr. / S-Bhf. Bellevue] 23.01.2021 at 3pm.

Together we are strong enough to overcome the crisis and change the system!

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