Hamburg. Germany. In Hamburg, there was a spontaneous demo against the curfew last night, after the police banned the original demonstration.
Yesterday we participated in the rally under the slogan “Curfew for Nazis, cops and big shots”. After the rally there was a spontaneous demonstration because the cops banned the actual demo.
Because our government has failed to take any measures to contain Corona and is only concerned with the well-being of the economy, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in effect in Hamburg as of today. For us, this is not a measure that contributes in the fight against the pandemic.
The last bit of freedom is taken away. At the same time, all people are supposed to go to work as usual, to work hard and to keep the capitalist system running. In the process, these people are exposed to the danger of becoming infected with the virus.
In the last few days, we’ve been receiving a lot of comments, including from supposed leftists, lumping us in with lateral thinkers or calling us anti-science because we’re calling for protests against the curfew in Hamburg.
The curfew, or, as the city of Hamburg puts it, “restrictions on going out,” prohibits people from being outside between 9:00 pm-05:00 am. It takes a “valid reason” not to be fined when stopped by the police. According to the city, those “valid reasons” are if someone is on their way to work, or back home from work, someone taking their dog for a walk, or needs to take care of relatives. Walking or jogging alone is allegedly allowed as well.
With the curfew, the city of Hamburg wants to minimize the infections in the private sphere by minimizing contacts. Previously, you were allowed to have contact with your own household and one other person between 9-5 p.m. (still applies during the day). Without question, many infections are transmitted in the private sphere. It is often forgotten that the contagion is spread, for example, at work, at daycare, at school, or on the way to and from work, and that further contagions are subsequently spread in the private sphere.
In order to keep the number of infections low, it would therefore make sense not to attack the private sphere, as the curfew is intended to do, but to focus on wage labor, daycare centers and schools. This would be possible through the closure of certain businesses or through mandatory testing of employees paid for by employers. However, the draft presented last Wednesday does not include any of these measures. Only a mask obligation also for offices (didn’t that already exist before?) and the request to employers to kindly test their staff free of charge were measures intended to reduce contagion in the field of wage labor.
But these are not measures that address the area of wage labor. They are developments that clearly show that profit in capitalism is worth more than the health of workers who are exploited for that profit. Back to the curfew. The police are allowed to control any person between 9:00pm-5:00am. starting today and fine them. We do not trust the police. There are enough reasons for that. It is already known that there is a police problem and that not only in Hamburg the police deliberately select those who are stopped and those who are not. This situation will not change in the context of a curfew.
The only difference is that there are fewer witnesses to the cops’ behavior now. In addition, last year the police were much more active on the streets in poorer neighborhoods than in other parts of the city. While in Lockdown kids were chased in Steilo because they hung out on a basketball court, snobs were allowed to meet on the Elbe beach to drink Aperol. There are double standards in the pandemic as well, and that poses a great danger to those who are criminalized.
It would have been possible to implement the previously existing rules at night without any problems. The tightening at this point and the additional attack on the private sphere, but not on wage labor, makes us angry and must be criticized from the left.
Who now says “Stay at Home” to us has not understood how many people suffer from a class struggle from above and the police problem. A radical left must be part of society with which it struggles together and not hide in its ivory tower.
And to say this about it: this was a short critique. Many issues were only scratched in these few characters.
Video below: Trailer Lucky Luyk . Part 5 of the housing struggle in the Netherlands is about the Lucky Luyk. The German version will be online Monday on https://sunzibingfa.noblogs.org The English version on https://enoughisenough14.org. The video is from the re-occupation of the Lucky Luyk 1981.