Over the weekend of May 2-4 a conference was held in Berlin on the theme of "1968 - We shall win the last battle", organised by the youth and students of the German Left Party (Die Linke). There were 1600 people taking part in the conference and the Marxists of Der Funke intervened in the debates, organised a stall with literature, provided international speakers from Spain and Pakistan and one of the Der Funke supporters, and member of the national council of the youth wing of the party, made one of the concluding speeches.

Earlier this month the German railways were brought to a halt by a paralysing strike. There is a real mood of militancy among German rail workers, but at the top in the trade unions deals are going ahead that envisage the privatisation of the railway network with a generalised worsening of working conditions, lowering of safety levels and so on.

The heads of government of the G8 are meeting in Heiligendamm in Germany. But they are being heavily protected from the harsh social realities that have emerged in Germany. Thousands of protestors are also there. Significantly, there are several important strikes that have affected life in Germany. This may also explain “police tactics” that seemed designed to provoke violent conflict, rather than play it down.

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