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.
The Berlin Transport
Company (BVG) has been paralysed by a long and militant strike of the drivers
and the maintenance and administration workers. After years of concessions and
backsliding by the unions the workers have said they have had enough.
Recent local elections
have seen the Left Party (Die Linke) emerge as a force to the left of the SPD.
At the same time we are seeing a growing level of trade union militancy. This
reflects the growing malaise within German society as a layer of workers and
youth look for an alternative.
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
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.