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.

In mid-June the WASG and the Linkspartei.PDS will come together and form a new left-wing party, Die Linke. Hans-Gerd-Öfinger looks at the significance of this development and the perspectives for this new political formation.

Hands off Venezuela in Germany played a decisively role in some successful public meetings with Che Guevara's daughter, Aleida Guevara, last week. 450 workers, youth and Latin American immigrants attended the Frankfurt meeting on Saturday, 25 March, and 250 were packed into the hall in Wiesbaden two days earlier.

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