Socialist Worker

Protests against the G20 in Hamburg have left the German government in a mess

by Christine Buchholz, Die Linke MP
Issue No. 2562

Christine Buchholz speaking at the Marxism Festival last week

Christine Buchholz speaking at the Marxism Festival last week (Pic: Socialist Worker)


The protests against the G20 summitin Hamburg over the last week showed that there’s a huge discontent with Donald Trump, German chancellor Angela Merkel and ruling classes all over the world.

They are responsible for wars and austerity and have no proper answer to climate change.

Among the G20 leaders are some of the world’s biggest arms traders and dictators.

In Hamburg there was both huge unease with how the G20 was blockading the city and sympathy with the protests.

We had very harsh repression.

The police attacked some of the demonstrations and fundamental democratic rights were pushed aside. The police have never had such a large presence and been so aggressive.

But this has generated criticism in the mainstream media.

The German government of the conservative CDU and Labour-type SPD tried to use the G20 summit to pose as important player.

Instead it has a fiasco, a mess. And they’re trying to distract from that by talking about the violence of the protests.

Hamburg is governed by a “red-green” government between the SPD and the Green Party.

It was the mayor of Hamburg, the SPD’s Olaf Scholz, who brought the G20 to Hamburg.He is mainly responsible for the police attacking it.

Problem

What’s happened is a problem for Merkel, but at the moment it’s a bigger problem for Scholz and the Green Party.

The protests have also highlighted political problems we need to address.

Before the summit there was a split in the movement, with the NGOs and trade unions decided to have their own separate demonstration last Sunday.

While 80,000 on the demonstration this Saturday was a good outcome, we didn’t manage to bring these two together.

This is a political problem we face.

To change the politics inside the trade union movement, socialists have to build roots in the working class.

At the moment we are supporting fights in hospitals and local campaigns against privatisation.

The next step is to build the election campaign.

Die Linke is the only party that stands clearly against austerity, imperialism and on the side of the protest movement.

In November there will be the UN-Climate Summit in Bonn. This will be the next important international protest.


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