Today a group of prominent authors and cultural personalities published an open letter to still German chancellor Olaf Scholz, calling him to stop any further delivery of weapons to Ukraine as this can provoke the third world war. This position is not new. In fact, there are a lot of politicians who still believe that their actions can provoke Putin and “force” him into starting the war with NATO countries.
In two years of one of the biggest social crisis, anarchists and leftists have failed to have any strategy on how to deal with it. Humble attempts to develop those strategies quite often were ignored by majority of activists or people close to political circles. Many, though complaining about social isolation, enjoyed their prolonged vacation from political activism. In Germany, so-called “plena” activism, where people spend most of their out of work time sitting in meetings, transformed in online meeting activism. People would spend hours and hours per day talking about what should be done and quite frequently fail to act: because of high load of online meetings, there is no time left to actually act.
Although for most of the German anarchists the anti-germans are not something to talk about, the agenda that was presented by the pro-Israelian movement took roots in anarchist and leftist circles deep. It goes as far as attempts to pass agreements within the anarchist syndicate FAU to put an equal sign between antizionism and antisemitism. And although the push within FAU so far has failed, the anarchist movement is still getting more and more pressure from the pro-Israelian and clearly statist left to distance itself from work with the Palestinian Diaspora. With that happening inside the country, the complicated issue with the topic of Israel is also pouring outside of it. There were troubles within the international syndicalist groups because of member’s support of the BDS movement which is seen by many german leftists as antisemitic.
Political and social movements need spaces. In liberal countries there are many open spaces where activists can hold debates, workshops, and concerts. Germany is no exception. In authoritarian countries the situation is more complicated. But sometimes it is only one step from an authoritarian regime from the former Soviet Union to German leftists.
In 2018, libertarian days took place in Dresden, a week of various presentations, workshops, and actions on the topic of anarchism and libertarian communism. Among other things, I had the idea of bringing comrades who could talk a bit about the situation in Israel. Despite the strong antigerman movement, local leftists and anarchists know relatively little about the situation in Israel, and most of the knowledge is direct propaganda from the right-wing government. This is partly the basis of the antigerman’s success in some regions: they simply repeat the already existing propaganda of Netanyahu and Co.
The love story between german goverment and authoritarian Putins regime in Russia is a long one. And while the biggest baby of this love is North Stream oil pipe, the struggle against COVID is becoming another big project. Recently the news came that Germany is up to buy 30m Sputnik jabs from Russia. Experience of neighbours from Croatia who got somehow shitty Sputnik is not really the thing germans would like to accept.
Now, unfortunately, many anarchists and anti-fascists from Belarus have already left the country or are planning to migrate because of repressions. It is clear that people are interested in living conditions in various countries. But in addition to salaries and a good life, many people are also interested in politics. How active a person can be in a country with his or her experience of Belarusian activism. After several years in Germany, I stopped recommending this country to my comrades for political migration.
I was born into dictatorship. Back then it was the dictatorship of one party that was falling apart. Later on I ended up living in another dictatorship in Republic of Belarus. So most of my life i spent in dictatorship. Most of my political life I spend as well in dictatorship. When you are born and live in the world of dictatorship, you believe that what is happening in your world is horrible and people outside are not helping because they don’t have any idea on what is going on. The same dynamic happens all around the human society. The prisons, the working places, the borders. Wherever you end in hard times, you think the reason for this injustice to exist is the fact that the world doesn’t know. After all, what kind of intelligent person can allow this to happen.
One of the reason i moved out from Belarus was this notion to learn something from activists from the other country. But also to exchange experiences and maybe come up with new things out of this cooperation.
And even though i was not a young activist moving to Berlin to experience all the beauty of radical politics in Germany i believe i was as naive as it gets. The experience that you bring to this country is of no interest to the local activists. It is actually in many cases perceived to be something weird. You are this alien that comes from the world where the things are different and nobody actually wants to hear from you about it.
If you are person who is passing by Germany you might find a lot of exciting things. Mostly what people tell you are their stories of success and it is in general a good thing. So the people who are here just for couple of days see the good infrastructure, worthy struggles and interesting people. There is this image of a good place where the things are rolling. Some people based on those experiences might even make a decision to move to Germany.
Don’t get me wrong, i knew already before that German leftists are crazy about this things they call antigerman. And i’ve heard the stories how the people fight with each other on the topic of Israel. Literally fight. On the streets with the fists and sticks. But i think it was really hard to imagine the scale of weirdness around political topics not only in leftist circles, but in anarchist ones as well.