The ruling classes probably thought they were being very clever when they tried to co-opt our term “solidarity” at the beginning of the pandemic early last year.
We will keep our distance. We will isolate ourselves. We will think of the old and the sick. We won’t let the overworked healthcare and care workers be burdened anymore. Yes, looking after each other and not gambling with human life is important. What they are hiding, however, is that they are the ones who created these conditions of inhumanity in the first place. They ruined the health system, enabled wage dumping, and promoted privatization. It is they who put the profit interests of the few above the health and livelihoods of the many. They are the ones who benefit from our unemployment and then humiliate us every time we go to the job centre.
And then they try to sell us their meagre measures as solidarity. They preach the doctrine of individual responsibility, but then represent the interests of corporations at every possible opportunity, never ours. And with their goon squads of the police, they maintain the system defined by money and private property. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the ruling class has been constructing an arbitrary calm and a state of permanent surveillance through a large number of ordinances and new powers granted to the police and border guards in order to expand control, tighten measures, and increase violence across Europe.
As their system, capitalism, fails, we have been forced to isolate ourselves further, to lose our jobs but pay our rents; many others are supposed to work overtime, forego wages and ruin their health in the process; we have been made to wait for months on end for little money, which after seventy years of toiling in Almanya should actually be due. So now, we are not supposed to show solidarity, but shut our eyes in the face of their violence. Their violence has been ongoing since well before the corona pandemic, but now it is impossible to keep hidden. This we won’t do.
The fact that the rulers here, from their villas in Grunewald and their 240sqm lofts in Mitte, can lead their shitty liberal life and talk about responsibility is only possible because of the over-exploitation of workers. This is especially true for the workforce of women in the Global South and migrant women here in the imperialist centre. Whether in industry, carework or household work: the prosperity of Germany and Western Europe is created off our backs – the backs of workers and the exploited here and around the world.
And let’s not forget – the lofts, which today house very few, were once workers’ homes for many. What a morbid reality we live in – where our friends are criminalized for their homelessness even as homelessness is created by the rulers. What an untenable situation: where our migrant friends are disproportionately affected by the inhumanity of gentrification, homelessness, and evictions.
For too long, our labour has been exploited, our voices ignored, our communities murdered. For too long our bodies and our livelihoods have been criminalized in order to maintain the apparatus of exploitation of capitalism through ever new forms of imperialism.
It is our survival and the legacy of our struggles that sustain hope for a better world!
And that’s why we also know what solidarity means; and to whom it belongs! We invite you to set an example together with us on the 1st of May and to continue the tradition of the international and revolutionary struggles of our ancestors and predecessors!
We know that we only have each other and that the foundation of a new world can only be created together. So it’s time to fight, hand in hand: with our neighbours, siblings, children, uncles and aunts, with our migrant comrades and friends on the frontlines. It is their labour that empowers us to lead the class struggle.
We won’t let ourselves be sold what has always been ours. The only ones who will lay claim to anything from now will be us, the exploited workers. And we will reclaim what is ours! Our solidarity with each other, our apartments, our jobs, our society, our communities, our streets! We won’t let our solidarity or our city be captured! Against their system of selling our homes, we will stand up with real, lived solidarity in tenant struggles against rent, and for the expropriation of their real estate companies without compensation!
Come together, comrades, so that this 1st of May, the International Workers’ Day – we can thank those who, through their labour, have created this world and thus will make the conditions for a new world possible.
Come join us so that we may raise the voices of solidarity of the international working class in all our languages.
Let’s not forget: the applause doesn’t make our day’s work easier, the cheers from balconies don’t make the working day any shorter. To truly be thankful, we need change!
Let’s not alienate our migrant communities in Berlin from their struggle. Let us find an expression of solidarity that emboldens our struggle and reminds us of the historical continuity of migrant, diasporic and international labour struggles. Let us not forget the undocumented among us, those of us whose bodies have been criminalized, and those of us who are only one fight away with cops from being deported. So let’s find new perspectives through protest, let’s protect each other, let’s invite all passers-by to join our ranks. We remain open to our friends who are in need.
Because once we have recognized our situation, how can we be stopped?