We walked with #GebtDiePatenteFrei

On Sunday, we walked with a large coalition from Willy Brandt Haus to the Bundestag to demand a waiver on vaccine patents. This was part of the #MakeThemSign campaign. You can read the press release from the demonstration here.

We delivered the following address:

“I am here representing Berlin for India, a group of activists that organise in defence of civil, democratic, and human rights in India, a country that so far, has only fully vaccinated less than 3 and a half per cent of its population.

For thirty years now, we have come together to describe the unfairness of the neoliberal consensus cemented in the World Trade Organisation agreements. Today, we are here to repeat our accusations about the hollowness at the heart of a system where white Germans make a scramble to their favourite urlaub spots, as frontline workers in South Africa who have not received a single dose of the Covid vaccine, are risking their lives to control the spread of the virus.

Only two in every 1000 Indians received a vaccine dose today. For Pakistan and South Africa, that figure is just over one. That is one person in every 1000, receives a vaccine dose each day. For Germany and France, that figure is more than 9. Belgium vaccinates more than 11 people for every 1000 of its population.

Why is this the case? Because by mid-December of 2019, some 16 countries representing only 14% of the world’s population had pre-ordered more than 10 billion vaccine doses or about 51% of the available world supply.

At the same time, the COVAX Facility of the World Health Organisation, the global initiative aimed at equitable access to the vaccine, had reserved only a few hundred million doses.

For two years now, we have asked the World Trade Organization to invoke a waiver of some intellectual property rights on vaccine technologies under the WTO rules.

In the early 1990s, we failed to resist your imposition of your intellectual property standards on our health sovereignty. Pharmaceutical corporations outspent all others to spread the lie that patents are essential for innovations in medicines and healthcare.

What we know now is that this system of patents on pharmaceutical products reduces the availability of life-saving medicines, especially to those who need them the most. They corrode health systems of the poor nations.

In terms of doses administered so far, the imbalance between the G7 that is meeting in Cornwall and the planet’s low-income countries, as defined by the World Bank, is 73 to one. Even though limited vaccine distribution poses continuing risks to the end of the pandemic and even to fully vaccinated people, the richer nations have pursued strategies to vaccinate their populations ahead of those of the poorer countries.

 

We need to be vaccinating billions of people quickly, and to do that we must manufacture more vaccines in India, and also Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, Ghana, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia, and anywhere else with the capacity to do so.

So perhaps it is time we stopped appealing to their sense of justice. For this is a system that is not calibrated to recognise unfairness. Perhaps we need to be appealing to their sense of efficiency. Because even on that metric, the system that you protect and preser

ve has been an utter failure. In fact, your system stands in the way. Get out of the way, G7. Get out of the way, WTO! Get out of the way, pharmaceutical billionaires!

We may have lost thirty years ago but we are back to take control of our health.”

Proud solidarity with Palestinian Comrades – 1600 on 15/05, Oranienplatz

Over the past several weeks, violence, triggered by attacks on Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque have shaken the world, us, and our Palestinian comrades. We recognize this as the continuation of a decades long process of the dehumanization of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians have died as Israel continues to bomb Gaza.

Attempts globally, and in Germany specifically, to paint the clashes as two-sided, or worse as an act of self-defense by the Israeli forces are farcical. In this conflict, the first actor is one of the most advanced military powers in the world, with immense diplomatic support from Western government, while the other is a nation denied the right to self-governance, treated as second-class citizens in their own homes, and victims of a decades long state of apartheid.

We condemn efforts by powerful organizations in the west that wish to equate any criticism of the Zionist project, or indeed any criticism of the Israeli state with anti-semitism.

We stand proudly in solidarity with our fellow comrades – Palestinian, Jewish and others – who raise their voices against the injustices unfolding in front of our eyes.

Join us tomorrow (Saturday, 15/05) at Oranienplatz at 16:00! More details here.

“Our fight is global, which is why we stand together as an internationalist, migrant alliance”

A representative from Berlin for India shared the stage with a representative from Coliberation at the May 1 demo. They were speaking on behalf of the internationalist block that’s part of the migrant and internationalist alliance that organised the 1 May demo. This is how they addressed the thousands that had gathered there:

We are now more than a year into the pandemic. At the beginning of the crisis, the ruling classes kept using the word “solidarity”.¬†It turns out they were just trying to co-opt our terminology to let capitalism¬†and nationalism¬†run wild. They talked of solidarity and forced us to feel individual responsibility for the safety and health and well-being of others, while representing the interests of corporations at every turn.
What the last year has shown us is that even in this global crisis, capitalism and its associated ideologies will be used by those in power to protect the interests of the few, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. The rule of the privileged minority rages on as people suffer the consequences of their decadence even during a pandemic.
This is why we have called for a revolutionary, internationalist 1st May demonstration. Only through actions such as this one can we talk of solidarity. Our internationalist block comprises migrant, racialized, and internationalist¬†groups that represent communities from all around the world. And all of our communities experience discrimination and hardship at the hands of the German state. Whether they are South Asian delivery workers, Polish live-in care workers, farm workers or any migrant working precariously ‚Äď we are all part of the same fight against the same system. Our oppression has different faces: for some it is the access to abortion and childcare, which is deliberately made harder for the working classes; for some it is having to flee oppressive regimes because of their sexuality; for others it is being exploited as part of global value chains for the sake of a cheap garment in a chain clothing shop; yet for others it is the daily experience of racism and exclusion. These issues affect women, those of marginalised genders, and those from marginalised communities the most. And our fight is global, which is why we stand together as an internationalist, migrant alliance. We all experience the oppression of capitalism and what we are fighting for is liberation!¬†
What unites us, the internationalist migrant alliance, is that we all live in this country and in this city. The wealth and health of Germany and Western Europe is built off our backs. And one critical crisis that unites us all is the crisis of the real estate market. The overturning of the Mietendeckel has hit many migrants hard. Migrants contributing to the welfare of Germany have to now scramble to payback subsidies that they rightfully deserve. To call such provisions anti-constitutional demonstrates how far capitalists have infiltrated the state. Hiding behind a veneer of neutrality, they are aiding large scale real estate companies to augment their profits year after year. 
When we look at the access to the corona vaccine, the dreadful portrait of capitalism revels itself further. It also very clearly shows how the governments of Germany and Western Europe are actively aiding the continuation of this virus in other poorer nations by supporting stringent intellectual property laws with the excuse of supporting “innovation”, even as the raw materials, labor, and manufacturing is done in the same poor countries which are forced to import these vaccines at exorbitant rates. As if one needs to be innovative to produce life saving drugs. With the premise of competition rather than cooperation and care the system has made us strangers to one another – to be afraid of or to be suspicious of one another. Migrants or people from¬†migrational backgrounds¬†face this suspicion the most as we have seen with the horrible attacks in Hanau and in Berlin. Capitalists are capitalists everywhere, be they in India, in Brazil, in the USA,¬†or in Germany.¬†Yet we must not forget the intergenerational effects of colonialism and imperialism, especially how fascists like Modi and Bolsonaro exacerbate the extraction of wealth from the poor within the militarized borders of these “nation-states”.¬†Exclusionary politics that fuels division and further pauperisation of working people everywhere are the bedrock of their imagination of the future.
We won’t let them sell us what has always belonged to us. 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!¬†

May 1 (Hermannplatz to Oranienplatz): Stand firm against the historic attack on the democratic, social, and trade union rights of workers! Protect the livelihoods of farmers and the health of the working poor!

We would like to invite you to march with us as part of the internationalist bloc this first of May. If you are aligned with anti-capitalist, anti-caste, anti-patriarchy, and anti-fascist politics, and have some connection to South Asia (you don’t have to identify as south Asian), join us!

The demo will begin at 1700 at Karl Marx Str/Hermannplatz and will end at 2100 at Oranienplatz near Kreuzberg.

The following is our statement:

We are proud to join our comrades who will come together on May 1 in Berlin to celebrate their imagination of a new world that is democratic, decolonised, just, solidaristic, socialist and egalitarian.

We are inspired by their struggle for socio-economic justice and fair working conditions. We stand together with them to resist the use of pandemic measures to transfer even more wealth from the poor to the rich. We also resist the continued exploitation of workers and communities in the global south through the forces of exploitative global capital.

During the COVID lockdown, the governments of India and many of its regions introduced, without any warning, the harshest lockdown in the world, combined with the weakest social security net. Workers all over India were left stranded without work, food, or shelter. Tens of thousands of them travelled the breadth of the country, sometimes by foot, to return to their homes.

The governments chose exactly this time to attack the working class with anti-worker changes to its labour laws, including the introduction of the 12-hour working day, the strengthening of the system of contract employment, and the weakening of trade unions. Labour rights won by workers over a century and a half were wiped away.

The forces of global capital cheered these developments on as the government of India remained focused on its performance on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, to the exclusion of all else including its poor performances on indices of hunger and democracy. Global brands such as H&M cancelled orders from garment factories in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, leading to job cuts and unpaid wages for thousands of women workers. Corporations from the global north looked on silently as India’s women were forced to retreat from the workforce in large numbers, knowing fully well that they would profit from their increased vulnerability.¬†

This vulnerability will be further exacerbated by the new education policy introduced by the Modi government during the pandemic year, which sets the tone for the worsening inequality that is to come in India’s future. The new education policy aids neoliberalisation of the public school and university sector to follow the WTO diktat of commodifying education. The new policy abandons small schools in rural areas with mid-day meals in favour of large private school with centralised facilities that are to share resources with public schools; increases schooling years from 12 to 15; undermines research by reducing funding for PhD students and funding for public universities in general. Through board exams at 8th grade, common entrance tests, exit options for undergraduate programs and Hindi imposition, the fascist Brahmin-Bania government is actively encouraging students from Other Backward Class (OBC), Dalits and Adivasis to drop out and take up their caste-based occupation. Such changes are aimed at making India fertile ground for private foreign universities catering to the upper echelons of Indian society, encourages school drop-out rates, creates an army of reserves (in the form of child labour and gig economy) forced to serve the interests of foreign and domestic capital in order to make ends meet and to rigidify the caste-class structure of the Indian society to maintain Brahmin-Bania hegemony.

For decades now, global value chains have profited from the vulnerability of India’s poor, and especially from women workers who belong to the oppressed castes, who have been employed through non-regular work arrangements where they receive lower pay, less job security and lower social protection. They are also the workers who are disproportionately impoverished by the pandemic. Women workers face a double burden on as they faced increased unemployment, precarity, poor working conditions, combined with an increased burden of domestic and care work during the pandemic and lockdown. This was combined with an increase in domestic violence, and the deprioritisation of their sexual and reproductive health as resources were diverted away.

In making changes to labour laws during the pandemic, the government also did not extend to these workers, any significant social security cover. In Germany and in other parts of Europe, national governments chose to turn a blind eye to the human rights violations of their corporations in overseas in India and other nations of the global south.

The government of India also chose this moment to legislate to reduce the farming community to corporate vassals. For decades now, international financial institutions and the northern nations have advocated for a greater role for the market and the private sector in India’s agricultural value chains. Despite clear evidence that this would lead to the corporate and financial enslavement of the farmers, the government passed three laws deregulating contract farming, lifting restrictions on food transport and storage, and allowing trade in agricultural products outside the regulated markets for agricultural produce, while not investing in the governance of these regulated public markets. These laws will effectively nullify the Public Distribution System operating in many states that provides food security to millions of people and which has been effective in diluting the feudal caste-class structure of the Indian Union.

The government of India has also announced its intention to fast track the privatisation of central public sector utilities in crucial sectors of the economy by selling them to domestic and foreign corporations. Even as it propagates the slogan of self-reliance, the government moves forward to make the country dependent on imperialist powers. 

This government is also moving determinedly ahead with the settler colonization of Kashmir, laying open the entire territory of the region to be exploited by Bania corporations like Ambani and Adani. Murders, rapes, disappearances and violence continue to be visited upon Kashmiris by the armed forces of India, operating under cover of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In these circumstances, self-determination by the Kashmiri people remains difficult.

While it actively participates in the exploitation of India’s farmers, workers, and its public sector, the government led by Narendra Modi has, under the eyes of the international community, pushed ahead more vigorously than ever before with its Brahmin-Bania hegemonical agenda to further oppress Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, OBC, LGBTQIA communities, Dravidians and women. It continues to embolden cow protection vigilantes, lynchings of Muslim and Dalit men, online armies of hatespewing trolls, and fake news farms. It is trying to get rid of the Prevention of Atrocities Act which ensures action against violence perpetrated on Dalits and Adivasis and eliminate the right to reservation (affirmative action) for OBC and SC/ST communities. It has overseen the weakening of India‚Äôs independent institutions – including the judiciary, the election commissions, the central bank, universities, and the information commissions.

Further, at this moment of the greatest need for international solidarity, the rich nations have waged war on the bodies of working class people in the global south by deprioritising their right to health. They have chosen to enforce patent rights on COVID vaccines, and encourage the creation of vaccine monopolies by pharmaceutical companies in the global north.

On this International Day of Worker Solidarity, we stand firm against the historic attack on the democratic, social, and trade union rights of workers, the livelihoods of farmers, and the health of the working poor. We join all progressive voices in a quest to co-create a more just world by radically dismantling the current economic system, and creating one where justice, dignity and equality for all prevails.

Jai Bhim! Long live Periyar! Inquilab Zindabad.

[Open Letter] Atlanta ‚Äď what exactly happened?

We recently co-signed an open letter against anti-Asian racism and silence, and for cross-community solidarity and decolonized remembrance.

Berlin, 16th April 2021
Exactly one month ago today, on March 16, 2021, six Asian immigrant women from China and Korea and two white clients were murdered in three Asian massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia by a young white Christian fundamentalist. Activists from Asian-diasporic communities held a candlelight vigil for the victims of the racist and sexist attacks at the Peace Statue Against Sexual Violence Towards Women in Berlin on March 23, 2021. A rally was also held in front of Brandenburg Gate across from the U.S. Embassy on March 28, 2021.

We are a diverse group of people with different stories, from different Asian German communities, as well as from other Asian diasporas. We demonstrate transnational solidarity with Asian American communities. With our political engagement and action, we want to raise awareness for and oppose anti-Asian racism. This can only be done in solidarity with the fight against other forms of racism as well as sexism and classism!

With dismay, we notice that the socio-political significance of this anti-Asian mass murder continues to not be recognised in the U.S. and, to an even lesser-degree, in Germany. Politically, the massacre of innocent and unarmed victims has not yet been classified as a terrorist attack, nor has it been prosecuted as a racially-motivated hate crime. Yet, there is no question that the murders were premeditated and targeted Asian women in Asian-diasporic areas with inhuman brutality. Given the scale and gravity of this event, we are disappointed and angry; however, we are not surprised that the majority of German media has paid little to no attention to it. Furthermore, insufficient information was reported on the historical and social context and background. German politics and society have also failed to acknowledge these murders. These failures perpetuate a tradition in which anti-Asian racism is systematically underestimated in society, institutionally negated, and still, too often, made invisible.

We reject the vilification and refuse to be scapegoats for the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 3,750 attacks against Asian Americans have been recorded in the U.S. since the beginning of 2020. In Germany, too, verbal and physical attacks on Asian Germans have risen drastically. The fact that statistics on anti-Asian racism only started to be gathered and documented recently, is telling. Yet, anti-Asian racism is not a¬†new phenomenon in Germany. A¬†system of anti-Asian racism established roots in Germany when Germany colonized Chinese and Pacific territories in the 19th century. The racist pogroms in Hoyerswerda in 1991 and in Rostock-Lichtenhagen in 1992, as well as the murders of NguyŠĽÖn NgŠĽćc Ch√Ęu and ńźŠĽó Anh L√Ęn in Hamburg in 1980, Phan VńÉn ToŠļ£n in Fredersdorf in 1997, Duy-Doan Pham in Neuss in 2011, and the rape and murder of Yangjie Li in Dessau in 2016, among others, demonstrate examples of historical continuity. Our commitment against anti-Asian racism is fundamentally connected to anti-racist struggles and historical experiences of other communities of color. This includes, for example, confronting NSU terrorism, the attack in Hanau, and our support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

One year after the racist terrorist attack in Hanau, there is still no federal strategy to combat racism. It remains unclear how the measures presented by the Kabinettausschuss gegen Rechtsextremismus und Rassismus (Cabinet Committee for the Fight Against Right-Wing Extremism and Racism) are to be implemented. The CDU’s blocking of the Demokratiefördergesetz (the Democracy Promotion Law) also demonstrates, once again, that the fight against racism and right-wing extremism is not prioritized and that the commitment of civil society organisations is not valued.

Our demands:

1. We call on the German government to recognise anti-Asian racism and recognise Asian and Asian-diasporic people as a¬†vulnerable group worthy of protection in their ‚ÄěNational Action Plan against Racism.‚ÄĚ
Furthermore, Germany is called upon to conduct transparent data collection on both a political and legal level to identify systemic structural and institutional marginalization, exclusion, and exploitation of Asian-diasporic persons as a racialized, ethnicized, and culturalized group of people in Germany.

2. We demand the acknowledgement of Asian/Asian German perspectives in institutional decolonisation processes as well as the recognition of multiple perspectives in the politics of remembrance.
In the context of decolonisation initiatives, it is vital to critically confront and examine the institutional, cultural, and educational patterns of exclusion and thought. Areas in Africa, parts of Asia, and the Pacific were also targets of German colonial expansions. A postcolonial Germany is only possible if the political demands of an inclusive, discrimination-free, and democratic society are respected. To achieve this, the equal inclusion and perspectives of community organisations, post-migrant scholars, and cultural workers have to be taken into account. We also support the demands for the clarification of colonial cultural theft and its immediate restitution. We are also in favour of reparations to all former colonies of Germany, although these colonial crimes cannot be erased or amended.

3. We demand that anti-racist learning approaches be enshrined in the educational system‚Äď from daycare to university.
In order to ensure the longevity and sustainability of structural changes and to fight racism, the revision of curricula in educational institutions is indispensable. This includes a critical analysis of and confrontation with German colonial history and its lasting effects up to the present day, migrant knowledge and perspectives regarding past and present migration, as well as the confrontation with different forms of racist discrimination.

4. We need institutional structures that can adequately represent the spectrum of social diversity‚Äď from the topics to the people‚Äďthis is particularly applicable to the media sector.
Journalism schools, film and art colleges, media publishers, funding institutes, and editorial offices are of particular importance, because their work can (re)produce racist narratives or make a meaningful impact and contribution towards coexistence with less discrimination. 

We do not want to be alone with our grief and resistance. We are grateful that many people from different communities of color and also white people from German society demonstrate their solidarity and support us in our protests. We don’t want to just react, we want to be increasingly proactive and engage in an exchange of solidarity with other post-migrant organisations and communities. We call on all interested people to take a stand against anti-Asian racism. It is close to our hearts to join together, equally, and oppose all globally intertwined forms of racism, sexism, neocolonial exploitation, and oppression.

Solidary organisations, institutions, and groups, as well as individuals can support this open letter as co-signers even after its publication!

Permalink: www.korientation.de/atlanta-offener-brief
Contact email address: kontakt@asiatische-deutsche.org
Hashtag: #StopAntiAsianRacism

Initiative Group
Sara Djahim (korientation e.V.), Jee-Un Kim (korientation e.V.), Victoria Kure-Wu (ichbinkeinvirus.org), ThŠĽč Minh HuyŠĽĀn NguyŠĽÖn (ichbinkeinvirus.org), ThŠĽßy-Ti√™n NguyŠĽÖn (korientation e.V.), T√ļ Q√Ļynh-nhu NguyŠĽÖn, Cuso Ehrich (Diaspor.Asia), Dieu Hao Do (BAFNET), Kien Nghi¬†Ha

 

Peasant justice now!

An alliance from the fields of agriculture, human rights, food, climate and environmental protection protested today in front of the Foreign Office in Berlin for the protection of peasants and global food sovereignty.

One day before the International Day of Peasant Resistance on 17 April, we showed solidarity with the farmers and farm labourers in India, who have been protesting for over four months against a wave of neoliberal policies.

This is what we said:

We stand with the farmer and farm labourers of India who are protesting the three new laws that have now been passed into acts to be implemented. I would like to firstly bring your attention to the three new laws and what they are doing to the agricultural system in India and then focus on the socio-political aspect within these protests.

The first law attacks mandis, which are the country’s public agricultural markets and a meeting point between farmers and consumers. Mandis assure that farmers are rightfully compensated for their products by ensuring a minimum support price. Previously, the state governments could levy taxes on produce sold outside the mandis. The Farmers‚Äô Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 prohibits the levy of such taxes. It further enables private companies to engage with farmers outside the safety of the mandis and does nothing to improve efficiency the current markets. It also opens the door to the eventual removal of the minimum support price which guarantee a proper income for farmers and affordable nutrition for India‚Äôs poor.

The second law, which is the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, that the Modi government has introduced attacks crops that are vital for food security from the list of essential commodities. In favouring an environment for agri-tech and logistics business to flourish, the government is disabling itself from maintaining stockholding limits to control food price inflation and scarcity. Also, this law, which could be referred to as the Food Hoarding bill, legitimises hoarding as the government gives up its capability of knowing what stocks are existing with who, when and where. This is being done to attract private investment in post-harvest infrastructure. Despite there being a caveat for extraordinary circumstances (war and famine) where regulatory powers would kick in, that this bill makes hoarding possible is preposterous in a country that is already struggling with food security. In spite of food surpluses, India remains one of the world’s most food-insecure countries with the highest rates of malnourishment. The withdrawal of the state from purchasing agricultural produce, from maintaining public stocks of food, and from controlling private hoarding, is a retreat from any public attempt to reduce hunger.

The third law which is, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, permits agribusiness firms to enter into contracts for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price. This law deregulates contract farming and leaves the arrangement between sponsors and farmers on voluntary terms.  This will only allow large firms to dictate the livelihoods of farmers. Also, this law is not only counter-intuitive but also non-sensical because it pegs the price to the mandi prices although the first act is meant to make the mandi system collapse. 

By completely ignoring parliamentary procedure, the government passed these bills into laws despite wholesale opposition against them. Instead what the government is offering are local monopsonies and big monopolies by selling its regulatory powers to the same companies. One is reminded of nationalist movements that agreed on the independence of their countries on occupier’s terms. This is no different, the colonial relationship is repeated once again except this time it is governments that are selling the interests of its electorate to private firms and businesses in their own country and globally. This is because capital has never had any borders and neither does it have any now.

Now, the socio-political context concerns the tribal and Dalit farm labourers who work on agricultural farms of those who own the land and come from upper caste backgrounds. The latest census of 2011 divides farmers into the 2 categories of cultivators and labourers. According to the census 71% of Dalit farmers are labourers and not cultivators as opposed to national average of 47.3% of farmers being landless labourers. It also shows that agriculture labour has been increased by 37 million more people taking up farm labour in the past 10 years. Agrarian crisis is evident when the data shows that while number of farmers have dipped by 3.8% the number of labourers has increased. These landless farmers have no right of their own and majority are from Dalit or tribal backgrounds. Out of 263 million people engaged in agriculture, almost half of them are labourers, a trend that has not been seen in the past 40 years. Around 70% labourers are in debt pushing them to extreme measures like suicide. Last year more than 40k farmers committed suicide and majority of these farmers came from disenfranchised backgrounds and those that will be doubly impacted by the continued implementation of these 3 new acts. Dalit farm activists such as Nodeep Kaur and Shiv Kumar who have stood with farmers in this protest and forwarded the movement have had to face the brunt of police brutality despite bringing to the fore important issues of inequality within the farming community in India and Indian society as a whole. It is critical to note that Dalits and Tribal farm labourers have more at stake than others and will be at the losing end twice over if these neoliberal draconian laws are to stay. 

We stand with all farmers and farm labourers of all communities in India who are fighting against a government that is intent on selling the interests of its electorate to big business. In their fight against the wave of neoliberalisation, we stand firmly with their demands to secure their livelihoods and their dignity. Food as a very basic necessity ought to be privileged over any other need of private gain.

Dalit History Month in Berlin

On the occasion of Dalit History Month,  South Asian Scholars and Activists Solidarity (SASAS Germany) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation are organizing a series of lectures that focus on various aspects of the caste system and the institutional oppression of Dalits.

Five researchers and activists who are involved in the anti-caste movement are invited to present their work and thoughts on the subject of caste.

You can find the detailed programme here.

You can also register for the events on Facebook (below):

The caste system and caste-based sexual violence

Dalit women’s rights activists and their influence on political processes

Dalit Christianity as a way of self-determination: Current perspectives

Read The Queerness in Ambedkar

The long history of the traditions of casteless Indians

Rally in solidarity with the farmers’ protests in India and international farmers’ rights

On the occasion of the global day of resistance of small farmers all over the world and on the occasion of the farmers’ protests in India, which have been going on for months, we invite you to a protest rally.

It will take place on Friday, 16 April 2021 between 11:00 to 12:00 in front of the Foreign Office, Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin

For more than 4 months, farmers in India have been protesting against a package of agricultural laws that are supposed to liberalise the Indian agricultural sector and open it up to multinational corporations. We – an alliance of groups from different sectors working on the issues of agriculture, human rights and food – would like to draw attention to the conflicts in India in front of the Foreign Office in Berlin, express our solidarity and call on the German government to make the demands of the farmers an issue in talks with the Indian government.

We would also like to call on the German government to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Small Farmers and Others Working in Rural Areas as a recognised UN instrument (A/73/589/Add.2).

Delegates from organisations such as Arbeitsgemeinschaft b√§uerliche Landwirtschaft, Berlin for India, Black Earth, 15th Garden, Bloque Latino, B√ľndnis junge Landwirtschaft will take a stand at the rally.

The rally will be Corona compliant, but with tractors.

 

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

anläßlich des weltweiten Widerstandstages der Kleinbäuerinnen und Kleinbauern in aller Welt und anläßlich der seit Monaten andauernden bäuerlichen Proteste in Indien laden wir Sie zu einer Protestkundgebung ein.

Sie findet statt
am Freitag, den 16. April 2021
11:00 bis 12:00 Uhr
vor dem Auswärtigen Amt, Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin
Thema: Solidarität mit den Bauernprotesten in Indien und internationale Bauernrechte

Seit √ľber 4 Monaten protestieren B√§uerinnen und Bauern in Indien gegen ein Agrargesetzespaket, das den indischen Agrarsektor liberalisieren und f√ľr multinationale Konzerne √∂ffnen soll. Wir – ein B√ľndnis von Gruppen aus verschiedenen Bereichen, die zu den Themen Landwirtschaft, Menschenrechte, Ern√§hrung arbeiten – m√∂chten vor dem Ausw√§rtigen Amt in Berlin auf die Auseinandersetzungen in Indien hinweisen, unsere Solidarit√§t bekunden und die Bundesregierung auffordern, in Gespr√§chen mit der indischen Regierung die Forderungen der B√§uerinnen und Bauern zum Thema zu machen. Wir m√∂chten ebenfalls die Bundesregierung auffordern, die Erkl√§rung der Vereinten Nationen √ľber die Rechte von Kleinb√§uerinnen und Kleinbauern und anderen Menschen, die in l√§ndlichen Regionen arbeiten, als anerkanntes UN-Instrument umzusetzen (A/73/589/Add.2).
Delegierte u.a. der Arbeitsgemeinschaft b√§uerliche Landwirtschaft, Berlin for India, Black Earth, 15th Garden, Bloque Latino, B√ľndnis junge Landwirtschaft werden auf der Kundgebung Stellung nehmen.

Die Kundgebung wird Coronakonform, aber mit Trecker durchgef√ľhrt.

Call for the Revolutionary Internationalist May Day Demonstration (1. May) 2021

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?

Solidarity with Aurat March organisers – 1700, March 24, Hermannplatz

BerlinforIndia stands with the participants and supporters of Pakistan’s Aurat March.

On March 8, since 2018, women from various backgrounds risk their personal safety to join public demonstrations organised in cities across the country. This year in particular, the organisers of the march have been targeted through incendiary statements and deliberate misinformation by the right-wing, including death threats from the Pakistani Taliban.

We are unequivocal in our support for the slogan ‚ÄúMera jism, meri marzi‚ÄĚ (my body, my choice), which calls for women and men to have autonomy over what happens to their bodies.¬† You can read more here.

Show some support for the event on Facebook.

Grupper Arbiterrinenmacht have called for an expression of solidarity from anti-fascist groups in Berlin at a protest demonstration on Wednesday, March 24 at Hermannplatz. We will also be present at the event.