October 3, 2004: 25 000 Attend the March on Berlin Against the Government on October 3.

On Sunday, October 3, the capital city of Berlin experienced a Day of German Unity unlike any other such day in the 15 year-old history of this holiday. What took place was the unification of thousands of Monday demonstrators from 200 cities in East and West - from Munich to Kiel, Aachen to Dresden - to the March against the government. Under the slogan “Down with Hartz IV – we are the people!” participation in  the March  grew to a total of more than 25,000 participants at the closing rally on Alexander Square.

The demonstrators had already arrived early in the morning, coming by train, bus and car to the four starting points in the city’s East, West, North and South. There they gathered for the March with their banners, signs, musical instruments and mobile loudspeakers. They had very inventive slogans and self-written satirical songs directed against the government.

When at  12 o’clock, the four demonstrations converged at the opening rally, the participants felt a deep sense of solidarity and  pride over the successful organization of the common cause. In spite of all political opposition, attempts at division and declarations of the death of the Monday demonstrations, the March was prepared in Berlin and in many towns and cities with the help of the central coordinating group elected in Leipzig. Everything, starting from the independent financing to the organising of the schedule in the allotted time, was a masterpiece of logistics and enthused the participants as well as the spectators and people passing by. The latter were called upon again and again to join the demonstration. That led to the number of demonstrations increasing considerably, especially during and after the first rally on Alexander Square.

The trademark of the Monday demonstration movement became alive when the demonstrators expressed their political opinions at the various open microphones. The contributions were not only directed against the horrendous Hartz-IV law, but also against the entire anti-people direction that the government has taken with their Agenda 2010. Cutbacks in pensions, dramatic dismantling of health care, redistribution of the tax burden in favor of the monopolies and on the backs of the broad masses of the population, etc.

A split in two demonstrations took place only because a few close friends of the government do not desire such an independent mass movement. In spite of this, more than 50 000 people already came to Berlin on Saturday to protest against Hartz IV. The March on Sunday declared its solidarity with these demonstrators, although the organizers of “October 2nd” were not prepared to support a unified March against the government.

Delegations from enterprises like DaimlerChrysler, VW and Opel participated, as well as representatives of the militant opposition from France and the Netherlands. On the previous day, more than 300,000 people demonstrated in Amsterdam against the anti-people programs of the government of the Netherlands. As is appropriate for the movement of Monday demonstrations, the closing resolution of the March was voted upon and resolved. It states, “We emphasize here: We have great staying power and decide ourselves and democratically in our own cities and towns every Monday on the continuation of the Monday demonstrations until Hartz IV is completely off the table. Let us win over thousands and ten thousands of new participants for the Monday demonstrations and their goals This movement should encompass millions of people.”

A nationwide attack like Hartz IV and the Agenda  2010 must be fought back on a nationwide level. Democratically elect on a grass-roots level in the cities and towns, in the factories and Monday demonstrations delegates for the 2nd nationwide coordinating conference of the Monday demonstrations on October 16 in Hanover.

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