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August 24, 2004: The Monday Demonstrations are Consolidating Themselves as an Independent Mass Movement against the Efforts to Split the Movement by the Forces of Modern Anticommunism

Second International Information Update

More than 200 000 people in more than 192 cities (at least 40 per cent more than on August 16) expressed their firm conviction on August 23: "Hartz IV must fall - we are the people!" In the big cities in East Germany the number of participants remained on a high level (Leipzig: 30 000, Berlin: 22 000, Magdeburg: 14 000, Dresden: 10 000, Chemnitz: 10 000, Rostock: 7 000, Halle: 5 000) and the demonstrations extended into smaller cities. In some cases, in the big cities of West Germany there has been a rapid increase. What is most important, the nationwide Monday demonstrations have consolidated themselves as an independent people's and working class movement. The governmental campaign of disinformation according to which the Hartz IV-law has to be accepted after making some "amendments" has largely had no effect and has even increased the indignation of the people. The nationwide bourgeois media reacted with a change of tactics. Instead of the broad coverage up to now, they now claim that the Monday demonstrations are gradually declining or splitting etc., in order to demoralize the movement. Most important, they direct their main attack against the MLPD!

The general rejection of Hartz IV remains the central basis of the Monday demonstrations, which are increasingly targeting directly at the Schroeder/Fischer government. The actual great success of August 23 was not the result of a spontaneous automatic course of the movement, but of a victory over the coordinated action of splitting forces to which Trotskyite Attac leaders, right-wing trade union leaders and representatives of the PDS, the  successor party of the SED, belonged. The right-wing DGB leadership (German trade union association) issued instructions after consultation with the SPD/Green government to stay away from the Monday demonstrations controlled by 'left demagogues' because a policy demanding "Do away with Hartz IV" is not acceptable for the DGB. Hypocritically the PDS is against Hartz IV on posters, while in the federal states where it shares the state government with the SPD (Social Democrats), it fully implements the anti-people laws. E.g. the PDS faction in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern rejected the demands of the PDS basis for a withdrawal from the government and declared: " As a governing party we have to bear the responsibility." In various cities like Berlin, Leipzig, Herne or Gelsenkirchen these forces called for divisive demonstrations in order to protect the people from the "clutches of the MLPD" and the "contamination by the epidemic of independent action". However, they failed in this attempt.

The Monday demonstrations have passed their test. They are and remain an independent people's and working class movement, which is not prepared to be controlled by the reformists. It is of tantamount importance to defend, support and promote the independence of this movement, for otherwise the way would be cleared for the rulers together with the reformists and revisionists to suppress the struggle against Hartz IV and the government by means of a foul compromise.

The increasing power and consolidation of the movement is expressed in the development of forms and methods of action and principles to a higher level.

  • More and more ordinary people are becoming active, people who have never protested or demonstrated before in their lives, as well as many different organizations.
  • The organizational form of the “open microphone” which was proposed by the MLPD and put into practice in the active resistance against the NATO war in Yugoslavia and against the US-aggression in Iraq is becoming more and more widespread and gives broad sections of people the opportunity to express their protest and their will.
  • A culture of debate in solidarity is making a break-through. That makes it possible for unity to develop among people with many various political views or world outlooks in practice. This includes the expulsion of fascist organisations and the struggle for their being banned.
  • Industrial workers and trade union members carry the struggle against the offensive of exploitation into the demonstrations, linking the working-class movement with active people’s resistance. Against all attempts of the right-wing trade union leadership to keep the trade union members away, more and more works council members and active trade unionists are supporting the Monday demonstrations in public and criticizing the position of the DGB-leadership.
  • In more and more cities and towns, the work is being organized on the basis of jointly approved democratic principles. Broad überparteiliche (non-party affiliated) alliances are being built up and local coordinating committees are being elected. In Berlin, neighborhood committees are being founded and hundreds of participants in the demonstrations have already declared their willingness to participate. Through the common work in such initiatives and committees the relationship between the Marxist-Leninist party and the masses develops lastingly and independently of the rise and fall of the movement. At the same time, such organizational forms are an important school of the self-organization of the masses in the spirit of genuine socialism.
  • The anger and rage over the bourgeois politicians is increasing. In many contributions and slogans the idea appears again and again: “The entire system must be gotten rid of.” In this connection the  openness for the perspective of genuine socialism and interest in the MLPD is growing.

One day after the Monday demonstrations on 23 August, the bourgeois mass media suddenly discovered a new “main enemy”.  The daily newspaper ‘taz’ writes on 24 August: “The object of fear of the Monday demonstrations is no longer Hartz IV. It is the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)” The gist of the article is that the “small and insignificant” MLPD has unpacked its infiltration boots and is sending its cadres all over Germany to infiltrate the Monday demonstrations. The flyers issued by the MLPD called “Monday demonstration update”, issue number 2 from 24 August 2004, writes the following:

            “It’s a fact: the fear of the ‘red threat’ is rampant. It is the fear of the authorities in Berlin that their control over the mass movement against Hartz IV is dwindling. It is the fear of the spirit of class struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. The MLPD makes no secret of its energetic support of the Monday demonstration movement. Because the power of this movement comes from its independence, from the fact that it does not subordinate itself to any party and not to the MLPD either. It only respects one thing: convincing arguments and absolute commitment to the common cause. That is why the members of the MLPD support the development of democratic initiative and democratic decision-making by the broad masses of the demonstrators everywhere.  This kind of “infiltration” undermines the influence of all those political forces who are used to making decisions in place of the masses without asking them. The MLPD gladly takes over the responsibility for that.”

            On 24 August 2004, the German Federal Department of Statistics released the results of an opinion poll in its “Data Report 2004” according to which 76% of the population in East Germany and 51% in West Germany think that socialism is a good idea and that it was only put into practice badly. The idea of socialism is alive and develops in interrelation with the political mass demonstrations against the government.

            To further develop the Monday demonstration movement a big central coordinating conference is going to take place on 28 August in Leipzig to form a nationwide network of the Monday demonstrations. The MLPD supports the idea that the attending delegations from the various cities and towns should be democratically legitimated representatives of local initiatives.

            The MLPD abides to a central conclusion out of the revisionist degeneration of many former communist parties: “The basis for the party’s relation to the masses is the mass line as the guiding principle for systematic rank-and-file work. There is no revolution without or against the masses of the people. It is a special characteristic of the members of our party that they place their trust in the masses and their ability to liberate themselves.” (Program of the MLPD, p. 91).

Dear friends, colleagues and comrades,

            Please spread this information and send messages of solidarity so that these can be sent out at the Monday demonstrations. Thank you for the solidarity messages that we have already received. They were all translated and published in the website www.rf-news.de. They met with great applause at the Monday demonstrations and strengthened people’s self-confidence. In Vienna, Austria a solidarity action already took place on 23 August. As a step towards the practical coordination of the struggles against the coordinated anti-people crisis programs of the European governments and monopolies and for the development of proletarian-internationalist consciousness, the MLPD proposes that in other European countries solidarity actions are conducted simultaneously on  Monday. A successful struggle in Germany to repeal  Hartz IV  and force the government to resign  would be an encouraging signal and a contribution to an upswing of the working-class and people’s struggles in Europe and beyond.

The strength of the working-class and people’s movement lies

in their combined international force!

Further daily and, if necessary, hourly information, pictures and correspondences from the Monday demonstrations at : www.rf-news.de

At www.mlpd.de you can find the translations of the new interview of the Red Flag with Stefan Engel,  party chairman of the MLPD  from 18. August: “A Significant Change of Mood Among the Broad Masses”.

Messages of solidarity at: info@mlpd.de

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