September 8, 2004: Movement of Monday Demonstrations in Important Process of Clarification

The movement of the Monday demonstration proves staying power and frightens the government. Even sharpening the slander against the movement on all channels did not change the fact: on Monday, September 6, people went into the streets against Hartz IV and the Schroeder-Fischer government the 6th week in succession. Again, new cities joined the movement in East and West Germany. The number of participants can be compared to that of last week, when almost 200,000 people were active. To date, a preliminary record of 140 cities out of 235 runs to 132,000 participants.

At the same time, one must not fail to see that the initial, spontaneous inflow of demonstrators has decreased. Slander and disinformation have their effects and spread uncertainty among the people. Thus, it becomes the more important that, on September 6th, an important process of clarification took place among the Monday demonstrators themselves, one that was sorted out also via the open microphone.

·         Are the Monday demos a "hunting-ground for the Neonazis"? It is the social destitution through Hartz IV that creates a breeding-ground for these hatemongers. Everywhere they are pushed out of the demonstrations through calls of "Nazis out!"

·         Do the Monday demonstrators not have an alternative to Hartz IV? Hartz IV does not change the core of the problem, that is, mass unemployment. With the introduction of the 30 hour workweek, work must be distributed on more shoulders, and that with full compensation of wages and at the expense of capitalist profits.

·         Is the money for social insurance not really missing? It is precisely the biggest corporations which more than doubled their revenues and profits during the past ten years. At the same time, the share of the "incidental wage costs" almost decreased by half since 1991. The enterprises must be made to fully pay the social-security contributions, in proportion to their revenues.

·         Are the Monday demonstrators not entitled to speak for the people? Yes, they are! Where else can ordinary people speak out freely than at the open microphones? This is precisely what the gentlemen in Berlin and on the management floors are afraid of.

·         Are not many Monday demonstrations infiltrated by the MLPD? In many places, MLPD members belong to the active carriers of the movement and support the principle of non-party affiliation and democratic votes. It is not only their right to do so but this also encouraged many thousands of people to become active themselves.

Fronts are clearing up

The movement must cope successfully with opportunism, a course that makes allowances for the government, if it seriously intends to enter a trial of strength with the government. The evening of September 7 showed clearly: in a crisis talk, the attempt of the DGB leadership (German Trade Union Federation) to move the government towards making concessions pertaining to "later improvements" of Hartz IV was frustrated. With this, Chancellor Schroeder precisely complied with the instruction of the employers' associations BDI and BDA (Federation of German Industries and National Confederation of German Employers' Associations). In the form of an ultimatum Hundt, president of employers' associations, last week demanded to stick to the "course of reforms" without any changes. Thus, it is evident: Hartz IV will not fall without the government falling with it.

To the PDS leaders, this, of course, is going too far; they do not want to close the door to parliamentarian feeding troughs via the way of coalitions with the SPD. Accordingly, the PDS meanwhile withdrew its poster saying "Hartz IV is poverty by law – Down with it!" Now it spreads a new poster saying "Hartz IV is poverty by law – We support you". What the PDS means by this was explained by its party chairman, Lothar Bisky: "But because it (Hartz IV) is political reality, I must think about... how a minimum of human dignity can be preserved." (PDS Pressedienst, No. 35/2004) Thank you very much for this clarification, Mr. Bisky! Do you seriously believe that people voluntarily allow themselves to be cut down to the "minimum" defined by you? Human dignity is indivisible! If certain self-appointed leaders of the Monday demo movement from the circles of the DGB, PDS or ATTAC leaderships want to continue keeping in with the Schroeder government, they should say so openly and stop pulling the movement back by their maneuvers of splitting and confusing. Then they should make the streets free for the march to Berlin on October 3. In at least 46 cities, demonstrators already supported this in democratic votes. The movement of Monday demonstrations does not fear a trial of strength with the government. Down with Hartz IV – we are the people!

The DGB leadership wants to "accompany" the process of implementation of Hartz IV

It is an insult to the millions of trade-union members that DGB boss, Sommer, after the crisis summit with Chancellor Schroeder on September 7, now declared that the DGB will "constantly accompany the process of implementation" of Hartz IV. So the "constructive" relationship with the SPD government continues to be of higher importance for the DGB leadership than the protest of the masses of its members, who are increasingly taking action in the struggle against Hartz IV. In many cities, rank-and-file union members are active carriers of the Monday demonstrations. Also, it must be welcomed that the chairman of Ver.di (United Workers' Union in the Service Sector), Frank Bsirske, "explicitly encourages participation" and "does not want to content himself with cosmetic corrections" (Neues Deutschland, August 27). In no way, however, can it be accepted when trade-union leaders make it a condition to leave the hitherto joint basis of "Down with Hartz IV"! The DGB leadership, arrogating to itself to use the trade unions as "policing agents" in the interest of the government, already succeeded so far in considerably impeding the involvement of the masses of trade-union members in the movement of the Monday demonstrations. Every trade unionist is challenged to make his/her contribution to make the unions, as fighting organizations without party-affiliation, back the Monday demonstration movement.

The Monday demonstrations are no "hunting ground of the neofascists"!

In view of the advancing process of clarification and the staying power of the movement of Monday demonstrations, the government, the Berlin parties and the media do not recoil from slandering the movement as a "hunting ground of neonazis." Accordingly, the Interior Minister of Bavaria, Beckstein (CSU – Christian Social Union), sees the main reason for the 4 percent vote for the NPD (National-Democratic Party of Germany) in the elections in the Saarland "in the protests against the social reforms" (Bild.t-online.de, September 6). This claims that there are kindred spirits among the Monday demonstrators and the neofascists. This is an outrageous defamation of the movement of Monday demonstrations! It is precisely laws like Hartz IV that pave the ground for the influence of the Neonazis. The militant spirit of solidarity at the Monday demonstrations, uniting young and old, employed and unemployed, Germans and people from other nations in the struggle against Hartz IV, is incompatible with the splittist slander of the fascists. For instance, in a leaflet the NPD demands to send back all foreigners in the FRG, with or without jobs, to their home countries and to set the jobs free for Germans. Such kind of propaganda inciting the people must be banned, together with the neofascist organizations. Whereas everywhere the Monday demonstrators with "Nazis out!" slogans resolutely stand up against neofascists trying to penetrate the movement, it is precisely the police which again and again enforces that these people can join the demonstrations. This happened in Chemnitz, Eisenach or Magdeburg. As the Nazis fulfill the job of those in power, they get protection from the state apparatus. That already came to light in March 2003 when the trial over a ban of the NPD failed. It turned out that 15 percent of the NPD leaders were agents of the "Office for the Protection of the Constitution," their names to be found on the payrolls of these federal and Land internal security offices – that is, the "Stasi" of West German molding. The movement of Monday demonstrations and the subversive activities of the Neonazis are totally incompatible!

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