On October 13 an estimated quarter of a million people marched in Berlin, Germany against fascism, racism and xenophobia. There have been marches like this before in Frankfurt, Munich, Chemnitz and other cities, but none on this scale. The earlier marches had ‘merely’ tens of thousands of participants.
The Berlin march was in part in response to demonstrations by thousands of fascists from the ultra-right AfD party and the xenophobic Pegida movement. One of these demonstrations, in Chemnitz, escalated into a pogrom with fascists chasing down anyone who looked like an immigrant.
The Berlin march’s hashtag was #unteilbar (indivisible) and its slogan was “For an Open and Free Society: Solidarity, not Exclusion!” The slogan on the poster on page 1 of this issue says “Against Ideas from 1933” referring to the ideology of Nazi Germany.
It was a united front including “queer-feminist and antiracist movements, migrant organizations, trade unions, associations, NGO’s, religious communities, societies and neighbourhoods” (from their leaflet). This united front was so broad it got support from Heiko Maas, Germany’s interior minister. Only Angela Merkel (Germany’s chancellor) was missing!
Communists have had long and painful experiences with united fronts. They are inevitably defensive, and call for a return to bourgeois democracy and the welfare state. As the #unteilbar leaflet says, “We will not allow the welfare state to be played off against asylum and migration. We will stand in resistance when fundamental rights and freedoms are in danger of being further restricted.”
The problem is that democracy and the welfare state have already failed workers. Democracy produces governments by corporate- and bank-backed politicians. They impose austerity and starve the welfare state and those relying on it. We can’t go back – we must go forward, to communism.
The hard-earned lesson is this: forward to communism, not backward to bourgeois democracy. It’s inspiring to see a quarter of a million people marching against fascism, but smashing fascism needs communism and communism needs communists, namely, members of ICWP. If only a tiny fraction of those who marched in Berlin joined us, we’d be a long way towards winning communism and ending fascism forever.