20th International Rosa Luxemburg Conference 2015

On January 10th, 2015, over 2000 people came together for the 20th Rosa Luxemburg Conference in the Urania event centre of Berlin. The main theme of the conference was »Peace instead of NATO«. Amongst others, the Indian economist Radhika Desai, the politician Oskar Lafontaine, Peter Mertens from the Worker's Party of Belgium and the US journalist Linn Washington  were keynote speakers.

Saturday, January 10th, 2015, Urania – entry from 10 am
10:45 am
opening of the conference with the Berlin folk punk band The Pokes

Speeches | Panel of experts | Media discussion | Panel discussion | Concert | Exhibitions | Youth forum | Tips for visitors

 

Speeches, starting at 11am

Peace instead of NATO

NATO is moving east and the US Secretary of Defense recently proclaimed that Russia has advanced towards the threshold of the NATO member states. In the Ukraine, NATO supports a government that is crawling with fascists, who are leading a war against their own population. Nonetheless, the NATO member states accuse Russia of being the aggressor. For them, the cold war was never over.

junge Welt, September 1st, 2014junge Welt, September 1st, 2014Since more than 20 years, NATO has been leaving a trail of blood behind itself, well beyond the perimeters of Europe. Since it forcefully intervened in the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, NATO has lead wars of aggression outside of the treaty area. It declared that these wars were »coalition cases«, and therefore defense was necessary in these cases: Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, the Mediterranean, Somalia, Libya and, de facto, Syria. The path from the alleged defensive alliance during the cold war with the Soviet Union to the mission coalition, which lays claim to global dominance, was taken one step at a time. Currently, the Alliance is reaching a new level of aggressiveness and warmongering: it is provoking new conflicts in Europe, the Near- and Middle East and Africa, in which its own troops and troops from other countries are fighting. The aim is to create wars that don't end.

For example, Afghanistan: 2015 was meant to be the first year in which NATO troops would no longer occupy the country. On the 6th of November, the new NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured Afghanistan of long-lasting »support« - allegedly in order to train local security forces. That means: Officially, the 12,500 troops, which belong to the »North Atlantic Alliance«, will stay, in order to »defend« the Hindu Kush.
NATO means the permanent build-up of arms. The expenditure of NATO member states on arms was 669 billion US Dollars in 2001. By 2011 it had risen to 1039 billion US Dollars.

NATO means the strategic planning of the first use of nuclear weapons.
NATO means war.

During the year of the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Europe from fascism, the speakers of the 20th Rosa-Luxemburg-Conference will speak about this.

 

Radhika Desai
Global view on wars and power

Radhika Desai, economist, University of Manitoba, Canada
 

Otto Koehler
Yes, this is me, Thersites – vilifier of all wars, their generals, their propagandists and their professors.
Otto Köhler, publisher
 

Oskar Lafontaine
DIE LINKE (The Left) – Stop Line for Military Interventions
Oskar Lafontaine, politician and publisher
 

Peter  Mertens
The Old and New Right in Europe
Peter Mertens, Chair, Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA)
 

Rene Gonzalez
Social Liberation
René González (Cuban Five), former prisoner in the USA, Cuban freedom fighter (requested)
 
In addition:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
Message of greeting from Mumia Abu-Jamal, journalist and political prisoner in the USA.


Banda Bassotti
Gian Paolo »Picchio« Picchiami, lead singer of Banda Bassotti, and tour manager David Cacchione speak  about their solidarity concerts in the struggle against the advance of fascist battalions in eastern Ukraine in Rome, Moscow, Rostow on the Don and in the Donbass region.


Hans Modrow
Hans Modrow (former Prime Minister of the GDR, Chair of the Council of Elders of the party DIE LINKE) and Volker Hermsdorf (jW author) about their new book »Amboss oder Hammer. Gespräche über Kuba« (A Rock or a Hard Spot. Conversations about Cuba).

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Expert Panel: Current Examples of Anti-militarist actions 

With several representatives from the anti-militarist movement        

The date for the US military strike against Syria was already set: September 2nd, 2013. Why it didn't happen is still unclear, however Russia seems to have played a part in that. Since then, the German media, especially the public broadcasting corporations, have been set on a »hot war« against Moscow. They no longer want different sides to exist on the question of war and peace. And those, who actively oppose their agitation, are stamped as Russian-driven or members of sects and »conspiracy theorists«. However, as a matter of fact, there is more discontent about war politics and unanimous press in Germany than ever before and activists are mobilizing locally and across Germany against arms, NATO wars and nuclear weapons. Some of them are coming to the 20th Rosa-Luxemburg-Conference in order to talk about their activities.

 

Sharon DolevSharon Dolev

With a contribution by Sharon Dolev, Founder and Director of the Regional Peace and Demilitarization Movement in Israel (RPM). The main goal of the NGO is to create a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Near- and Middle East and achieve the global prohibition of nuclear weapons.

 

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Media discussion: The difficulties when writing the truth

Linn Washington

Linn Washington, journalist, USA

 

Ivan Rodionov

Ivan Rodionov, Chief editor RT Deutsch, Russia

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5:30 pm: Panel discussion

The parting of DIE LINKE (The Left) from anti-militarism

At the GDR Writers Congress in March 1990, the poet Ronald M. Schernikau, who had just migrated from West Berlin to East Berlin, stated: »In order to prevent talking about politics, the West has applied an old trick and introduced morals. Morals, because these cause people to choose the most gut-wrenching standpoint of all and thereby make it impossible to act. That's why morals are so popular.« Since around this time, the corporate and state media in Germany have been working on creating a situation, in which the population and war opponents are unable to act. Wars are allegedly led to ensure democracy and human rights – and not to gain resources or create spheres of influence.  
That is how it was possible to get people used to German military intervention abroad and »humanitarian intervention« and then to the »war against terror« and finally to »an intervening army«. Now Berlin demands »more responsibility« and means more German wars. Will DIE LINKE go along with that? Our panelists will take a stance on this question:

Willy Wimmer

Oskar Lafontaine Rolf Becker
Willy Wimmer, politician, former Vice President of the OSCE Oskar Lafontaine, politician, publisher Rolf Becker, actor

Moderator: Arnold Schölzel, jW Chief editor

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7 pm: Concert

Dota Kehr (Die Kleingeldprinzessin) with Jan Rohrbach & Special Guests: Gian Paolo »Picchio« Picchiami (Banda Bassotti), The Pokes

Dota Kehr Banda Bassotti The Pokes

Dota Kehr is also known as  »Die Kleingeldprinzessin« (the loose change princess). She brought this name back from her travels around the world, during which she performed as a street artist. After gaining a lot of experience, she looked for support from more musicians and met three musicians, who are happy to try out new things. Since then, the born and bred berliner musician sometimes plays solo and sometimes plays with her band »Die Stadtpiraten« (the city pirates). She publishes her own CD’s with her own publishing company. At the moment, she is on a tour, presenting her new album »Wo soll ich suchen« (where should I search).

Banda Bassotti founded itself in 1981 in Rome. They were a group of politically active craftsmen, who got together in order to fight fascism and struggle for oppressed people in many countries of the world. Their revolutionary texts and conversions of international workers songs quickly made them into a crucial part of the Italian resistance scene. They were always present at important demonstrations. Their last album, »Banditi Senza Tempo« (timeless bandit) was released  in May 2014. The Pokes rock. And their music is great to dance to. Without forgoing musical and lyrical refinement, when playing live, they really show the essence of their band and the music they make. Sound, voice and texts offer enough unique features, but when they are on stage, the quality goes up a notch. Unique folk punk without blinds – Pokes style. In their eight years of existence they have already published four albums.

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Exhibitions

Art Exhibition hosted by the group Tendenzen (Tendencies): »No, we don't want your wars – a better world is possible«

After a successful start last year, the group Tendenzen Berlin decided to organize another exhibition in 2015 – at the 20th International Rosa-Luxemburg-Conference. Many artists have submitted their artwork, which centers around the theme: »No, we don't want your wars – a better world is possible«. The jury selected the best pieces for the exhibition.


jW poster exhibition »20 years of International Rosa Luxemburg Conferences«

The International Rosa Luxemburg Conference will take place for the 20th time in January 2015 – as always, on the day before the traditional Liebknecht-Luxemburg-Demonstration in Berlin. The conference was initiated by the supra-regional, Marxist, independent newspaper junge Welt. The emphasis of the event lies on presenting and discussing experiences, analyses and activities of leftist movements and political parties around the world and developments and political struggles in Germany. As we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the conference, we decided to dig out the old posters from all of the conferences that we organized over the years, in order to show these to our visitors. 20 years of International Rosa-Luxemburg-Conferences – 20 years of lived international solidarity!

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2 pm:  The parallel program of the youth forum in the Kleistsaal:

»Poor Youth?! – Casualization of Work and Militant Strategies for Pay-Rise Struggles«

Low wages, mini-, part-time and side-jobs, but also poverty and unemployment are daily experiences for more and more young people in Germany. The minimum wage, which will take effect as of 2015, is more like Swiss cheese than a guarantee for a minimum wage. And even those, who receive the minimum wage, are not protected from poverty.
The panel speakers will discuss how the casualization of work, which is spreading quickly, can be stopped. They will also discuss the meaning of the struggle for a minimum wage for training and they will look at which approaches for successful struggles within organizations and with trade unions are on offer.
Activists from the trade union youth organizations, left youth organizations and coalitions will discuss these issues with representatives of the SDAJ (Socialist German Workers Youth).

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Tips for visitors to Berlin:

Ladengalerie Ausstellung Rose 98x2101 FRONT

Due to the occasion of the 20th International Rosa-Luxemburg-Conference and the Liebknecht-Luxemburg-Demonstration, the junge Welt Ladengalerie (shop and gallery) is open on Sunday, January 11th, from 1 pm onwards:

»Social Movements and Labor Struggles in the Ruhr Area between 1965 and 1989«
Photos by Klaus Rose
Exhibition from 09/12/2014 to 06/02/2015
Opening on 09/12/14 at 7 pm
We look forward to your visit!

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Sharon Dolev

Sharon Dolev is the initiator of a new Israeli grassroots anti-nuclear movement and the coordinator of a series of events held in Israel. She heads the Regional Peace Movement (RPM), formed to support the Arab Peace Initiative, and is a veteran campaign organizer for peace, environmental and human rights organizations in Israel. She is also the Peace and Disarmament campaigner for Greenpeace Mediterranean and the Israeli Greenpeace office director.

Poster 2015

Afiche de la Conferencia Internacional Rosa Luxemburgo de 2015

Speakers 2015

Radhika Desai

Radhika Desai, economist, University of Manitoba, Canada (Foto: private)

 

Otto Koehler

Otto Köhler, publisher (Foto: christian-ditsch.de)

 

Hans Modrow

Hans Modrow, former Prime Minister of the GDR, Chair of the Council of Elders of the party DIE LINKE (Foto: Hans Modrow)

 

Oskar Lafontaine

Oskar Lafontaine, politician and publisher (Roland Weihrauch/dpa)

 

Peter  Mertens

Peter Mertens, Chairman, Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA)

 

willy wimmer

Willy Wimmer, politician, former Vice President of the OSCE (Foto: CDU/CSU)

 

Sharon Dolev

Sharon Dolev, Founder and Director of the Regional Peace and Demilitarization Movement in Israel (RPM) (Foto: private)

 

Dota Kehr

Dota Kehr (Die Kleingeldprinzessin) with Jan Rohrbach and Special Guests (Foto: Sophie Krische)

 

Banda Bassotti

Gian Paolo »Picchio« Picchiami, Singer of   Banda Bassotti from Italy (Foto: Banda Bassotti)

 

The Pokes

The Pokes, Berlin's No. 1 Folkpunk Band (Foto: The Pokes)

 

Iwan Rodionow

Ivan Rodionov, Chief editor RT Deutsch, Russia (Screenshot: Youtube)

 

Linn Washington

Linn Washington, journalist, USA (Foto: private)

 

Mumia Abu Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal, journalist and political prisoner in the USA (Foto: jW archives)

 

Rolf Becker

Rolf Becker, actor (Foto: jW)

 

Volker Hermsdorf

Volker Hermsdorf, journalist (Foto: private)

 

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