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Report on the activities during the environmental day of struggle of the ICOR on 16 November 2013

by Günther Bittel – Spokesman for environmental policy of the MLPD, 7 February 2014

Dear comrades,

the MLPD intensively participated in a number of activities on the environmental day of struggle of the ICOR and often initiated them itself. Additionally, in the framework of an action of ICOR Europe, a delegation of the MLPD and its youth league took part in the demonstration on the occasion of the UN climate conference in Warsaw with 16 people.

Since 3 years the main part of the former established environmental organizations and industrial trade unions in Germany have bowed out from conducting a joint worldwide climate and environmental day of action. This year a conscious opposition and a rejection of joint activities has gained ground among them. On the other hand we contributed with our initiative in the course of the ICOR environmental day of struggle to a variety of activities on the world climate day being molded by a new militant environmental movement. The MLPD and ICOR thus were further enshrined and well-known as active, militant and internationalist environmental forces with a socialist perspective.

A correspondent reported to the „Red Flag“ on the demonstration in Warsaw with about 2,500 participants: “The demonstration was particularly colorful, loud and young. Along with climate activists – who were mainly engaged in activities along with the UN climate conference – there were especially people who were not only disappointed about the imperialist climate policy but also getting open for a socialist and revolutionary way. … Our big banner got a lot of attention, many pictures were taken of it, we had a lot of talks in many languages, a number of interviews were given. There was an immense interest regarding the revolutionary positions of the ICOR and the delegation from Germany.” 500 copies of the ICOR call in English and Polish were distributed and also the International was sung. The MLPD delegation held a speech on the closing rally with its banner on the stage.

In Germany there were actions in more than 50 cities and locations on 16 November like in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Bremen, Göttingen, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Freiburg, Heilbronn, Schweinfurt, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, Essen, Marl, Halle, Albstadt, Karlsruhe, Lübeck, Ludwigsburg, Mannheim, Reutlingen, Erfurt, Tübingen, Braunschweig, Lake Constance … Furthermore anti-nuke activists released 500 balloons at each of the 6 locations of nuclear power stations still in operation (Neckarwestheim, Phillipsburg, Grafenrheinfeld, Isar, Grohnde, Lingen) as a symbol for a radioactive radiation cloud to illustrate the results of a heavy incident at 5 to 12.

The largest action was a demonstration and rally in Essen with about 500 participants from whole North Rhine-Westphalia under the slogan: “Save the earth from collapsing”. Delegations from various factories took part (Opel, steel sector, Siemens) and many trade unionists (IGBCE, IGM, ver.di). Also members of the women's association Courage, MLPD and REBELL, the Left, the “Initiative for an environmental union”, the “Citizens' movement for Cryogenic Recycling, Closed-loop Economy and Climate Protection”, various Monday demonstrations and ueberparteilich municipal electoral alliances as well as single members of the Greens, the environmental organization BUND (Friends of the Earth) or Attac. As far as the content is concerned, the focus was the environmental scandal that toxic waste was deposited in the empty galleries of the mines in the Ruhr area and at the Saar decades ago. In the course of the closure of the mines the mining company wants to change pumping off the pit water from about 1,000 meters depths until now to only 500 meters depths in order to save money. With that the toxic waste would be mixed with water and contaminate the ground water. Pollution of the drinking water for millions of people would be the consequence. There is opposition against this originating from the miners in “Kumpel für AUF” and the municipal electoral alliances “AUF Gelsenkirchen”. Together they carried out an event in the afternoon of 16 November 2013 with 300 visitors where among others Monika Gärtner-Engel, municipal councillor of AUF Gelsenkirchen, revealed facts on this toxic waste scandal.

Joachim Griesbaum held a speech in Hamburg as representative of ICOR Europe. In a correspondence from Hamburg it says: “In the speech of the ICOR representative the necessity was stressed that the accelerated transition to an environmental catastrophe should neither be underestimated nor that one should be governed by panic. It became obvious that the ICOR as international association of revolutionary parties and organizations is an important force to establish an active front of resistance worldwide. Whether the international industrial proletariat will become a leading force in that, this will be an important task for the revolutionaries in the whole world. Sharp criticism regarding the hypocrisy of the climate summits was also expressed in the speech of the MLPD representative. It became obvious that the struggle to save the environment from the profit economy has to be unified with the struggle for socialism worldwide.

Often migrant organizations participated in the activities – for example in Stuttgart there were contributions from Iranians on the struggle against environmental destruction and mass executions in their country.

A great interest regarding the environmental issue was experienced in discussions at the stands and during the rallies. Also debates, however, had to be conducted against the underestimation of the transition to a global environmental catastrophe already taking place as well as against a defeatist attitude that one could not change anything, anyway.

In the run-up to the ICOR environmental day of struggle the MLPD developed an intensive rank-and-file work especially in the factories and neighborhoods for announcement and mobilizing.

The MLPD is working hard to make the environmental work to its second important fighting line and will establish more environmental groups of the party in 2014. We are working intensively for the publication of the RW 35 “Class Struggle and the Struggle for the Unity of Human and Nature”.

We look forward to the reports of our ICOR member organizations.

Warm greetings of solidarity

Günther Bittel – Spokesman for environmental policy of the MLPD

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