Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Thousands Protest against G7 Summit in Germany

The leaders of the seven most powerful imperialist countries are meeting in the Alps. These seven men stand for environmental destruction and militarism like no one else. That’s why protests were guaranteed.

Nathaniel Flakin

June 28, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share

The Group of 7 is currently meeting in southern Germany. The leaders of the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan — all men — are gathering in a castle in the Alps, close to the Austrian border. Schloss Elmau was already the location of Germany’s last G7 summit back in 2015.

These seven governments stand for vaccine imperialism, global warming, austerity, and militarism. At their summits, they like to offer empty promises about helping the world’s poor. For at least the last 20 years, they have drawn huge protests. When the G20 met in Hamburg in 2017, up to 100,000 people took to the streets. There were 70,000 people way back in 2007 when the G8 (which then still included Russia) took place at Heiligendamm.

This year was notably smaller — Russia’s totally reactionary invasion of Ukraine has led to growing support for militarism in Europe. On Saturday, the day before the summit, 6,000 people joined a demonstration in Munich, Germany’s third biggest city and the capital of the southern region of Bavaria. The protest had been organized by liberal NGOs like Greenpeace. They had planned for a demonstration of 20,000 people — but these NGOs ultimately did not mobilize their supporters at all. The left party DIE LINKE was completely absent, having set their party congress on the same weekend. It was mostly anticapitalist organizations from across Germany who joined the demonstration — leading to big contradictions between the speakers and the audience.

A speaker from Greenpeace, for example, called for further sanctions against Russia, which would supposedly help an energy transition. This is exactly what the German government is saying — but in reality, they are simply buying natural gas from Qatar and Israel instead. The group Campact was calling on the G7 governments to break with “neoliberal politics for the banks and corporations” — which sounded kind of like calling on a tiger to go vegan.

But if the speeches were nothing more than polite appeals to the mass murderers of the G7, the demonstration itself had a loud anticapitalist message. 

A total of 30,000 police had been brought to Bavaria to “protect” the summit. On Saturday, there were 3,000 officers in bulky black uniforms surrounding the demonstration. They attacked numerous people. Dozens of Trotskyists from Klasse Gegen Klasse were all detained after the demonstration, without any legal justification, and were only allowed to leave after police had identified them. 

On Sunday, there was a second demonstration in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, much closer to Schloss Elmau. This demonstration went through a picturesque mountain village beloved by tourists — the nearby protest camp was on a lovely meadow surrounded by mountains. Yet these idyllic scenes contrasted with the hordes of police who again surrounded demonstrators.

All this police violence shows the utter hypocrisy of these imperialist politicians, who claim to be fighting for “freedom” and “democracy” when they support Ukraine’s government. In reality, they are fighting for their own economic and military domination of the world. It is no surprise that a murderer like Putin was part of their exclusive club for so many years — the others are no less brutal. 

The summit, and the protests, will continue tomorrow. 

See more images here

This article is based on reporting from our sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse.

Facebook Twitter Share

Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice and our German sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse. Nathaniel, also known by the nickname Wladek, has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which has appeared in German, in English, and in French. He is on the autism spectrum.

Instagram

Europe

Striking airline workers in uniforms and yellow vests at Munich’s airport on July 27.

Lufthansa Strike in Germany Brings Air Traffic to a Standstill

A one-day warning strike at German airports has demonstrated the power of the workers. Now it’s time to extend the struggle.

Marco Helmbrecht

July 28, 2022
Several Lufthansa airplanes on the tarmac in Munich, Germany in March 2020.

Lufthansa Workers Strike over Wages

Today, ground workers for the German airline Lufthansa are striking for wage increases and better working conditions. On Tuesday, a similar strike took place at the airport in Lyon, France.

The Mediterranean Sea Hits 86ºF — 10ºF Higher than Expected

Massive evaporation, torrential rains, prolonged extreme humid heat, and dying marine life — these are among the consequences of this summer’s heat wave as the waters of the Mediterranean Sea reach record levels.

Pedro Vantas

July 27, 2022
A firefighter in Gironde, France, stands in front of a raging wildfire.

Climate Crisis in Europe: Here We Tread upon a Spark

Europe has been struck with a deadly heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F). We need a radical ecological transition out of this catastrophe.

Antoine Ramboz

July 22, 2022

MOST RECENT

Dictating Rules from Below: The Re-Emergence of Workers’ Councils in Iran

Gianni Del Panta interviews Ida Nikou, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stony Brook State University in New York. Her dissertation focuses on the labor movement in Iran and how the neoliberal turn has impacted workers' rights and living conditions.

Gianni Del Panta

August 12, 2022

Starbucks Fires Joselyn Chuquillanqui in Retaliation for Union Organizing

Joselyn Chuquillanqui was fired after working at Starbucks for almost 7 years. She is just one of over 70 workers fired for organizing around the country as the company ramps up its union busting.

Luigi Morris

August 12, 2022

British Postal Workers Reject Below-Inflation Contract Offer and Announce Upcoming Strike

The union representing postal workers in Britain has announced four days of strikes in the coming weeks — the first such labor action since 2009.

Illustration of a bald eagle on the left and yellow dragon on the right, face-to-face, with the flags of the U.S., R.O.C., and P.R.C. in the background

China and the U.S.: War Games in a Tense World

The visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has led to a new escalation in tensions between the United States and China. Beijing responded by launching missiles right under Taiwan’s nose — war games on the knife-edge.

Esteban Mercatante

August 10, 2022