A Franco-German Alliance of Towns and Cities for Peace
The offer to host urge peace talks on Ukraine, launched in late October by the German city of Stralsund with an open letter (“A New Stralsund Peace”) to the federal government in Berlin and to the Mecklenburg state government, has drawn the support of the mayors of 15 French communes (cf. SAS 43/22). Others are expected to join, as the initiative resonates with the views of much of the French population.
A translation of the open letter in French, circulated on the website of the Solidarite et Progres party, contributed to this development, which was welcomed by the city of Stralsund. However, it also provoked pro-Kiev loyalists in the Mecklenburg government, which put out a statement reprimanding the Stralsund citizens and demanding that they stay out of politics, and focus solely on “local” issues. Political statements of international relevance are the exclusive domain of the federal government, according to the absurd objections of the Mecklenburg bureaucrats.
Their attempt to intimidate the Stralsunders, in any case, has failed. The French response, according to Thomas Haack, the leader of the group in the municipal council, which initiated the open letter, justifies the political initiative. As he told the Ostseezeitung daily on Nov. 18, the statement by the French shows that the “longing for peace in the world is present everywhere. And you also have to network internationally for peace initiatives.. We are happy about everyone who supports our peace efforts. So our resolution has already achieved quite a bit. And not only national, but also international, attention.”
Otherwise, Mecklenburg is also the origin of an “Entrepreneurs’ Revolt” (sic) against the sanctions on Russia and weapon deliveries to Ukraine, which has found co-thinkers in other German regions. Defying, like Stralsund, the official narrative that local initiatives must not interfere with “major politics”, the revolt has staged coordinated protest motorcades in Mecklenburg cities. This is expanding to actions in four other states (Saxony, Brandenburg, Thuringia, Bremen), with motorcades planned for Nov. 24 in altogether 18 cities.