Protest Movement Building Steadily in Germany and Austria
The momentum is building in both Germany and Austria for mass protests against the boomerang effects of the Russia sanctions as well as the failure of political decision-makers to prevent speculative increases of food and energy prices. In most cases, the demands are limited to price and rent caps, as well as compensation to make up for inflation rates. However, in several cases, they include the lifting of the sanctions, the opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and an end to weapons deliveries to Ukraine. In the east of Germany, there have even been class for relaunching constructive relations with Russia.
The “Craftsmen for Peace” initiative, launched in the city of Dessau in August, is circulating an online petition, with the aim of creating a nationwide mobilization leading to a forceful mass protest in Berlin. This initiative openly calls for a restoration of political and economic relations to Russia. In addition, a broad coalition of organizations, including the DGB labor union federation, has launched a campaign for a major mass rally on Oct. 15 in Leipzig – the city where the legendary Monday Rallies were begun in 1989, that eventually brought down the East German regime. Leipzig is also an excellent target against energy price speculation, being the site of Europe’s electricity exchange EEX.
In Austria, under slogans such as “We don’t want millions, we want to eat, heat, live”, mass rallies against energy and food price inflation were held in Vienna and many other cities on Sept. 17, organized by diverse organizations led by Austria’s national labor union federation OeGB. According to the OeGB, a total of 32,600 people took part in the marches, which were held in all of the country’s provinces, despite inhospitable weather. The rallies were supported by the leadership of the opposition Social Democrats, as well as by Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (independent, but close to the Greens). There are also signatories in Austria on a German petition calling for the opening of Nord Stream 2, which is circulated by the “Craftsmen for Peace” initiative.
The LaRouche movement is intervening in the protests in both Germany and Austria, to bring in the broader strategic picture, showing in particular the urgency for Europe to join the dynamic for a new paradigm in international relations, away from the West’s so-called “ruled based order”, and the confrontation with Russia and China that that implies.