For several weeks Bonn’s Monday evening is under the sign of Corona protests. The resentments behind those protests are against the ongoing measures of the national, federal and communal governments and administrations to curb the pandemic. But there are several signs and proof that those protests are organised and operated by groups and individuals from the right-wing extremist spectre.
Mentioned groups and individuals represent the first row of those protests; banners and slogans are carried on by discernible fascists. So is their substance: The protection of the homeland, protection not for all but for those who follow the protest leaders with no sign of constructive criticism. It seems that the organisers of the Monday protests take the pandemic and its measures as pretext. It is ovbious that the protests are about fascist hegemony on the streets. The call for protest is explicitly made to be held in Bonn, the former capital, where historically fascists, conspiracy believers and other misanthropes hardly had any public platform in the past. Recent events must not be uncommented.
We don’t accept that public protests are dominated by right-wing enemies of life and encourage all citiziens and inhabitants who also don’t accept that those people have any space and platform in this city to take part in the rallys against those protests, next on Monday 03.01.22 (as well as 10.01. & 17.01. and the maybe following Mondays) at 17:30h (4:30pm) on Bonn Market Square. Please wear a mask and get tested (not obligatory).
We, as emancipatory union, stand in tradition of societal participation and basic democratic together. There is a lot of legitimate dissatisfaction with Corona policies. Necessary demands are articulated too less such as deprivatisation of the health sector along the massive expansion of it as well as improving working conditions. Also the liberalisation of vaccine patents and actual reduction of risky contacts through a massive economic lockdown instead of regulations of privacy. In the second year of this pandemic it’s still obvious that policitcs and the market have failed. No major changes have been made. But we are promised and fooled that we can go back to normal very soon if we just accept this or that restrictional measurement. The promise to get back to “normal” has been a lie all along, a lief in which its propagators probably believed themselves.
Humanity won’t get rid of a virus with this dangerous characteristics neither easy nor fast. We demand a long-term strategy, binding assurances, liberalisation of vaccine patens and real social securities of those who suffer by the Corona measurements.
Those demands could only be met by policies who put their money where their mouth is and who respect human rights. Fascists taking the streets followed by thousands is no improvement in democratic participation in the pandemic.
A FLINTA* (women, lesbian, intersex, nonbinary, transgender, agender and others) section has recently been formed at FAU Bonn. We meet once a month. If you want to have a look around, discuss anarcha-feminism or get an impression of the FAU through us, feel free to write us: email@example.com
We call for a protest in solidarity with the strikers at the University Hospital Bonn on November 16 at 5:30 PM! For a better staffing ratio in nursing, for better pay for nurses, for a health care system that focuses on the health of patients instead of profits and against further privatization!
The General Syndicate of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Bonn expresses its solidarity with you and your labor struggle. We wish you every success in your strike.
The conditions in the care sector have been critical for a long time. The fact that there have been no improvements even after the stresses and strains of the last few years is unacceptable. It is good that you are taking the step of fighting for appropriate wages. We especially admire that you also stand up for the colleagues who are blackmailable by the bosses because of their residence status.
We hope that your strike will be an inspiration for all nursing workers in the region and that this will be the beginning of a broad-based struggle for a decent health care system.
An out-of-court settlement has been reached in the dispute over back wages for over a hundred Romanian seasonal workers of the insolvent Ritter asparagus estate. This is what the grassroot union Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Bonn was able to find out on request The agreement was reached between the legal representation of the seasonal workers, the lawyers Harald Klinke and Stefan Hübner, and the insolvency administration of Klaus & Sabine Ritter GbR, the law firm Schulte-Beckhausen & Bühs. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the content of the agreement. However, since negotiations on owed wages were ranging at around 100,000 Euros in July 2020 already, it can be assumed that the final settlement was not lower than the amount in dispute at that time.
Recently, the availability of FFP2 masks has been a political issue. These masks filter aerosols and thus offer significantly better protection against coronavirus infections than paper or fabric masks. Both for the wearer and for the people around them. Unfortunately, in the distribution of these potentially life-saving masks, capitalism is once again showing its ugly side. First it was said that recipients of unemployment benefits (ALG 2) and basic income support will not get a subsidy for the purchase of these masks. Now it is instead of money, they will receive a voucher for FFP2 masks. However, these coupons have not yet been sent out. More so, the purchase with ration coupon is a humiliating experience, since unemployed persons are still massively stigmatized.
International Solidarity Wins Victory in Bangladesh Workers’ Struggle
After nine months of protests and direct actions, such as the blockade of the Ministry of Labor and the siege of the company’s headquarters, accompanied by an international campaign, the textile workers of the Dragon Sweater Group have finally won back their salaries. A more detailed article can be found here.
On Friday, May 15, 2020, roughly 200 harvest workers working on the farm Spargel & Erdbeerhof Ritter in Bornheim near Bonn went on strike. The insolvent company managed by law firm Schulte-Beckhausen had decided to throw the mostly Romanian workers out and to cast them out of their lodgings in the next few days. We have been accompanying, supporting and organizing on site since day one.
The last workers left Bornheim a week after we arrived. Our work on the strike in Bornheim is far from over. Nevertheless, we would like to put on record what we have achieved:
We are far from finished: Our processing of the strike in Bornheim and the legal team’s work are in full swing. However, we do not want to keep our visual follow-up from you. Therefore, we have set up a gallery for our pictures.
A good week of sweat, tears, cheers and frustration is drawing to a close. The last workers leave – whether to Romania or to new jobs. The promises made by the Romanian consulate to take care of job placement and homeward journeys were met only rudimentarily. The FAU, on the other hand, remained active and in solidarity, finding new jobs and travel opportunities together with numerous supporters and in constant consultation with the workers. We stay in touch to support the individual solutions.
On the one hand, there is now a long, intensive phase of legal processes surrounding wage claims. We are happy about the active support from our lawyers, who have already faced major challenges in the past few days and have been confronted with unforeseeable situations.