Progressives in Germany including Antifa groups, Die Linke (The Left), Fridays For Future, trade unionists, housing rights activists, students, and others participated in an anti-capitalist demonstration on Saturday, July 16, at the German tourist island of Sylt, protesting the deep social inequalities in the country. Hundreds of people participated in a march called by the ‘Wer hat, der gibt’ (‘Those who own shall give’) group, chanting anti-capitalist slogans and carrying banners saying ‘Make the rich pay!’, ‘Tax the rich’ and ‘Share the wealth fairly’. The protesters claimed that the packages and policies announced by the federal government are not enough to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis and the continuing impoverishment of the working class.
The organizers of the protest chose Sylt as the venue for their demonstration as this tourist island in northern Germany is a favorite spot of the rich. The protesters accused that “while the lingering COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing cost of living crisis has made living literally impossible for the working class households in the country, big business continue to reap huge profits even out of crisis and catastrophe.”
“Since the beginning of the corona crisis alone, Germany has 633,000 more millionaires. The defense industry benefits from $100 billion for rearmament, while the health, education and social sectors are chronically underfunded. The market will already regulate this, it is said – as well as it has done in recent years. The main thing is to push all taxes down so that the party on Sylt does not end,” said Wer hat, der gibt.
The Hamburg Committee of Die Linke stated that “the German ministers who are busy with private parties in Sylt, also have plans for drastic cuts in benefits for long-term unemployed. We believe: A policy that makes the rich get richer must end, while more and more people are desperate because they don’t know how to buy their groceries!”
The working class sections and common people across Europe have been facing an acute cost of living crisis marked by high fuel and food prices. The ruling classes have been trying to put the entire onus of the crisis on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic even as profiteering by oil companies and speculative capital are on a roll. Major protests are underway in the UK, Belgium, Italy and other European countries under the leadership of trade unions and left-wing parties demanding tackle the crisis.