Anti-war groups stage protest against Munich Security Conference

The conference has been widely criticized for not supporting a negotiated settlement to end the war in Ukraine and instead encourages further military escalation

February 18, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
A pro-Kurdish contingent from the leftist rally in Munich (Photo: @KGK_News Twitter)

On February 18, Saturday, anti-imperialist, leftist groups protested in Munich, Germany against the ongoing 59th annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) which began on Friday February 17. Left-wing groups including the German Communist Party (DKP), Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), and others marched in the city and slammed MSC as the conference of warmongers. The mobilization saw the participation of tens of thousands of people who condemned the conference and called for peace. Anti-fascist groups also denounced the far-right groups who also organized protests in Munich on Saturday.

The Munich Security Conference is an annual conference on international security policy that has been organized in Munich since 1963. In this year’s three day conference, around 700 delegates including US vice president Kamala Harris, UK PM Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmauel Macron, and the leadership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) are participating. No representatives from Russia were invited.

Deliberations over providing more funds, sophisticated arms, and ammunition to Ukraine to fight Russia have dominated the discussions so far. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the conference on Friday via video conference and requested to scale up the EU, US, and NATO support for Ukraine. Other topics on the agenda include climate change and cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, anti-imperialist and workers’ organizations in Germany have heavily criticized their government’s heavy political and financial investment in fueling the war effort in Ukraine, and its refusal to address the ongoing cost of living crisis in the country. Opinion polls also indicate that a majority of the German population supports immediate negotiations to end the war. Workers and their unions in public sector services and other sectors have already organized warning strikes this year demanding higher wages to cope up with soaring inflation.

On February 17, the day with MSC 2023 started, staff from aviation security, ground transport and the public service at seven German airports, including Munich, went on strike demanding an increase in wages and more staff.

“The German government has actively cheered on this war and continues to do so. While we pay the bill, the EU coordinates and realizes arms deliveries,” DKP and SDAJ wrote in a statement. They highlighted that rather than seeking to build peace, politicians and representatives from the military and business sectors participating in MSC, are planning to prolong the war in Ukraine.