The following is a selection of letters in response to “Hands off the Socialist Equality Party in Germany!” which details the right-wing attacks on public meetings organized by the German SEP (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) in defense of Günter Grass. The World Socialist Web Site calls on its readers to support the PSG against this assault on its basic democratic rights.
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I wholeheartedly support the right of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit and its supporters to hold public meetings free of harassment and intimidation.
In allowing a group of right-wing provocateurs to hijack the rights of the PSG and the general public to freely assemble and express their opposition to militarism and war, the Berlin Technical University and Leipzig University have acted disgracefully.
Moreover, these actions are doubly insidious inasmuch as the meetings themselves were called to defend the free speech rights of an 84-year-old Nobel Prize winning author.
All university officials and student body representatives who were involved in the shutting down of the PSG meetings should be suspended from their positions immediately pending a full investigation.
Los Angeles, USA
It is a sickening irony that fascistic methods are being hidden behind the absolutely misplaced accusations of anti-Semitism. By attempting to suffocate any discussion of the war-plans of US and Israel, these political cretins are actively preparing a catastrophe for all the working and oppressed masses of Israel and Iran.
Moreover, the actions of the University of Leipzig student council were utterly disgraceful. They should be censured by the University for their attack on the ISSE's democratic rights.
The PSG should know that comrades around the world are closely following their struggle to expose the militaristic agenda behind the slanders and attacks on Grass, and that we are very proud of their tenacity and courage.
I was absolutely incensed to read about these efforts to disrupt and break up the PSG’s meetings in German cities. Peter Schwarz is absolutely correct when he says the hysterical attacks on Grass are a new step in the degeneration of democracy in Germany, participated in fully by the media establishment. Furthermore, it is quite obvious that the authorities are using proxy thugs to enforce a ban on any political challenge to these attacks. Despite their denunciations of Grass and the PSG as “anti-Semites,” these people absolutely reek of fascism.
The serious political repression which the working class faces in Germany puts urgent tasks in front of the PSG to mobilize the working class in defense of democratic rights as part of the larger fight for a socialist program. I am confident that they can.
What courage you all have shown! From the calls for fascist attacks on Quebec student strikers, the attacks on the German PSG and the ongoing persecution of the SEP in Sri Lanka, it is clear that the ruling classes have everything to fear in the perspective of Trotskyism. The only way forward is building our party in every country to mobilize the working class as an independent political force. I am sure that all of these events, including the provocations in Germany, will only strengthen the ICFI’s resolve to fight for Trotskyism. Be steadfast!
The sad part of this is that once again we see the German power structure putting itself on the wrong side of history by aligning itself with militarism, war, and imperialism.
The happy part is that there is a well-informed and organized vanguard movement in Germany that is capable of organizing the kind of mass resistance to these policies that did not exist in the Weimar period.
For that reason and because the weight of history is against a return of Germany to militarism and war, I think that the vanguard movement of the PSG will be successful in possibly supplying the spark, i.e., the Iskra that lights the fuse of social revolution in Germany.
My advice to the PSG: “Keep on truckin’.”
I find it patently outrageous that no one seems to care that these reactionaries can shut down a peaceful discussion about free speech and the prevention of a war. I can only say that I’m incensed by it. On the one hand I admire the German comrades for not becoming violent in the face of such provocation. This requires a great deal of discipline. On the other, I hope that more people who care about actual freedom of speech will help to provide counter-pressure to these violent reactionaries. It only speaks more poorly of the system that no one cares when Israel supporters intimidate those who want world peace. It’s revealing of the true colors of those who support Israel’s actions in the Middle East that they’d rather have a nuclear war than a poem. Absurd! German comrades, we’re with you and I only hope that we can do something to help you weather this storm.