The Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party, PSG), the German section of the Fourth International, is standing seven candidates in September’s Berlin state elections. The PSG’s election campaign is centred on a revolutionary socialist perspective in opposition to war and militarism. Readers eligible to vote can sign here to support the PSG’s participation in the election.
The following are the PSG candidates:
Ulrich Rippert, 65, is chairman of the PSG and its leading candidate for the elections to the House of Representatives (Berlin state legislature). Rippert is a founding member of the League of Socialist Workers (BSA)—the forerunner of the PSG—and has been active in the Trotskyist movement for 47 years. He is a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and has stood as a candidate in several Bundestag (parliamentary) and European elections. Rippert has two daughters and lives in Tempelhof, where he is standing as a constituency candidate.
Christoph Vandreier, 35, is deputy chairman of the PSG and works on the editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site in Germany. He writes on political developments in Southeast Europe and issues of science. He joined the Trotskyist movement at a young age and leads the work of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Germany. Vandreier worked for several years as a psychologist in Berlin’s substance abuse service and has conducted research in this field. He lives in Schöneberg and is standing as a candidate in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg 2 constituency. You can follow Vandreier on Twitter or Facebook.
Endrik Bastian, 52, is a nurse and a member of the PSG’s National Committee. He grew up in East Germany, joining the Trotskyist movement a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and now leads the party’s work in the Berlin region. He has represented the PSG several times as a candidate in federal elections. Bastian has three children and lives in Berlin, where he is standing as a candidate in the Mitte 5 constituency.
Markus Klein, 42, works in social welfare and is a member of the PSG National Committee. He joined the Trotskyist movement in 1999 and writes regularly for the World Socialist Web Site with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Klein has a son and lives in Friedrichshain, where he is the PSG candidate in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg 5 constituency.
Peter Hartmann, 66, worked for over 40 years as a foreman in the printing industry. As a regional sales manager for a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and Goss International, he lived in Asia for two decades. Today he is retired, has four grown children and lives in Tempelhof. He grew up in the Ruhr in the years after World War II. Searching for the causes of the catastrophic war, he became a founding member of the BSA. Hartmann writes for the World Socialist Web Site on economics and industry. He is a candidate in the Mitte 6 constituency.
Andreas Niklaus, 55, has worked for Berlin Regional Transport (BVG) for 25 years, currently as a bus driver. From 1996 to 1998 he was a workers’ representative on the Staff Council, and campaigned against privatisation, which was being supported by the unions. He has fought against speed-ups, worsening rights for sick colleagues and other attacks on workers’ rights. Niklaus lives in Wedding, where he is standing as a candidate. He has two children.
Jessica Pluntke, 35, studied art history and German. She grew up as a child in East Berlin, was politicised by the turmoil following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and campaigned against the imposition of tuition fees as a student. After several years of active participation in the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, she joined the PSG in 2015. She is married, with two sons, and works freelance in learning and as a lecturer in language training.