Opponents of the war disagree about demands (nd-aktuell.de)

Peace movement and Ukraine war: Opponents of the war disagree about demands

Peace movement and Ukraine war: Opponents of the war disagree about demands

Photo: dpa/Sebastian Gollnow

Demonstrations against the war in Ukraine and for disarmament have been announced for this Saturday in six major cities. But some leftists publicly announce their absence in advance, and not because of other appointments. Critics are missing the naming of the aggressor in the Ukraine war and much more in the call for demonstrations by the Cooperation for Peace and the Federal Committee for Peace Advice on the “decentralized day of action”.

In fact, the appeal focuses on a few demands that are likely to be largely the consensus of left-wing society: Under the detailed title »No Euro for War and Destruction! Instead, billions for a social, just and ecological peace policy! Stop the war! Negotiate instead of shoot!” In particular, the 100 billion special fund decided by the federal government and the drastic increase in the regular defense budget planned for the next few years are rejected. Posters compare the costs of stealth bombers or frigates with those of wind turbines for the energy transition or those for the training of nursing staff.

On other points such as “mutual security guarantees between Russia and NATO, taking into account the security interests of Ukraine” as a result of negotiations, agreement is likely to be less. The same applies to the demand for an end to the “catastrophic economic and financial blockades that people are suffering from all over the world”, i.e. the sanctions against Russia.

The Left Party apparently criticized the demonstrations sharply. Johan Graßhoff from the Hamburg Left Party – he had last applied for a citizenship mandate – explained on Facebook on Thursday that above all other demands should have been: “The prerequisite for peace in Ukraine is a withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.« He also complains that the appeal does not contain a word about the sham referendums in eastern Ukraine and their annexation by Russia, which was announced on Friday. Anyone who doesn’t mention this is “not a peace movement,” Graßhoff says indignantly – and gets a lot of approval in the comments. Since the beginning of the war, a number of members have also left Die Linke because it opposes arms deliveries to Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia continue to be rejected by many in the party.

In fact, gaps in the call can certainly be criticized. However, nobody is prevented from emphasizing their own demands on posters on site. The state district of Verdi Nord, for example, managed without any polemics to call on its members to take part in the peace campaigns, specifically in the Hamburg demonstration criticized by the left. Along with this recommendation, the service union is issuing its own appeal. It shares the most important demands of the peace initiatives. The first point in the Verdi paper, however, is the call on Russia to “stop all attacks immediately”, to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and to restore its territorial integrity “on the basis of the Minsk Agreement”.

In a resolution dated September 21, the Federal Executive of the Left Party also called for participation in the peace rallies on October 1st. When asked about “nd” from the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus, it was said that participation had also been advertised in a newsletter. In terms of content, they largely agree with the demands of the peace movement. Among the speakers at the demonstrations, however, there is only one left-wing politician, Özlem Alev Demirel. The MEP will speak at the rally in Hamburg. On the one hand, it denounces the policies of the West, but at the same time condemns the imperial goals of Russian President Vladimir Putin and those around him.

Lühr Henken, one of the spokespersons for the Federal Committee on Peace Advice, explains the gaps in the appeal by saying that this is the result of a voting process in the 40-strong working committee of the peace initiatives. There, too, opposing positions collided. Anything that cannot be agreed upon is therefore not reflected in the text, Henken told »nd«. Henken believes that the debate within the peace movement about who caused the war in Ukraine is not over either. The fact that the Russian partial mobilization and referendums including the annexation of eastern Ukrainian areas are not discussed is again due to a lack of personnel capacities.


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