05 | 12 | 2019

Cottbus | Chóśebuz, 30 november 2019. At 5pm, the international climate justice movement “Ende Gelaende” (“Here And No Further”) successfully ends today’s day of action. Since the early morning, climate activists have been blocking coal mines and coal infrastructure in the Lusatian and Leipzig coal mining areas. They occupied the open-cast mines Jaenschwalde-Ost, Welzow-Sued and Vereinigtes Schleenhain as well as three coal railways. The activists are protesting against the government’s inadequate climate policy, demand an immediate coal phase-out and criticise the economic system as being powered by fossil fuels and orientated towards growth.

Cottbus | Chóśebuz, 30 november 2019. Since this morning, around 4,000 activists from international climate justice movement Ende Gelaende (“Here And No Further”) have successfully blocked coal infrastructure in the Leipzig and Lusatian areas. Large groups of activists reached the Jaenschwalde open-cast mine, the Welzow-Sued open-cast mine and the coal railway to the Jaenschwalde power station. An inclusive action group, including people with physical disabilities, occupies a rail section and the adjacent road – together with the Anti-Coal-Kidz. Disappointed by the disastrous climate policy of the German government, these young activists engage in civil disobedience for the first time. Simultaneously, Fridays For Future is demonstrating in solidarity with Ende Geleande near the Jaenschwalde power plant. 

Cottbus | Chóśebuz, 30 november 2019. Currently, several action groups from international climate justice movement Ende Gelaende (“Here And No Further”) are blocking various points of coal infrastructure in the Lusatian and Leipzig areas. At 8am, around 500 climate activists arrived simultaneously at the Jaenschwalde Ost open-cast mine and 450 at a coal railway connected to the Jaenschwalde power station. The Jaenschwalde power station is known as one of the most climate-damaging power stations in Europe. The Jaenschwalde open-cast mine has been in safety operation since 1rd September 2019 due to serious failures to comply with environmental legislation. At 9am, over a thousand activists more arrived at Welzow-Süd (Lausitz) and Vereinigtes Schleenhain (Leipzig area) open-cast mines.

Cottbus | Chóśebuz, 30 november 2019. Two days before the start of COP25, 4.000 activists of the international climate justice movement Ende Gelaende (“Here And No Further”) set off towards opencast lignite mines in Eastern Germany. Various action groups with activists from all over Europe started from the cities of Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin to block opencast mines and coal infrastructure in the Lusatian and Leipzig regions. Ende Gelaende demands an immediate coal phaseout and a radical system change. 

“Thousands of people set off in the early morning hours to occupy opencast mines, lignite excavators and railways. Coal fired power still amounts to one third of Germany’s energy production. We stand at a crucial point in history – the window of opportunity to stop the climate crisis is closing rapidly. But we are still hopeful: That’s why today, we take the coal phaseout into our own hands and block Germany’s dirty coal industry with our own bodies”, says Johnny Parks, spokesperson of Ende Gelaende.

Left MEPs have voted to reject the new European Commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen. Reacting following the vote in Strasbourg, GUE/NGL co-president Martin Schirdewan said the incoming Commission will take Europe down the wrong path:

“In recent weeks and months, Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission has promised all sorts to everyone. But there are many contradictions. They talk about more investment but preserve the same old, destructive austerity.”

1) Conflicts of interests

The fact that several candidates were rejected, their replacements subjected to further scrutiny, or in need of a second hearing, says a lot about this incoming batch of Commissioners.

Not only are many lacking, some are downright unsuitable for holding such important positions. The Belgian nominee comes with a baggage of scandals, for example. Meanwhile, original French nominee Sylvie Goulard had so many holes and conflicts of interests in her qualifications that it was all the more remarkable that her replacement, Thierry Breton, had even more conflicts of interest through his role as the former CEO of the IT firm, Atos.

On 30 November 2019, thousands of activists from the anti-coal alliance Ende Gelaende will block coal infrastructure in the Lusatia and Leipzig coalfields in Eastern Germany. They demand an immediate coal phase-out and a fundamental system change. This action is part of a joint action weekend with Fridays for Future held in protest against the German government’s failed climate policy. On the same weekend, Fridays for Future is organising its second Global Strike (29th November) and a protest in the Lusatia coalfield in parallel to the Ende Gelaende action.

“Everyone is talking about the climate crisis, but nothing changes. The government’s climate package is nothing but hot air. Corporate interests and the desperate growth compulsion seem to be more important than human needs. We will not take this feigned climate policy any longer. Where summits, governments and commissions fail, we need to take climate justice in our own hands”, says Nike Mahlhaus, spokesperson of Ende Gelaende.

'Labour is beginning to gain ground in the General Election as its economic and social policies chime with the needs and aspirations of the mass of the people', the Communist Party declared on Wednesday evening (November 13).

But CP London district secretary Steve Johnson warned that Britain's ruling class and its supposedly 'liberal' intelligentsia will pull out all the stops to prevent Jeremy Corbyn entering Ten Downing Street.

'The forces of reaction understand that Labour's left-wing leadership and its policies represent a threat to the wealth, power and privilege of the super-rich elite and their system', he told the CP political committee. People have had enough of austerity, insecurity and privatisation and want substantial new investment in public services, productive industry and decently paid jobs.

Since coming to power, the recently re-elected right-wing government  led by Poland’s Law & Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) has been propagating a misogynistic, anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive, homophobic and conservative ideology – using anecdotes, random opinions and bizarre wording to support their stance. One such example is that they blame the addiction to pornography on
sexuality education.

Meanwhile, sexuality education classes in more conservative areas of the country tend to teach students how to ‘prepare for family life’ based on misinformation and harmful stereotypes. However, schools in metropolitan areas with a more liberal leaning would include sexuality education in their curriculum – and it is the latter that has now come under attack.

Thousands of students demonstrated massively and with militancy in many cities of Greece on November 4th, under the central slogan “A school that educates us and does not exhaust us”! They demanded a contemporary school that corresponds in today’s needs and that, according to students themselves,  is not a school-examination center, for which the parents will have to pay extracurricular courses and the students will get nervous about getting a place in University.

Many schools in Attiki are full of cracks after the last earthquake and others are situated in landfills. Many schools face an important lack of teachers and infrastructures, while the examination system is unfair and exhausting, because it forces more and more students from a very young age to very expensive extracurricular courses in order to cope with the whole situation. Students’ mobilizations target the continuous degradation of free public school and the class barriers that are set in the rights of the children of the working class and the popular strata.

100 student unions from around the country and thousands of students, who during the recent time period gave a battle in the general assemblies of their student unions against those forces that in fact defend the government policy, made one more mass and dynamic mobilisation on Thursday, the 31st of October. They denounced that way the policy of the government of New Democracy that follows the steps of SYRIZA regarding the anti-educational policy.

 The most important of their demands are extraordinary state funds to be provided to satisfy the imperative needs of the institutions, the annual funding for education in the new state budget to be increased, an immediate solution to be found on the issue of the students’ accommodation and all the transfers of students to institutions of other cities to be accepted. At the same time they declare: “Not even a thought for deleting students from institutions”, “The ND government should not dare to bring the bill it is preparing”, “The laws on the University asylum and the Colleges-Universities equation should remain only on paper”.

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