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Building international socialism
SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE (SAV), the German section of the CWI, held a well-attended weekend school - Sozialismus Tage - on 13-15 April.
Sascha Stanicic and Per-ake Westerlund
Some 350 people, including international visitors from Austria, Czech Republic, Britain, Netherlands, USA, Sweden, Israel, Belgium and Spain, participated in this year's event - up from 230 last year.
This figure included people from at least 15 areas of the country where, as yet, we do not have any members.
During the weekend eleven participants joined SAV and one woman joined the Spanish section of CWI. Another 25 expressed an interest in joining SAV.
The theme of the weekend was the new worldwide anti-capitalist movement.
SAV has started a youth campaign under the name Resistance International which aims to launch youth groups to mobilise for the international protests in Gothenburg, 14-16 June, and the G7 summit in Genoa in July.
There were around 20 different political meetings on different subjects. This included a debate with AntiFascistAction and a debate with the German Socialist Workers' Party.
The mood at the meeting was excellent, representing a shift in the political situation in Germany and the progress of SAV.
German capitalism is facing an economic downturn, and the Social Democratic-Green coalition government is losing support.
Chancellor Gerhard Schrder recently attacked the unemployed for being lazy and not actively applying for jobs. Also, government ministers from the Green Party sent riot police against those who blocked the nuclear waste transportation.
At the beginning of last year SAV had 235 members. At last weekend's meeting the organisation reached 300 members (and in the week since then another two have joined).
Protests against school cuts, nuclear waste and racism were the most important questions in the election campaign of SAV in Stuttgart recently, explained the candidate, Tinette Schnatterer, a well-known student activist.
Around 25 international guests underlined the internationalist themes of the weekend.
Ariel Gottlieb of CWI Israel spoke on the deepening crisis in the Middle East and the socialist alternative of the CWI.
SAV has translated and published the book on Cuba by Peter Taaffe from the International Secretariat of the CWI. Peter was also present at the weekend.
Roger Bannister, Socialist Party member and leading socialist activist in the British public-sector union UNISON, reported on the strikes of council workers in Hackney, London, where CWI members are playing a key role.
SAV presented a new version of its women's programme to the school. In total, 1,200 Deutschmarks (£375) worth of literature was sold plus fighting fund material for 2,400 Deutschmarks (£750). And 7,400 Deutschmarks (£2,310) were donated for the special appeal. SAV website: www.sav-online.de
In The Socialist 27 April 2001: