HAVING SET up camp amongst the five thousand or so protesters at the international anti-G8 camp, members of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) made their way to the starting point for the demonstration. We then assembled a contingent of up to 200 members and supporters representing our sections in Germany, Ireland North and South, England and Wales, Scotland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Festooned with posters, banners and placards, our truck headed the contingent. From here marchers heard speeches from Socialist Alternative (SAV) councillor Christine Lehnert (Germany), SAV and WASG executive member Lucy Redler (Germany), and UNISON executive member Roger Bannister (Britain).
Rapping about issues ranging from war and poverty, to the cuts in social security, to the lessons for today from the Communist Manifesto, SAV member Holger Burner put the message across that we need a socialist alternative as well as ensuring our bloc on the demo was among the liveliest.
From 10am to 6pm when we left the closing rally of the demonstration for our CWI rally, CWI members worked tirelessly distributing leaflets, selling 500 papers and raising 3,000 euros for our campaigns by selling political badges and T-shirts.
In a situation where all sorts of ideas were being raised, we were able to discuss with that highly significant layer of people who had come to the protest in the hope of finding a solution to the problems of capitalism.
This was reflected in the 150 people who attended our evening rally and by the fact that already a number of people had agreed to join the CWI. They included people who had travelled to Rostock with SAV members but who had not before been convinced of the need to join our ranks officially.
But in Rostock the CWI stood out. No other group had as many members who were confident to go out distributing material and engaging protesters in the crucial discussion of how the G8 and their system can be defeated.
No other bloc on the demonstration was so well stewarded or so clear in its political analysis. Speakers from our platform differentiated socialism from the rotten capitalist system we now suffer under but also from the undemocratic Stalinist system that had existed in the old GDR (East Germany).
We explained, in our material and in the discussions with youth, the crucial role that must be played by the working class and the need now for new mass workers’ parties and for a socialist transformation of society.