It's all about the big picture
The corona pandemic

Since March 2020 the corona pandemic has become part of the political reality in Germany. Defects that politics have enforced for years become more obvious than ever. These defects include among others a competition in the health-care system that the state has fostered, precarization of work, and murderous asylum and migration politics.
The German government has quickly taken first steps to support employers: Right at the beginning, the government facilitated taking out credits and applying for short-time work allowance (German: “Kurzarbeitsgeld”) to provide the employers with liquidity. With some delay, they decided to provide an emergency aid to solo self-employed and to reduce bureaucratic burdens for benefit recipients.

Practical demands

We, the authors of this text, have been linking up in our day-to-day lives for years and we have been supporting each other with concrete problems. Many of the defects that we have been pointing out for a long time are now, in times of corona, more urgent than ever. As a first step, we have formulated concrete and feasible demands to politicians on all levels that are supposed to produce relief.
Moreover, we have collected ideas how all of us can conduct solidary action and support existing groups and alliances. Stand up for your interests—and those of your neighbors and colleagues. We appreciate the solidarity that shows up in many neighborhoods when it is about going for shopping or child care. However, this solidarity, at least, is necessary for maintaining our everyday life and providing basic supplies for each other. Is that all?

The time after the pandemic

We also worry about the time after the pandemic. It is obvious that a severe economic crisis is going to hit us. How can prevent a worsening of apparent authoritarian teandencies in Europe? How are we going to claim that all repressive measures, which the government took for fighting the pandemic, are taken back? How can we prevent that the upcoming economic crisis again—as in 2008—is going to lay on the backs of workers and pensioners? The consequences of the austerity policy after the economic crisis 2008, are still apparent in Italy and Spain: There demaged healthcare systems collapse due to the corona pandemic. It is important to do more than washing (the own) hands in the current and upcoming “crises” of capitalism. Stand up for you interests and keep fighting!

Our demands

A healthcare system for everyone without making profit

More concretely, we demand:

  • Access to healthcare, independent of residence permit and health-insurance status.​​​​​​​​
  • Socialization and democratization of the healthcare system in line with the people’s needs instead of profits
  • Implement the healthcare workers’ demands (e.g., include all stakeholders in crisis units, abolish lump compensation, enough protection). All demands here: ver.di and medibüro

Nobody should live in poverty—economic security for everyone

More concretely, we demand:

  • Implementation of the demands by Tacheles e.V. (e.g., unlimited access to social benefits for all EU citizens/people without regular entitlement to benefits, extension of residence permits independent of the work status). For all demands, see here
  • Unconditional and unbureaucratic emergency aid for the solo self-employeds​​​​​​​​
  • Continued approval of social benefits without physical and a supplement for increased demands
  • Full income replacement for mini jobbers
  • Basic social security also for people without residence permit
  • Introduction of wealth tax

Secure housing for everyone

More concretely, we demand:

  • Abate and stop rents
  • Socialize hotels, holiday homes and empty houses as secure housing instead of enforced quarantine in camps (e.g., for the homeless, refugees from collective accommodations, and victims of domestic violence)
  • Expropriation of big housing companies
  • More, safe, and long-term financing of counselling about domestic violence

Protection for refugees

More concretely, we demand:

  • Stop all deportations immediately, open all deportation prisons, and provide asylum and permanent residence to everyone
  • Immediate evacuation of all refugees at the Greek-Turkish border and on the Aegean islands
  • Stop the EU-Turkey deal
  • Access to current and reliable information in many languages

Stop exploiting workers

More concretely, we demand:

  • Retract and stopp firing people based on corona!
  • Protect the right of assembly for workers on strike
  • Immediate suspension of non-necessary work in all companies and private homes, while paying the full wage
  • Hazard bonuses and better protection for all workers who have to keep working in significant branches (logistics, retail etc.)
  • Access to short-term allowance with 100% of the netto income without using vacation days and extra hours.

Stand up against repression—for a solidary togetherness

More concretely, we demand:

  • Reduce protection measures to a necessary minimum and keep them no longer than the crisis lasts (guarantee freedom of movement and assembly as soon as possible, abolish monitoring activities)
  • Amnesty to avoid infections in prisons
  • Abolish identity card requirements​​​​​​​
What to do?

Solidarity as antidote

These demands primarily address governments and bosses. That is good because they have responsibility: Not for corona but for the societal system we live in. Thus, they are also responsible for who is facing the major burden in this crisis already and in future. Yet, we know that we cannot rely on them. Besides direct, collective solidarity, such as provision of food for people in quarantine and groups at risk, it is going to be important that we stand up together and do not let them pull us apart.

Don't let yourselves be hoodwinked

We can enforce our demands only if many support them. So do not let others make you blame healthcare personal on strike who work for health companies that do not pay appropriate wages. Do not let you fool by who beg for tax money and fire thousands of workers. Do not let millionairs tell you from their mansion that everyone is equal.

Organize!

Instead, unite and organize where you are (with a proper safety distance). Spread these demands everywhere you can, solidarize with those who have to work, talk you your neighbors. Try together to make your landlord abate the rent. Help each other filling in job center applications. Leave nobody alone in these times of isolation.

Together we will make it

Here you can find concrete ideas and contacts to our groups. If you are stressed out about housing, authorities, or your boss, get in touch with the groups bellow or talk about it to your friends or neighbors because: Together we have more ideas and get done more!
  • Neighborhood

    Get in touch with neighbor for instance, via building a chat. Do not forget people who do not have access to digital communication: Leave a message at the door using paper and pencil (and disinfection).

  • Phone help line

    Set up a telephone hotline that is available at certain hours to arrange needs for and offers of neighborhood support. Asking for support is hard for many of us—a mediating arrangement reduces psychological barriers—and it is also available to people who do not use Telegram etc.

  • Rent

    If you or others in your house cannot afford paying the rent, try to organize a fund or write a letter to you landlord together to explain the situation.

  • Groups at risk

    Provide food to people in quarantine and groups at risk (e.g., in neighborhood structures)

  • Support funds

    Exchange with friends or people you know about financial problems. Try to find a solution. If it is possible for you, give some money to support funds for people who do not receive federal aids (e.g., https://t.me/  or the emergency fund for women* and queers in the Karada House in Berlin)

  • Workings conditions

    Support the struggles of workers in the health sector for unionized and societal recognition

  • Struggles in the hospital

    Show solidarity to fights for obligatory staffing in hospitals and support a healthcare system that is oriented to the common good

  • Reintegrate all outsourced areas in the health sector

    Support fights for reintegrating outsourced people in the health sector

  • Applications for unemployment benefits

    Support each other when applying for federal aids or at the job center. Get in touch with Solidarischen Aktion Neukölln: We can do this together!

  • Labor rights

    Talk to your colleagues about the situation in your company ( you can do that via free and secure video calls on https://www.meet.jit.si). Talk about whether someone has been fired and what the situation for mini jobbers looks like. Get informed about your rights, e.g., with Critical Workers (for information in English, Italian, Spanish, and German) or FAU Berlin. For a video-call legal counselling, get in touch with criticalworkersberlin@riseup.net.

  • Undocumented migrants

    Show solidarity to people without documents—e.g., by supporting and spreading their demands for equal rights and safe access to healthcare and public service: http://solidarity-city-berlin.org/about-us

  • Berlin food bank

    The Berliner Tafel needs support because their distribution centers had to close and many volunteers belong to groups at risk. Donate food or help picking up and delivering.

  • Got a spare room?

    Do you have a spare room in your apartment? Illegalized people need housing more than ever. Offer a free place to stay to them at Schlafplatzorga or International Women's Space because refugee women are particularly endangered.

  • Noise protests

    Noise protest: Make noise with pans and other cooking supplies at your window

  • Sick leave

    Take a sick leave collectively in your company—this is super easy at the moment over the phone for two weeks

  • Car or bike rally

    Organize car or bike rallies!

  • Assemblies and demonstrations

    Assemblies and demonstrations can still take place—with 2 meters safety distance and masks (find here how to make them)

  • Banners

    Put banners out of your windows

  • Bug landlords on the phone

    Terrorize your landlord or boss on the phone if they stress you out (firing you etc.). Make sure to use an anonymous number or a friend’s phone!t (firing you etc.). Make sure to use an anonymous number or a friend’s phone!

  • Jail

    Send letters to prisons—they are not allowed to have any visitors at the moment, which makes the situation extra hard for them!

  • Bug politicians with mails

    Terrorize politicians with e-mails—e.g., against the horrible situation of refugees at the European borders. More here