Times change, and with them the mood of the population. At the moment, here in Germany, not exactly for the better. It’s not just the polls that show the extreme right gaining strength; this worrying picture also emerges anecdotally in the numerous conversations that my fellow DiEMers and I have had with people on the streets of Frankfurt am Main in recent weeks.
An enormous number of ordinary people see themselves on the losing side of economic and social developments and are politically disoriented. Quite a few of them say that they no longer participate in the institutional democratic processes of the state. Those who still do vote – in large numbers – for an extreme right-wing party, which presents itself far too successfully as the “alternative [for Germany]”.
We have been, and continue to be, out and about in Frankfurt, listening to people, taking up their concerns and frustrations, and offering them a desirable counter-proposal to the disastrous politics of the status quo and the menace from the far right, using the political analysis and vision of our European movement. And to increase our efforts we will now take a stage locally where the establishment cannot so easily ignore us: The Hessian state election of 2023!
MERA25 is running in the electoral district consisting of the Frankfurt neighbourhoods of Nordend, Bornheim and Ostend for the Hessian state parliament on October 8
It is clear that the political atmosphere is not changing for no reason. Political disenchantment and misanthropic mentalities arise and intensify largely due to a perceived deterioration of one’s own or general socio-economic conditions. Specifically in Hesse, this deterioration can be exemplified by the following circumstances:
- The poverty rate is above the national average, almost one fifth of the population is considered poor, and the trend is rising
- The current inflation rate of 6.1% remains at a high level, there is hardly any relief, and there is certainly no intervention in the enrichment schemes of large corporations
- The green transition in the energy, heating and transport sectors is being pushed forward in a completely inconsistent manner, and in a way that requires maximum explanation and financially overburdens many; forests are being cleared for motorways, and public transport fares imposed by the regional public transport association are becoming much more expensive
- There is an increasing shortage of at least 400,000 new flats throughout the state by the year 2040, tenants are being forced out of the cities, while public housing companies such as ABG Frankfurt or Nassauische Heimstätte provide way too little subsidised housing
These grievances cannot be remedied with appeals and petitions, but only with a different policy agenda implemented by citizens who have the will and courage to rise above the special interests of the oligarchy and stand up for progressive policies such as the job guarantee, the pension guarantee, the socialisation of housing stock and essential infrastructure and the Green New Deal.
I promise you: this struggle will be confrontational. We will hold those responsible to account for their irresponsibility, constructively and disobediently, to counter the shift to the right with the only effective remedy: The prospect of material improvements in a just society. The time of restraint is over, now we go on the offensive.
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