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A Cooperation to Change the World

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Freja Wedenborg
Journalist
Journalist og forfatter til bogen Cryptoguide for journalister (http://www.cryptoguide.dk/). Tidligere nyhedschef og journalist på Arbejderen med speciale i krig, imperialisme og retspolitik.
Blogindlæg af Freja Wedenborg

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Lørdag, 10. januar, 2015, 21:30:03

A Cooperation to Change the World

I dag havde jeg æren af at tale om det internationale mediesamarbejde mellem junge Welt, Morning Star, Zeitung vum Lëtzebuerger Vollek og Arbejderen ved 20. Rosa Luxemburg-konferencen i Berlin. Her er min tale - ganske vist på engelsk.

Thank you very much for the invitation to speak here at this important 20th Rosa Luxemburg Conference for peace instead of NATO.

Just a few months ago the Danish as well as the German government joined the coalition of NATO mercenaries and decided to once again participate in a US led war against Iraq.

When the class enemy becomes increasingly international, so must the resistance.

As we speak, Danish fighter jets are bombing in the north of Iraq, and figures reported by Arbejderen show that more than 17.000 civilians have been killed in the war-torn Iraq in 2014 alone, many by the so called precision bombs, that among others american and danish soldiers are dropping on marketplaces and residential areas.

The war is a part of the struggle for control with the oil resources in the middle east and geostrategic dominans, just like the increased rivalry with Russia, the splitting of Ukraine and the new round of soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan.

Despite this obvious coherence none of the mainstream media are putting this into context, or examining the causes and interests at stake. None of them are questioning this agenda of war let alone reflects the resistance that we for example are expressing here today.

This makes it difficult for people to question it too. Even on parts of the left wing we see difficulties to analyse the imperialist interests and even support for the wars in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq.

This shows that the mainstream media are by no means the critical fourth estate they like to portray themselves as.

And this shows the need for genuinely critical media that can provide understanding, ask the necessary questions and help to create the basis for an anti-imperialist peace movement.

That is why there is a need for progressive media to join forces in a cross-border cooperation against the EU and big capital, against imperialism, armament and war.

Reactionary forces on the offensive

Europe is strongly marked by the crisis.

The balance in the class struggle is tipped heavily in favor of the big capital and the imperialist and reactionary forces are on the offensive.

The situation is more monopolized than ever before. Capital and its system of exploitation is becoming increasingly international, and so is its institutions, such as NATO and the EU, as a challenger to the national democracies.

This monopolization also applies when we look at the media landscape in Europe, which is solely dominated by the biased and reactionary agenda of the media dedicated to preserving the system.

In all countries the Capital leads a coordinated campaign to put the burden of the crisis on the shoulders of the working class and to defend their interests with war and armament, be it in Ukraine, Syria or Iraq.

Throughout Europe poverty and the attacks on our social and democratic rights leads to a growing insecurity and dissatisfaction.

The ruling classes have a clear interest in obscuring where the problems are truly originating and to shift the focus to an external enemy, be it countries on which we wage wars or poor people and refugees in our own countries.

This shows not least in the wake of the horrific attack at Charlie Hebdo this wednesday, where reactionary forces stand ready to use it to strengthen their agenda of more division, more hatred and more attacks on our democratic rights.

It leads to an alarming revival of right-wing populist and openly fascist movements. All things we have seen before.

Here we as revolutionary media have a crucial task to lift in revealing the true causes of the problems and to urge people to stand together against our true enemies.

Joining forces

In a situation where the class enemy organizes at an international scale, it is necessary for us to do the same.

This is why junge Welt together with three other progressive daily newspapers: The british Morning Star, Zeitung vum Lëtzebuerger Vollek from Luxemburg and the Danish daily Arbejderen, which I represent, during the last year have developed an increasingly closer cooperation.

We had our first meeting last January in connection with the Rosa Luxemburg Conference, and yesterday we met again.

In the last year, this cooperation has given concrete results such as a joint supplement on the 100th anniversary of World War One, where prominent writers from all four newspapers including junge Welts editor Arnold Schölzel analyzed the causes of the great war and put it into perspective with the state of imperialism today, a joint Cuba calendar, exchange of a number of articles and photos on various topics and a brochure about our cooperation, which you can find in the junge Welt stall just outside this hall.

The four of us are all daily newspapers.

We are all a part of the struggle in our countries against the same austerity policies dictated by the EU, the people in our countries face the same attacks on our democratic rights and the same threats of imperialist wars and armament.

By showing that when German workers protest against social cuts in Berlin and British workers protest against austerity in London, it is the same policies, the same struggle and the same enemy we are are protesting against we can help inspire resistance, increase the class consciousness and develop concrete solidarity in our respective countries.

At the same time this cooperation will enable us more to set the agenda that is necessary by exchanging experiences from our everyday editorial practises, where we all face the same difficulties with small budgets and heavy work loads, but where we also have a lot of the same strengths such as being carried forward by a movement and blessed with active and enthusiastic readers like you, who are sitting here today.

Initially we are the four papers. But our wish is to expand beyond this.

Throughout Europe we are many progressive newspapers who share the aim of strengthening the struggle against our common enemies.

We may have many differences - some are owned by a party, others are not, we may have different political backgrounds and histories, may have different priorities and may have different strategies as newspapers.

But we all have in common that we struggle to publish a media every day in competition with a bourgeois press with far more resources than us.

And contrary to the bourgeois media, our interests are aligned and we have the same objectives of developing the class consciousness and critique of capitalism.

In this situation, it would be foolish not to join forces.

We can only benefit from strengthening our cooperation, politically as well as professionally.

Our wish is to start a process that expands beyond the cooperation we have today and create a collaboration where alternative, progressive media can set a different agenda in Europe.

Starting by inviting a number of other papers to our next meeting in October.

This is an ambitious idea, and we all know in our busy daily production it can be difficult to find the necessary time and ressources, so it has to be done at a reasonable pace.

But it is not unrealistic.

The Rosa Luxemburg Conference on its 20th anniversary is a good example of how great things a newspaper like junge Welt can create while building a movement around the paper.

Marxism is internationalism

When the class enemy becomes increasingly international, so must the resistance.

In the world today you can not defend the achievements which the working class and peoples of our countries have fought to secure without being an internationalist.

You cannot defend democracy and collective welfare without fighting together against our common enemies, whom has long been organized in institutions like the European Union, IMF, NATO.

If we want to not only describe the world, but to change it, this is the only thing to do, and we will do it.

In this work we need and call for your active support, so we can strengthen together the international solidarity and the forces for freedom, for peace and for democracy.

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