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Friday, December 8, 2023

Celebrities for the Left Party: Signs of a new beginning

Good news for the left: The Green Bansin Köktürk is switching to the party, the social politician Ulrich Schneider is getting closer again.

Portrait of Cansin Köktürk

Prominent newcomer: the social worker and author Cansin Köktürk from Bochum Photo: Finn Kantus

BERLIN taz | Even before its party conference, the Left Party can report positive news: Ulrich Schneider, the managing director of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband and one of the most prominent voices on social justice in Germany, is moving closer to his old party again. In 2022 he was resigned from the Left Party after six years of membershipbecause he could no longer tolerate Sahra Wagenknecht’s pro-Russian speeches. Now Schneider is becoming part of a renewal campaign with which the Left Party wants to present prominent people from the social sector as comrades-in-arms.

The campaign was developed with representatives from trade unions, social movements and the Left Party. Left chairmen Martin Schirdewan and Janine Wissler explained that their party needs strong alliance partners to be a loud voice in times of social division.

At its party conference, which begins on Friday in Augsburg, the Left Party would like to spread a spirit of optimism. From now on we will look forward, is the message.

The quarrels with the Wagenknecht camp have finally been over since they left the party in October. The parliamentary group in the Bundestag is through this departure history since this week. In fact, Wagenknecht’s farewell has not plunged the party into a crisis, quite the opposite. Many find it liberating because it makes the party’s profile clearer again. This also has an impact on those around the party.

“The Greens have betrayed their values”

Janine Wissler calculated on Monday in Berlin that the Left Party could record two to three times as many new members as departures since the long-overdue separation from Wagenknecht and Co. She wants to announce an exact number at the party conference.

A prominent new entry was announced on Thursday: the Social worker and author Cansin Köktürk from Bochum switches from the Greens to the Left Party. The 30-year-old was the manager of an emergency shelter for refugees, homeless people and people suffering from addiction and joined the Green Party in 2020. In recent months she has attracted media attention as a harsh critic of traffic lights.

“I no longer belong to a party that agrees to an inhumane asylum reform and supports Lützerath,” Köktürk wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday. “From now on I belong to a party that does not compromise on human dignity.”

The Greens had betrayed their values, she said Mirror in an interview that appeared on the same day. “There should be no compromises when it comes to human rights, such as the asylum compromise or basic child welfare.” She decided to join the Left Party because it “is most clearly in favor of radical and at the same time social climate protection and the fight against poverty through redistribution downwards.” stand. She also said that she unequivocally opposes the shift to the right on the migration issue.

Also on X, the campaigner and political scientist Liza Pflaum announced on Thursday that she had joined the left. “Never before have I been so stunned by the political situation,” explains the co-founder of the “Seebrücke” movement.

New party logo

The new beginning of the Left Party will also be underscored by a new logo that will be presented at the party conference. It is the first logo reform since the Left Party was founded 15 years ago, when it emerged from the merger of the Left Party PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism) and WASG (Electoral Alternative Work & Social Justice). The color red should continue to shape the appearance of the Left and remain the main color, but should be supplemented by other colors.

“Our red says respect and bows to those who have fought for human dignity and justice in the past,” said party leader Janine Wissler to the taz. Red is “the color of socialist movements worldwide” and therefore remains the color of the Left Party.

The strong black is largely banned from the new corporate design created by the Brüder Creative Cooperative agency. The small wedge on the i in the word Left remains, but now discreetly in white or red like the font. He cites Russian avant-garde artist Eliezer “El” Lissitzky’s famous 1919 red wedge, a pioneer of constructivism. Unlike before, the angle now points from the bottom left to the top right.

The new look “also sets the course for the coming European elections and the elections in East Germany,” says party leader Schirdewan. In other words: things should go up again.

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