For their "hot autumn" the left gets the cooking pots out of the closet to drum. Everywhere in Germany, the party wants to mobilize loudly against the government's energy policy, as announced by party leader Janine Wissler. The AfD is also planning a similar wave of protests. She also uses the catchphrase "hot autumn", and some of the demands are similar. Will something mix there or is there a sharp demarcation?
Definitely distance, emphasizes the left. Wissler said there would be no common ground with the AfD. "We are aware of the danger from the right, but we believe that we shouldn't leave these protests, this resentment, to the right." After all, the left is the party of social justice. Their campaign is called: "Relieve people. Cap prices. Tax excess profits". A Monday demonstration is scheduled to start in Leipzig on September 5th. The left is planning a nationwide day of action for September 17th.
Specifically, the party is calling for people with low and middle incomes to be paid 125 euros a month plus a further 50 euros for each additional person in the household. In addition, among other things, the gas levy is to be stopped and the 9-euro ticket continued. An excess profit tax is to be used for financing, from which Wissler hopes up to 100 billion euros.
AfD: "Our country first!"
Party chairmen Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel want to present their own campaign for the AfD next week. The motto: "Hot autumn instead of cold feet!" supplemented by the slogan "Our country first!" The slogan is reminiscent of Donald Trump's political motto: "America first".
Chrupalla does not see any demarcation problems on the left. In the crisis, there are completely different solutions, says the AfD boss. The left is sticking to the sanctions against Russia. The AfD is in favor of repealing this. You will not join demonstrations by other groups. "We don't need to take to the streets with the left or with the Free Saxons," Chrupalla said recently.
"And the fact that the left is now calling for Monday demos of all things, that in itself has a funny touch," said the AfD boss. During Monday demonstrations in the GDR during the peaceful revolution of 1989, people took to the streets against the SED leadership. The PDS and then the Left Party later emerged from the SED.
Both sides are officially enemies of each other and also set different accents. But without offending them: it is also clear that both opposition parties are looking for a mobilization issue when the polls are weak. The left also has the problem that there is always a kind of left within the left that does its own thing.
Different positions on the left
This includes former faction leader Sahra Wagenknecht, who accuses the federal government of an "economic war" against Moscow "that harms us more than Russia." And the former party leader Klaus Ernst, who is now an energy expert, also sets clearly different accents than the party leadership. "The energy sanctions against Russia are proving to be a serious mistake!" he recently wrote in the "Berliner Zeitung".
Ernst keeps bringing up the topic of using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which the federal government has stopped. "We will need fossil fuels at reasonable prices for a long time to come," he wrote. One should come to an agreement with Russia. "That would counteract a possible hot autumn and a cold winter a little - and would not harm Ukraine!" Left boss Wissler officially sees things differently and is expressly against the use of Nord Stream 2.
Chrupalla speaks of an "economic war" against Russia
AfD boss Chrupalla, on the other hand, uses similar arguments. When Chrupalla talks about war, it's usually not about Moscow's war against Ukraine, but also about an "economic war" by the German government against Russia. Co-boss Weidel points to the Basic Law: The government should devote itself to the core task laid down in it, increasing the benefits of the German people and averting damage to them.
The AfD also argues against sanctions, because they believe they harm Germany more than Russia. And the AfD also wants to put Nord Stream 2 into operation. "Cheap gas in large quantities is only available with the AfD," Chrupalla recently tweeted. So both sides are pushing the boundaries outwards - but it should cost both of them effort to always keep goals and rhetoric clear in the autumn of protest.