At a strategy conference in Kassel last weekend, German leftist/environmentalist party Die Linke (The Leftists) discussed its plans for social change. Major German story here on this scandal.
The aim of the conference was to discuss how the leftist Die Linke could successfully intervene in fundamental social issues, “change the country for a social-ecological system change” and to protect the climate.
During a panel discussion, a Die Linke member woman in the front row, identified as Sandra L, took the floor. At the end of her ranting presentation, she felt it was important to emphasize that “a transition to renewable energies is also necessary after a revolution, and that after shooting the 1% rich people. we still want to heat.”
Some in attendance could be heard chuckling and applauding in response. But others could be heard murmuring in shock, and so Sandra L doubled down: “Well, it’s like this! We need to get off this meta-level.”
In attendance was also Die Linke leader Bernd Riexinger, who responded to the woman directly, saying: “I want to say,we don’t shoot them. We can use them for useful work!” For this he also received applause and laughter from the audience!
Just a misunderstanding, “taken out of context”
Soon the video of the incident was posted on Twitter and quickly went viral. German Twitter followers were aghast at the suggestion of shooting dead the 1% rich in the country. Before long the pressure mounted on party leader Riexinger to take back the comments, who shortly later claimed on Twitter that Sandra L’s comments were “completely taken out of context”.
“It was and is unacceptable. I regret that I did not immediately reject it unequivocally,” Riexinger commented.
“Abhor violence against people”
By evening, desperate to control the image damage to Die Linke, a party with about 10% of the vote in Germany, Sandra L was forced to tell the DPA German Press Agency: “I apologize for this statement, which I made in the excitement and thoughtlessness. It completely contradicts my political views, I abhor violence against people.”
“We need an active social and environmental energy policy. My statement did not serve this purpose,” she added.
Thuringia’s Minister President Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke) sharply denounced Sandra L’s comments on Twitter: “Anyone who wants to shoot people and rant about a revolution with or through violence has nothing in common with my set of values. The statement was unacceptable and should never have been passed over with a smile”.
It is unclear whether and which office Sandra L has in the extreme German Die Linke party.