Die Linke

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Die Linke is a German political party. It is a direct descendant of the former East German Communist Party.

Linke Organizing Academy

This story documents a training course on community organizing run for the German left party (Die Linke) by Steve Hughes of the Working Families Party and Steve Williams of LeftRoots.

For the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS), the journey into the idea of transformative community organizing began with a conference in 2012, and has developed through a combination of trainings and small investments in model projects around Germany. From these model projects a body of experience has been developed, as have a core group of increasingly experienced organizers. The Linke Organizing Academy represents the most ambitious effort to date to systematically train and develop these organizers in the practice of transformative community organizing.
Robert Maruschke, one of the key organizers of the Organizing Academy, noted the many ways in which he has been translating community organizing into the German context, starting with the language, but also drawing from the early history of working class organizing in the country.[1]

State surveillance

Germany operates a system of "Verfassungsschutz" (Protection of the Constitution) at both federal level (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV) and state level (Landesbehörden für Verfassungsschutz, LfV), which carries out domestic surveillance of actual and suspected activities which may threaten the "free and democratic basic order" ("freiheitlich-demokratische Grundordnung") at the core of the German constitution. Die Linke, including one third of its members of parliament, [2] and some of its caucuses remain under observation by the BfV, listed in the annual Verfassungsschutzbericht under the heading "left-extremist tendencies and suspected cases". The 2007 report cites as evidence of the party's "extremism" Lothar Bisky's June 2007 statement that democratic socialism remains the party's goal: "We also still discuss the change of property and power relations [...]. We question the system." However, the report notes that in practice the parliamentary party appears as to act as a "reform-oriented" left force. In addition, the report cites "openly extremist groupings" within the party, notably the Marxist–Leninist Communist Platform, which in Sahra Wagenknecht has a representative on the 44-member Left Party executive. [3], Federal Ministry of the Interior. One former Bundestag deputy, Bodo Ramelow, was under BfV surveillance until a court decision in January 2008 that the observation was illegal. [4]

The Left is also under observation by four western CDU/CSU-governed states, where the party in its entirety is considered to be extremist (Lower Saxony, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria). Saarland ceased observation of The Left in January 2008. By contrast, in the five eastern states, The Left is not under surveillance, with the local LfVs seeing no indication of anti-constitutional behaviour of the party as a whole. However, the small "Communist Platform"—a hardline communist minority faction within the party—is under observation in three eastern states.[5]

In January 2012, it became known that more than one third of the party's MPs were observed by the federal Verfassungsschutz due to suspected extremist views. [6]. This was ruled to be unconstitutional by the BVerfG in 2013. Subsequently, Federal Minister of the interior Thomas de Maizière declared in 2014 that no Bundestag members of Die Linke would be under surveillance by the BfV from then on, even if they are members of the Communist Platform or comparable extreme Left factions. [7]

International Commission, 2018

International Commission at the party executive Die Linke are appointed (in alphabetical order):

The secretariat and coordination tasks of the International Commission are carried out by the Head of the International Policy Division of the Federal Office in consultation with the Executive Committee.[8]


  1. [1]
  2. [Der Spiegel: Verfassungsschutz: Geheimdienst beobachtet 25 Linken-Abgeordnete, 2 June 2013, retrieved 21 June 2013]
  3. [Verfassungsschutzbericht 2007 Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine]
  4. [Beobachtung von Linkspartei-Politiker verboten, Welt Online, 17 January 2008, accessed 16 March 2008]
  5. [ Neue Linke verunsichert Verfassungsschützer Archived 2009-01-22 at the Wayback Machine., netzeitung.de, 18 June 2007, accessed 16 March 2008]
  6. ["Alexander Dobrindt: CSU-Generalsekretär bringt Verbot der Linken ins Spiel" (in German). Handelsblatt. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-06-03]
  7. ["Bundesverfassungsgericht verbietet Überwachung von Bodo Ramelow". tagesspiegel.de. Retrieved 2014-11-23.]
  8. [2]