Declaration by Lothar Bisky, GUE/NGL President
on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall
The opening of the Wall on 9-11-1989 brought significant opportunities for the peaceful development of Europe and for the end of the cold war. Many of these opportunities were taken (freedom of movement, freedom of the press, democracy, the Eastern enlargement of the EU and many others), but some were not. Thus military conflicts in the Balkans and in the Caucasus emerged. In the last two decades the peoples in Europe have developed their relations and mutual understanding. European integration has made considerable progress.
The opening of the Wall in Berlin is a result of pressure from citizens’ movements and popular resistance. With the demonstrations in Leipzig, in Plauen and the largest demonstration in GDR history on 4-11-1989 in Berlin, power was returned to the people. The slogan «we are the people» accompanied the demonstrations and the implosion of the power of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The demands for «no violence» were audible everywhere and were understood, leading to a peaceful revolution. In numerous round table discussions new possibilities for democratic participation evolved.
The opening of the Wall also brought about the opportunity for the Left to deal consistently with the past and to draw conclusions from the deformations of state socialism. The idea of democratic socialism, suppressed by force in Prague in 1968, was taken up again and was developed further. There is no socialism without democracy and liberty.