Branch area: The city and state of Berlin, Germany
Number of members: 127
- Secretary: Martha van Bakel
- Chair: Isobel Sanders
- Vice Chair: David Bowskill
- Treasurer: Alice Lambert
- Regular branch meetings: Once a month, on Monday or Tuesday evening at 7pm
- AGM: February
- Other events: Special discussion events 3 x year, presence at May 1st and other rallies and demos, Pride and Christopher St. presence, guest speakers at German political events, political quiz nights.
About Our Branch
Up until the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015, there were only a handful of members meeting socially as an unofficial group in Berlin. Following Jeremy’s election however, the exponential growth of the membership in Berlin meant that forming a branch was a much more realisable prospect. Eventually in January 2018 the branch elected its first executive. Jane Golding served as Chair for the first year (having been the contact person for the original group). The demands of her role heading Brits in Europe during the extended Brexit talks contributed to her decision to stand down in 2019 and she was succeeded by Carol McGuigan, who is now Secretary, taking over from Joe Corcoran who served in that role for two full years.
The branch has always aimed to combine regular branch meetings with special events focussing on issues with relevance not only to Labour party members but to workers and others on the international left. These meetings have included explorations of the possibility of unionisation within the gig economy, the pressures on nurses in Berlin hospitals, the phenomena of movements aiming to win working-class voters back from the far-right as well as combat the rise of racism (Aufstehen and Unteilbar). All these events have had guest speakers. Labour Berlin speakers have themselves spoken at a range of events relating to Brexit in Berlin, hosted by German political parties.
In 2019, the branch attracted a host of creative and energetic younger members who mobilised around the General Election campaign. A very successful drive to get people registered to vote and to vote proxy was launched and took place all over the city. Stickers, posters and T-Shirts were printed and a very well-attended rally was held in central Berlin at the Brandenburger Tor. The branch also held watch parties for televised hustings as well as two election night parties.
With the 2020 election of a new, expanded executive made up in part of the enthusiastic activists and campaigners from the election time, the branch is going from strength to strength. We seek to forge more links with the UK Labour party to communicate our political experience of living in Europe as British migrants, workers, students and dual citizens. We aim to maintain positive links with left, progressive parties, organisations and unions in Berlin, to learn from each other and to stand in solidarity. We want to continue to play a part in helping Labour be highly effective in opposition but ultimately to win the next General Election and return a democratic socialist government in the UK.