THURINGIA’S GOVERNOR RAMELOW VISITS THE US
May 14-20, 2017 - RLS–NYC
For photos from this event, go here.
From May 14-20, 2017, the Governor of the German state of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow (Left Party), visited the United States with a large delegation, including the state’s minister of economy, Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) and members of Thuringia’s state parliament. During this week, the delegation went to Rochester (NY), Detroit, Chicago, and New York City.
The focal point of the delegation’s activities was economic relations between Thuringia and the United States. Therefore the delegation visited the Optics Cluster in Rochester, NY, and met with numerous companies, such as Mitec Powertrain, Harry’s, and Boeing. However, with 100 years of Bauhaus and 500 years of the Protestant Reformation approaching, cultural topics were high on the agenda. Therefore, the delegation visited the IIT Institute of Design, an exhibition on Bauhaus, and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Chicago as well as the Pratt Institute, an event on “Bauhaus Migrations,” and a concert of the Thuringia Bach Festival in New York City.
As part of this official visit, RLS–NYC hosted two events with the governor and his delegation. On May 18, we organized a meeting with trade unionists in Chicago on “The State of the Unions in the United States.” Our guests were Susan Sadlowski Garza, Chicago City Council alderwoman (10th Ward, formerly deputy chair of the Chicago Teachers Union), Terry Davis (United Electrical Workers/UE), Amisha Patel (executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative), Ethan Young (Left Labor Project, New York), and two labor historians: Eric Schuster (Chicago City College) and James R. Barrett (University of Illinois).
On May 20, the governor visited our office in New York City, together with member of the state parliament Katja Mitteldorf (Left Party), the Government Spokesman of Thuringia, Günter Kolodziej, and representatives of the State Chancellery. The RLS–NYC team introduced the work of the office, including projects focusing on the United Nations and others promoting transatlantic dialogue with a focus on Germany and Europe, the United States and Canada. In the second part of the meeting, we discussed the current political situation in Trumpistan.
Germany was not only the birthplace of Marx and Engels 200 years ago, but also the origin of strong working-class movements. While German socialists became dominant in the 2nd International before 1914, the year 1919 saw the split between Communism and Social Democracy—a political line that divided the country between 1949-1989, when West Germany considered itself a “social market economy” while East Germany built up a soviet-style planned economy.......
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