This is not Belarus here
One of the reason i moved out from Belarus was this notion to learn something from activists from the other country. But also to exchange experiences and maybe come up with new things out of this cooperation.
And even though i was not a young activist moving to Berlin to experience all the beauty of radical politics in Germany i believe i was as naive as it gets. The experience that you bring to this country is of no interest to the local activists. It is actually in many cases perceived to be something weird. You are this alien that comes from the world where the things are different and nobody actually wants to hear from you about it.
I do understand people complaining that there are this type of people who are constantly asking were are you from when they figure out that you are not local. But for me the experience in the left and anarchist movement in germany was completely opposite. Nobody cared where i come from or who i am or what i am. In fact some people believe that i come from England because i can speak english and have some bad skill in german. But they won't ask you about it or anything else. I'm not sure if it is this politeness that doesn't allow them to ask or they just don't give a fuck. I tend to go with the later as knowing people from first world they normally don't really care about this outside thing.
So this is me being in this country for years without actually having some decent conversations about the place i come from. And in this years i learn things. I am a sponge that tries to absorb as much as possible to use in my own organizational efforts.
Of course you learn through doing. So one of the things we did was this campaign against some bad things. In Dresden it was organized mainly by local anarchists and leftist. At one of the meetings we are having a conversation about the form of organizing. As an anarchist i believe in this thing called self-organization. Outside of political parties and governmental organizations. This is one of the core principals of my political activism. Stay outside of those institutions. If not – you are going to end up being controlled by them. A lot of leftist organizations with their believe to trick the system are already hanging on money dependencies from certain political parties here.
So when we sit at the meeting and the part comes about how to organize it comes natural to me to say that we don't need politicians and parties to achieve our goal. We build up together with other people social power that can bring changes. If the politicians decide to follow this changes – it is their decision, but we build the movement with our agenda and we push as hard as possible to achieve our goals. I was quite surprised to hear the opposite opinion about necessity of working with parties and trying to find “solution” to the problem. And this came from person who was calling himself antiauthoritarian communist. In this conversation came the best argument that i've heard so far – “this is not Belarus here”. As if i didn't fucking notice spending my last years without being followed by the cops and being detained on the regular basis.
But than i got it. It is not Belarus. Really simple. What that means that as a foreign activist i was not really of any value in this country unless i accept that this is germany and we do the things german way. In fact i was not really welcomed here with my political ideas.
It's been more than a year since i had this conversation and it clarified a lot the attitude i've met in Dresden and in other cities in all those years. You are supposed to be the german leftist in this country. Anything else is tolerated unless dangerous to the values that were raised through last several generations. It is no wonder that the israeilian jews are getting kicked out from leftist spaces in Berlin. With all it's antiracist tirades in magazines and presentations german leftists can be antiracist only with german leftists.