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Rudi Dutschke Demands the Expropriation of the Springer Press Empire (July 10, 1967)

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SPIEGEL: You would help organize the strike?

DUTSCHKE: Organization of the strike lies in the hands of the autonomous work councils, shop stewards, and union members who truly represent the interests of the workers. If asked, we would assume an auxiliary-function – by supporting the strike through fundraising, teaching the public about the premises and conditions of the strike, and setting up childcare services and soup kitchens.

SPIEGEL: Those would be direct actions in this case?

DUTSCHKE: Exactly. And they would have considerable political repercussions. There has not been a workers’ strike in Berlin for years. A coalition of workers and students in the organizational form of [revolutionary] councils could give rise to the question of dual rule.*

SPIEGEL: Seizing power?

DUTSCHKE: The spread of a strike action through solidarity strikes in other industries, and expanded by the wave of student solidarity that I mentioned, would in fact be a radical challenge for the social structure of West Berlin. For East Berlin as well, since a West Berlin that has been democratized from the bottom up could also set an example for workers and students in the GDR.

SPIEGEL: Are you planning other direct actions?

DUTSCHKE: Yes. We are demanding the expropriation of the Springer corporation based on the expropriation clause in the Berlin constitution.

SPIEGEL: And what is the corresponding direct action?

DUTSCHKE: I think the expropriation of the Springer corporation will also be supported by larger segments of the population. For us, this point is a strategic transmission belt between students and other parts of the population. The student action centers that were established over the last few weeks at the Free University will carry out direct actions during the coming semester to prevent the delivery of Springer newspapers in West Berlin.

* Reference to the period of dual power between the provisional government and the workers’ and soldiers’ councils (Soviets) during the Russian Revolution – trans.

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