Yesterday I was reading about the reasons for the disappearance of song birds in Germany. The spread of scientific forestry, horticulture, and agriculture, have cut them off from their nesting places and their food supply. More and more, with modern methods, we are doing away with hollow trees, waste lands, brushwood, fallen leaves. I felt sore at heart. I was not thinking so much about the loss of pleasure for human beings, but I was so much distressed at the idea of the stealthy and inexorable destruction of these defenceless little creatures, that the tears came into my eyes. I was reminded of a book I read in Zurich, in which Professor Sieber describes the dying-out of the Redskins in North America. Just like the birds, they have been gradually driven from their hunting grounds by civilised men.
I suppose I must be out of sorts to feel everything so deeply. Sometimes, however, it seems to me that I am not really a human being at all but like a bird or a beast in human form. I feel so much more at home even in a scrap of garden like the one here, and still more in the meadows when the grass is humming with bees than – at one of our party congresses. I can say that to you, for you will not promptly suspect me of treason to socialism! You know that I really hope to die at my post, in a street fight or in prison.
Rosa Luxemburg the great Polish and Jewish Marxist, who challenged Lenin on organisation, is a good women to remember on International Womens Day tomorrow.
She also had some green concerns for nature.
A new book of her letters is out this week and there are a number of events here in London you can enjoy.
LONDON EVENTS – made possible by the support of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung:
Monday 7 March at the Swedenborg Society, 7pm:
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg launch at the Swedenborg Society - a panel discussion with chair Susie Orbach, award–winning playwright David Edgar, editor Dr Lea Haro and writer and cultural historian Lesley Chamberlain, with readings by Dame Harriet Walter. Booking and details here:
Tuesday 8 March at the LRB bookshop, 7pm:
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg launch on International Women’s Day, founded 100 years ago by Luxemburg’s close friend, comrade and confidante Clara Zetkin, to whom many of the letters are addressed.
A discussion about socialism and feminism with Dr Nina Power, Lea Haro, Lisa Appignanesi and chair Natalie Hanman, editor of Guardian Comment is Free. Booking and details hereWednesday 9 March at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, 6pm:
Rosa Luxemburg (1986) film screening followed by rare Q&A with the director Margarethe von Trotta, as part of Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011, celebrating women in filmmaking. Booking and more details here:
Tuesday 22 March at the LSE, 6.30pm:
Jacqueline Rose: 'Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently': Rosa Luxemburg for our times
A Public Lecture co- hosted by the Gender Institute and The Ralph Miliband Programme. Booking