Feride Istogu Gillesberg and Janus Kramer Møller run for Danish Parliament

by Michelle Rasmussen , January 27, 2005.

Two political activists from the Schiller Institute in Denmark and the LaRouche Youth Movement, are running for seats in the Folketing, the Danish parliament, as independent candidates, in the three week election campaign, which culminates on February 8, election day. Feride Istogu Gillesberg, whose homepage address is www.feride.dk, is 31 years old, was born in Kosova, and is running in one of the three election districts in Copenhagen (Østre Storkreds, the Eastern district). Janus Kramer Møller, 27 years old, of Danish-Palestinian extraction, is running in Denmark’s second largest city, Århus. If they receive over 23,000 votes, they will become members of parliament.

Feride's campaign has started out with a bang. Out of a raucous audience of 3,000, Feride was chosen to ask the first question, during the most important nationally televised debate of the election, similar in importance to the Bush-Kerry debates, between the current Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Mogens Lykketoft, the leader of the opposition Social Democrats, in front of a rolling national TV camera. First, she identified herself as an independent candidate, who works with the Schiller Institute and the American statesman Lyndon LaRouche, and then she proceeded to say:

"We are the opposition to the neo-conservatives in the US, so my question is actually to both of you. You are not being very honest with the population, when you talk about the economic crisis. There is crisis brewing, a global crisis, the dollar is collapsing (inaudible) just like in the 30s. We need a policy like that of Franklin D. Roosevelt. We have to get out of the crisis. We need to create jobs for the population. We have to get out of the crisis through a New Deal, like that under Franklin D. Roosevelt, so therefore, my question is: Why are you so near-sighted. Why are you not talking about the global crisis, and why are we in an unjust war against Iraq…" At that point there were thunderous cheers from that part of the audience against Denmark's active participation in the Iraq war (with 500 troops on active duty.)

The two candidates, both educated as economists, denied that there was any international economic crisis brewing. And on Iraq, the Social Democratic leader gave a weak answer, saying that he hoped that democracy would come to Iraq after the elections. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded by saying although there were differing opinions about if the war were justified, we should look forward, and not let the terrorists determine when the Danish troops should be brought home.

Later on, just after a young Social Democrat from Iraq asked the Prime Minister if he thought the world were safer from terrorism now, after the war, Feride and her LYM supporters stood up, and began singing Dona Nobis Pacem, Give us peace, (which they had also sung while distributing leaflets before the event, and just behind the Prime Minister while he was being interviewed on live TV before the debate). The Prime Minister looked confused at first, and then, he, and the head of the Social Democracy, turned to the youthful singers, with big smiles, while the singing continued. The entire hall, which just before had sounded like a political soccer match, was now quietly listening to the singing protest, as the cameras panned to the 6 singers, who filled the entire sports hall with their bel canto voices. And then the debate continued, this time with Mogens Lykketoft clearly stating that if he had been Prime Minister, Denmark would never have entered the war.

Through this intervention, Feride brought the issue of the international economic crisis into the election, and forced the two leading candidates to address the Iraq question during the debate, which they had not even considered an election issue.

Feride’s and Janus’ campaigns are stressing that a vote for them will be a vote:

1.      To send a strong signal against the Bush-Cheney neo-conservative agenda in the US, and for cooperation with the LaRouche-led opposition.

2.      To end the Danish government’s collaboration with the Bush-Cheney government’s Iraq war policy, by getting Denmark to join the coalition of the “unwilling.” (Calling for an end to “collaboration,” is a sensitive issue in Denmark, in the light of the sad historical memories connected with the fact that the pre-existing Danish government initially collaborated with the WWII Nazi occupation forces, until August 1943, when they decided to abolish the government.) And importantly, to try to insure that Denmark opposes any plans to invade Iran, an issue which Feride has also brought into the election.

3.      To mobilize to get Denmark to help organize for a LaRouche's policy, for a New Bretton Woods and an Eurasian Landbridge solution to the accelerating international economic and financial crisis.

So far, besides the national TV coverage of her question during the debate, Feride has been interviewed on Noerrebro Radio (a local radio station in her district,) for 2 hours on the Albanian-language radio station in Copenhagen, and on "The LaRouche Show" on Jan. 29. There has also been an article about her in an internationally circulated Albanian newspaper.

Feride's and Janus' campaigns are working to get out the vote by distributing thousands of election leaflets while singing, getting shop owners to put up her posters, going door to door, and building up for an election meeting.