The idea for the campaign against right-wing extremist, racist, anti-Semitic and conspiracy ideological rallies in Berlin’s government district emerged from the partner network of BERLIN GEGEN NAZIS. The rally on Pariser Platz, organized by the Alliance for a Cosmopolitan and Tolerant Berlin, set a clear signal for a diverse and open-minded city, the representative center of which is not suitable as backdrop for the self-presentation of right-wing extremists, conspiracy believers, and so-called “Reichsbürger” citizens.
Speeches of representatives of organizations supporting the campaign addressed the urgency of protesting against anti-democratic display in the government district. Daniel Wucherpfennig, regional manager of the DGB Berlin-Brandenburg, Ulrike Trautwein, General Superintendent of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO), and Dr. Bruno Osuch, regional representative of the Humanist Association Berlin-Brandenburg, spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate and made it absolutely clear that the government quarter cannot serve as backdrop for right-wing extremism, racism, anti-Semitism and conspiracy ideology. Ayşe Demir, spokeswoman for the board of the Turkish Association Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB), gave the following example:
“Especially in a city like Berlin, which is characterized by diversity, places like the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate must be symbols of diversity and cosmopolitanism. Here, a clear signal must be sent against racism and society’s shift to the right.“
A large photo wall showing three bears and a sign with the campaign motto, offered passers-by and visitors the opportunity to position themselves spontaneously in a creative way. Many people took the opportunity and held up “Boo!” signs in different languages. They spoke out for a diverse city outspoken to take a stand when neo-Nazis, racists or anti-Semites try to occupy the city space with their dehumanizing ideologies.
People also posed with their signs in the direction of a rally organized by the “Reichsbürger” spectrum taking place in front of the U.S. Embassy. On a regular basis, and oftentimes unchallenged, supporters of this ideology hold rallies in the government district. These appearances with Prussian and black-white-red imperial flags seem merely ridiculous to many, and on this day, too, the amused irritation was evident to many passers-by.
However, the “#NoBackdrop” rally pointed out the dangers posed by the ideology of this spectrum, which becomes evident each time weapons are found among Reich citizens, and many passers-by and tourists took the opportunity to clearly position themselves in front of the photo wall, with the “Reichsbürger” gathering in the background.
Residents of the government district, TIPI am Kanzleramt, GRIPS Theater, and Akademie der Künste (AdK) are involved in the campaign, too. AdK provided its facade screen, which promoted the “#NoBackdrop” campaign throughout the day, with video content especially produced for the occasion.
“The glass front of the academy‘s building on Pariser Platz stands for openness and democratic participation. We protest against the repeated proclamation of extreme right-wing and racist slogans in front of central landmarks of Berlin like the Brandenburg Gate.“AdK Vice President Kathrin Röggla
The rally and participatory action at the photo wall kicked off the campaign in the government district. The campaign “BERLIN – No Backdrop for Nazis!” will offer Berliners and visitors many more opportunities to take a stand against right-wing extremist, racist, anti-Semitic, and conspiracy ideological presentations in the government district.
More photos, background information, and original sounds on Instagram.
The full (German) press release to download (PDF).
Contributing photos: Berlin gegen Nazis/Florian Boillot
Photo wall: Werkstatt für alles| Masks: Wintercroft