There’s no point in talking to the chronic arsonists. Let’s rather carry the energy into our everyday life after the great demo!
We are many, we are more: Indivisible in Berlin Photo: dpa
Okay, gross. 242,000 people demonstrated against right-wing agitation in Berlin this weekend. 242.000. That’s three sold out Olympic stadiums in Berlin, 1.600 full Ryanair planes or – pretty much – the population of Chemnitz.
While some politicians and journalists (Ulf Poschardt, Sahra Wagenknecht, Berlin CDU) tried to ‘discredit’ the Unteilbar demo call as radical leftist (oh no, our cars!!) and anti-racist (what?? fie, disgusting!!), the people in Berlin didn’t let themselves be distracted and took to the streets. Door open, bang, out. Just like that. And not a single car has burned. Interesting, isn’t it?
And so, even on the day of the biggest demo Berlin has seen in years, some are still going all out to live up to the opposite of the Unteilbar slogan "Solidarity instead of exclusion." The head of Bild, Julian Reichelt, for example, asked on Twitter what the difference was between Pegida and Unteilbar, referring to the video showing a speech by the Interventionist Left bloc (which was also part of the mass demonstration with a mini bloc). In itself, there should be no stupid questions. But the still-neighbors from Springer House manage to successfully shake even this kindergarten consensus.
Hm. How do you explain the purpose of a fire extinguisher to an arsonist – without him trying to set ten more fires out of sheer defiance? And most importantly, is it even worth it? I don’t think so. If the leadership of Germany’s largest-circulation daily newspaper can’t tell the difference between a group that plays on Nazi rhetoric to deem white people superior and another group that advocates respect for human rights, then it’s not this guy who has a problem. It’s Germany that has a problem.
Directly on the street
That’s why the Unteilbar demo is a great and important success – but only if something follows now. And not another feelgood mass demo, but real action. Not with a view to the Bundestag, but directly on the street. We have to use the energy that this huge demo has spread from many small groups, some of which do not always agree with each other and show solidarity: Migrants, trade unionists, queer feminists, Jews, Muslims, Greens, social democrats, Marxists, liberals, Wendy readers, flight attendants and hedonistic party druffis.
We have to oppose the right-wing national fear-mongering politics. And we should not save this for colorful events on sunny days, but make it our everyday life. Every time a hijab-wearing woman is mobbed in the subway, every time we encounter a guy with Nazi tattoos in the supermarket, every time an uncle spouts racist slogans at Christmas dinner, we have to disagree. Otherwise, the same thing will happen as after the "welcome culture" in the summer of 2015: the mood will die down, it will be winter, and the field will be left to the agitators again.