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#Kiel, #Germany: Preserving the right of freedom of assembly – Rally against authoritarian laws

Kiel. Germany. March 25, 2020. Today we protested with a small group of about 10 people against the stricter infection protection law and the linked centralisation of decisions, interventions in personal rights and authoritarian tendencies. With sufficient safety distance and protective masks, we focused on solidarity and information instead of repression and police state.

Originally published by TKKG – TurboKlimaKampfGruppe Kiel.

What is enforceable now in the crisis is, when examined more carefully, quite scary: Closure of all cultural institutions, bans on going outside, bans on meeting people, even a mass cell phone tracking and thus a total surveillance of the entire population is seriously discussed. The main problem is that such measures, once introduced, are difficult to take back. It is to be feared that some of the new powers, tested for their functionality in this exceptional situation, will remain established and will be quickly taken out of the box with the next opportunity, with a small hurdle – a test case to see how well society will accept them. The mood in surveys and in social networks to accept such and similar repressive measures without hesitation is frightening. For this very reason we want to accompany the whole thing with critique to make it clear: This should not become a permanent state of affairs.

This was also the reason why we had registered the rally – to use our right to freedom of assembly and thus defend it. The authority of assembly had confirmed this, the ordered safety distance of 2m was also inspected by the authority itself. Quite a lot of media attended the rally and was interested in our motivation, which we willingly explained:

In literature, there are many dystopias that paint quite well what a surveillance state can lead to – it is also dangerous for our society, in a different way, more for our freedom than for our lives, but as dangerous as a virus. Because what makes life worth living is above all the freedom to live it the way I want. This does not include being forced to give information about who I have just talked to, where I have been on the road, or being forced or not be allowed to get a job that I like. These freedoms will be restricted by the new Infection Protection Act, which will introduce information duties and make forced recruitment possible. Further centralisation of competences is also anything but effective, especially in the case of dangerous situations that develop differently locally.

Instead of reacting locally to changing dangerous situations, more and more centralized decisions and regulations are being made. People are brought into line, should accept without critique and obey the decisions of a few. Dissent is described and perceived as “lacking solidarity” or “betrayal”.These developments are disastrously reminding of strong leaders in an authoritarian state and are, to say it with a sharp tongue, a blueprint for a fascist takeover. No, this is not desirable, never again – we also want to take this to the streets.

Alternatives are not being considered, which can also be seen in the brief justifications given in the general decree of the city of Kiel or the Infection Protection Act. They are all just afraid of not restricting and ban enough. At the same time, it is the poorest who suffer most: the homeless who cannot stay at home because they don’t have one, the refugees on the Greek islands whose suffering is forgotten, the people with precarious jobs in the cultural sector and in gastronomy whose salaries are cancelled, those affected by increasing domestic violence under quarantine conditions and, of course, people working in the health care system which has been cut down for years and who now have to keep everything running.

The chalk messages that were left behind point to all these problems, as does the planned signpost forest on Saturday. We rely on solidarity instead of rigid regulations – on learning to take care of all fellow human beings again. Information and enlightenment instead of surveillance and repression – on solidarity instead of denunciation. All rules, laws and punishments cannot enforce this necessary solidarity – we have to want it ourselves.


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