The Right of Assembly

So, let’s get things finally started! The state government of Baden-Württemberg tried to follow an attempt of Bavaria to overturn the constitutional right of assembly by introducing a police law, which limits free assembly. Wearing hats of the same color or using drums could then be prohibited, as well as every gathering of 3 or more people which intends to influence public opinion could be considered a “demonstration”. This extends also to gatherings on private property. Due to the fact that not many people know about the change, there has been only very little public resistance against it. To address this issue a demonstration took place here in Tübingen under the motto “Right of free assembly? No, thank you!”  (Versammlungsfreiheit? Nein Danke!). The demonstrators “demanded” that the law should be quickly passed, because the obidient German should not hold demonstrations in order to achieve maximum efficiency at work and oppression in general was a good thing. This was emphasized by the costumes from less democratic times, which some of the protestors showed up in. Interestingly the number of people attending the demonstration was pretty low. Not more then 50 people, I would guess. In the grand scheme of things, cuts in civil rights are a result of the 9/11 attacks, driving the conservative parties in Germany to seek salvation in an Orwellian society. It didn’t progress to british dimensions yet, with cameras monitroring every meter, but we are on the fast lane to this destination. Similarly to other countries public resistance is almost absent. And if it should arise, it will immediately be quenched by accusations to discredit the people resisting. Common claims are that the protestors would support neo-nazis, terrorists, child pornography or other ugly things. Nonetheless, here are a few pictures of the demonstration:

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 Photography