De wereldwijde coalitie voor democratie

Nude democracy activist confronts Germany’s grand coalition

Nude protest in Berlin. Photo by R. Neugebauer

Nude democracy activist confronts Germany’s grand coalition

28-11-2013

On Tuesday, 26 November 2013, we, Democracy International’s campaign team with many protesters gathered in front of the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin. Our aim was to demonstrate for the introduction of referendums at the national level in Germany, while inside Merkel and her fellow politicians of Germany’s future grand coalition were negotiating the coalition agreement.

We performed two major actions that we had planned together with Democracy International’s partner Mehr Demokratie and other campaign organizations. An eye-catching banner was dropped from the opposite façade demanding political representatives to listen to the will of the people.

In a spectacular political art action a naked handcuffed man covered in political slogans was thrown from a black limousine onto the carpeted entrance, mutely protesting for referendums and stunning press and politicians alike. While all this happened we all chanted in cohesion for nationwide referendum. We are happy that we made it into the news: the media broadly picked up our actions, broadcasting the protest via television and several online channels, including Stephan Raab, Germany’s notorious comedian!

Unfortunately the discussions regarding a nationwide referendum were discarded from the last rounds of coalition negotiations. This is deplorable despite the overwhelming support of the German population for greater direct democracy measures; according to a poll released last week by the pollster Emnid, 84% of all Germans want national level referendums and even 83% of voters of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU/CSU) are in favour. These results clash with research conducted by Democracy International, which shows that Germany ranks at the bottom of the league regarding direct democracy implemented at national level in the EU.  

Our tumultuous actions reveal that the demands and the optimism amongst the population are there. In four years at the latest, direct democracy at the German national level is bound to be introduced, we are sure!

More - Study by Democracy International:
Direct Democracy in EU Countries at a glance: Germany at the bottom of the league

Text by Sophie von Hatzfeldt, edited by Cora Pfafferott.

Sophie von Hatzfeldt works for Democracy International's campaign team.

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