Since 1949, the German Bundestag has been at the heart of our parliamentary democracy – as an arena for freedom of speech and controversial debate. But this year as the newly elected Bundestag convenes on October 24th it will mark a turning point: for the first time right-wing extremists and racists will take their seats in our Parliament, as members of the new AfD group. We risk seeing xenophobia, racism, hatred and resentment being stirred up from the speaker’s podium. Those who deny our history could use it to downplay the crimes of the Nazi regime. Shrill voices will incite hatred against refugees, foreigners and dissidents, declaring it the will of the people. Other parties could be pulled towards the right.
We cannot and will not remain silent in the face of this. On Sunday October 22, two days before the first session of the new Bundestag, we will encircle the Parliament with thousands of people of all ages, origins and political beliefs. Our message is clear: whoever uses the Bundestag to spread racism and discrimination or to distort our history will meet our united resistance. We’re taking to the streets for a tolerant and diverse Germany.
And we need everyone to make it happen: active citizens, a vibrant civil society, associations, politicians of all parties, unions and other initiatives. Join in, invite your friends, colleagues and family along, and together let’s take a stand against racism and discrimination in the German Bundestag on October 22.