On an ordinary weekend with peak temperatures of up to 40°C, most of my fellow Berliners seem to be mainly worried about the next cool spot.
Luckily some of us opposed the temperatures and met up yesterday at Kreuberg’s Heinrichplatz to protest against illegal digital surveillance programs. And not just here in Berlin. We are talking about 10,000 protesters in 30 locations across Germany.
While this is a great first step, one disadvantage of this type of protest instantly became quite obvious. Often the concept of Pluralism doesn’t make it very easy to get a clear message across: there simply were too many messages and too many ways how people looked at Prism and their British and French versions.
Half of the 2,000 people at the rally in Berlin represented some kind of Pirate/Green party/Labour union (it’s election time in Germany). A quarter seemed to be primarily interested in Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. And the remaining quarter combined a multitude of other aspects on how you can look at Prism and its evil twins.
While I am happy that many people in many German cities protested, I hope we can get a clearer message out to our own government next time. It’s just eight more weeks until our chancellor wants to get reelected. Right now it is on us in Germany to demand clear action from the parties that want to win our votes. Demanding clear action to defend us, is – in my humble opinion – more important currently for Germans than to focus on the Bradley Manning court case.
Anyway, well done Germany. Let’s turn this into just the Beginning of what lies ahead.
Next events in Berlin:
- July 29th, 7pm: a walk to the German BND (Secret Service) Headquarter. More here.
- September 7th: Major rally, Freiheit statt Angst. More here.