On Sunday, September 24th, 2017, federal elections took place in Germany - an important day for the many people who have worked with us and other organisations to promote democracy, counter populist sentiment and encourage dialogue across partisan and social divides. To mark this day and express our gratitude for all the hours that our activists and volunteers had spent "fighting" for democracy in the weeks and months leading up the election, we hosted an election night party at the Kantine at Berghain in Berlin together with Kleiner Fünf, Das Progressive Zentrum, Die Offene Gesellschaft and x-weise.
The results of the election - with 13% of the country-wide vote going to a party ("AfD") that has embraced clearly divisive and in parts openly xenophobic, racist, revisionist, anti-islamic and anti-semitic rhetoric, and which will now be represented in the German Bundestag - mark a sea change in German politics. They also meant that our election night event was a rather subdued affair, although it was also reassuring insofar as the more than 200 people present reaffirmed their commitment to be (even more) active in promoting democracy and dialogue in the future.
The outcome of this election will no doubt have an impact on our work and that of the many other brilliant organisations who have taken a stand against the kind of politics and rhetoric that the AfD represent. Nonetheless, one thing became abundantly clear during our event: our work has only just started. The next elections are just four years away.
If you would like to get involved, write to us.