Get involved against far-right & for democracy: what you can do now
At the beginning of January 2024, Correctiv’s research uncovered inhumane plans by neo-Nazis, AfD MPs, members of the Werteunion and entrepreneurs for the mass deportation of people from Germany. This is particularly alarming against the backdrop of rising approval ratings for the AfD in a year in which nine local elections and state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg are taking place in addition to the European elections on June 9. Many people in Germany are now rightly asking themselves how they can get involved – ideally in the long term – against the far-right and for a strong democracy. We show what can be done now.
This is how you can get involved against the far-right and for a diverse democracy:
- Visit demonstrations against the far-right & for diversity
- Work with other committed people on projects against far-right
- Use conversation strategies & facts against far-right rhetoric
- Understand the racism problem by listening to those affected
- Get involved in projects that promote democracy via vostel.de
- Donate for organizations against the right & for a strong democracy
1. Visit demonstrations against the far-right & for diversity
In recent weeks and months, there has been repeated talk of the silent majority, and rightly so, because…
“There is hardly a group that has as much influence on world history as the indifferent. And the remarkable thing is that nobody talks about them. Their passivity has made the most radical upheavals possible. The indifferent accept everything as it comes. You are neither for nor against it. Commitment is a red rag for them.”– Rafik Schami, Syrian-German writer –
For this very reason, it is great news that more than a million people have come together in demonstrations across Germany since mid-January. Because showing your face together and no longer remaining silent is the first important step in sending a strong signal against the far-right.
The protests must continue
Over the course of the year, it will be important to maintain this energy and continue to take to the streets for democracy, as the decisive elections are not until the summer or late summer. The next demonstartion dates are already scheduled. Find out when the next demonstration in your area is taking place and ask friends and family if they would like to go with you. You can find all demo dates at Zusammen-gegen-Rechts in the Button below.
2. Work with other committed people on projects against far-right
Working together with like-minded people at networking events on ideas for a diverse, open and democratic society can give you a good feeling of self-efficacy. We present three initiatives that regularly organise opportunities where you can get actively involved.
Changemaker Festival | 07 March 2024 | digital, free of charge
The Changemaker Festival regularly offers space for exchange with other committed people on various topics as well as inspiration and helpful tools for your own effectiveness. The upcoming festival on 7 March 2024 ( 4 pm – 8 pm) is dedicated to the topics of promoting democracy, cohesion and change.
Initiative Offene Gesellschaft (Initiative Open Society)
The organisation works hand in hand with institutions and citizens for more political participation and social progress. Radically constructive for solutions that prove themselves in practice. To this end, they run a democracy hub and regularly organise the Open Society Day. This year, the latter will take place on 15 June 2024.
Stiftung Bürgermut (Civic Courage Foundation)
The foundation regularly organises numerous events to network and professionalise committed individuals, associations and non-profits. These include bar camps for personal encounters and dialogue, workshops and webinars for further training in various topics, as well as publications with encouraging stories and helpful knowledge.
3. Use conversation strategies & facts against far-right rhetoric
Whether it’s the uncle at the family party inciting against refugees, the colleague at the company party ranting about fake news or people ranting in comment columns about the great repopulation: we often simply feel speechless because we are not used to contradicting such statements or we simply lack the counterarguments. Unfortunately, leaving such statements unchallenged is usually taken as approval or at least acceptance.
It is precisely in such situations that presenting a counter-position and questioning statements is an important lever for refuting misinformation and right-wing slogans – and thus preventing their normalization. Fortunately, there are now many platforms that offer training, discussion guidelines, argumentation strategies and fact checks. We would like to present some of them here:
Argumentation training | Network for Democracy & Courage
The argumentation and action training is aimed at committed people from society, politics and education and imparts knowledge about misanthropic attitudes and ideologies, shows options for action and tests these in exercises. The training courses can be requested individually. As they involve costs, it can be useful to complete them together with others, e.g. with colleagues or friends.
Training against hate speech online | Heinrich Böll Foundation (27 March 2024)
“Don’t look in the comment column” has become a basic understanding of self-care online. Yet social media can be so much: a tool for empowerment, networking and solidarity with marginalised groups. The workshop will shed light on the background and effects of hate speech and present and discuss different options for taking a stand against hate online.
Conversation tips & argumentation guidelines
Conversation tips & guides | Kleiner Fünf
The initiative gives you valuable tips on how to counter right-wing arguments with radical politeness, i.e. objectively and respectfully. To this end, they have put together a series of recommendations for engaging in conversation with different types of people.
Conversation Strategies | Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung offers discussion strategies in its brochure “Haltung zeigen”. This includes asking the other person to stay on topic, asking open questions or encouraging a change of perspective.
Facts as a basis for argumentation
If the AfD were to come to power…
Under this title, verdi Mittelfranken has compiled various facts from different AfD programs in a brochure, which many AfD voters are probably not aware of. Employee rights would be severely restricted, women would have to “go back in the kitchen” and people with disabilities would be systematically excluded.
Facts about flight & asylum – from Pro Asyl
How many people are seeking asylum in Germany? Have the capacities for admission been reached? And should asylum seekers do community service? The organization Pro Asyl has compiled various facts and figures on the asylum debate on its website, which provide additional information as a basis for informed discussions.
Facts about flight & asylum – from Mediendienst Integration
The Mediendienst Integration has also published a well-structured overview of issues relating to refugees and asylum. In it you will find facts about the number of people who have fled to Germany, general information on asylum law and current payments on work and education for refugees in Germany.
4. Understand the racism problem by listening to those affected
Understanding the racism and discrimination towards people who are labelled “non-German” by right-wing extremists is an important basis for conversation and discussion. Anmesty International provides a good selection of anti-racist literature, films and podcasts on its website, which you can use to inform yourself and develop a better understanding.
They include books/podcasts by Tupoka Ogette (Exit Racism), Alice Hasters (What white people don’t want to hear about racism but should know), Kübra Gümüşay (Language and Being) and Emilia Roig (Why we matter – The end of oppression).
5. Get involved in projects that promote democracy via vostel.de
In Germany, there are a large number of non-profit organizations that are specifically committed to fighting the right and promoting democracy. You can find some of them on vostel.de and get in touch with them here to support them in their work. These include, among others:
The organization aims to bring knowledge about Nazi crimes into today’s society and operates an extensive online archive for this purpose. In their current project #everynamecounts, you can volunteer from home to record the names and dates of victims and survivors of National Socialism and document them for posterity. Against forgetting and for respect and diversity.
Start with a Friend
The organization connects immigrants and locals with various projects to form tandems based on interests and needs. Ideally, a friendship will grow out of this, but in any case, a social network is created that makes it easier for immigrants to get started in Germany. For more diversity and community.
Strong Democracy e.V.
The association offers concrete support for people in local politics against hate and violence, for example through targeted initial information or awareness-raising workshops. With the support of local politicians, the association works to preserve and strengthen our democratic system.
At vostel.de you will find many other projects where you can get involved against the right and for more democracy.
6. Donate for organizations against the far-right & for a strong democracy
Of course, you can also support organizations that are actively involved in the fight against the far-right and for democracy with a donation to finance their work. We present selected organizations here. Of course, the list is not exhaustive. If you know of any other initiatives worth supporting, please send us an email to email@example.com or leave us a comment. We look forward to your tip!
CORRECTIV is a media company oriented towards the common good that strengthens democracy. As a multi-award-winning editorial team, they stand for investigative journalism. They trigger public debates – as was recently the case with the publications on the secret meeting of right-wing extremists in Potsdam, work with citizens on our research and promote society with our educational programs.
Gesicht Zeigen! (Show Face!)
The association stands and works for respect and tolerance. Against racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing violence. In campaigns, training courses, events and workshops. They are just as active in public as they are at grassroots level. They work in schools and with social multipliers. In doing so, they are living democracy and working to strengthen civil society. Up-to-date, political, interactive.
Schule ohne Rassismus (School without racism)
At around 4,300 schools across Germany (as of November 2023), pupils and teachers have made a decision: they want to stand up for a world in which all people are treated equally. More than two million pupils now attend a school whose members have committed themselves to working for the equality of all people and against all forms of discrimination. It is the children and young people at the Courage schools who decide which topics they want to deal with. With the support of their teachers, they decide for themselves what the agenda of their commitment is.
Zentrum für politische Schönheit (Center for Political Beauty)
The Zentrum für politische Schönheit sees itself as the radical wing of humanism and regularly organizes sensational campaigns. They are currently collecting evidence from citizens of AfD members’ hostility to democracy on the afd-verbot.de website.
Their basic conviction is that the lessons of the Holocaust are nullified by the repetition of political apathy, the rejection of those seeking help and cowardice, and that Germany must not only learn from history, but also act on it.
Kein Bock Auf Nazis
Kein Bock auf Nazis (KBAN) is a colorful and undogmatic initiative with a clear mission: to give courage against the right! Since 2006, they have been supporting, networking and informing young people and young adults about the far-right, racism and the neo-Nazi scene. They provide information material, posters and stickers to initiatives, groups and individuals who are active against the right. They also help to mobilize protest actions via our social media accounts.
Your vostel.de team wishes you much success and perseverance in your commitment against the right and for democracy!