24. June 2024

Stop the shift to the right

On 8 June, we celebrated democracy with a rally festival and took a stand against right-wing populism and extremism. The motto of the day was “V.O.T.Y.. – Vote of the Year”. The programme was as colourful as Europe is!



From 13:00 onwards, several rally raves made themselves heard against the shift to the right. On foot or on bicycles, they spread the party atmosphere throughout Frankfurt city centre.

The raves were organised by an alliance of clubs, collectives and cultural institutions:

Tanzhaus West – Milchsackfabrik – Tokonoma – Silbergold – Schlachthof Wiesbaden – Tanz in Frankfurt – Linie 36 – Club Cherry – Mitte der Gesellschaft – Dexterous Music Collective – Storno – Makina – Zini Spritz – Habitus – Hard Bock Drauf – Move – Tashkids – and support from many others.

Hauptwache – Römer – Willy-Brandt-Platz

There were also events organised by initiative groups, sports clubs and theatres in many places in the city as of 13:00. The triathlon and cycling sections of Eintracht Frankfurt, for example, organised a “Democracy Triathlon” on Willy-Brandt-Platz. Meanwhile, at the Hauptwache, performances were put on by the Jungen Schauspiels, the MainVokal choir and the Antagon Theater together with the Berta-Jourdan school . At the Römer Fridays for Future, Safe Harbours and other groups held a rally for the protection of people seeking refuge. And Drag-Queens performed in front of the Bar Central.

Space for democracy

The Taunusanlage was transformed into a “Place for Democracy”, where associations, parties and political initiatives presented themselves. Participation was encouraged: at the sign-painting station or in the children’s area of the Riederwald adventure playground.

At our KoalaKollektiv stand, the motto was: Have a heart, show your face! For a donation, we handed out gingerbread hearts with inscriptions such as “FCK AfD” or “Say no to racism!” A photo set with a panoramic view of the Alps invited visitors to take a photo. The hearts were sold out in no time at all.

Rally at the Alte Oper

From 14:30 events were running on stage in front of the Alte Oper, including music from the Bridges Chamber Orchestra. The main rally started at 17:00. The Ramatou Orchestra, the DJs from GGVybe, the Masaleh dance crew and the presenters Anne Chebu and Negah Amiri ensured a good atmosphere. There were also speeches and raps from:

Awa Yawari (Anne-Frank Educational Centre), Luka Ivanović (city student representative), Julien Chamboncel (Frankfurter Jugendring), Luisa Neubauer (Fridays for Future), Nashi44 (musician), Jonas Berhe (Initiative for Black People in Germany and trade unionist), Leila Maach (Muslim-Sunni youth), Said Etris Hashemi (author; Initiative 19. February Hanau), Phaeb (street poet, social justice and diversity trainer), Amewu (musician), Jean Peters (journalist at Correctiv), Sebastian23 (author and activist), Credibil (musician), and Enissa Amani (artist and human rights activist).

The contributions were moving and inspiring, sometimes thought-provoking and sometimes defiant.

You can listen to all the contributions on our YouTube channel. Here are two teasers:

“You don’t have democracy, you live democracy. It’s not just the one cross tomorrow. It’s what we do on every day that isn’t election day. It’s every conversation, every time we make a noise, even if it’s very quiet. It’s looking and listening, it’s being there for each other, even if we don’t agree on a thousand issues. Living democracy means reflecting on privileges, calling out hatred and incitement, racism and anti-Semitism. That is what it is. It is us. And that’s why we know: tomorrow we’re going to vote, we’ll spread the word, we’ll make sure that those around us know that there’s a democracy and a planet to defend here. And we’ll be back the day after tomorrow.”

Luisa Neubauer, Fridays for Future

“Yes, Europe is facing major challenges – especially social challenges. Distribution and access to resources, migration movements and climate change. But the answer to none of these challenges is nationalism, racism or anti-Semitism! Hence my appeal: let’s stand together. When the European right wing networks, we do so all the more. We forge coalitions and alliances – we stand together. For an anti-racist Europe!”

Awa Yavari, Educational Centre Anne Frank


We organised V.O.T.Y. as part of a large alliance. Once again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who made the demo possible!

Backstage, in front of the stage, on stage. Before, during and after. With time, money, labour, ideas.

You are great!

What did the demo achieve? What happens next?

Throughout the day, thousands of people took part in the various actions, raves and rallies. All of us who were there hopefully took away some inspiration and once again felt how much joy an open, diverse and free society can bring.

The nationwide election result is of course frustrating. BUT: Frankfurt has recorded the highest voter turnout in a European election to date. And far-right parties were unable to gain a foothold in our city.

In addition: “Stop right-wing extremism – defend democracy” was loud throughout the country! Whether in large cities or small towns, people everywhere showed that we are defending this democracy. During the campaign period, 240,000 people took to the streets at 265 demonstrations across Germany! Compared to polls at the beginning of the year, support for the AfD dropped.

Now it’s time to take a deep breath. Then carry on. For a Europe in which a good life is possible for everyone.

Watch the entire rally from 17-20:30