Concept

As of 19.02.2016
Guiding Principles

1. We want to contribute to the protection and the further development of the constiutional right of assembly and demonstration. Art. 8 of the German Constitution, the Grundgesetz(GG), is one of the few passages in the GG where radical, direct democracy finds a basis. Our aim is, starting from this art. 8 GG, to stengthen the right to assemble and demonstrate, whereas otherwise our democracy is largely reduced to the procedures of representative democracy. . In the light of the developments observed in recent years, we want to remind of the Brokdorf decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 1985 (BVerfGE 69, 315), which clearly states that “not any interest whatsoever justifies a restriction of this right of liberty”; Inconveniencies, which result necessarily from the exercise of fundamental rights by large numbers of people and can not be avoided without detriment to the purpose of the event, will generally have to be borne by third parties.” The disturbance caused by this piece of untamed democracy frequently results in biased reports by government institutions and large parts of the media. We want to counter this by independent, reliable information.

2. We observe demonstrations in this interest. Our group works independently both from government agencies and the organizers of the demonstration or assembly (but cp. point (b) under “Procedure”). We are, however, partially in the sense that we want to speak up for the constitutional right of freedom of assembly and to contribute to its unimpeded exertion. We report on the form of and the events during the assembly, if possible including the conduct of public authorities and police, starting from the announcement of the asembly (esp. with regard to the restrictions imposed). Also we report on the manner, in which the public is informed by authorities and media prior to the event.. We focus on restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly and expression (if they occur), but we also report on positive examples of the exertion of these rights of course. The reports are independent of the police / regulatory authorities and / or participating groups, thus contributing to a better public perception of assemblies. For this purpose, the reports clearly distinguish between the presentation of the observed events and an assessment of the happenings in the light of our basic interest according to point (1). The reports contain all events observed by the observers and relevant to the overall events. The documentation in text and photographs/video is given in such a way that it can not be used as incriminating evidence in criminal proceedings against participants. Insofar as documentation material could be used against individual police officers, this will not not be published either, but can be made available to the injured party.
3.Besides reports on demonstrations we will also take up on an ad hoc basis issues such as police brutality or court decisions concerning the right of assembly and publish about them in blog posts. Contrary to the report on demonstrations, these blogposts are not necessarily written by several authors and may represent opinions of the individual authors. In this case, these reports are initialled or signed by the author.

4. Everybody interested in these topics, who agrees with the jointly developed principles set out in point (1), is welcome in the group. This means, however, that we do not cooperate with persons and groups supporting fascist, racist, or otherwise xenophobic or anti-democratic views.

5. Procedure of Observation:

A. We make ourselves identifiable as observers are generally recognizable as such by clothing and name plates identity cards.
B. We try to act, iin agreement with the persons organizing the demonstration;f possible, in the demo observation is discussed with the applicants – but in no case we shall act against their explicit will.
C. Also spontaneous and unannounced meetings and actions may be observed as well.
D. The group decides according to the urgency and availability of the demo observers, which events are getting shall be observed.
E. Regardless Independent of the personal opinion on the issues concerns and forms of the respective demonstration concerned, during the demo the observers restrain from expressions of approval and disapproval are holding back with accusations of apprehension or indignation and do not interfere with in the events by giving advise or warnings to the participantswith prompts and reminders to the protesters. A desirable side effect is that their presence of observers makes the police aware of the fact, that they are being watched.
F. Photos / videos which may be used in prosecution  of participants of the assemblies should not be made at all. Individuals may not be identifiable on published material, photo- and video material always is stored exclusively encrypted.
g. Press releases and reports are prepared on a joint evaluation meeting, if possible immediately after following the demonstration, and are published at http://demobeobachtung-suedwest.de/category/demoberichte/ . Observations of other persons are included in the reports only exceptionally and with reference to this fact.

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