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German Basic Law. Photo: Bundestag
Berlin

After court decision: No place for AfD party conference

After massive threats from Antifa, the Berlin AfD party conference planned for the coming weekend cannot take place. On Thursday, the Berlin district court announced its decision that the landlord of the Pankow ball room could not be forced to house the AfD despite a valid lease.

Published: January 24, 2020, 7:19 am

    “This means that law in Germany is no longer worth the paper it is printed on,” commented AfD country and parliamentary group leader Georg Pazderski.

    Press spokesman Ronald Gläser told to Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit: “It is intolerable that such methods are allowed by Stalinist political gangsters.” He added: “I also urge the other parties, especially the Left Party, to distance themselves from such machinations.”

    The party accused the left-wing politician Irmgard Wurdack, who is also the managing director of the alliance “Stand up against racism”, of putting pressure on the operator of the Ball room by telephone.

    The AfD district chairman of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Karsten Franck, then filed a complaint against Wurdack for coercion and slander.

    In its decision, the Berlin district court has now rejected the AfD’s application for an injunction.

    The party had wanted to oblige the landlord of the ballroom to fulfill the rental agreement for their state party convention. The judge, on the other hand, granted the restaurant operators the right to withdraw from the lease.

    The court maintained that people at the location had been threatened by telephone and that the innkeeper had been “attacked, insulted and threatened by a knife in the parking lot”.

    “The reason for this was the planned event of the applicants,” the verdict goes on to say. The innkeeper was told that the attacker would come back if the event was to take place. He said he knew where the innkeeper lived and where he and his family were traveling. “Even if he turned on the police, they would see each other again.”

    It was also clear that the credible threat to the restaurant operator and his family “did not come from the sphere of the applicant”, that is, the AfD. In other words, the judge considered the threats allegedly made by members of the extreme left to be authentic and dangerous.

    The “consequences that Mr. B was being threatened with” could “only be understood as a direct threat to the life and limb of his own person and his family, and possibly also the defendant himself”, ie the AfD.

    The district court therefore came to the conclusion that “the emergence of this risk clearly goes far beyond the contractually agreed obligation to provide event rooms”. However, the landlord had previously assured the Berliner Zeitung: “Nobody threatened me.”

    The AfD is now calling on the Senate to provide it with public spaces for a state party convention. The argument of the red-red-green government that the party had not yet exhausted the free market was clearly refuted by the decision of the district court, Gläser told the JF.

    There is no “Plan B”, ie an alternative event location, for the weekend. Therefore, the current board of emergency plans to apply to the regional arbitration court to appoint a new board of emergency, which will probably not be completely identical to the current one.

    District chairpersons may then also belong to this body. A new state party conference would then have to be called as soon as possible.

    Political parties “participate in the political will-formation of the people,” German Basic Law [Grundgesetz] states. And in the sentence after next, Article 21 demands: “Your inner order must conform to democratic principles.”

    These are two fairly clear statements. The constitution grants something – participation in the formation of wills – and demands something in return: namely that parties also abide by the rules of the game of democracy internally. This includes, for example, that posts, mandates and programmes may not be assigned or dictated from above, but that the members take part in elections, at meetings.

    Anyone who uses threats, intimidation and violence to prevent a party from gathering and electing its board of directors is clearly anti-constitutional. Because it prevents the participation granted in Basic Law and suppresses the intra-party democracy demanded at the same time.

    Enemies of the constitution are usually called extremists. On the other hand, it is not extremist to rely on the rights and obligations granted in the Basic Law.

    The joy expressed by other parties that the AfD has again found no place for its state party convention because a court has allowed a prospective landlord not to honor a lease agreement with the party, means something is hugely wrong in the state of Berlin.

    The silence of AfD’s political competitors does not support the democratic consensus.

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