The municipalities have become the essential site of the right-wing extremist’s fight for social recognition by gradual normalization. Communal courses of action thus play a pivotal role in warding off strategies of taking space which right-wing extremists employ to circumvent social and political ostracism.
Right-wing extremists organizations, the NPD in particular, have been trying for years to use public spaces and occupy them with their racist ideas. This includes leasing public spaces for right-wing extremist events. MBR has been engaged in this field of action for a long time and has been setting new standards in Berlin and beyond with a publication, Publikationen zum Umgang mit rechtsextremen Besucher/innen auf Veranstaltungen (German only) and a model contract Muster-Raumnutzungsvertrag (German only).
The numerous requests for support from all areas in Germany prompted MBR to further and make available their expertise in a detailed information brochure Handlungs-Räume. Umgang mit rechtsextremen Anmietungsversuchen öffentlich-rechtlicher Veranstaltungsräume (German only).
It is vital for all communal decision-making bodies to be aware of the judicial possibilities in warding off leasing requests, as a sole political argumentation to refuse to host the NPD is typically declined in court. However, it should not replace the necessary political debate. MBR supports communal politicians, administration and civic society in their goal to counter the strategies of normalization employed by right-wing extremists, and to expand the possibilities of action for democratic actors. MBR aims to resolve current insecurities regarding the scope of judicial and political possibilities available.
As a result of the continuous exchange of MBR and actors in communal politics, the board of mayors’ resolution of March 26, 2009 can be mentioned: To achieve a common course of action of all district offices when leasing space to third parties, it suggests to refer to the conditions of usage which include agreements recommended by MBR. Thus, Berlin proactively responds to the issue, setting a clear signal against right-wing extremist positions and strategies of taking space and supporting democratic debate in public space.
MBR has been counseling actors in communal politics and engaged in civic societal projects involved in this difficult field of action. Individual support as well as information material and the brochure containing a model contract “Handlungs-Räume. Umgang mit rechtsextremen Anmietungsversuchen von öffentlich-rechtlichen Veranstaltungsräumen (German only)” can be obtained via email.