Bellydance for tolerance
The people of Cologne have a nice sense of humor. They’ll even turn political protest against Neo-Nazis into a carnival.
Liberal groups in Cologne are calling on the people of the city to stage a mass bellydance on September 20th. They’re hoping that 11 000 dancers will swing their hips to oriental music in protest against a neo-Nazi rally planned for that day.
Right-wing organizations from all over Europe will be meeting in Cologne from September 19 – 21 for an anti-Islam convention.
Its “highlight” will be a rally in downtown Cologne. Notorious right-wing politicians from all over Europe will be there – including Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the French “Front National”, representatives of Italy’s Lega Nord, Belgium’s Vlaams-Belang and Austria’s FPÖ.
Not the kind of people I like to see in my home town.
And not the kind of event that’ll give the city good press.
Many citizens of Cologne are furious about this right-wing rally. But there’s no way to stop it. The authorities say it’s a legal political demonstration. They can only step in when speakers openly advocate racism or hatred.
So to show their opposition against this right-wing convention, the people of Cologne have decided to bellydance against Neo-Nazism.
I think that’s a much more imaginative idea than simply calling a counter-demonstration. Because the idea of a left-wing demonstration clashing violently with the right-wing demonstration doesn’t really turn me on either.