The party’s petition against the legendary Berlin club will take place next week.
Yesterday, the news broke via Twitter that the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has issued a letter petitioning to revoke Berghain’s license, enforce new restricted opening hours from 10 PM until 6 AM and install additional lights in the darkrooms to prevent sexual activity. So far so ridiculous. Unsurprisingly, the initial reaction to this, especially on social media, has been one of amusement. But with reactionary and downright fascist forces growing stronger, it feels like this is not just yet another desperate attempt to focus attention on the back of the famed club institution, but an indicator of the direction things are headed in the future if said forces gain even more traction in society.
This might be just the beginning of what’s to come—and not just for nightlife. Taking the (sometimes romanticized) freedom and liberal politics generally associated with Berlin’s club culture for granted is staying ignorant to the threat of a changing political climate and its effects on clubs acting, ideally, as safe havens for minorities as well as communal places where social and economic differences are transcended, even if just for a night out.
The public hearing for the AFD’s petition will take place next week at Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg’s district exchange. You can read a translation of the full AFD letter over at Pulse.