Democracy now

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Logo of Democracy Now

Democracy Now (short name: DJ ) was one of the citizens' movements that emerged in the GDR during the time of the fall and that helped shape it. It was officially founded on September 12, 1989 and merged with parts of the New Forum and the Peace and Human Rights Initiative in Alliance 90 in 1991 .


Democracy Now had its roots in a working group "Initiative for Rejection of Practice and Principle of Demarcation" of the Berlin Evangelical Bartholomew Congregation . In April 1987, the latter had submitted a motion to the Synod of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg that it should reject the practice and principle of demarcation and at the same time stand up for a number of political demands, for example freedom of travel . In the formulation, he was consciously based on the "rejection of the spirit, logic and practice of deterrence", which the Synod of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR pronounced as a commitment to peace policy in 1983. After the synod had initially submitted the proposal to two of its committees and to the congregations for discussion, the working group made a call to Christians in the GDR to discuss this issue. As a result, seminars were held on this topic; The Synod of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR also dealt with the topic of demarcation in society in September 1987 and 1988. On August 13, 1989, an event took place in the Treptow Confession Church on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the construction of the Wall , at which Hans-Jürgen Fischbeck , member of the working group, called for an oppositional collection movement for democratic renewal in the GDR.

Appeal for founding

On September 12, 1989, a “call for interference in one's own cause”, the founding call for Democracy Now, was passed in this working group. It bears 12 signatures from members of this working group, almost all of whom come from Berlin, among them the physicist and synodal Hans-Jürgen Fischbeck , the co-founder of the organization Women for Peace Ulrike Poppe , the church historian Wolfgang Ullmann and the film director Konrad Weiß . The appeal starts with the sentence "Our country lives in internal strife" and then describes the situation in the GDR in several paragraphs. Based on this, the founding of the citizens' movement “Democracy Now” is called and some general goals such as a “solidary society”, “freedom and human dignity for all”, “living pluralism ”, the rule of law and the harmony of economy and ecology are named. At a representatives meeting in early 1990, a basic program should be decided. The aim would be to participate in the next Volkskammer election with its own list .

The appeal was accompanied by “Theses for a Democratic Reorganization in the GDR”, in which a large number of concrete political demands for the democratization of state and economy , for the decoupling of state and society as well as for ecological reorganization were raised. The unity of Germany was already formulated as a goal in these theses: “We invite the Germans in the Federal Republic to work towards a restructuring of their society that could enable a new unity of the German people in the domestic community of the European peoples. Both German states should reform each other for the sake of unity. "


At the end of October 1989, Democracy Now started a signature campaign to amend Article 1 of the constitution , which laid down the SED's claim to leadership. In November, Democracy Now spread the proposal of a " four-sided table " in which representatives of the SED , the bloc parties and members of the church and civil rights movements should take part, a proposal that was implemented in December in the form of the round table . From December the round table met, in which Democracy Now took part with two representatives. His speakers were Hans-Jürgen Fischbeck, Ulrike Poppe, Konrad Weiß and Wolfgang Ullmann.

For the 1990 Volkskammer election , Democracy Now stood in an electoral alliance with the New Forum and the Peace and Human Rights Initiative, which received 2.9% of the vote and 12 of the 400 seats. Together with the eight members of the Green Party in the GDR , they formed the Alliance 90 / Greens parliamentary group. Democracy Now stood up for a social and ecological market economy , for the rule of law and for the unity of Germany in three stages (rapprochement, confederation, federation of German states).

On September 21, 1991 in Potsdam from parts of the New Forum , the Initiative Peace and Human Rights and Democracy Now, Bündnis 90 was founded as a party, which in turn united with the Greens in May 1993 . In Saxony, Democracy Now founded the Alliance 90 / The Greens party in Saxony in September 1991 together with the Greens , the New Forum and the Peace and Human Rights Initiative.

Known members

Almuth Berger , Stephan Bickhardt , Hans-Jürgen Fischbeck , Katrin Göring-Eckardt , Regine Hildebrandt , Ludwig Mehlhorn , Ulrike Poppe , Wolfgang Tiefensee , Wolfgang Ullmann , Konrad Weiß


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