I'd planned to write about the protests that started this week against the DFB after Union's home game against Bochum tomorrow. However, due to a few requests, I thought I'd have a stab at a Friday lunchtime blog piece about 'Ohne Stimme Keine Stimmung'. The protest started this week and will take place again this weekend and again the following weekend. Teams will play 3 matches where the fans stay silent for the opening salvo.
A banner from one of the midweek fixtures in the Bundesliga
For some background on the DFBs proposals (The Safe Stadium Expeience) read my earlier blog post here and be sure to follow the links as those with more knowledge and better German than me have made a fine attempt at explaining some of the DFBs proposals.
In short, the DFB are looking to erode football fans basic human rights. You may be reading this thinking is this just some daft blogger trying to be controversial to get a few measly hits to his blog. I don't blame you. It sounds absurd. However, when you take time to analyse the way the DFB have manoeuvred the debate then you'll be more shocked at the stats that I can quote than the nonsense that the DFB/media/police have spouted.
So, you've read my previous post and you now know that 1. FC Union Berlin were the only club not to sign up to the DFB/DFLs charter earlier in the year. You'll also now be aware that other clubs released statements backing Union and calling for more dialogue after Union submitted a lengthy document aniliating the DFBs argument.
The next step taken by the fans was direct action. Fan representatives spoke with their clubs and some clubs joined forces with Union. Now all fans are United. United against the DFB, their top down approach and their propaganda that the stadium experience in Germany is unsafe. Go to the fan mile in Berlin. Go to Oktoberfest. All statistically more dangerous than a German football pitch. Points I'll never tire of making. The direct action has brought about the campaign, Ohne Stimme Keine Stimmung which roughly translates to 'No chanting, No atmosphere.'
The scoreboard at Dortmund during the week
On Tuesday we saw the first demonstrations by fans as part of this campaign. Fans refused to sing for the opening 12 minutes and 12 seconds of Bundesliga matches. It was a glorious spectacle to witness and that was just on TV. I can't wait to see Union fans break the silence in the 13th minute of play tomorrow. The ground will erupt. The reason for the length of the silence is that the DFB reconvene on 12th December (12.12) to discuss the next steps.
We live in a world where the state are keen to introduce new measures for 'our safety'. Whether it be full body scanners at airports, vast amounts of CCTV cameras in city centres or the ability to fully strip search away fans. We must rise up and and fight for our civil liberties. Interestingly the DFB are not even a public authority so quite where they summon the audacity for such laws is beyond most sensible people.
The police increased their man hours at games last season by 20%. Could this be a reason for more arrests. Is football getting 'more violent'. If we need to make cuts to the public sector and have less police on the street and arrests fall are we living in a safer world? Unlikely. The phrase 'you can prove anything with stats' is very apt in relation to the police and the DFB and the spin they seem to enjoy taking part in.
Again, proud to be a Unioner and proud to be part of a movement that challenges the status quo rather than just rolling over and accepting further errosions of my basic rights; right to stand, my right to have a beer and overall, my right to be free.
For a video of the midweek match at Kaiserslautern and to see the protest in action click here.
For further information in German click here.