We have to regain the trust in democracy

Oliver Frljić's speech at the“DIE VIELEN” DEMONSTRATION, BERLIN, May 19, 2019

We have to regain the trust in democracy. Democracy is not an instrument for  the rich to get richer. Democracy is not a weapon for fascists to terminate democratic rule. But at the moment, democracy is our last resort, our last protection from sinking into ideological mud that once already almost swallowed Europe.

I am holding this speech in Germany. After all that happened in a not so distant past of this/your country, you  once again have fascists in German parliament. The fact that they like/prefer to call themselves extreme-right is their own problem. But the fact that they have once again gained democratic legitimation is a problem that concerns  all of us. I want to remind you that somebody voted for them. Somebody gave them the right to sit in your parliament. Somebody gave them the possibility to fulfill their dreams of abolishing democracy. And this dream could easily turn into a new European nightmare.

I am holding this speech in Germany because I had to leave Croatia. Increasing normalization of fascism, racism, nationalism and xenophobia in this country, blessed by a democratically elected government, forced me to leave. As an artist in Croatia, I was exposed to death threats, physical and verbal violence and even the President of Croatia marked me as a primary target in the hunt on national witches. All this violence was directed against my artistic freedom and freedom of speech, my right to have an opinion differing from the opinion of the majority. So, I am asking you: "Do you want this kind of violence to become the new democratic norm in Europe?"

As you probably know, a knife can be used for pealing a potato. But it can be also used for killing somebody. Democracy can be used for expression and implementation of democratic will of citizens. But it can be also used for the killing of democratic rules. The upcoming EU elections will show what we, European citizens, want democracy to serve for. They will show what kind of Europe we want as well. Do we want a Europe of borders, do we want a Europe of racial and national segregation, do we want a Europe where crime against certain ethnical group can be legalized again? Do we want a Europe where the murder of 6 million Jews can be forgotten?

I want to invite you to go and vote next Sunday. Otherwise pretty soon you maybe won't have that right anymore.