Hanfparade organisers see themselves and the freedom of assembly massively curtailed by police. Legal action against the authorities decided.
Following the Hanfparade 2011 in Berlin last Saturday, when about 2,700 people demanded the “legalisation of Cannabis as a raw material, medicine and natural stimulant,” the organising association JaKiS e.V. has raised serious allegations against the Berlin police. JaKiS e.V. refuses to accept the accusations from the administrative authority for assemblies (Versammlungsbehörde) that extensive parts of the Hanfparade were “not focused on collective manifestation of opinion” and therefore the overall event is not a gathering in terms of the basic law.
“The truth is that the Forum for Hemp Medicine, Hemp Crop Show, Kinderland and Market of Opportunities which were prohibited by the authorities have immense political importance. They are part of an intensive engagement for the participants and visitors showing the variety of Hemp applications,” said Martin Steldinger, one of the board members of the association.
The organisers of the Hanfparade were shocked at the lack of willingness from the Berlin police to communicate. They point out that their extensive objections were ignored by the assembly authorities and offers of talks, even if they emanated from the solicitor of the association, ran into a void. The JaKiS e.V. explains this by saying the Hanfparade, as in the past 14 years, should have been fully recognised as a demonstration. The head of the Berlin assembly authority Mr Haß included in his negative verdict, quotes from rulings by the Federal Administrative Court which had thereafter been rescinded in 2007.
“We cannot accept the apparent arbitrariness with which the rights to demonstrate in terms of Hanfarade 2011 were broken and bent,” said Martin Steldinger. “The assembly authorities hostile decision, refusal to communicate and attitude of the officials force us to go the legal way and to challenge the assembly authorities decision.” The Hanfparade 2011 represent here on behalf of many demonstrations, their constitutionally protected right to participate in political discourse which is increasingly being eroded.