Register demonstration/meeting in Germany + Important links and notes

What is a meeting anyway?

Demonstration oder Versammlung anmelden Demo schild Pappschild Demoschild

An assembly is always spoken of when two or more people are publicly politically active, regardless of whether these people are holding a demonstration, running an information stand or distributing flyers. In each of these cases you should register these actions/demonstrations. Then you are legally on the safe side and you don't have to fear any stress with the authorities. It is also not too much effort. But before we talk about what you should do, we have to distinguish between a meeting on public and private ground. Everything that you will read here later on refers to a demonstration in Germany on public grounds. However, if the demonstration or action is to take place on private property (school or university or department store or something like that), simply clarify everything with the owner or the school/university administration. If you get a permit, make sure you get it in writing so there will be no trouble afterwards.

In which case must your action be registered?

As mentioned in the introduction, any public political action must be registered when two or more people participate. Registration must be the first step. 48 hours after the registration you may advertise your actions through flyers, social media or press releases. If you plan your action as an information booth, the city can charge fees for this so-called "special use" of the public area. 

Hint: Call your info booth "Kundgebung". This is also done by people who want to advertise any products. This usually causes few problems and the fees are low.

Where and how must the demonstration be registered?

Demonstration oder Versammlung anmelden Demo schild Pappschild Demoschild

The recipient of the registration is sometimes the public order office, sometimes the police, sometimes the municipality. If there is a public order office in the town where you want to register the demonstration, it is best to ask there. Often there is already a form with questions that you have to answer. Sometimes you can find it on the net and print it out, sometimes you can get it from the authorities. If there is no ready-made form, you have to write an application yourself.

What does the registration for a demonstration in Germany look like?

Organizer/Contact persons/Conference management:

Organizer, contact person and chairperson of the meeting can be one and the same person or three different persons. The organizer (can also be an organization) must provide the address. The contact person will receive the confirmation of registration. The person you enter as the leader of the meeting is responsible for the course of the action and during this the contact person for the authorities and the police. Therefore the meeting line must be during the entire action locally and indicate name, address and a current telephone number.

Place or path of the action:

Indicate here exactly where you want to stand or where you want to go. If you express yourself too vaguely here, you will end up not standing where you actually wanted to go. If you are supposedly not allowed to go somewhere, there must be a legal basis for this, as there is for every rejection of a demonstration in Germany. At the very least you must be offered an alternative place. If you don't have a fixed location, but are planning a march demonstration, you must indicate the exact route and mark the individual points on a city map.

Time of the action:

Here you have to specify the day of the demonstration and the expected duration. Please be generous with your information. Starting later or stopping earlier is never a problem. You can only overrun if the police tolerates it.

Theme of the action:

Here you do not have to write a speech, but only roughly name a keyword that you want to talk about. "Climate protection" or "civil rights", for example, would be sufficient.

Sequence of the action:

Here you have to specify the means of manifestation, i.e. vehicles that will join a marching demonstration or loudspeakers. The latter will only be approved if there are at least 50 participants, so it is recommended to assume that there are at least 50 participants in any case. In general, it is better to give too many means of expression than too few. Then you have to name the individual program items here, such as the holding of speeches. Names of the speakers do not have to be mentioned, just write "changing persons".

Link for registration in Germany: https://demonstrare.de/demonstration-anmelden/

What happens afterwards?

Demonstration oder Versammlung anmelden Demo schild Pappschild Demoschild

The competent authority will now send you a registration confirmation. Take it with you to the demo so that you can show something in case of conflict. The registration cannot be denied just like that. Everyone has the right to express himself politically, even in public! The registration is not meant to judge the content of your demo, but only to prepare the city for your action. Therefore, it may be that the authorities set some conditions. For example, it could determine that the demonstration must take place at another location or at another time, if the registration is received too late, in order to make necessary preparations by the municipality, such as roadblocks. In any case, these conditions must be justified. A typical condition is the prohibition of alcohol. What is also often required is the presence of stewards or stewardesses. You don't have to give the names of your stewards, but they must be of age and wear a white band with the inscription "Ordner" or "Ordnerin". The folders should ensure that the action is carried out in an orderly manner.

Hints

Demonstration oder Versammlung anmelden Demo schild Pappschild Demoschild

Specify a deputy for the chairperson of the meeting. If this person is ill and cannot be present, the whole action may have to be cancelled. A meeting without a leader is not allowed.

Submit your registration in such a way that you have proof of this. Use either a confirmation of sending (mail) or a sending report (fax).

Take a megaphone with you. This will give you the acoustic upper hand. And if the action gets out of hand, you can declare it over and you are not liable for what happens afterwards.
The leader of the meeting is responsible and should make the decisions in case of conflict.


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