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Fusion Festival: How the police endanger a liberal and successful security concept

The police chief of Neubrandenburg wants a police station in the middle of the festival and an unblemished streaking of the site by officials. The organizers resist: they refer to the freedom of the arts and to more than 20 years without noteworthy incidents. In fact, the merger can serve as a model project for an alternative approach to security at major events.

For more than 20 years the fusion festival takes place at the end of June in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. What began as a small left-wing alternative techno party on the former military airfield in Lärz has now become one of the largest alternative cultural festivals in Europe, with some 70,000 guests. Despite all the growth, despite some changes and many people, the five-day festival has always remained different than its commercial counterparts: There is no media presence, no advertising, no sponsorship, no promotion, no drinks controls, no meat – and no police on the premises.

The Festival an der Müritz is also interesting from a civil law point of view, as it can be considered as an alternative example of how order and security can be ensured with a restrained strategy even at major events. This is not only because of a functioning security structure of the organizers, the mindful and peaceful visitors of the festival, but also because the merger is organized from a network of up to 10,000 people actively participate in the design and so the form the basis of the festival. So it’s not just faceless commercial service providers, but communities that work hard to make things happen. Herein differs the merger of other events on the order of magnitude.

The police chief of Neubrandenburg, Nils Hoffmann-Ritterbusch, could now cause this stress himself with an alleged improvement in security: he calls for a police station in the middle of the grounds and an unpolluted police patrol that pulls over the festival. One could also say: The police want to closely monitor the festival from now on. Documents available on substantiate these plans. If Hoffmann-Ritterbusch does not receive his police station, he threatens not to agree to the security concept of the merger. The festival could not take place then.

There is little reason to change the previous approach to security: the number of violent acts such as personal injury has been in the low single digits for years. In their own press releases, the police themselves have always been positive in recent years. From “expected” is there the speech, of “no special incidents” or a “largely trouble-free course”. Police categories for making sure everything went well.

The very straightforward use for a major event with 70,000 people is also reflected in the small amount of work that the police have to do: With about the same number of visitors, the police used only up to 95 officers per day in 2011; in 2016, there were 204 officers and in the year 2018 maximum 236 officials. That was enough to be able to intervene if necessary and, above all, to use traffic controls to put pressure on festival visitors so that they would travel sober.

Attack on alternative event concept

For the organizers and their peaceful visitors, the new line of the chief of police is a disappointment, says Martin Eulenhaupt, who co-organized the merger from the outset, “It is an attack on a successful, alternative and progressive event concept, the As all experience shows, it leads to more safety than at other major events. This achievement, which was also based on mutual trust with the police, puts the police president with his claim without any unnecessary risk. ”

Because the festival is largely supported by leftist groups and networks, it could be the police presence on the site that is now causing trouble and conflict. Owl Head does not believe that the audience will accept the new line of police without grumbling. He expects peaceful and imaginative protests of the guests should the police prevail. Until then, he pleads to the police chief, now rethink and continue the established concept of the last 20 years and as a compromise to build a police station outside the fence, but in the immediate vicinity of the festival.

The cultural cosmos Müritz now wants to build political pressure, go to court if necessary. In addition, there will be a petition promoting the freedom of art and culture, complaining not only about the current situation in the merger, but the pressure on all sorts of cultural and subcultural events.

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