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United for democracy:
Around 2,500 people sent a strong signal in support of diversity, freedom and respectful coexistence


Eine große Menschenmasse auf dem Altmarkt. Im Hintergrund die Frauenkirche. Gemeinsam für Demokratie. Großveranstaltung der Wissenschaft und Kultur auf dem Dresdener Altmarkt am 25.Mai. Foto: Anja Schneider
Press release of TUD Dresden University of Technology from May 25, 2024

On May 25, 2024, around 2,500 people joined forces in Dresden to send a strong signal in support of the value of democracy and a free and democratic coexistence as they celebrated a peaceful and joyful Festival of Democracy. The form of the event was unique in Germany. The invitation came from more than 60 institutions from science, art and culture in Dresden – including TUD Dresden University of Technology under the umbrella of DRESDEN-concept and the association #WOD – Initiative for an Open City of Dresden.

Science and culture are joining forces with the public for the first time to send a signal to protect our liberal democratic order.

We live in a time when our democracy is being systematically threatened and hollowed out. We must nip this in the bud. Our liberal democracy cannot be taken for granted. It must be lived and protected anew every day. That’s why today, on stage and then at the stands, we want talk with respect about exciting topics relating to our democracy, even when opinions differ.

Prof. Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger, Rector of TUD Dresden University of Technology and Chairwoman of DRESDEN-concept e. V.

The event began at 2:00 pm with a procession setting off from four different locations in the Dresden city area. The participants of the four processions arrived at the Altmarkt at around 3:00 pm. There they met up with numerous visitors who had already gathered between the main stage and the pavilions, where an accompanying scientific and artistic program was taking place.

The program on the main stage included the musical statement “#LautSein” by the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, which was specially composed for the occasion, as well as musical contributions by the Hamburg-based musician BOSSE. The event was moderated by MDR presenter Sissy Metzschke and science communicator Simon Hauser.

United for a democratic society and human rights

Prof. Roswitha Böhm, Vice-Rector University Culture at TUD, welcomed those taking part in the march from Fritz-Foerster-Platz in the immediate vicinity of the TUD campus. She stressed that: “We are the many. We stand together. We stand for humanity, for respectful coexistence. We stand for a democratic society where human rights are practiced. We do this together with many research facilities and cultural institutions in Dresden.”

The Rector of TUD was joined in opening the festival of science, art and culture by Prof. Gerhard Rödel, Managing Director of DRESDEN-concept and spokesperson for the international graduate school DIGS-BB, Joachim Klement, Director of the Staatsschauspiel, and Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, Director of the Kunsthaus Dresden.

Dresden is a great research location, not least thanks to the many outstanding researchers who come to us from all over the world. With today’s event, we want to show how important it is to us and the thousands of people taking part that we all can live and work freely and without discrimination in our country and in our city in accordance with our Basic Law.

Prof. Gerhard Rödel, Managing Director of DRESDEN-concept and Spokesperson for the international graduate school DIGS-BB

Our times demand a firm stance! Today, it is more important than ever to stand up for open coexistence based on solidarity. 75 years after the creation of the Basic Law and 35 years after the peaceful autumn of 1989, science and culture form a counterweight to hatred and populism.

We are showing that diversity is our strength. Together, we are sending a clear signal in support of democracy and our fundamental rights. We stand united for an open country – and for a new way of living together.

Joachim Klement, Director of the Staatsschauspiel

We are overwhelmed by the huge voluntary commitment of everyone involved. In addition to our common cause to champion democracy now, this also testifies to a growing network between science and culture in Dresden.

Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, Director of the Kunsthaus Dresden

Visitors used the artistic program on stage and the supporting program in ten pavilions to explore topics ranging from internationality in science to performance art and the didactics of democracy. In each of the pavilions, there was an opportunity to exchange ideas with researchers and artists and to celebrate democracy together.