When in national headquarters of the Berlin FDP party the 6pm election prognosis is transmitted, cheers broke out. Although the FDP has won only 1.8% and drops out of the House of Representatives of the Berlin Parliament, the result is celebrated, confetti is flying in the air and people are chanting the phenomenal performance of the Free Democrats.
About 50 activists of the Hedonist International, the Party "The Party" and "an unnamed group of guerrilla communication" had put on evening wear and sneaked into the election party, drank a lot of free beer provided by the FDP and celebrate the amazing result wildly.
One activist told the presss pretending to be an FDP fan in an interview: "We had a great tailwind from the German FDP, so we could accomplish this phenomenal vote of less than 2 percent. Without a tough message against Greece this would not have been possible. And so one can say from the result:..the FDP is back ... "
here some press articles (all in German):
Here is some news from the section Minneapolis (USA) which started few days ago with their first action:
First of all, the issue at hand: the government of the state of Minnesota has shut down. Because of the total inability of the two parties to agree on a state budget before the deadline, the government has shut down. However, it isn't exactly an anarchist's paradise -- on the one hand, poor families no longer receive child support; services for the blind and deaf have shut their doors, and thousands of people who work for the state aren't receiving their paychecks. On the other hand, the police are still in full force, and the prisons and courts are operating as normal.
Because we find this totally unacceptable, it was decided to organize a hedonist action to protest the government shutdown. The "Shut Down, Rise Up! Street Party" was born. It took place in Cedar-Riverside, a neighborhood with a radical history but which is now being gentrified and has become the latest hip place for university students.
Around 11:00 PM we met on a street corner and waited for everyone to show up. We had two soundsystems there, the smaller, battery powered "Lorelei" on a bike trailer, and a much larger, generator-powered system. We started the music, and then started heading on the street to dance. Since it was a Friday evening in the middle of a strip of bars, are numbers weren't lacking - approx. 50 people were dancing, with hundreds more watching. For about five minutes we danced in peace, and then the first cops showed up. However, they just provided us with some sweet dance lights for awhile, as their number grew. Eventually, they threatened us with pepper spray, so we moved off the street onto the sidewalk and continued the music and dancing. After about five minutes of this, with about twenty cops assembled, one of them came forward and unplugged the sound systems. The music stopped, but the dancing did not.
There was a bit of unrest as the police attempted to disperse the crowd. One was arrested and charged with "disobeying a lawful order". The police told us that whoever accepted responsibility for the soundsystems would be arrested. Two of us came forward an accepted responsiblity. We were not arrested, however we were both given citations for "Unlawful Assembly" (total bullshit) and our sound systems were confiscated. We should get them back when we pay the fines, which are $180 each. We took a collection and got $125 in donations, and there is a party being planned to help recoup the rest.
All in all: a great success!
Find pictures and videos here:
Of course, we want to give our sincere thanks to all the contributors, technicians and DJs as well, and last but not least to all the folks who just came a few days earlier to help. We thank the musicians and artists for the program filled up with punk rock, rock n’ roll, boom-boom and all kinds of wonderful hippieshit. We are grateful for the people who enchanted the area with beautiful decoration, for the team who did the cinema floor and the kitchen crews who provided us with delicious and healthy food. We bow to serious lectures, philosophy and funny hoax. We are happy that you had so much fun and pleasure. That you pestered the contributors with so many questions and thrilled them with your interest. We are overwhelmed by your determination to join in and make the congress such a special place. We have fallen in love with your spontaneity and the smile in your face that has made others smile as well.
Especially, we would like to give props to the people of the „Traumschule Riebau“, who have invited us to their place and let us „do what you want“. We thank the inhabitants of the village, who endured us (and our music) during all four days without grumble. Such a tolerant place isn’t easy to find – we did not get any complaint at all.
Additionally a little information:
During the next days we will upload some podcasts and sheets of the lectures, too.
There are more photos here.
This year, the Hedonist International celebrates its World Congress for the second time. On the site of a former border barrack in Riebau, a small village near Salzwedel in Saxony-Anhalt, there will meet advocates and masterminds, dancers and friends of a good life for all.
The Congress will consist of three topics: protest, party, and action. They will be filled with a wide range of talks and workshops held by political activists, old and new communication guerill@s, scientists, musicians, philosophers, and artists. Please visit http://hedonist-international.org/worldcongress2011/?page_id=318 for further details. There are some talks in English, and we will do our best to provide some basic consecutive translation for the rest.
It seems clear that a hedonist congress without singing and dancing is like summer without sun. That’s why the congress program will be surrounded by music and performances, cinema, and art. After the two congress days Friday and Saturday, the whole thing will end up in a whole-day and open-air dancing workshop on Sunday.
Hard to say if this Hedonist summer camp can be called a festival, a conference, a political gathering or an open air. We assume: something in between all this, with some bits of everything in it. We are sure that it will be a colorful and pleasurable experience.
We want to make sure that people can come to this memorable event in a comfortable and cheap way. From and to Berlin, we have thus organized some shuttle buses which bring you there at the cost price of 8 Euros one-way. The Hedo-Liner (buy tickets here) goes on Thursday and Friday evening from Berlin to Riebau and from Riebau to Berlin on Monday. Please book now! We need to plan the buses and their costs, so it would be great if you arrange to book before June 3rd (Friday) noon.
We are looking forward to meet you under the sun of Riebau!
More Info on the Congress:
The Hedonist International’s 2nd World Congress will take place from June 9th to June 13th. It will bring together people from all over the world who are interested in hedonism, to promote their networking and to open new perspectives for resistance. We will discuss theoretical concepts, try new forms of action, talk about social conflicts and about alternative methods of political intervention. Last but not least, we will experience that a happy and good living is possible – here and now. It is foreseen that contributions, panels, and workshops will be added spontaneously.
The Congress program is planned along the topics Protest, Party, and Action.
Contributions can deal with rather scientific topics like Predictive Behavioral Targeting, critique of ideology, religion or capitalist economy. They can discuss political concepts as the general basic income or the guarantee of access to public goods as transport, or housing. It could be the critics of lookism, sexism, or gentrification. Maybe you will like to discuss copyright problems, digital rights movement, or censorship. Last but not least, we hope to gather some interesting information about social movements all over the world that hedonists should know something about.
The lineup of strategical topics will be of similar manifoldness. It copes with questions as “How to politicize common party people?” or “What could Hedonist alliances look like?”. Is there something like a Hedonist agenda? How do we deal with social disparity? What is our concept of revolution, and do we even have one? Is Hedonism a political philosophy and, if yes, what does that mean? How can we become truly “international”? Are we to learn from the 1968 “fun gueriller@s”, and what would we like to respond them?
the preliminary schedule of the congress:
The congress will take place on the location of a former border casern and a former railway station in the village Riebau.
Supported by the sections "nudist offensive action committee" Aktionskomitee nudistische Offensive (AKNO) and the "alliance for urban mobile acoustic irradiation" Bündnis für urbane Mobilbeschallung (BUMS) the “hedonistic flat viewing rally” section Sektion Hedonistische Wohnungsbesichtigungs-Rally has succeeded once again:
Originally, we wanted to use the statement "The real estate market is relaxed" by Mrs. Junge-Reyer, Berlin's senator for urban development, as the motto of this naked rallye. However, this rallye turned out to be the most stressful one to date. At both flat viewings we visited, the real estate agents immediately called the police, who arrived shockingly late. At the second viewing, two journalists were taken into custody and had to provide identification. This happened at Warschauer Strasse 33, in a luxuriously renovated corner house, offered at a price of 8.50 Euro per square meter, 40% above the upper end of the Mietspiegel margin, which reflects the average local prices and is suggested by the state as an orientation for new leases. After three failed attempts to enter this house, we were excited to finally get a chance to visit this sacred location. We entered through the open front door and the agent of Lion Real Estate had no choice but to watch us dance around the dark apartment for a few minutes.
Earlier that day, we had taken a look at a recently renovated building in Schreinerstrasse 32, that – while lacking any special features – impressed us with its price of 9.60 Euro per square meter, 60% above the upper end of the Mietspiegel (110% above its mean). At this public viewing, we even met actual apartment seekers, who appeared startled to see us. The dancing was laid-back until the real estate agent lost his head, prompting us to end the event.
At both viewings, we were accompanied by journalists from dapd, AFP, an Israeli camera crew and a radio reporter. Although the list of journalists still still waiting to report on one of our rallyes is long, we have decided to go into hibernation and suspend our naked appearances over the winter. We will, however, use the time to investigate new and unusual forms of protest, suitable for raising awareness for serious social issues. Uncontrolled and thus sky-high rental prices are indeed a serious issue with a direct impact on the livelihoods of many. As Berlin's Senate is pushing a legislative initiative in the Bundesrat, political pressure in every German city is more important than ever.
A lot of german sections of the Hedonist International mobilize to protests against nuclear power. The protests will take place in the Wendland district starting November 5th when the conservative-neoliberal governmemt will bring tons of nuclear waste to this area. The protests will propably the largest against atomic power since years, because the german government prolongues the use of nuclear power for more than 14 years.
Sections of the Hedonist International are organized in a coalition with club collectives, cultural initiatives and subculture initiative which is called "Atomkraft wegbassen" (Bass away nuclear power). More than 60 groups signed the call for action. You can have a look at the website at: http://atomkraftwegbassen.blogsport.de
The nudist offensive action committee (Aktionskomitee nudistische Offensive (AKNO)), the alliance for urban mobile acoustic irradiation
Berliners don't have a lot of purchasing power - some people have to pay so much rent that they can no longer afford clothes. That's why on
Basically, the law says that overpriced rental offers are illegal if demand exceeds supply in the housing market and apartment-seekers have no choice but to accept these offers. For this rule to apply, however, a housing shortage has to be officially established by the authorities. If a shortage is determined, demanding a rent which exceeds the reference value suggested in the “Mietspiegel” (rent index, an official document issued by the state detailing average housing prices) by more than 20% constitutes an administrative offense, and prices exceeding this value by 50% or more are treated as a criminal offense. In the latter case, signed lease agreements can be changed to reflect an average rental price.
Anyone currently seeking an affordable apartment in Friedrichshain will tell you that there is a dramatic shortage in affordable housing - the situation is no different in other districts.
Against profiteering in the housing market – for fair living conditions!
For price fixing in the housing market (Mietbindung) – new leases have to reflect commensurate reference values!
Do your own flat viewing rally – anywhere!
The action committee nudist offensive Aktionskomitee nudistische Offensive (AKNO), the alliance for urban mobile acoustic irradiation Bündnis für urbane Mobilbeschallung (BUMS) and the "hedonistic flat viewing rally" (Sektion "Hedonistische Wohnungsbesuchtigungs-Rally") section have completed another flat viewing rally on Sunday, August 8:
“Although both apartments passed our party test, we are pissed off that such apartments cost some 10 Euros rent per square meter excluding utilities and heating cost nowadays. Trying to find someone stupid enough to pay that price borders illicit profiteering (Mietwucher). The law forbids overpriced offers, if demand exceeds supply in the housing market and apartment-seekers have no choice, but to accept these offers. If a shortage is established, demanding a rent exceeding the reference value suggested in the “Mietspiegel” (an official document issued by the state detailing average housing prices) constitutes an administrative offense, and prices exceeding this value by 50% or more are treated as a criminal offense. In the latter case, signed lease agreements can be changed to reflect an average rental price.
Against profiteering in the housing market – for fair living conditions!
Do your own flat viewing rally – anywhere!