The air is cool actually cold, no snow fell yet, it’s not raining and just a little windy. Darkness will fall soon, the Christmas lights spread a homy feeling. Everything is fullfilled with the babbling of voices, the smell of hot wine punch, roasted almonds and the oncoming winter. Dozens of people hustle together every minute, fast talking children sticking in warm jackets and with hats on. Grocery sized bags dangle on arms, wallets lay easy in hand. Even the paramedics seem to be relaxed, the shining of the lights on their faces.
Entering the place one can see them scarcely, have to keep an eye out for the signs: Occupy Hanover. Money does not work.
Saturday afternoon at 2pm they assemble on the „Kröpcke“ in Hanover, nearby the central rail station. For two hours two dozen of demonstrants in the middle of clothes shops of well known brands, inbetween Hip Hop street perfomances and a Scottish musician, line of sight the Christmas Market. They come out of different social backrounds, are not reducable to one age, represent a melting pot of critics and have a consensus: The capitalism and associated corruption are the downfall of our society, our state and the whole global system.
„Occupy“ is a movement based on the Arabic Spring. In December 2010 protests and revolts started in Tunesia and spread within short time to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Morocco and Jordan. One thing after another dismissals of governing politicians, deadlock situations and civil wars, resolute invasions of the NATO and widespread social protest happened, which developed from short sentences on Twitter and Facebook to mass movements. In May the citizens of spain assembled for the first time on the streets, to protest against massive cutbacks of the walfare system and the bank rescue initiated by the European Union.
Nowadays, three months after the the 15th October, when in came to protests and even occupations in 1000 towns in more than 80 countries, people are still angaged with the movement in Hanover.
A tall women is kneeling inbetween them and still working on a big, artistically sign. „If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep. Wake up!“ is written down there in green, red and black letters, aside a ringing alarm clock is painted. She is wearing a white furry bonnet, unremarkable glasses and laughs when someone is coming closer. She has got an explanation for the small number of demonstrators. They are wearing out. In Hanover protests are organized every Saturday, information campaigns, distributing flyers. Moreover roundabout 25 people meet every Monday in the „Raschplatzpavillon“ at 7pm. „But not the same 25 people everytime.“ There is fluctuation around a hard core. She herself is engaged in a working group additionally. Three appointments for „Occupy“ every week. Responding to the question if she sees herself affected by the crisis, the financial crisis, she says that she is in the lucky position to work as a clerk, but Christmas and holiday bonus and the thirteenth monthly allowance has been cut down already a couple of years ago.
Active already within the movement of 1968 she reports how it went around the world. But actions like that always change by time and calm down, but there a time will come when the wave is rolling again. By the time the protests begun months ago she says that many of the todays activists have been relieved, finally the changing seemed to start. There was a feeling like all of them sat in a waiting room for years. A huge tsunami is moving around the globe now. But this time, the women is convinced, some rapid changes will happen. „One never knows how a birth will end, if mother and child will be healthy or have to die. But it is sure that the birth will take place.“ Until spring proposals and basic concepts should be worked out. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be reactivated, it’s downgrading must not proceed. It has to be the base for global, real democracy. „Real Democracia ya!“, „Real Democracy Now!“ is the movement’s groundbraking slogan.
To follow Berlin and Frankfurt/ Main, the two cutting-edge cities of the German „Occupy“ actions, and build up a Camp was discussed as well, but the activists in Hanover decided against it because „it draines a lot of energy“. Instead of that they prefer working on ideas for protests, information for people who have never or almost nothing heard about the background of the global actions.
Do they work on demands? „No“, a second woman is laughing, „doing so, we even could set up a political party.“ „Occupy“ exists not to place demands on somebody that are binding for all humans. Because everybody has different topics keeping him or her busy, but in this meltig pot it is about the break down of the system. A „new world of respect and teamwork“ has to be built up. That is why in January two political salons will open in the „Medienhaus“ of Hanover. No Lobbyists or Politicians are invited, but there is access for everyone who is interested, wants to discuss, compare views with others. The mainstream media are barely willing to offer time for the voices of people. The ones who are actually affected, „You cannot talk about the crisis in 30 or 90 seconds. Either you take enough time or let it be.“ In general the media are handling the movement wrongly, discredit it by a focus that lays on claims and concrete appeals. But „Occupy“ is currently in a process. „I guess we will be out of the wood in three years. Afterwards just ten years of smaller work will follow.“ Her gaze is strong, a fierce, sanguine flash of fire in her eyes. Full of pleasant anticipation. The people who are standing on the „Kröpcke“ today think idealistic, but moreover they are willing to start the changes theirself. The motivation is real, their engagement catching.
The reactions of the pedestrians are diverse. Some seem to be frightened as soon their are addressed with the financial crisis. A few don’t want to listen and escape. But many people are interested and take at look at the information table, reading flyers or listen about the ideas, discussing whether they are in a pro or contra position. Networking is one of the movement’s most important pillars. Not only social networks on the internet play a role but also face-to-face contact.
With a long look to the passing people and a strong voice, she says that everybody is a light house in the world, and gets much more in return than he or she gives. The reaction of the people gives heart. She herself gave out so many flyers already that she left it to someone else today and prefers talking.
At 4pm the demonstration is finished and the people take their signs, freezing, shaking hands, calling „See you on Monday.“ The women refers to her disease, she suffers cancer. „But you know what? Political activism can help.“ she says, putting her bonnet back on her head.