|Protest/Demonstration in Düsseldorf/Germany July 22, 2000|
The people came together at 10 a.m. at the Burgplatz (near the Rhine, in front of Police department).
A lot of police were there as 10,000 and more people had been expected to join for the protest. Final
estimation by Police 10,000 - 12,000 people.
The demonstration went by peacefully, which was very important for our reputation. Again - like Münster July 14, and Dortmund July 15, 2000 - the crowd was very very surprised to see
Frankly said - people like you and me.
All ages - kids from 3 up to 14/15 - and the oldest participants might have been around 70 - 75 years. Also several NON-DOG-OWNERS who had once (in the past) a dog and think/thought of getting a new 4-legged friend again, joined us.
Police was present - but was NOT NEEDED - but also not as supportive as they had been at Münster and Dortmund; there they allowed us to use the loud-speakers of the policecar.
This demonstration was sponsored by ROYALE CANINE - and even if this is good for the company for marketing - I want to be fair and mention this; as they provided us with microphones.
At 1:30 p.m. we came to a peacefull end - with not even one bad event from our side.
Highlights - and proofs for the mass hysteria
A blind lady with a certified dog to guide her, dog with special guide-leash, lady with a white stick - for everybody easily to recognize that she is blind/disabled - who had fortunately another NOT blind lady to accompany her - WAS ATTACKED on her way from Mühlheim to Düsseldorf at Main Station Düsseldorf. Only due to the fact that some passengers showed up courage and helped - she was not hurt.
The poor dog was much confused (which one could easily see on the body language, tail carried between the rear legs, unusually shy and nervous due to that). It was a very friendly Old German Shepherd-male who could be touched be everybody. We convinced the lady that she should report this to the local police (which she agreed to do after the demonstration).
Other pictures had been made - and we asked the people if it would be ok to give it to foreign press and/or use it in internet. Everbody gave the permission to do so. The pictures will be availabe at Tuesday next week (as over the weekend there is no 24-hour-service in Germany, so Monday is the first day to get the developed, Tuesday back, than scanned).
Some people told us upon request their stories (we asked of course for proof and I hope that some will send me faxes on this) - and we have
On tonight's TV-News (WDR) there was a very brief report (1.5 min.) - but neutral - neither pro- nor con, and it seems as if the "serious" press seems to be slightly changing its opinion toward "neurtral or sometimes pro-dog/pro owner", as in each demonstration it was mentioned that
I am convinced that this helped to change the mind of the media.
Well, the more pressure (like boycott of German products, by letting the German industry know about the reason for boycott, letters to the embassies, emails to the politicians etc.) they will get, the more we continue, the more the likelihood that we are able to put the "edicts out of order" and have new, reasonable ones released, ones that we all can deal with in daily life.
And I was right with the opinion that "an edict is less than a law --- to change a law would be almost impossible - to change an edict ....there is a certain chance".
Next demonstration should take place July 29, 2000 (Gelsenkirchen)
News article about demo in Duesseldorf
[ Translation: ]
10,000 dogowners demonstrate against compulsory muzzle
Duesseldorf (AP) Approx. 10,000 dog owners demonstrated on Saturday in Duesseldorf against a general leash and muzzle obligation for certain dog breeds. The protest march from the old section of Duesseldorf to the state government building was directed especially against the new dog regulation of Northrhine-Westphalia. The demonstrators demanded that the regulation be changed again in order to enable a responsible keeping of animals. Meanwhile the Minister for the Environment Baerbel Hoehn (Green Party) called for more objectivity in the discussion about fighting dogs.
The new dog regulation for the State with the largest population amongst other provides for a compulsory leash and muzzle for 29 dog breeds, among them Dobermann, Rottweiler and Mastiff. The demonstrators are rejecting this regulation. Only dogs which have shown to be dangerous should fall under such obligations, says organizer Rainer Kratzmann of the Duesseldorf «Initiative for the Protection of the People and a fair dog keeping». The organizer was content with the response. "We have clearly reached our goal" says Kratzmann.
Minister for the Environment Hoehn, who was harshly attacked by the banners of the demonstrators, demanded a more objective discussion. A speaker of the Ministry at the same time made it clear that the existing regulation will not be changed.