What is Demokrati-JA?
The name of our initiative includes wordplay which means “Yes to democracy” or “Democracy starts with me”. Demokrati-JA is an initiative of Russian emigrants in Berlin that grew out of protests in support of Alexey Navalny in January 2021 and the political event in April-May 2021 at the Brandenburg Gate – a democratic camp, where we tried to shed light on the real situation in Russia including standing against Russian military aggression and in support of Ukraine. We are actively participating in the anti-war movement, since February 2022 we have been organizing anti-war actions in Berlin and other German cities.
What do we want?
We want Russia to stop the occupational war waged against Ukraine. In the future we want to see Russia as a democratic decolonial peaceful state with strong civil society and tight connections to the European civil society.
What do we do for it?
Our goal is to form a civil society aimed at solidarity and working out various democratic mechanisms at our current place of living. For instance:
- conducting meetings and discussions
- writing petitions and letters tackling the most important issues
- organizing demonstrations intended to show solidarity,
- establishing a dialog with the German officials and public.
Who are we?
Demokrati-JA is a team of volunteers working together since spring 2021. We speak German, Russian and English. By profession we are researchers, human rights activists, social workers, teachers, IT specialists and so on. Demokrati-JA is a completely independent project within the organization Solidarus, Solidarität mit der Bürgerbewegung in Russland e.V. We work closely with all the key anti-war and pro-democratic initiatives of Russians in Germany and in Europe.
What have we already done?
- Anti-war demonstrations in Berlin and other German cities // demonstrations against pro-Putin auto-rallies // demonstrations in support of the Russian dissidents // exhibitions aimed at establishing a new culture of remembrance «Reclaiming Remembrance» and many more.
- Informal meetings and legal consultations for Ukrainian refugees, emigrants and asylum seekers from Russia and Belarus («picnics against war» June-September 2022).
- Project «Vote abroad»: finding independent observers and conducting exit polls in Embassies and Consulates of Russia in Germany.
- Series of interviews:
- «Bringing Back the Names»: personal stories of descendants of the Volga Germans and how their families were repressed in the USSR
- Political videoperformances and interviews with the German citizens in different cities
- Interviews with activists supporting Ukraine
- Informing about the new culture of remembrance (Neue Gedenk- und Erinnerungskultur»)
- Collecting personal stories of political prisoners in Russia “Letters for political prisoners”
- Informing and standing against the construction of «Nord Stream-2»
- Advocating for and signing petitions to be sent to the German officials:
- Addressing the German officials regarding the “partial” mobilization in Russia
- Addressing the German officials regarding the falsification of the Duma elections in 2021
- Addressing the Ministry of Economy of Germany regarding the sanctions applied to the private jet of Putin’s associate Evgeniy Prigozhin and its repairs at the Berlin/Brandenburg airport