No Rights At MekkaSymposium?
by Fishwave/SCX^DCS

Those who haven't been at this year's ultimate scene party MekkaSymposium (me included) at least got told through DISC #13 and Eurochart #45, that there had been quite some havoc going on. It's dealing with the wilddemo contribution of Crimson Jihad, who seemingly had focused on the happenings of "September 11th" with a sort of anti-western touch. After the demo was shown to the audience the organizers spoke out the disqualification. Some people agreed on this decision, others complained.

The voices from the diskmags mentioned above can be summed up followingly: Demos themself are art. Showing demos is art too and also freedom of speech. That is what Crimson Jihad did with their production, means they can rely on these basic rights of German constitutional law (MekkaSymposium is being held on German territory so we might refer to German law primarily). The organizers of MekkaSymposium have denied these rights by disqualifying the demo from the competition. They have betrayed those rights they were supposed to protect. That is the point of view of Darkhawk and Zerox.

Actually this is a rather interesting topic, since I cannot remember ever having read a scene article about scener's rights. However I must admit that Darkhawk and Zerox are utterly wrong in their statements about the organizers of MekkaSymposium. In the execution of freedom of speech, here are my arguments.

1. The impact of basic (constitutional) rights. First of all you have to understand the impact of basic rights. Naturally, when you're a lawyer (as Zerox is) or at least studying law (that's the case with me), you have another comprehension than the normal scener. I want to keep it very simple. Basic rights protect "civil persons" (citizens) against the state. Basic rights have no direct impact on relationships between citizens. Now, the organizers of MekkaSymposium obviously do not belong to the state of Federal Republic of Germany. Thus they cannot ignore any basic rights of Crimson Jihad, because they do not have to (immediately) respect them. Basic rights belong to public law. The legal relationship between the organizers of MekaSymposium (for Germans: Rechtsform der Gesellschaft buergerlichen Rechts) and Crimson Jihad belongs to civil law. Basic rights do not fit in here.

Is this funny?2. Civil law and basic rights. Of course this does not mean that citizens do not have to observe basic rights. Basic rights describe the fundamental values of our community and also influence civil law. For instance it is not possible to terminate a contract only for the reason that the other is black and you dislike it. That's a reason that cannot be accepted.

However first of all we have to investigate what kind of relationship Crimson Jihad and the organizers of MekkaSymposium have. In fact it's a normal contract! Since there is some prizemoney to earn and you actually also pay the entrance fee to take part and view the competitions there is no doubt that it is a civil contract. It doesn't matter if there is only one contract (being at the pary + taking part in competitions) or more likely two seperate ones (1. party 2. competition).

So by disqualifying Crimson Jihad the organizers of MekkaSymposium have shown a behaviour contrary to their contract. Apart from german lawyers I guess that nobody is interested in how this can be done legally, so I leave out German civil law (313, 242 BGB seem to be the right norms). The point is that now there is space for the basic rights. You have to see if there was a good reason for the organizers of MekkaSymposium to terminate their contract with Crimson Jihad, or if the right of freedom of speech prevents this action. Actually this is a little bit tricky, since the organizers haven't affected freedom of speech directly. The demo has been shown to the audience indeed! There has been no censorship! So I think freedom of speech wasn't touched directly. You could just say that as a result from freedom of speech it is not allowed that negatives consequences arise. Else freedom of speech becomes worthless itself. So infact, the organizers of MekkaSymposium have disregarded the right of Crimson Jihad, because after the demo was shown they have nevertheless linked it with a negative consquence. But you also have to take into consideration the freedom of speech of the organizers. Nobody can be forced to accept somebody's else opinion and present it as his own. There must be the possibility of disassociation. Furthermore there is no unlimited freedom of speech. For instance nobody would moan about disqualifying a demo that includes childporn. There are limits for everything. There is no true tolerance in western civilizations. True tolerance would mean, that you also have to tolerate that someone wants to kill you. Obviously that's nonsense. In conclusion, I think the organizers of MekkaSymposium had the right to terminate the contract with Crimson Jihad. Usually demos are not very political. The issue "September 11th" in an anti-western tone must have been very surprising for the organizers. Even if there was a similar demo last year too, the world has changed by now and this has to be taken into consideration. Yet, as I haven't seen the demo myself I cannot come to a final decision.

3. Ending Words. It's just too bad that people think western civilizations offer unlimited freedom and thus often take the wrong conclusions. Nobody has the right to do anything he wants. That's also the case with freedom of speech. Demos and diskmags included.