What unites us. Call to all democrats

People from politics, culture, religion, science, business and civic initiatives had come together in Dresden and jointly formulated the call "What unites us".

"Human dignity is inviolable," wrote the Mother and Fathers of the Basic Law. "The German people therefore profess inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every human community, of peace and of justice in the world." When they formulated these sentences, Germany was down - materially and also morally. Years of German terror, social brutalization and violence had cost millions of lives and devastated large parts of Europe. The Basic Law was shaped by these experiences. It provides special protection for fundamental human rights - the dignity of people, their equality before the law, their freedom of religion and opinion, and the right to asylum. With reunification, these rights also apply to the new federal states, and thousands of people took to the streets in 1989 to defend them. They risked life and limb for freedom.

The fact that not even 27 years after the peaceful civil protests in our country, and also in Saxony and Dresden, a climate of exclusion and readiness to use violence is spreading again shames us. We resolutely oppose arsonists, violent people and populists. We do not look away when laws are violated. We stand together and defend our Basic Law and our democracy - without violence, with decency and respect.

All people are allowed to develop freely in our country as long as they do not violate the rights of others. They may freely express their opinions, practice their religion without interference and live as they wish. Freedom and equality before the law are important basic values of our coexistence that must be protected.

Disputes on political and social issues constitute a defensible, liberal pluralistic democracy. They are based on tolerance and respect for democratic counterparts. A free society thrives on the free expression of opinions. Thus, good debate is part of democracy, as is the acceptance of different opinions. Competing discourses reveal what is important to us, what unites us and what shapes us. We do not tolerate hatred, open hostility and verbal violence.

We want to live in a society that shows solidarity, is open to new things and to others. It is our humanitarian duty to support people in need. Humanity and empathy are stronger than hate and violence, civic engagement stronger than defense.

Despite different political opinions, we are united by the fundamental rights of our Basic Law. We defend ourselves against the enemies of democracy with all means at our disposal, but we offer dialogue to all who are oriented towards solutions!

We stand up against violence and exclusion!

We stand up for tolerance and respect!

Let us show courage and humanity!

We are united in this.