In 2011, a group of young protestors took to the streets of Frankfurt, Germany, to oppose a 60-year-old law that disallows dancing in public during certain hours on Good Friday. In a demonstration befitting of the cause, the crowd danced in silence. Some danced with earphones, while others just gyrated without music.
On Good Friday, the beginning of a four-day Easter weekend, it is illegal to dance in public for the full day in 12 out of the 16 states in Germany, with the remaining four enforcing a partial ban. Good Friday is the day that marks Christ’s crucifixion.
“I think that the law which prohibits dancing is totally outdated,” said a dancer at the protest, speaking to Euro News. “It is from the 1950s. We are a multicultural society. Today we should be allowed to decide for ourselves if we want to remember Jesus and how to do it, if we want dancing or meditating. Everybody should be allowed to do as they feel.”
The 2011 protest was organised by the Green Party youth, but the ban or Tanzverbot is contested each year by groups Germany. Among them is the Pirate Party. “Motivated by religious reasons, the state law intervenes in an unacceptable way in public liberty,” said Hesse Pirate Party chief Christian Hufgard in 2012.
Read all the articles in the Art of Resistance series here.