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Climate demonstration in Erding: "I don't stand for any party" - This is how Monika Gruber wants to differentiate herself from the AfD


Highlights: More than 10,000 people from all over Bavaria are expected. The AfD called for people to join the protest. Gruber: "I didn't call for the demo. My neighbor Franz Widmann stood alone with a sign "Stop Mr. Habeck's heating ideology" "We are not climate change deniers or opponents of meaningful climate protection measures. On the contrary, we are the liberal-conservative center of society. We want to preserve nature and our homeland," Gruber says.

She expresses her criticism of Berlin's traffic light policy loudly: Monika Gruber during an interview in the editorial office. © Marcus Schlaf

More than 10,000 participants are expected to attend the large demonstration in Erding against the climate policy of the traffic light - also because cabaret artist Monika Gruber supported the organizer. She reports why she wants to express her criticism so loudly – and how she deals with the unwanted support of the AfD.

Munich - In Erding, a large demonstration against the "heating ideology" of the traffic light government will take place on Saturday. Since the cabaret artist Monika Gruber (51) has stood behind the organizer, the expected number of participants has exploded. More than 10,000 people from all over Bavaria are expected. But there is also unsolicited support: The AfD called for people to join the protest. In an interview, Gruber reports on how she deals with the unwanted applause from the right.

Interview with Monika Gruber - "To be honest, I'm pretty nervous"

Ms. Gruber, you called for a big demonstration against the "green heating ideology" in Erding. The city expects a possibly five-digit number of participants. Are you nervous?

Honestly, I'm pretty nervous. But let's make one thing clear up front: I didn't call for the demo. My neighbor Franz Widmann stood alone with a sign "Stop Mr. Habeck's heating ideology" in front of the Erding town hall. The picture was in the newspaper when I was on tour. When I returned, I went to his optician's shop and told him that many people agree with him and that he should let me know if he plans to do something like this again. He already had a piece of paper full of names and numbers of people who also wanted to help him with this protest. So I sent a private WhatsApp to my friends to support him. And this message, which was actually intended for the private sphere, has taken on a life of its own in a monkey's tooth. Of course, we got nervous, we don't want to overwhelm the city. I've heard that all the buses are coming. Farmers, forest owners, representatives of the craftsmen's guild, entrepreneurs, energy consultants, bakers, butchers – from all over Bavaria, sometimes even from Austria.

Apparently you have hit a nerve with the topic...

Yes, the response has been huge. We quickly had to ask ourselves whether we could still handle it. For a moment, we considered canceling everything. But that probably wouldn't have worked at all, because the frustration about Berlin's traffic light policy is so great that people would come anyway. Besides, we want to stand by our opinion. So we sat down with our Lord Mayor Max Götz. He has promised us support, as has our district administrator. In addition, I have organized volunteer stewards plus a private security service that will coordinate with the local security authorities. It is difficult to estimate how many people will come. The authorities are currently expecting around 8000 participants.

Interview with Monika Gruber: "There is a great deal of uncertainty in our society"

Is the huge response due to the topic or your name?

Maybe it's because of my name – or rather because of the resulting media coverage. But I think I was just the valve that lets the pressure out of the boiler. The uncertainty in our society is now so great. Many have the feeling that someone is finally addressing what a large majority feels. That's the only reason why Franz Widmann stood on the market square. We are not climate change deniers or opponents of meaningful climate protection measures. On the contrary, we are the liberal-conservative center of society. Conservative comes from Latin and means to preserve. We want to preserve nature and our homeland. That is why we demand a climate policy with reason and prudence and transparency – without causing economic damage to the individual and without taking the third step before the first out of sheer climate hysteria. What is now being demanded by Mr. Habeck and the traffic light coalition amounts in part to the destruction of wealth, home ownership and livelihoods that are of no use to anyone. By the way, neither does the environment.


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Monika Gruber turns demonstration against "heating ideology" into a major event – AfD calls for participation


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Who will speak at the demo?

We have a colourful list of speakers. There will be people from different fields, from politics, crafts and associations. People who know what they're talking about. I myself will only do the greeting.

The AfD has officially called for participation in your demonstration. How do you differentiate myself?

By emphasizing that the demonstration is not a party event. I don't stand for any party. I don't do that as a cabaret artist either. But as a citizen of the middle of society. On this day, the bourgeois center will speak – and in no case someone from the AfD.

Does unwanted applause from right-wing bourgeois protest still allow at all? Or will it be devalued as soon as the AfD attaches itself to it?

We still live in a democracy. Even someone who is supposedly on the wrong side is entitled to clap in the right place from time to time or even say something right. Just as those who are supposedly on the right side often say something wrong. In addition, in this situation, it would be completely the wrong signal to leave this important issue, which really concerns the majority of people, to the AfD. I fully agree with Friedrich Merz on this. This mistake has already been made in migration policy.

Your criticism is not quiet.

But it must be allowed to criticize laws and measures of the government. That used to be my job definition. I have as little to do with the AfD as I do with Mr. Habeck's policies. I speak as a responsible citizen. And I seriously wonder why, for example, the Union is not louder. If the CDU and CSU continue to act so timidly in this regard, most people in the middle class will not become radicalized, but some will turn to the AfD out of frustration, as the current polls show.

"Cabaret has always been politics" - Monika Gruber in an interview with Merkur

Critics accuse you of abandoning the role of cabaret artist and actively engaging in politics. How far can cabaret go?

Cabaret has always been politics. The greats like Dieter Hildebrandt or Werner Schneyder always raised their fingers when the activities of the Bonn Republic became too colorful for them – and that was a good thing. Now there has come a point where, as a rational person with a certain political interest, you just can't be quiet anymore. I want to be able to continue looking at myself in the mirror, so I'm doing this to myself. After all, it is not just about the heating law, but about other issues that are intended to patronize the population. The majority, for example, rejects gender language, yet it is imposed on us by politics, the media, schools or universities. The majority would also have preferred electricity from safe nuclear power plants instead of dirty electricity from lignite or hard coal, some of which does not even come from Germany, but is shipped halfway around the world in diesel tankers. And when I hear that meat is to be rationed to ten grams per person per day and now even advertising for sweets is to be banned because the state apparently no longer trusts parents to take care of their children's nutrition, then I can no longer remain calm.

Most of them certainly say: The Gruber has gone mad.

Monika Gruber, cabaret artist

What do other cabaret artists say about your demo?

Few colleagues say: You're right, it's great that you dare to do that. Most of them certainly say: The Gruber has gone mad. Since the refugee crisis in 2015 and then again due to the pandemic, cabaret has unfortunately split into two irreconcilable camps. I don't need any encouragement from my division. I've always been a political person, but I don't see myself as a political cabaret artist. I'm a comedian in the classical sense. I've always told stories from life – and that's what I would have liked to stick with. But now I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't open my mouth. I grew up in a Christian, down-to-earth, agricultural cosmos and much of what is happening now is no longer compatible with the values that my parents exemplified to me.

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What mails and posts did you receive for this?

It was all there. But the reactions were 90 percent positive. Of course, there were also attacks that relatively quickly became personal, unobjective and sometimes quite sexist – as has unfortunately become fashionable today. Some accused me of trivializing climate change. But I don't – if only because of my origins. I would just like to see a climate policy that takes people along and takes their concerns seriously – and that is not made exclusively for cargo bike users in the big city or militant vegans who call anyone a mass murderer who dares to put a sausage on the grill at the weekend.

Was there also a reaction from the Greens?

Not directly, but a counter-demonstration is registered. I find the slogan almost cute: "Gruber, stick to your last." When the arguments run out, it gets personal. I have respect for that, because I fear left-wing chaos just as much as right-wing chaotics. Basically, I believe that everyone is allowed to say something – I'm not afraid of confrontation. But I am a little afraid that aggression could build up, so I would like to call on all participants to behave prudently and not to be provoked. We are all democrats and that is how we should behave.

As a child of the region, are you afraid that you could be blamed if there were riots between the right and the left in Erding?

It's my hometown and I have a certain responsibility as a result. It is very important to me that we bring the demonstration peacefully to the stage. I don't want to be against each other. We want to express our point of view and I am convinced that we speak for the majority of the population. I certainly don't want to go into politics and I don't see myself as a political medium. But I stand by my opinion. And I hope that our rally is just the beginning. My wish would be for politicians to listen very carefully and not wait until many more people take to the streets. We must not leave political discourse to the margins.

You can find even more up-to-date news from the district of Erding on

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-07

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