Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rock am Ring Episode

If you live in Germany or ever been stationed probably have heard of Rock am Ring.  It started out in the mid-1980s as this big rock fest, which was designed to last an entire weekend.  Folks would drive up....park the car....take out sleeping bags and tents, and haul up crates of beer and booze to hear hard rock.

For a long time, it was held in the Eifel region of Germany (in the Bitburg region) the Nurburgring.  In 2015, they made a brief change for two years, and then this year....returned back to the Nurburging.

Few realize it, but this was supposed to have been a one-time event only.  In 1985.....close to 75,000 people showed up....way more than the organizers expected.  Legends are written over the various groups from that weekend show (Joe Cocker, Huey Lewis, REM, U2, Foreigner, etc).  The cost of a ticket to that concert?  49 DM (roughly $25).

The 2017 ticket?  175 Euro (190 Dollars).

To make the event work, there are literally hundreds of people in the toilets, providing security, first aid, food sales, etc.

Somewhere in the mix of this.....the management folks hired a company who decided to subcontract out some part of their effort.  No one says what the effort was, nor does that matter in this case.

So the subcontract folks send over these two guys.  They are apparently given a badge and given access into the place, and at some point....someone on the staff is looking over names, and does something you wouldn't expect.....they ask for a police check of the two guys.


This is the ultra-conservative group within the Islamic religion, which leads back to the Saudi religious folks.  In 2016, the Germans said that they estimated around 9,200 Salafists within Germany.  They aren't identified as terrorists but they are usually on some kind of watch-list.  This is how the two guys came up on the database profile.

So, the Rock am Ring folks freaked out.  They located the two guys....had a meeting with security, and eventually some German authority said that's it....close down the place for today.  Whether they continue through the weekend is unknown.  Some chat indicates that things will crank back up this afternoon.

The two guys?  Well....if you think about this....since there's nothing of proof that they did anything illegal.....there will be no charges and they will be released.

But then you start to think about this.  If you got around 9,000 of these guys walking around exactly can they be trusted in any public environment (a concert, a soccer match, an opera)?   A boss might look at his 100-man work force and ask the cops about them, and discover he's got one single Salafist on his payroll.  If he fires the guy because of trust issues....will the court come and dump a fine on him?

By being on this watch-list, it means a digital record follows you around.  A cop stops you in some park and notes that you are acting a bit weird.....he calls in the ID, and then you are noted as a watch-list should the cop proceed?

In this Rock am Ring episode.....just the actions of a sub-contractor sending two guys over....who he probably didn't do a police-check on the two guys.....ended up cancelling Friday night's concert. The amusing thing is that there is zero proof that the two guys ever did anything bad or illegal.

So this brings to this odd question....can the cop say, from across all of Germany....that no Salafist are on their payroll?  Can the Bundestgag say, with absolute authority, that no Salafist are on their payroll?  Does it even matter?

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