Documentary Film — Watch at Lichtblick or Watch at home!

Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook

Dear AVAers and Friends:   At the One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival, in anticipation of the November elections, AVA is sponsoring    Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook (see below) Director: Michael Kasino, Writer: Timothy SmithUSA 2019, 79 min, in the English original. With: Stacey AbramsMatt AngleWilliam Barber  |See full cast & crew »   at the Lichtblick Kino at Kastienallee 77 on Monday, September 28, at 8 PM    Trailer link:    This documentary examines how, since 2008, right-wing groups have worked with certain states to make it harder to vote, particularly for minority groups and young people. 

→If you want to see this film in person at the Lichtblick, click on this link and buy your ticket: The Lichtblick will, of course, be following all of the required distancing rules. Members of the audience are invited to join the discussion that will follow the film at 9:15 PM. 

  →If you want to watch at home, click here any time:

  →If you want to join the live discussion at the Lichtblick, click on this Zoom link at 9:15 PM Berlin time (3:15 PM EST) on September 28: Password: rigged. No previous download necessary.    Our own Doug Hillmer and Jon Oberg will be participating in the discussion from the United States. Doug worked at the Census Bureau for many years, especially on the American Community Survey, which helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. Jon worked at the U.S. Senate and at the U.S. Department of Education for sixteen years. In retirement, he blew the whistle on the false claims of student-loan lenders, achieving settlements in 7 of 9 cases against them.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Our AVA voter registrar, Alan Benson, will be at the Lichtblick to advise anyone about last-minute voting problems. Alan is also available at to answer your questions by mail.


AVA Berlin Protests the Murder of George Floyd

American Voices Abroad Berlin is a group of Americans living and working in Berlin, Germany, who follow political events in the United States and vote from abroad in their home states. We would like to add our voices to the many that have been raised nationwide and internationally to protest the brutal murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25. We also want to protest the harsh and militaristic reactions of the federal government as well as some state and local governments.


We are heartened by the hundreds of thousands who have already raised their voices. We are encouraged by the many progressive organizations from whom we have heard. We are cheered to see police officers kneeling during demonstrations in several cities. As Americans living and working in Berlin, Germany, we want to add our perspective to these calls for an end to racism, injustice, and inequality in the United States.


All of us living in Germany have become familiar with German history, including the rise of fascism. We are living in a place where, in the middle of the last century, state-sanctioned murder was the rule in a ruthless dictatorship that drove the entire world into war. We have seen how Germany has tried to confront its criminal past, to acknowledge and in some cases make restitution for its Nazi crimes. Acknowledgement of this past and trying to learn from it are tasks undertaken by German citizens and at all levels of government.


Along with the Germans, we Americans living here have learned from this country’s history and have become more alert to the warning signs of fascism in the United States: dissent is called treason; the judiciary loses its independence; corporations are privileged over labor; religious symbols are mis-used; the press is vilified and propaganda is distributed by the authoritarian leader; science is held in contempt; lying by officials is commonplace; conspiracy theories run rampant; the military is expected to serve the leader rather than the Constitution; racial, religious, and sexual minorities are persecuted; and a militarized police force acts with impunity.


People around the world who protest the murder of George Floyd recognize that his death is just the latest of many such incidents, exposing not only police violence toward Black Americans but also wider tolerance of and complicity with such violence. The President’s responses to the protests and his condoning of the backlash against protesters are just a continuation of the shameless suppression of minorities. American society is permeated by racism and white privilege. The systemic character of racism and inequality in the United States is exemplified by African Americans’ disproportionately high rate of infection and fatality from COVID-19.


To stop the murders of Black Americans at the hands of police, we must rethink and restructure the police force in every community. Ultimately, the police must be demilitarized. More fundamentally and comprehensively, we need a process of reflection and education about our racist history, a process that can be initiated in communities across the country. Our experiences in Germany show us that change is possible, that people can move from ignorance to knowledge, and that they can take moral responsibility for their own future and the future of their country.


Many people in the United States know little, if anything, about the nature of slavery, Jim Crow, the great migration, urban renewal, redlining, mass incarceration, and the history leading to current events. We need a process of truth and reconciliation that facilitates looking at our history, talking about racism, and understanding how the concept of race has functioned institutionally throughout our history. We do not think we can solve these problems as individuals alone; we have to address them collectively.


We would like to encourage and be part of a process in which our country, the United States of America, confronts its own racist history and finally lives up to its democratic ideals.


American Voices Abroad Berlin
June 13, 2020



American Voices Abroad Berlin has created this MoveOn petition “Don’t Silence Voters: Let Everyone Vote from Home” and we are now asking everyone to sign it. The more support we can get, the better chance we have of MoveOn sending it out themselves. 
So please sign and share this petition with others.


RALLY: 11. Januar 2020 | 11 Uhr | Brandenburger Tor, Berlin

Photo © Jon Wolfe

Some of our German friends (see below) are rallying at the Brandenburg Gate this Saturday at 11:00 AM  under the motto: KEIN KRIEG ZWISCHEN DEN USA UND DEM IRAN! Für gewaltfreie und zivile Konfliktlösung! Let’s join them! Look for the AVA-banner!

More information:

January Stammtisch January 2, 2020

Come to Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse. 50 in Schöneberg, right near the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-Bahn station. We’ll be in the middle room from 8:00 to 10:00 PM.

If the past couple of weeks passed you by in a political blur, let’s catch up. If you’ve just decided to be more active in 2020, this is the time to start!


Title: December STAMMTISCH
Location: Cafe Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50, near the Julius Leberbrücke S-bahn station
Description: Meet with us and let’s share thoughts on the impeachment process, the democratic candidates and more.
Start Time: 8 pm
Date: 2020-12-05
End Time: 10 pm

Stammtisch November 7, 2019

Come to Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse. 50 in Schöneberg, right near the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-Bahn station. We’ll be in the middle room from 8:00 to 10:00 PM.
And meet and greet Claudia Clark, who is here from Munich to tell us about the book she has written about the relationship between President Obama and Chancellor Merkel.

Stammtisch October 3

The AVA-Berlin Stammtisch will take place, as always, on the first Thursday of the month, October 3. Yes, October 3 is a federal German holiday (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), but Café Daddy will be open and we’re meeting as usual.  

So come to Café DaddyKolonnenstrasse.50 in Schöneberg, right near the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-Bahn station. We’ll be in the middleroom from 8:00 to 10:00 pm

We’ve got a lot to talk about, perhaps more than usual this time: impeachment, Brexit, climate actions. Join us!

AVA at Global Climate Action

There was an exceptionally large crowed at the Fridays for Future’s Global Climate Action on September 20, 2019 in Berlin. See this 2 minute video by Karen Axelrad:

AVA at Global Climate Action September 20, 2019 in front of the US Embassy, Berlin

Join AVA for the demonstration: Global Climate Action

“Over the last year, youth around the world have led the way by walking out of class and demanding accountability from our elected officials. Now, they’re calling on people of all ages to join them in the streets. . . . “

WHAT:      Global Climate Action

WHEN:     Friday, September 20, 12:00 noon

WHERE:   Pariser Platz, near the U.S. Embassy

Three days before the UN Climate Summit in New York, and the actual day when the German government decides its ‘Klimaschutzpaket’! “Sie will die wichtigen Fragen Knacken: Ob wir ein Klimaschutzgesetz bekommen. Wie schnell der Kohlenausstieg geht. Ob ein CO2-Preis kommt—und in welcher Höhe.”

Knock Down the House

On September 11 at 19:00 AVA will be sponsoring a screening of Knock Down the House (USA 2019, dir. Rachel Lears, 87 minutes) at the Aquarium, Skalitzer Str. 6 at Kottbusser Tor. Admission free! The film is in English with German sub-titles. It will be followed by a discussion. (And our voter registrar Alan Benson has agreed to staff a table in the lobby before the film to inform people about voter registration in the various states. He will answer questions about registration and re-registration for each of the 50 states.) 

Stammtisch September 5, 2019 with Speaker Rich Rosen

 The AVA-Berlin Stammtisch will take place, as always, at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse. 50 in Schöneberg, right near the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-Bahn station. We’ll be in the middle room from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Rich Rosen will tell us about the Green New Deal (GND), so come with your questions. 

AVA Stammtisch

Title: AVA Stammtisch
Location: Cafe Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50, near the Julius Leberbrücke S-bahn station
Description: So much to talk about! Come join us!
Start Time: 8 pm
Date: 2019-08-01
End Time: 10 pm

Ann Wertheimer’s Speech at Lights for Liberty Rally

July 12, 2019 by Jörg Schulz 

Jon Oberg on the protest at the Washington Mall on July 4th

Read here below, or go directly to Jon Oberg’s blog:

http://view from three

Washington — Against the advice of many, I went down to the national mall on the 4th of July to attend the president’s speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to protest his transparent attempts to politicize our military and appropriate American history for his own purposes.

I am a U.S. Navy veteran, a patriot not a nationalist. I’m also a taxpayer who does not like to see wasteful spending on what can only be a called a Trump rally. The Defense Department had to come up with $1.5 million for a contrived air show; the Department of the Interior had to take $2.5 million from national park entrance fees to stage the event.


Lights for Liberty: Berlin Vigil to End Detention Camps

Friday, July 12, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM at Pariser Platz 

About the upcoming July 4th Stammtisch

This year the first Thursday of July falls on the 4th. That means that our Stammtisch will also be our ‘celebration’ of Independence Day. We all know what there is to celebrate and what not. And on Thursday we can talk about everything – the atrocities at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Democratic candidates and the debates, Iran, the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding gerrymandering and the census. We’ve also got news about our participation in upcoming events: demonstrations, films, special Stammtische.  
So come to Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse. 50 in Schöneberg, right near the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-Bahn station. We’ll be in the middle room from 8:00 to 10:00pm. Café Daddy is a family-run Turkish café featuring homemade dishes like stuffed peppers and zucchini pancakes, and cake baked on the premises. There are a few new items on the menu.
And, for those of you who are in or near Washington, D.C., or have friends in the area:  AVAer Doug Hillmer has been organizing a group of Trump opponents to prevent the traditional July 4 celebration on the Mall from turning into a Trump rally.

Stammtisch June 6 at 8 pm

Our first-Thursday of the month Stammtisch will be on June 6 at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse. 50 in Schöneberg.

This is our chance to talk about what’s happening in the world: the European elections, the Rezo YouTube tape that’s been all over the German news for the past week,  Fridays for Future and Freelancers for Future, and the Democratic Party candidates:

AVA meets Freelancers for Future

at Friday’s for Future rally May 24th

Photo ©️ Ann Wertheimer 

Friday May 24 Demonstration

There’s Fridays for Future, Scientists for Future, and even Artists, 
Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers for Future….and now there’s 
Freelancers for Future. On Friday, May 24, is Global Climate Strike 2, 
perhaps the largest worldwide demonstration ever. Its purpose is to 
change the course of the European elections and influence climate policy 
worldwide. A  group of us — freelancers of different stripes, writers, 
scholars, expats, pensioners, and anyone else who wants to join — is 
meeting at 11:45 in front of Dunkin Donuts on Pariser Platz. We intend 
to demonstrate together with the kids, in solidarity with them, which 
they have expressly encouraged adults to do. We will have a Freelancers 
for Future sign and will join the demo at 12:00 when it begins. If 
there’s interest, perhaps we can make more of Freelancers for Future 
in the future.

AVA at the Extinction Rebellion Demo

Photo by Nancy English

What we’re reading . . . a good article on unconscious bias in the election, by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit: Unconscious Bias is Running for President

International Die In Demo April 27 Noon

An organizer from Extinction Rebellion Berlin asked us to spread the word about their upcoming events, especially a die-in at noon on Gendarmenmarkt April 27:
Please note: this will be a legal, peaceful demonstration, not an act of civil disobedience! So no one needs to worry about any trouble (especially as a non-citizen) if they participate. Isabel is organizing an AVA contingent for the event. So let’s meet at Gendarmenmarkt between 11:30 and 11:45 on Saturday. Look for the AVA banner. You can read about Extinction Rebellion positions, demands, and events on FB or on their website,

April Stammtisch

Title: April Stammtisch
Location: Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50
Description: Join us for an informal Stammtisch at Café Daddy in Schöneberg (Julius-Leber-Brücke on the S1 line).
Start Time: 20:00:00
Date: 2019-04-04
End Time: 22:00:00

Some Observations by Jon Oberg

We had an excellent and most informative evening with Isabella Greif on the subject of the NSU.  Here are some thoughts by Jon Oberg about this evening and American spies long ago in West Germany.

March 7 Stammtisch with Speaker

Our next first-Thursday of the month Stammtisch will be on March 7th, at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse50 in Schöneberg, from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. 

This time we will have a speaker, Isabella Greif on “The Unresolved NSU Complex”


A Place at the Table—Some Reflections on the Political Discussion in this Election Season

by Carolyn Prescott

This essay is intended as a contribution to our ongoing discussion of issues.

In this opening season of the 2020 elections, with the entry of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker into the Democratic race, with Howard Schultz lurking as a potential third-party candidate, a lot is being written and spoken about the Democrats possibly moving “too far left.” Some warnings are implicit in journalists’ questions: “Is the Democratic Party losing its centrist base?” Others are more explicit and clearly intended to make discussion of the issues appear irresponsible or worse; witness Howard Schultz’s recent out-of-hand dismissal of Kamala Harris’s embrace of a Medicare-for-all type plan as “unaffordable” and even “not American.” Similar strategies have been employed to exclude discussions about climate change solutions: they have been preemptively labeled as economically infeasible, and numerous attempts have been made to discredit proponents as privileged elitists or unrealistic idealists.


February Stammtisch

Title: February 7 Stammtisch
Location: Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50
Description: Join us for an informal Stammtisch at Café Daddy in Schöneberg (Julius-Leber-Brücke on the S1 line).
Start Time: 20:00
Date: 2019-02-07
End Time: 22:00

Women’s March in Berlin—Press Coverage!

Allison Brown at the 2019 Women’s March in Berlin

Allison Brown was part of the AVA-Berlin contingent at the Women’s March in Berlin last Saturday (3rd Annual Women’s March on January 19th, 2019). Allison’s handmade sign, which read, “Women are the Wall and Trump will pay!” made the headline, literally, of the Pressenza (International Press Agency) website’s coverage of the event. Allison wrote to let us know:

“My sign made the headlines! I had been a bit uncertain if Germans would all understand it, as a young German demo-participant asked me politely if I could explain it to her (and then she passed the info on to her girlfriends!). They hadn’t understood it metaphorically and were wondering what Trump was going to pay for! :-)”

The article briefly describes the demo, which was organized by Democrats Abroad Berlin, but it leaves the major part of the story to be conveyed by the accompanying slide show. The photographs capture the signs, the hopeful mood, and the youth of many of the participants. Whether or not you were present, it’s worth a visit to the Pressenza website; be sure to scroll down to see the slide show.

Archival AVA Signs at our Annual Business Meeting

Dec. 6 Stammtisch 8pm with Election Discussion

At the December 6 Stammtisch we’ll be talking about the midterm elections both generally and very specifically – that is, state by state, including the down-ballot races. Some of you have expressed an interest in reporting the results from your home state and a few of you have sent us articles of general interest. Here are a few of the articles that we’ve received….

  1.  The New York Times, ALL ELECTION RESULTS: House, Senate, Governors, with maps (more…)

One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival: Rest in Power: the Trayvon Martin Story

This year’s One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival will run from October 7 (the prologue) to October 20. AVA is co-sponsoring the 6-part documentary series Rest in Powerthe Trayvon Martin Story. Parts 1-3 will be shown on Friday, October 19, at 7:00 pm and parts 4-6 will be shown on Saturday, October 20, at 6:00 pm. Both showings will be at the aquarium (Skalitzer Str. 6 at Kottbusser Tor).


After the Saturday viewing, there will be time to discuss major issues raised in the film.


Admission is only 6 euros for all three episodes on one evening.

October Stammtisch

Title: October Stammtisch
Location: Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50
Description: Join us for an informal Stammtisch at Café Daddy in Schöneberg (Julius-Leber-Brücke on the S1 line).
Start Time: 8:00 pm
Date: 2018-10-04
End Time: 10:00

Unteilbar Demo October 13

Join us on October 13th—we will meet at Cubix Movie Theater, just off Alexanderplatz at Rathausstrasse 1, at 1 pm. Look for the AVA banner!

– Solidarität statt Ausgrenzung – Für eine offene und freie Gesellschaft

Demo Sept. 8 – Unsere Erde Brennt!

AVA-Berlin will have a contingent at the Unsere Erde brennt! protest in front of the Kanzleramt (the German Chancellery at Willy-Brandt-Straße 1) this Saturday, tomorrow, September 8. Look for the AVA banner at 1 pm.

September 6 Stammtisch 8 pm- Special Discussion

Join us for our monthly Stammtisch at Café Daddy (Kolonnenstrasse 50) with a very special presentation: Carolyn Loeb, whose field is the history of art and architecture, will be discussing the conclusions she’s reached about how the Berlin Wall Memorial, although in many ways a success, “replicates a Cold War perspective….”  Here is Carolyn’s personal invitation to all AVAers and their friends: “Since 1999, I’ve been visiting and documenting the site where the Wall ran along Bernauer Strasse. Originally, I was interested in how Wall zone spaces outside the city center were being reconfigured architecturally and spatially to knit together formerly separated neighborhoods. Once work began on the official Memorial to the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse, I followed its development. In addition to analyzing what it preserves and how it represents the history of the Wall, I explored the neighborhood context of the site, since one of the purposes of the Memorial is to provide insight into the Wall’s impact on the structure of the city.  (more…)

AVA and CIEE Participated in Berlin Reads Sept. 2

Readers from left to right: Henry Brown, Pam Selwyn, Ellen Rosen. 2nd Row: Kelly Li, Carolyn Prescott, Juliana Landis. 3rd Row Isabel Fargo Cole, Molly Moylan Brown, Ann Wertheimer

AVA and CIEE (the open campus college study abroad program) took part in the Berlin reads (Berlin liest) campaign on Sunday, September 2. On this day, all Berliners were invited to join the international literature festival berlin by reading aloud from a work of their choice in a place of their choice. In our case, AVA and CIEE  chose to read selections of English-language nature writing at CIEE, Gneisenaustr. 27 in Kreuzberg.

The program began with an introduction by Isabel Fargo Cole, followed by the readings, and discussion in English.


August 2 Stammtisch 8 pm

Join us for our monthly Stammtisch at Café Daddy ( Kolonnenstrasse 50)—no lecture or theme this month—but there is plenty to discuss! Turkish menu!


Atrocities at the Border Speech

What would a sound, humane immigration policy look like? Ann Wertheimer’s speech to protest immigration atrocities (given at the demonstration on June 30 across from the American Embassy) lays out some principles and issues that Congress should consider. Click below for the full text of the speech.


Stammtisch July 5 – Speaker Ellen Rosen

This week we had a special speaker, Ellen Rosen, who told us about Frances Perkins, the principle architect of the New Deal. Ellen is working on her next book, which has the tentative title: Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor: A Woman Who Worked for the Common People. Ellen sent us a brief biography with good photos from the Frances Perkins Center: Here is an excerpt from the biography: (more…)

Demo June 30 to Protest Immigration Atrocities

Saturday, June 30, AVAers will have another chance to protest the atrocities at the U.S.-Mexican border. We are joining The Coalition Berlin at Ebertstraße/Behrenstraße  at 1 pm. We hope to see lots of people there. Please bring your family and friends.June 30 demo.  Photo by Florian Schiedhelm   More photos here (at the end)

As Lorella Praeli, the ACLU Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, writes: “This week, President Trump got to play superhero when he signed an executive order claiming to end the heinous family separation policy that his administration started. But we’re not fooled.  (more…)

AVA joins Families Belong Together rally

Kita Krise organized a rally in front of the US Embassy on June 22, 2018 joined by AVA-Berlin and Democrats Abroad Berlin to protest the separation of children from their immigrant parents in the US. In the photo below, Ann Wertheimer, chair of AVA is speaking.

Click here for more photos.

June 7 Stammtisch with Speaker

At our June 7 Stammtisch we will be having a special speaker, Rich Rosen, who will bring us up to date on the ever-hot topic of climate change policy and legislation, including the upcoming IPCC report on scenarios that might hold the global temperature increase to only 1.5 degrees Celsius, as hoped for in the Paris Agreement. 8 pm to 10 pm at Cafe Daddy at Kolonnenstrasse 50

Honoring Bill Downey

Reverend Dr. William Emerson Downey (28.2.1931 – 24.3.2018) founded the Democrats Abroad Germany – Berlin Chapter and cooperated with AVA-Berlin in many joint activities.

April 5 Stammtisch 8 pm

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on April 5 at 8:00 pm at . Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.

There’s lots to talk about: First, our solidarity rally in support for March for Our Lives last Saturday. Here are Florian Schiedhelm’s terrific Videos of the event.

And let’s also talk about today’s article in the New York Times by former Justice John Paul Stevens, who recommends the repeal of the Second Amendment. (more…)

March for Our Lives: The Bigger Picture by Ann Wertheimer

In his Riverside Church speech almost 51 years ago, Martin Luther King connected racism, militarism, and extreme materialism, all of which, he said, ride on the tide of hate. He said that our loyalties must become “ecumenical rather than sectional,” meaning that racism, militarism, and extreme materialism intersect and reinforce each other.


What we are seeing in the United States today and to some extent, here in Europe, are
these same forces: racism, especially in online discourse and out of the mouths of elected (more…)

BBC & KCRW Berlin feature AVA March for our Lives Rally

BBC’s lead photo for the worldwide March for our Lives featuring AVA’s own Ellen Brändle!

KCRW Berlin

Interview with excerpts from speeches.

March for our Lives Berlin

American Voices Abroad Berlin organized a demonstration together with Democrats Abroad in solidarity with the Florida students’ initiative for strict gun control laws. AVA gathered at 2:30 pm on Saturday, March 24, at Pariser Platz for a solidarity rally. The rest of the photos:

Florian Schiedhelm’s Videos on YouTube


March: Aufstehen gegen Rassismus

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 17, Aufstehen Gegen Rassismus is organizing a protest march against racism and the radical right. AVA-Berlin will have a contingent carrying our banner from Potsdamer Platz to the AfD (Alternative for Deutschland) headquarters at Schillstrasse 9 near Lützowplatz. More information to come, especially about exact meeting time and place.

March for Our Lives March 24, 2018

Organized by AVA. With this rally at the Brandenburg Gate, Americans and Germans will show solidarity with the Parkland students’ initiative for strong gun control laws. 


Stammtisch March 1

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on March 1 at 8:00 pm at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.

January 21 Women’s March

January 21 11 am: AVA is co-hosting the Women’s March along with Democrats Abroad Berlin and The Coalition Berlin and, hopefully, many other groups. Everybody welcome!

Where: The meeting point will be at the Brandenburg Gate and the march will proceed according to the schedule. Look for the American Voices Abroad Berlin banner!

This is the anniversary of the huge Women’s March last year and should remind everybody that we’ll still here. This march is to: (more…)

Demo January 20 ‘Wir haben es satt’

January 20 11 am: AVA is joining our German friends for the ‘Wir haben es satt’ demonstration. This is the day that Germany will host ministers of agriculture from around the world, and it’s the perfect time to try to influence agriculture policy. See this link for details:

Where: Hauptbahnhof, on the north side (Europaplatz), at the Rolling Horse statue. Look for the American Voices Abroad Berlin banner.

For a food policy that promotes regional and sustainable food rather than industrial mass production! For an end to subsidies for big ag! For secure access to land, water, seeds, and food around the world! Ban glyphosate! FOOD IS POLITICAL!

Movie Night “Detroit” on January 13

The first AVA Movie Night of the new year: Saturday, January 13, at 8:30 pm at the Lichtblick Kino (Kastanienallee 77, tel. 030 44058179). Join us  for the film DETROIT and a discussion, which will be moderated by journalist, musician, filmmaker, and anti-war activist Darnell Stephen Summers.

DETROIT, directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty) tells the “gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of 1967.”  Trailer:

Stammtisch January 4, 2018

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on January 4 at 8:00 pm at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.  Let’s talk!

Annual Brunch Meeting December 10, 2017

Photo: Florian Schiedhelm

We had a productive annual brunch with elections of officers on December 10, 2017. The new officers are: ANN (chair) PAM  (vice-chair) ADAM (secretary) ALAN  (treasurer) JANE (assistant treasurer) ISABEL (associate) and MICHAEL (associate).

Stammtisch Dec. 7—Strategies for Resistance and Change

Our Stammtisch on December 7 at 8:00 pm will be, as usual, at Cafe Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50. We will continue our discussion, moderated by Carolyn Prescott, of Strategies for Resistance and Change in the Trump Era. The following is a summary by Adam Wilkins of our November Stammtisch discussion: (more…)

Stammtisch Nov.2—Strategies for Resistance and Change

Postponed to Nov. 2 due to storm: AVA-Berlin will hold a themed Stammtisch—Strategies for Resistance and Change in the Trump Era— on November 2, 2017 at 8 pm, at Cafe Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50

The discussion, moderated by Carolyn Prescott, will draw from a number of readings (listed below with links, some may have a firewall) each of which will be very briefly summarized by an AVA member. This is a short list for a very broad subject, and it’s meant to help us think about these issues in what will surely be an ongoing movement. You do not need to have read the articles or books to participate in the discussion, and feel free to bring up other sources. (more…)

One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival

We had an stimulating discussion after the films “Care in Chaos” and “Vessel” on the subject of abortion. The films were presented by the One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival with support from AVA-Berlin. October 14, 2017
From the left: Anna Schaden, Sarah Diehl, and our AVA-Berlin moderator Pam Selwyn.


AVA Reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Photo by Oscar Brown

See previous post below for details. Thanks to Marie Budde of CIEE Global Institute for hosting the reading.  Thanks also to the CIEE students, the AWC (American Women’s Club of Berlin) members, and all the volunteers for participating. September 6, 2017. Click here for the rest of the photos.

AVA to Participate in Worldwide Reading for Human Rights

September 6, 7:00 pm, at the CIEE Global Institute. American Voices Abroad Berlin has answered the call of the international literature festival Berlin (ilb) to participate in a worldwide reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on September 6, 2017. Among the many readings in Berlin, this is the only one in ENGLISH. The purpose of these readings is to reignite and strengthen the concept of human rights in the world today:

The reading will begin shortly after 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 6, in the  common room of the CIEE Global Institute (Gneisenaustr. 27 in Kreuzberg). Before the actual reading, Adam Wilkins will give a brief historical introduction to the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration. After the reading, all are welcome to join in a discussion of the relevance of this human rights document today. (more…)

Stammtisch Thursday Sept. 7 at 8pm

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on September 7 at 8:00 pm at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.  Let’s talk!

Demo against Racism & Fascism Wed. Aug 16 6pm

More photos here

Meet in front of the US Embassy. AVA-Berlin is joining the solidarity demonstration (organized by The Coalition Berlin) on Wednesday, August 16, 6 pm, at Pariser Platz. We stand together in solidarity with activists in Charlottesville, Virginia, who bravely stood up to the racist and fascist “Unite the Right” demonstration last Saturday. The murderous attack on anti-racist activists demonstrates the deadly consequences of the right’s organizing, emboldened under a sympathetic president. Look for the AVA-Berlin banner! And here again is the Berlin Statement of Solidarity that AVA just signed:  (more…)

Stammtisch August 3 CHANGE OF VENUE

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on August 3 at 8:00 pm at RAAMSON in Schöneberg, Kolonnenstr. 48-49. It’s right at the S-Bahn station Julius-Leber-Brücke, right next to Café Daddy, which is on vacation for the month.

At the Stammtisch we’d like to make final plans about our participation in the Worldwide Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sponsored here in Berlin by the International Literature Festival on September 6, 2017. We’ll distribute copies of the Declaration and you can choose the section you’d like to read.

And here’s an article from about the four types of ‘constitutional crisis’ and which ones are most likely to come up during Trump’s presidency:

Stammtisch July 6 8 pm

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch at Café Daddy, Kolonnenstraße 50, 10829 Berlin, 8 pm. At the Stammtisch we’d like to take some time to discuss our participation in the Worldwide Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sponsored here in Berlin by the International Literature Festival on September 6, 2017.  (more…)

Stammtisch May 4

Join us for our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on May 4 at 8:00 pm at Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.

AVA at the March for Science April 22, 2017

AVA at the March for Science   more photos here

Movie Night April 15 with proceeds to ACLU

Come to our AVA-Berlin movie night on Saturday night, April 15, for a screening of  ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ by Raoul Peck. The film will begin at 7:30 pm at the Lichtblick Kino, Kastanienallee 77, and will be followed by a discussion with artist and writer ISAIAH LOPAZ. Thanks to the Lichtblick, profits from the €10 ticket sales will go to the American Civil Liberties Union. Extra donations are, of course, always welcome!  (more…)

April 6 Stammtisch with Guest Speaker Sarah van Gelder

Guest speaker Sarah van Gelder, “YES! Magazine co-founder and editor at large speaking at our Stammtisch.  Sarah drove 12,000 miles through the heartland of the United States, living in her tiny truck camper, interviewing people on Native American reservations, in rust belt cities, Appalachian towns, and southern communities. Her book, “The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America” (Berrett Koehler, 2017), tells the stories of broken economies, devastated ecosystems, and communities shattered by racism, violence, and exclusion. But the focus of her book is on the extraordinary work of ordinary people who are transforming their communities, even in the places that seemed to have run out of hope.” Find details here.

AVA at the International Women’s Day Rally

March 8More photos here.

March 2 Stammtisch dedicated to Science

March 2 Stammtisch with Adam Wilkins speaking. Click on photo for the rest of the photos

Our March 2 Stammtisch (8:00 pm)will be dedicated to SCIENCE, SCIENTISTS and the SCIENCE MARCH on Earth Day, April 22. The Stammtisch will feature a presentation by our own Adam Wilkins of his new book Making Faces: The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face, Harvard University Press, January 2017:  (more…)

March for Science – Earth Day April 22, 2017

for more information:

FAQs – AVA-Berlin and The Coalition

  • Q1: What exactly is The Coalition?
    A1: The Coalition is an English-language network that seeks to resist both the right-wing Trump agenda and the agenda of similar parties in Europe through nonviolent activism.
  • Q2: Who is in The Coalition?
    A2: Early members whose names you might recognize include American Voices Abroad Berlin, the Berlin Global Forum, the Linke Internationals, and Pussy Grabs Back. Many unaffiliated individuals have also joined The Coalition. More members – both groups and individuals – are expected. (more…)


 Saturday, February 4, at 14:00 American Voices Abroad Berlin joined The Coalition at the #NoBanNoWall protests at Pariser Platz. Click here for more photos. Video and Instagram  (more…)

February 2 Stammtisch 8:00 pm

Come to our first-Thursday-of-the-month STAMMTISCH on February 2 at 8:00 pm. At the Stammtisch we would like to informally discuss our involvement in The Coalition. We will be at Cafe Daddy at Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg right near S-Bahn Julius-Leber-Brücke.

AVA Chair and some Members Interviewed


Poster and Sign Workshop


Inauguration Day Demo January 20, 2017

American Voices Abroad Berlin will speak out on Inauguration Day, January 20, to say NO TO GLOBAL TRUMPISM! We will demonstrate in solidarity with all those in Washington, D.C., across the United States and around the world to say NO to Trump and to right-wing extremism here in Europe.

AVA-Berlin stands united with our German and European friends against the extremist right. Some of us (look for the AVA BANNER) will meet in front of the AfD offices at Schillstrasse 9 at 5:00 pm for the beginning of the demonstration and march to Pariser Platz. The rest of us (look for the WE SAY NO flag) will meet directly at Pariser Platz near the US embassy between 5:00 and 6:00 pm for the closing rally. (more…)

Stammtisch January 5

On JANUARY 5, our first Stammtisch of 2017 will focus on the Electoral College and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that has gained momentum in recent years. States in the compact are promising that, if enough of them ultimately join the bandwagon, they will give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. BEN JOHNSON will explain the most important elements of this project. Ben is a scientist in the fields of alternative energy and materials science, and some of you may remember him from the early days of AVA. Well, Ben is back!
So come to our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on January 5 at 8:00 pm at Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg.

December 1 Stammtisch

So, what do we do now? What’s happening? Let’s talk! Come to our first-Thursday-of-the-month STAMMTISCH on December 1 at 8:00 pm. We will be at Cafe Daddy at Kolonnenstrasse 50 in Schöneberg right near S-Bahn Julius-Leber-Brücke.

Anti Trump Demo November 12, 2016

13 years later we dug out our dusty, slightly ripped flag and took it to the Brandenburger Gate to protest again the direction politics in the US has taken.  We will be vigilant.20161112_demo_5081 Click on photo for the rest of the photos.

November 3 Stammtisch

Come to our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on November 3 at 8:00 pm. There’s no special event planned – so there will be time to talk about EVERYTHING. We will be at CAFE DADDY at Kolonnenstrasse 50. CAFE DADDY is a family-run Turkish cafe.  We always look forward to meeting new people.

October 6 Themed Stammtisch 8 pm

20161006_AVA_1701MIGUEL VERDE gave us a well-prepared update on the trade treaties, especially TTIP and CETA. We had a lively discussion afterwards and a long question and answer period. Many thanks to Miguel.

Screening Rebirth of a Nation Monday Oct. 10

Join us at the Lichtblick Kino at Kastanienallee 77 in Prenzlauer Berg on Monday, October 10, for a special screening of DJ Spooky’s REBIRTH OF A NATION, a remix of D.W. Griffith’s infamous 1915 film BIRTH OF A NATION (see below). The film begins at 9:00 pm, but don’t come at the last minute because the theater seats only 32 people. And, if you can, come early to discuss the up-coming election.

STARTING AT 7:00 pm, AVA will be offering urgent last-minute help for all those who have not yet registered to vote or who have not by then received their ballots. Alan Benson, our voter registrar, will be there to help with especially difficult cases.

Admission to see the film €6.50, reduced €5.50. (more…)

Anti-TTIP/CETA Demonstration Saturday Sept. 17

220160917_ttip_0817On Saturday, September 17, AVA took part in the anti-TTIP/CETA demonstration here in Berlin. We joined our German friends from Campact, the Berliner Wassertisch, the World Wildlife Fund, Brot für die Welt, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz, Attac, the DGB and many other organisations.

September 1 Stammtisch 8 pm

Come to our first-Thursday-of-the-month Stammtisch on September 1 at 8:00 pm. There’s no special event planned – so there will be time to talk about EVERYTHING. And we can definitely make plans for AVA’s participation in the big anti-TTIP demo on September 17. For anyone who needs them, we’ve got leaflets and posters, and maybe even door knob hangers,  explaining the treaties and advertising the demonstration.

WE WILL BE AT CAFE DADDY AT KOLONNENSTRASSE 50. CAFE DADDY IS A FAMILY-RUN TURKISH CAFE. They have a glass case with homemadeTurkish dishes like stuffed peppers and zucchini pancakes, and they also bake their own cakes. They do not serve alcohol. We always look forward to meeting new people

August 4 Stammtisch-CHANGE OF VENUE and Speaker

Our own RICH ROSEN will talk with us about mitigating climate change and common misconceptions about what will work followed by questions and discussion.Location: Cafe Daddy; Kolonnenstr. 50; Berlin-Schöneberg
Time: 20:00-22:00:  Raamson is on vacation–this is a Turkish cafe next door.
Remember: we love new people. So if you are new in town, or just haven’t been to an AVA event lately, join us.

AVA at the Global Climate March on Nov. 29, 2015 in Berlin

20151129_ClimateMarch_4936click on photo for more photos and one video.

Global Climate March Sunday Nov. 29 – AVA meets at 11:45

globalclimatechange_fbNext Sunday, November 29, one day before the opening of the Paris climate conference, there will be demonstrations all over the world calling for 100% renewable energy by 2050. AVAers and their friends will be meeting at 11:45 a.m. outside the Hauptbahnhof. LOOK FOR OUR BANNER next to the statue of the rolling horse on the north side of the station (Europaplatz). We will then walk to the south side of the station (Washingtonplatz), which is where the march will begin. In case of inclement weather, we’ll meet at the DB information (more…)

Premiere of Movie 3 1/2 Minutes/Ten Bullets on Nov. 22, 2015


Panel: Paul Edwards, Anjana Shrivastava, Prof. Dr. Martin Lüthe. Click on photo for more photos.

German Premiere of the film 3 1/2 Minutes/Ten Bullets directed by Marc Silver presented by the One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival (organized by Natalie Gravenor) and AVA-Berlin. Introduction by Pam Selwyn. The film was followed by a panel discussion with Prof. Dr. Martin Lüthe (FU Berlin/John F. Kennedy Institute), Paul Edwards (DAAD Fellow), and moderated by Anjana Shrivastava.


Movie 3 1/2 Minutes/Ten Bullets Sunday Nov. 22 at Moviemento


More information on Facebook about the movie 3 1/2 Minutes/Ten Bullets

Q&A following the film with director Marc Silver (via Skype), Prof. Dr. Martin Lüthe (FU Berlin/John F. Kennedy Institute), Paul Edwards (DAAD Fellow), moderated by Anjana Shrivastava.

Stammtisch Nov. 5 on TTIP with guest speaker Miguel Verde


click on photo for more photos

At the November 5 Stammtisch, Miguel Verde talked to AVA about the massive, and massively problematic, international trade treaty, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP. Miguel gave an informative talk about a complex theme followed by a lively discussion. (For additional information from Miguel, see below.) (more…)

Stammtisch Thursday October 1- In Memoriam David MacBryde

Our regular monthly Stammtisch meets at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12 just a few steps 11219220_10153624856834730_5571544070731229774_nfrom Viktoria Luise Platz at 8 p.m.

Our dear friend David MacBryde died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, September 9.
His widow Sabine has sent us this invitation to David’s funeral on Wednesday, September 30, at 10:30 in the morning in the chapel of the Friedrichwerderschen Friedhof, Bergmannsgtr. 42-44 in Kreuzberg.
The next day, Thursday, October 1 at 8:00 in the evening, American Voices Abroad will dedicate its regular Stammtisch to David – we’ll look at photos and reminisce. All friends of David are welcome.


Stammtisch Thursday June 4 – In Memoriam David Solomon

On June 4, AVA-Berlin dedicated the monthly Stammtisch to David Solomon. Ann Wertheimer read emails she received about David, Karen’s photos were shown as a slideshow, and other friends of David shared reminiscences. I’ve added these new photos to the album on flickr with the memorial service and some old photos of David. 20150604_D_Solomon_3026



Dave Solomon’s friends are gathering to remember Dave and to mourn his loss tomorrow, Saturday, May 23, 20060506_DA_5530from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Dave’s parents, Mark and Pauline, and his brother Bill invite you to join them in the courtyard behind Books in Berlin  at Goethestraße 69, 10625 Berlin. Feel free to bring memories to share. If you wish, you may donate in Dave’s memory to a cause that reflects his spirit, but the family prefers that you do not bring flowers.

Stammtisch Thursday March 5 at 8pm with Special Theme

Stammtisch theme:  “Facts and Trends in Immigration” guest: Dr. Henriette Litta, Head of Office Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration.

Many thanks to our guest Dr. Henriette Litta for her  informative talk about immigration in Germany.  We had a lively discussion on this timely topic.

Phil Remembered

Drawings by CP, made at an AVA business meeting, found recently in a sketchbook.


From the TAZ, January 17, 2015traueranzeige

Photos © Karen Axelrad

Stammtisch February 5, 2015 In Memoriam Phil Hill

20141207_ava-mtg_7271Our regular monthly Stammtisch meets at Café X-Zeit at Welserstr. 10-12 just a few steps from Viktoria Luise Platz at 8 p.m. Phil Hill, one of our founding members, died on December 22, 2014 (he is pictured above at our brunch at the beginning of Dec.).  We intend to spend some time at the Stammtisch reminiscing about Phil, telling stories or passing around photos.

Annual Business Brunch Sunday December 7

On Sunday, December 7, from 12:00 am to 3:00 pm, American Voices Abroad Berlin will again be holding its annual business meeting in the separate room at La Parrilla at Albrechtstr.11 right behind the Friedrichstrasse station. If you are coming from the S-Bahn, cross the Spree and Schiffbauerdamm and there it is.

The meeting will begin promptly at 12:00. An excellent Mediterranean brunch will begin at 11:00 for all who are hungry at that hour or would just like to sit around and talk.

This meeting is open to all AVAers but only paid-up members will have voting rights (you cannot pay at the meeting) . If you still haven’t paid but would like to, please transfer €30 (or, if that’s too much at the moment, a self-assessed lesser amount) to our treasurer. For details, click on MEMBERSHIP.

Premiere of 1971 at Human Rights Film Festival

20141120_1971_9804More photos here.

The premiere of 1971 at the One World Film Festival was a great success.  It was introduced by Natalie Gravenor and our own Isabel Cole, and followed by a panel discussion with, from left Annie Machon (former UK spy and whistleblower), Wolfgang Kaleck (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights e.V. ECCHR) Nadja Vancauwenberghe (Editor-in-chief Exberliner Magazine), Johanna Hamilton (director 1971) and our own Ann Wertheimer, (in a double role as chair AVA-Berlin and telling her story of being spied upon by the U.S. army in the 1970s).