Calls for violence against Luke Mockridge: A women's alliance wants to get the comedian off the stage. The presumption of innocence: unimportant. About a "Cis man" who is dubbed a "perpetrator" without evidence and found guilty without a verdict.
"Many women are victims of sexual violence. So that prominent perpetrators like Luke Mockridge don't get a stage, there is a rally before his performance in Berlin today." This now-deleted tweet on Twitter reveals the whole dilemma in the Luke Mockridge cause.
The comedian was reported by his ex-girlfriend Ines Anioli in 2019. The charges were dropped after multiple court scrutiny and discrepancies in Aniolis' testimony.
A verdict is still being made on social media. It reads: guilty. For many weeks in spring 2021, the hashtag "KonsquenzenfuerLuke" was trending on Twitter. There is also a massive mood against the popular comedian on Instagram. Mockridge's health is getting worse during this time. Mentally and physically battered, he withdraws and voluntarily goes into psychiatry. Although the case against him has been dropped, the presumption of innocence does not seem to apply to him. This is a valuable asset in our constitutional state.
After a break of several months, the 33-year-old is back. He is currently on a major tour of Germany. But before his performances there are protests from feminists who say they stand up for the rights of those affected. How do they enforce that? With radical means that have nothing to do with the protection of those affected and are extremely dangerous for our democracy. Because behind alliances like "No show for perpetrators" lies great potential for violence.
Anyone who appeals for the presumption of innocence to apply in this country is often defamed as a "criminal protector". On May 19, Mockridge will perform in Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. About a hundred people are protesting in front of it. An angry woman crashes his show. Mockridge stays calm, hands her his microphone. First she greets him with "Hello dear Luke", then in front of the entire audience she calls him the "culprit". She is very emotional. In a trembling voice, she calls Mockridge a "rapist" and accuses him of "raping ten women." The audience is also pilloried by the young woman: "I can't believe you're here. That you support such a person. Why are there shows for perpetrators?" Her appeal ends with a shout to the crowd that sounds like a threat: "We'll pay him back!"
At this moment, Mockridge is sitting on the edge of the stage and patiently listening to the woman and letting her finish speaking. Finally, he responds to her allegations: "I think that's legitimate. We're in a free country. Everyone can say what they want. (...) There are two types of people: There are people who are on the side of love and (...) who act out of fear. (...) There are people who have experienced things in their life that they become so emotional with something that just happens on the boulevard. This whole thing is boulevard! That's Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. This is a distraction. Legally, it's long since closed. I wish this person who just spoke out so emotionally in front of 10,000 people all the best and I hope that at some point in their lives they get to where that she questions it."
Speaking of questioning: People who critically question the Mockridge-Anioli-Causa, appeal to the presumption of innocence and address the dubious legal understanding of all those who want to "barbecue" and "smack him in the mouth", are put under massive pressure and in the social Media attacked. The same narrative is always used. Critics or journalists, even onlookers who only speak their mind, are discredited as racist, right-wing and misogynist. The motto is: intimidate. Supporters of the organization "No show for perpetrators" write, among other things: "Anyone who works for ntv should just shut up".
The initiators say they are committed to helping those affected. They celebrate their "Bämm" campaigns online. They print posters, make stickers with Mockridge's likeness that say "I'm a rapist," and smear him in videos. Banners read: "Mackers are evil, off to the frying pan." Supporters of the protest write: "The lousy perpetrator (...) should be working in a quarry in Siberia."
At the protest rally in Berlin, one of the masked organizers speaks into the camera. She says it's "not very funny" that Mockridge, "who has received a report of sexual violence", is allowed to stand on a stage. The statement is basically equivalent to a professional or performance ban and is reminiscent of dark times.
Another spokeswoman for the protest action calls out loudly, "I'm fed up with the fact that the presumption of innocence of a cis man is worth more than our physical self-determination". At his appearance in Dresden on May 22nd, loud chants were chanted: "Hit him in the face!"
With their protest, they proclaim, they want "to set an example against the fact that Luke Mockridge (...) continues to earn money. Continues to do a show even though he was reported." they demand
The "fully correct action" has nothing to do with Luke Mockridge. He only serves as a projection surface, as a bad, personified symbol for "Cis men" who are supposedly allowed to do anything with their power. The level of dialogue, of approaching each other - it has long since been abandoned. The facts are becoming more and more watered down. And so it could also happen that in public opinion a dropped report of "alleged rape" suddenly turned into "ten raped women". Although there was no trial at all, there is talk of a misjudgment by the judiciary.
The fact that Spiegel, which reported on Mockridge and Anioli and brought the topic to the public as a MeToo case, had to black out large, central parts of its article because of "inadmissible reporting of suspicions" is hardly noticed. Just like the hints in comment columns on social media, Mockridge is not the first to have been reported by his ex-girlfriend Ines Anioli. The alleged other accused, whose name must not be mentioned: also a celebrity.
It is important to believe victims of sexualised violence. But it is wrong to trample on the presumption of innocence. This case is highly complex. There is plenty of material that has been withheld including video of Mockridge's vandalized home, burned pictures, large stains on the bed sheet. This case, which bears a striking resemblance to that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, will haunt us for a long time.
The attitude and prejudice, also through the (social) media, must be of particular interest here. Because the name Luke Mockridge ensures fast clicks. Articles about him are often hidden under a payment barrier and offer the greatest possible potential for gaining many new subscribers.
The truth often falls by the wayside. Only the two know what really happened. It is therefore all the more the responsibility of our society as a whole not to allow the presumption of innocence to be undermined in order to push through our own seemingly fanatical goals.