5. June 2023

Statement on the published media articles from 02 June 2023

Hereby we would like to express ourselves as executive committee to the various press publications since 02.06.2023 among other things on queer.de and in the “citizen of Berlin newspaper”, which among other things criticism of handling the association finances in addition, alleged “taking advantage” to the subject have and even in criminal accusations lead. We reject these and reserve the right to take legal action. The accusations are based on hearsay and half-knowledge.

As basis of these reproaches a so-called “risk evaluation paper” of 03.02.2023 of a company with the names “Sircar International Business Mediation, Conflict and Crisis Coaching, Profiling” on the letterhead serves, responsible by the ex-board of directors, Aron Sircar, which was active before only 3 months and resigned suddenly to 30.01.2023. The paper was forwarded to only one of the four other board members, but was immediately read and evaluated by the entire board. The subject of the paper was a recommendation for the complete restructuring of the association solely on the basis of alleged “risks”, although the activities of the association had been very successful economically for a long time and especially in recent years. The recommendation also included the appointment of a – probably paid – management board, because the voluntary work of the board was not sufficient in Aron Sircar’s opinion, as he also communicated in another context. We had the impression that Aron Sircar primarily wanted to bring in and sell his services, which he otherwise offers as a consultant. Nevertheless, we promised to examine the matter. Because this was apparently not fast enough for him, he is now trying to discredit the Executive Board by instrumentalizing the media.

In our opinion, the current reporting must also take into account that one of the two editors of the latest article in the “Berliner Zeitung” with the headline “Scandal around Christopher Street Day Berlin: Did the board of directors get rich from the LGBTI demo?”, Sebastian Ahlefeld, thinks that he can report independently and in a balanced way. In doing so, his article contains massive accusations against the company “bluCom” – a company that has been working with our association for 10 years. It remains unmentioned that Sebastian Ahlefeld was active up to the notice of his employer-employee relationship at the end of Feburuar 2020 with a company of the blu Mediengruppe and also with bluCom for the marketing of CSD Trucks had been responsible. In addition, he has in the same year 2021, as well as our board colleagues, also wanted to stand for election as a board candidate of our association in March 2021, but withdrew this. For some time now, he has also been engaged in a personal conflict with both board members.

We clarify as follows:

  1. all generated gastronomy revenues of the association in 2022 were paid in time according to tax law, are complete and correct. Accusations of embezzlement have been rejected after legal examination anyway. The amount was known. The accusation of money laundering also vanished into thin air months ago.
  2. The association as well as the board members have not evaded any taxes in this matter, as well as in general. Funds, which were transferred to Switzerland and Lithuania after correct invoicing, are payments for services rendered. The Association has never transferred funds or fees without an invoice or in advance.
  3. So far, we have not received any lawsuit for the surrender of member data. It seems that the plaintiffs take data protection less seriously than we and our attorney for association law. This puzzles us, especially since one of the plaintiffs had previously complained about the data transfer by the association to the state data protection commissioner. The member data of the Berlin CSD e.V. are sensitive and particularly protected by the DSGVO. In order to avoid unlawful transfers, we informed the complainants that we cannot release the data without the consent of the members, but that we will actively query them. We had already sent out the corresponding query before the press releases. We are convinced that we are acting in accordance with data protection and are looking forward to the statement of claim.
  4. The company “bluCom” has been running an agency business for the procurement, planning and implementation of CSD trucks for 10 years. The Berlin CSD e.V. has been concluding vehicle contracts with the agency “bluCom” for 10 years. Our board colleague has been their managing director since the beginning of these contracts, but has only been a board member of our association for 2 years. When he was elected to the board, this professional background was known, but the vast majority voted for him. The fact that this is now being criminalized after more than 9 different board constellations is another indication of how personally driven this campaign is.

In addition, this fellow board member is not involved in the process of truck registrations on the association side. This has been the valued responsibility of our demo leadership team for years. Logically, as a board member, he knows the date of registration, which is unnecessarily dramatized here. Registration is done through an online tool that at all times demonstrably lists registration requests with their dates. There was and is no preferential treatment of the agency “bluCom”. We would like to point out again that other association members are also providers and service providers of several registered trucks. Anyway, the agency is not paid by the association, but by the client of the truck. Instead, the agency regularly generates high amounts for the association.

Finally, we would like to make it clear once again that all allegations were subjected to a comprehensive legal review months ago. No legal violations of any kind were found. It is not without reason that no criminal charges were filed against us. Nor are any preliminary proceedings underway. Instead, a power struggle is now being attempted via the press.

We will defend ourselves massively against all false allegations. It has failed to split the board.

Please come to us if you have any questions. We were also ready to answer the questions of the group around Aron Sircar. However, a conversation we offered with mediator because of the potential for conflict was rejected. The statement that we did not want to answer the questions is therefore also not true.

Your board of the Berlin CSD e.V.