As the truck, belonging to Mercedes-Benz Bank and Daimler AG, passes Berlin’s Kaufhaus des Westens department store, it sounds loud from the boxes. And indeed, the truck is like a living firework. Whilst the colours of the rainbow seem to be exploding across the truck’s white tarpaulin, the vitality, power and pure zest for life exhibited by the group of staff who have met up to celebrate Christopher Street Day together just can’t be beaten.
Christopher-Street-Day – a parade with a political history.
CSD Berlin, which takes place annually in July, is the largest and most visited LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer) parade and demonstration in Germany. The parade is named after Christopher Street in New York, where in 1969 the first demonstration against police violence towards gays, lesbians and transsexuals took place. Today, so-called pride parades, which demand more rights, openness and acceptance for all people whatever their sexual orientation, are held in many cities across the world every summer. In addition to countless organisations, political parties and groups, large companies also participate in this demonstration and parade in the name of love with their own trucks.
While last year it was only Mercedes-Benz Bank that raised the flag for diversity and equal rights, this year the whole Daimler Group is represented by a truck. And not only in Berlin. First off were the CSDs in Cologne and Munich. The biggest stop in Berlin will be followed by Stuttgart (29.07.), Hamburg (05.08.) and Bremen (26.08.). Thus Daimler AG and its truck were present at all of the big CSD parades in Germany making a statement for diversity and tolerance. In addition to the 12-tonne truck, the exterior of which was designed especially for the tour, visitors to the parade can admire a whole fleet of products from Daimler. From car2go to the current A-Class: all of them tangible, mobile proof of how diversity within the company not only makes inventiveness and creativity possible but also promotes them.
Daimler awarded LGBTQ-friendly company.
The initiator and organiser of the truck tour is the staff network GL@D (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender at Daimler), that has been working for an open and tolerant company culture at Daimler for the last 10 years. And with success; Daimler was the only German company to be listed in the top 10 of the world’s LGBTQ-friendly companies in a study carried out in 2015. Commitment to an open diversity culture is also a seminal aspect of the Leadership 2020 culture change which enables management and their staff to actively participate in change processes and to strengthen the transformation of the Group from within. With the truck tour and this year’s motto for the 39th CSD Berlin “More from us – every voice against the Right!” this commitment is not only a measure to foster staff satisfaction but a clear line to the company’s future-oriented political position demanding more openness and tolerance.
Dancing with a zest for life and fun against intolerance.
In Berlin, the excitement and curiosity of the participants on the Daimler truck was noticeable at the beginning of the parade. But once the party mobile got under way and the DJ turned up the first beats, the tension dispersed and everyone danced and celebrated wildly together. The crowds around the truck raced to well-known cover songs, live sung by Mercedes-Benz Brand Ambassador Mandy Grace Capristo.
CSD Berlin: weather-wise a day full of surprises.
There was definitely no shortage of fun, zest for life and high spirits at the CSD 2017 in Berlin. Really it was only the torrential downpours which twice surprised the parade participants that some probably could have done without. But they do say: “There’s no rainbow without rain” and many of the visitors didn’t let the weather spoil their fun dancing. When around 7 p.m. the sun beamed down on the closing rally at the Brandenburg Gate, the bad weather was immediately forgotten and a unique day came to a relaxed and summery end.