At least 150,000 gather in Berlin to protest the far right

At least 150,000 gather in Berlin to protest the far right

The latest in a series of sizable weekend protests across Germany, at least 150,000 people gathered in front of the German national parliament on Saturday afternoon to express their opposition to the far right.

Three weeks ago, the pro-democracy protests began after an article by the investigative journalism group Correctiv revealed that radical right-wingers had recently gathered to discuss the deportation of millions of immigrants, some of whom were German citizens. Attending the meeting were a few members of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, or AfD.

Even though it was raining intermittently in the German capital on Saturday, more people attended the protest than the organizers had anticipated. About 150,000 people were present as of mid-afternoon on Saturday, according to the police. Thousands of people turned out on Saturday for anti-far right demonstrations in several German cities, including Hannover in the west and Freiburg in the south.

Protesters transformed the area near the Bundestag, or national parliament, into a sea of signs, flags, and umbrellas under the banner “We are the Firewall,” which alludes to the long-standing taboo against working with the far right in German politics.

Attendees of Saturday’s demonstration came from all over Germany, stating that they thought it was crucial to be present in order to express their opposition to racism and warn against history being repeated.

“We have to make sure that the incidents that occurred in 1930 and even the 1920s never occur again. Bremen, a port city in the west, is home to Jonas Schmidt. “We have to do everything we can to stop that,” he stated. It’s the reason I’m here.

Another protestor, Kathrin Zauter, described the high turnout as “really encouraging.”

She remarked, “This inspires everyone and demonstrates that we are more—we are many.”

Founded in 2013 as a euroskeptic party, the AfD made its debut in the Bundestag in 2017. According to recent polling, the party is receiving over 20% of the vote nationwide, placing it far above the 10.3% of the vote it received in the most recent federal election in 2021.

According to polls, the AfD is the most popular party in eastern Germany, which includes the states of Thuringia, Saxony, and Brandenburg, where elections are due this autumn.

The exhibition The most recent of several such events that have taken place around the nation on Saturday attracted a far larger number of attendees than the organizers had anticipated. Protests that had been scheduled for late last month in Munich and Hamburg had to be called off early because of safety concerns about crowding too many people into small areas.

While there have been anti-far right protests in Germany in the past, the scale and character of the most recent ones—which have taken place in dozens of smaller German cities in addition to major ones—are noteworthy.

Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, applauded the demonstrations, stating in a post on social media on Saturday that the attendance of the people at the events is “a strong sign for democracy and our constitution.”

“People are organizing protests against incitement, hatred, and forgetting in both large and small cities nationwide,” he continued.

About The Author

Leave a Reply