At least 150,000 people, according to police, demonstrated in central Berlin against the far right on Saturday, forming a human chain in front of the Reichstag building and chanting anti-fascist slogans, and more than two hundred other peaceful gatherings were planned across the country, AFP and DPA reports. .
Berlin – illustration Photo: Maxime Gruss / AFP / Profimedia
“From the heart instead of hate”, “Racism is not an alternative”, “Liberté, égalité, Fuck AfD”, referring to the anti-migrant and anti-system Alternative for Germany party, could be read on the colorful placards of the demonstrators.
“All together against fascism!” chanted the crowd, the demonstration being broadcast live on YouTube by the organizers, the “Hand to Hand” movement, which brings together over 1,500 organizations, including Friday for Future and the Campact citizens’ alliance.
The gathering, larger than expected, dispersed at the beginning of the evening.
“A strong sign for democracy”
The capital’s security forces said they had mobilized 700 police officers in the area.
“Whether it’s Eisenach, Hamburg or Berlin: in small and large cities all over the country, many citizens are gathering to demonstrate against forgetting, against hatred and incitement to hatred this weekend as well. A strong sign for democracy and our Constitution,” Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on the X social network on Saturday morning.
The Brandenburg Gate subway station was closed, BVG, the city’s public transport management company, said on the X network, while traffic was disrupted in the Mitte district.
The 200 planned demonstrations in the country, as well as the hundreds of protests that have taken place for several weeks, are a testament to the shock caused by the January 10 revelation by the German investigative media Correctiv of an extremist meeting in Potsdam, near Berlin, where , in November, a plan for the mass expulsion of foreigners or persons of foreign origin was discussed.
Against the background of economic slowdown and inflation, the anti-migrant and anti-establishment party Alternative for Germany (AfD) continues to rise in the polls, months before three important state elections in the east of the country. (Source: Agerpres)