Berlin protests against far-right politics draw thousands
Over 200,000 people have taken to the streets of Berlin to face down the rise of far-right populism in Germany and Europe. The protesters were demanding more solidarity with marginalized groups.
Berlin produced an absurdly hot and sunny fall day on Saturday to welcome an estimated 240,000 people demonstrating against racism and calling for solidarity against the rise of far-right populism across Germany.
A 5-kilometer (3-mile) stretch of the capital city’s center, from Alexanderplatz through the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Column, had to be closed down to accommodate the huge parade, which was united under the hashtag #unteilbar (“indivisible”).
The crowds were punctuated by 40 trucks mounted with loudspeakers, some delivering political messages, others pumping out music of all genres. They also included the traditional Berlin staple: the techno truck surrounded by semi-clothed dancers. The march was bookended by two concert events, the second of which was expected to stretch into the evening.
All kinds of organizations joined in, including trade unions, NGOs, political parties (both mainstream and fringe), gay rights groups, schools and theaters, all carrying a variety of banners, each with their own cause to promote (Ryanair workers were a conspicuous presence), but all united behind the slogan: “Solidarity not marginalization.”
Senior government figures lent their support to the demonstration, most notably Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who tweeted: “It is a great signal that so many people are going on the streets and showing a clear position: We are indivisible. We won’t let ourselves be divided — certainly not by right-wing populists.”