Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against the far right in Germany

Hundreds of thousands of people again demonstrated against racism and the far right in different cities across Germany.

6 mins read

Over a hundred thousand people gathered in front of the Reichstag, the Bundestag building in the capital Berlin, to protest against the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and its plans to expel millions of foreigners from the country.

The “Hand in Hand” initiative, supported by more than 1,500 organizations and associations operating in the country, organized the protest under the slogan “We are the fire wall”. Due to the high number of participants, the surrounding streets and other areas were opened for the use of the protesters.

The demonstrators chanted “All Berlin hates the AfD” and “All together against fascism” and carried banners reading “Never again, now”, “AfD is not an alternative”, “No place for Nazis”, “There is no freedom in National Socialism”, “Ban the AfD now” and “Nazis out”.

Speeches during the demonstration called for a fight against the AfD and the far right by all segments of society and criticized the German government’s immigration and refugee policy.

“Free Palestine”

Participants held hands during the demonstration, signaling that together they would defend democracy and parliament, while a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted “Freedom for Palestine” and “Ceasefire now”.

Berlin police said more than 150,000 people took part in the demonstration, while the organizers put the number at 300,000.

Participants agree that the demonstrations were effective

Sarah Meusel, who participated in the demonstration, said that she has been following how the AfD has been gaining power for many years and said: “With every election I get more and more scared. Now I am hopeful because the (AfD’s) votes seem to be falling and people finally understand what this party really means.”

Meusel stated that these demonstrations have shown their effect and said, “This is the first demonstration I have participated in. First show in five years. More and more people started to come here. As you can see, (the demonstrations) have an effect.”

Renate, who did not want to give her last name, stated that she participated in the demonstration because she was against fascism and said, “We are here because we are against the far right. We must ensure that the AfD disappears.”

Viktoria Ihona, who is of Nigerian origin, said that she belongs to Germany: “I am here as a foreigner to make people understand that I belong here and that I cannot be deported.”

Ihona said that such demonstrations are effective: “You can see how many people are against the AfD. I think this is good. More people need to go out on the streets, raise their voices and say more things. They should not just nod their heads when someone says something racist or discriminatory to people.”

Stating that her family has been worried recently because they came from Nigeria to Germany, Ihona continued as follows:

“We moved here and I don’t want to leave because I grew up here. This is my home. I come from Nigeria and I don’t know anyone there, I don’t speak the language, so I’m a bit scared (of being sent away).”

Anti-far-right demonstrations were also organized in other cities across the country.

In the city of Potsdam, 3 thousand people participated in the protest against the far right, while 30 thousand people in Freiburg, 25 thousand in Augsburg, 10 thousand in Krefeld, 2 thousand 500 in Schwerin and 7 thousand in Hannover took part in the demonstrations. Demonstrations against the far right have been organized in the country for 3 weeks.

Prime Minister Scholz supports the demonstrations

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported the demonstrations in a statement on social media, saying: “Many citizens in small and large cities across the country are coming together again this weekend to demonstrate against hatred and incitement. This is a strong signal for our democracy and our Constitution.”

In Postdam, Germany, in November 2023, it was revealed that AfD politicians and some members of the Christian Democratic Party had secretly discussed a plan to forcibly deport millions of foreigners from Germany.

Martin Sellner, the former leader of Austria’s far-right “Identitarian Movement”, also attended the meeting, which reportedly discussed a plan to deport asylum seekers, foreigners with the right to stay in the country and German citizens who do not embrace European culture.

Following the revelation of the secret meeting, discussions on the closure of the AfD started in the country, and people have recently taken to the streets to show their reaction to the far right and the AfD.


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