“We are approaching 200,000,” was announced over loudspeakers on site. The rally was then canceled for security reasons as the event area in the city center was completely overcrowded.
There was also a large crowd at the demonstration in Cologne; the organizers spoke of 70,000 participants. According to the Campact network, 50,000 people took part in Bremen. Large crowds were also reported at the start of a demonstration in Stuttgart. Another rally is planned in Berlin from 4 p.m.
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Hundreds of thousands demonstrated in numerous German cities on Friday and Saturday. According to the police, 35,000 people took part in Frankfurt am Main on Saturday, and similarly high numbers were reported in Hanover and Dortmund. Thousands were also on the streets in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Halle, Nuremberg, Kassel, Recklinghausen, Braunschweig, Wuppertal, Erfurt and other cities.
“Weekend of Hope”
The Campact network spoke of a total of around half a million participants on Friday and Saturday. Its managing director Christoph Bautz said it was a “weekend of hope”.
- Video: Demos against the right in Germany
Top politicians from different parties supported the rallies. “This is the protection of the constitution in action,” said Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) at the demonstration in Hanover. He called for people to take a clear stance against the right “wherever there is an opportunity” and to stand up for democracy and human rights. “Then Germany has a good future,” said Weil.
Right-wing extremist secret meeting in Potsdam
The reason for the protests are revelations by the Correctiv network about a right-wing extremist secret meeting in Potsdam. Plans for a mass deportation of people with a migration background were discussed there, as were other Germans who, for example, support refugees.
Among others, members of the AfD and the right-wing conservative Values Union took part, which decided on Saturday to found its own party to the right of the CDU and CSU. The demonstrations are also fundamentally directed against the rise of right-wing extremism in Germany.
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