Yesterday, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to stand up for democracy and against the right. There will be another protest today.
Thousands of people are expected to take part in demonstrations for democracy and against right-wing extremism across the country today. After hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in numerous cities on Friday and Saturday, the organizers of the protests in Munich, Cologne and Berlin were expecting thousands of participants again on Sunday.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wrote on Saturday evening with a view to the protests: “So many people who show faces and attitudes – our democracy lives from strong democrats like you!” Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt, who comes from Thuringia, wrote on the platform Road we fought for in 1989. Encouraging! Happy for everyone who went out, but especially in the East.”
At least 300,000 demonstrators nationwide
According to official information, around 16,000 participants demonstrated in Halle/Saale on Saturday. In Erfurt, the police spoke of around 9,000 demonstrators, the organizers of more than 10,000.
According to initial counts by the police and the organizers, a total of at least 300,000 people demonstrated nationwide. In some cities, final figures from both sides were not yet available. According to police and organizers, there were 35,000 people in Frankfurt am Main and Hanover alone – one motto was “defend democracy.”
The protests were triggered, among other things, by the revelations by the Correctiv research center about a meeting of right-wing extremists on November 25th, in which AfD politicians as well as individual members of the CDU and the very conservative Values Union took part in Potsdam. The former head of the right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement in Austria, Martin Sellner, said he spoke about “remigration” at the meeting. When right-wing extremists use the term, they usually mean that large numbers of people of foreign origin should leave the country – even under duress.
Protests on Sunday
Today, thousands are expected on the streets in other cities who want to stand up for democracy and against the right. In Munich the police expect up to 25,000 people. In Cologne, the “Cologne stands across” alliance, which consists of more than 50 parties, organizations and initiatives, is expecting around 10,000 participants. A protest is planned in front of the Bundestag in Berlin this afternoon. A broad alliance of different organizations has called for this. According to the police, 1,000 participants are registered.
Rallies and demonstrations are also planned in many other German cities, including Chemnitz, Dresden and Neubrandenburg. Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) is expected in Cottbus at a demonstration in the morning. According to the organizers, around 20,000 people came to protest in Stuttgart on Saturday and there was to be another rally there on Sunday.
Thanks to the demonstrators
The International Auschwitz Committee thanked the people who protested across the country. “Survivors of the Holocaust are more than grateful to all those who are taking to the streets these days against the hatred and lies of the right-wing extremists. They see these demonstrations as a powerful sign from the citizens and a revival of the democracy that they have long hoped for and waited,” said Executive Vice President Christoph Heubner on Saturday evening.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) had previously thanked the people who demonstrated against the right across the country. This shows that there is “a broad alliance” at the heart of society, he said.
Wüst once again called for such a “centre alliance” in politics, which must be formed across parties and across all levels of government. “We need the Democrats to unite together.” He described the AfD as an “extremely dangerous Nazi party.” On X, formerly Twitter, the CDU politician wrote that the AfD does not stand on the basis of the Basic Law. “The AfD is not a conservative party and certainly not a value-oriented party.”
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.