The protests against fascism in Germany are continuing the trend of mobilisation against the far right seen earlier in Spain and Poland.
Tens of thousands of people are protesting after Correctiv revealed a secret conspiracy by right-wing extremists, including politicians from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), to organise mass deportations of asylum seekers and German citizens with migrant roots. The number of protesters is growing, and new demonstrations are planned across the country.
Co-chairs of the European Green Party Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz comment: “The far right wants to destroy democracy, and change the way you live, love and think. All democratic forces must work together to protect peace, democracy and rule of law. Times may seem dark. But when citizens rise up, much is possible. Six months ago, Spanish citizens turned out in record numbers to fend off a government coalition of the Partido Popular (EPP) and the far-right Vox (ECR), and they succeeded. In October the Polish people voted out the hardline PiS (ECR) government.”
In 20 weeks’ time, the European elections will give every adult citizen the chance to say what kind of society they want. “If we want to protect our democracy, now is the time to take action, organise events, mobilize our friends and family. All we need is courage. And today, tens of thousands of people in Germany are showing that they have precisely that courage”, conclude Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz.
In Hamburg between 50,000 and 100,000 (the figures vary depending on the source) people came together, there was a very broad mobilisation beforehand. The Greens 60plus were also there with many older people. There was an extra family area for families with small children. This was also necessary because people were standing so close together that it was almost impossible to move.
The meeting point for the rally had to be postponed at the last minute because the right-wing AFD parliamentary group unexpectedly held a meeting in the town hall. And then the cordon was imposed around the town hall.
The rally took place a few metres further along the Alster, which was probably even better because there was more space there. But that’s typical of the right-wing parties: they want to cause disruption and throw sand in the gears wherever they can. There are hardly any substantive proposals, but a lot of no’s to good projects. The aim is to show time and again that our democratic system does not work.
In Germany, we have come through the winter well despite a stop to gas supplies from Russia, inflation has fallen, more people are receiving housing benefit thanks to a new regulation, basic child benefits have been introduced and most people are doing well. But the populists keep trying to suggest that everything is going down the drain. That is why it is so important that all democrats stand together despite differing opinions and do not play along with this perfidious game!