In many German cities, several thousand people have demonstrated against racism and police violence. According to the police, around 9,000 Jungfernstieg demonstrators gathered in Hamburg under the motto "Black Lives Matter". In Berlin, too, thousands of people in black clothes came together for a silent protest on Alexanderplatz. Just like in Frankfurt, Munich or Stuttgart. A total of demonstrations took place in more than 19 cities.

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In many places, the number of participants exceeded the permitted upper limit that was set due to the coronavirus pandemic. The police called on the demonstrators to comply with the distance regulations and to wear mouth-nose protectors. 

The protests were organized by the Silent Demo movement . The demonstrations are part of the global protests after the death of black US citizen George Floyd. Floyd was choked by a white policeman on a mission at the end of May. Since then there have been violent riots in the United States.

The Hamburg police had already declared their solidarity before the demonstrations. "We are by your side!" She tweeted before the rallies started. "Racism must not have a place in our society. We work every day so that everyone in Hamburg can feel safe," it said.

In fact, because of the corona pandemic, only gatherings of up to 525 people are allowed in Hamburg. For the two larger rallies on Jungfernstieg and Rathausmarkt, the city granted a special permit for a total of 800 demonstrators. The previous day, around 4,500 people demonstrated in front of the US consulate on the banks of the Alster in Hamburg against racism and police violence - only 250 had been announced.

Alexanderplatz crowded in Berlin

In Berlin, the police blocked Alexanderplatz due to overcrowding. It is estimated that around 10,000 people took part in the anti-racism demonstrations. On Twitter, the officials asked new arrivals to use the surrounding streets to keep enough distance from each other. The atmosphere was peaceful, the officials said.

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Police investigate riots in Neukölln

There was an outbreak of violence in Berlin on the eve of the demonstrations: on Friday evening, around 50 masked people had moved through the Richardkiez in the Neukölln district. They destroyed shop windows of nine shops, damaged cars, lit fireworks and pyrotechnics. When the police arrived, the group dispersed. The criminal police are investigating 13 women and seven men for property damage and particularly severe peace. A letter of confession was published on an extreme left-wing website, citing the death of George Floyd as justification for the riots.

Neukölln's mayor Martin Heikel (SPD) criticized the riots. "Such behavior is stupid, unsound and damages the actual protest against racism - in Neukölln and everywhere," said Heikel.