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Hamburg: Demonstration against right-wing extremism


Morris Mac Matzen / AFP

For the second time in two weeks, tens of thousands took to the streets in Hamburg against right-wing extremism on Sunday. According to the Fridays for Future movement, around 100,000 people came together on a main street in the city center in bright sunshine. The police spoke of around 60,000 participants.

The demonstration was registered with 30,000 participants. Its motto was “For diversity and our democracy – Hamburg stands together against the AfD”. More than 40 organizations called for this.

»We are demonstrating because we do not agree with the shift to the right, with the AfD and fascism. We are demonstrating because we do not agree with fighting a rightward shift by the AfD with a rightward shift by everyone else," said climate activist Luisa Neubauer as the keynote speaker at the rally. “We are demonstrating because we see that fascism can be fought with attitude and not with ingratiation.”

The crowd on Ludwig-Erhard-Straße stretched from the Rödingsmarkt to behind the Michaeliskirche. After the starting rally, people marched through the city center in a demonstration procession. They repeatedly chanted “Hamburg hates the AfD” or “We are more.”

Many participants held banners and signs with texts such as "Fascism is not an 'opinion, but a crime'", "Courage for a defensive democracy" or "Protect democracy" - but also "Even the potato has a migration background". In addition to Palestine flags or Israel flags, a few demonstrators also held posters such as "Zionism is right-wing" - although the spokeswoman for Fridays for Future, Annika Rittmann, had asked at the beginning of the demonstration not to show national flags "so that everyone feels comfortable."

The demonstration, like many others across Germany, was a reaction to a report by the media company Correctiv. This made a meeting on November 25th in Potsdam public, in which AfD politicians as well as individual members of the CDU and the very conservative “Values ​​Union” took part. The former head of the “Identitarian Movement” in Austria, Martin Sellner, said he spoke about “remigration” at the meeting. When right-wing extremists use this term, they usually mean that large numbers of people of foreign origin should leave the country - even under duress.

“Listening right now, opening our eyes and realizing that the Correctiv research was the tip of the iceberg that was so much bigger” is now “our job,” Neubauer called out to the participants. »We have a problem in this country and someone has to start. Someone has to take to the streets. “Someone has to take the first step,” she said. »And we know exactly, someone at some point, that is us, that is now. And that’s exactly why we’re everywhere across the country.”

Most recently, a demonstration against right-wing extremism in the Hanseatic city was canceled on Friday of last week because many more participants came than expected. Instead of 10,000, according to the organizers there were 80,000 people, the police said the number was 50,000 demonstrators. After this rush, the organizers of the demo reacted on Sunday and moved the originally planned meeting location on Jungfernstieg to Ludwig-Erhard-Straße.

Around 100,000 demonstrators had already gathered in Düsseldorf on Saturday. In addition, events in less large cities were also very popular.

According to the organizers, the wave of protests will reach its peak next Saturday. Then tens of thousands are expected to attend an event around the Bundestag in Berlin under the motto “We are the firewall”. The Ver.di union, for example, is calling for this, together with its sister unions in the DGB and other alliance partners such as Fridays for Future and the “Hand in Hand” network.