Despite drizzle, 150,000 demonstrators are on site, a police spokesperson wrote on social media on Saturday afternoon. In a previous assessment, the police talked about 120,000 participants. The organization, the Hand in Hand movement, which groups more than 1,300 organizations, speaks of 300,000 participants
The police have deployed 700 troops.
The demonstrators’ intention is to form a human chain around the Reichstag building, where the German parliament is located, under the motto “We are the fire wall”.
For the past three weeks, tens of thousands of demonstrators have been taking to the streets all over Germany. The reason for the protest was a revelation by the investigative journalism platform Correctiv about a meeting of the radical right on November 25 in Potsdam, in which politicians from the AfD, CDU and the very conservative WerteUnion parties also participated.
Martin Sellner, the former leader of the identitarian movement in Austria, previously confirmed to the dpa news agency that he had discussed “remigration” at the meeting. Right-wing extremists generally use the term to indicate that a large number of people with foreign origins have to leave the country, even under duress. According to Correctiv, Sellner mentioned three target groups in Potsdam: asylum seekers, foreigners with the right of residence and “non-assimilated nationals”.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) welcomed the numerous demonstrations against extremism last weekend. “Our country is on its feet. Millions of citizens are taking to the streets,” he said in his weekly video “Kanzler kompakt”. “It is the cohesion of democrats that makes democracy strong. Our democracy is not given by God. It is man-made. She is strong when we support her. And she needs us if she is attacked.”
And today Scholz also supported the demonstrators. He wrote on Also today. It is an important signal for our democracy and Constitution.”