Berliners march to counter-protest far-right demonstration
Berlin: Thousands of people flocked to the streets and canals of Germany’s capital on Sunday to rally against a mass demonstration held by a far-right and anti-immigrant party.
Berliners of all ages and backgrounds crowded Berlin’s main avenues — and in many cases, took to the Spree River in makeshift rafts — in a show of opposition to the populist, ultra-nationalist Alternative fur Deutschland party’s demonstration, held under the motto “Future Germany,” in which AfD sympathizers waved German flags and held signs calling for closed borders and an end to immigration.
“Voting for AfD Is SO 1933,” said one of the signs in the counter-protest, while another displayed the words “AfD, Sashay Away,” in reference to the US drag performer RuPaul’s famous catchphrase, Efe news agency reported.
“My Heart Beats for Diversity,” “Love Trumps Hate” and “You Are as Ugly as the Picture of Dorian Gray” were some of the other phrases used.
Many of the protesters marched and danced to the tune of loud music booming from colourful trucks, in a pageant-like procession held under the slogan “Bass instead of Hate”.
Authorities have deployed over 2,000 police officers who have only intervened so far with pepper spray in order to prevent four individuals from reaching AfD demonstrators who were separated from counter-protesters by barricades set up by police.