Broad civil society protests against right-wing extremism and racism

January 12-21, 2024, Berlin – Following the publication of an investigative research report by the media office Correctiv regarding a secret meeting with right-wing extremists in Potsdam, Berlin's civil society immediately took to the streets several times.

January 12, 2024 – A first mobilization in front of the Chancellery

On January 10, the media office Correctiv published their investigative research report entitled „Geheimplan gegen Deutschland“ about a plan presented by a leader of the far-right Identitarian movement to mass deport people with a migration family history from Germany. Outraged by this meeting, which was, among others, attended by members of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), around 1,000 people gathered in protest in front of the Chancellery in the evening, following a last-minute appeal. The focus of the gathering was the demand that the German government consider banning the far-right AfD party due to these recent revelations.

Foto: Florian Boillot, Bundeskanzleramt 12.01.2024

January 14, 2024 – Broad protests, Pariser Platz cannot accomodate all participants

According to the organizers, around 25,000 participants gathered at a demonstration entitled “Defending Democracy” on Pariser Platz on January 14. On Friday, an alliance involving “Fridays for Future Berlin” had called to join the demonstration, which quickly grew in size. In addition to Fridays for Future, representatives of Pro Asyl, Der Paritätische, and the Protestant Church also held speeches on site, where there was far too little space for the number of Berliners who participated. It was precisely this large gathering of people without a big stage, who wanted to stand together for democracy and against right-wing extremism, that created the atmosphere of the protest.

Foto: Berlin gegen Nazis, Pariser Platz, 14.01.24

January 17, 2024 – „Round Table Antifascism“ in front of Rotes Rathaus

On Wednesday, January 17, a new Berlin-wide network organized a large event in front of the main town hall Rotes Rathaus under the still provisional title “Round Table Antifascism”, on occasion of the research report by Correctiv. Organizations such as Aufstehen gegen Rassismus, DGB Berlin-Brandenburg, several Omas gegen Rechts Berlin groups, antifascist initiatives, VVN-BdA Berlin, as well as district alliances against the political right, and many more are part of the round table.

We document the call for the rally:

“The recent report published by Correctiv regarding a secret meeting in Potsdam demonstrates the extent of the AfD’s pushing ahead, as the parliamentary branch of the far right, with its suggested preparations to initiate practical deportations at the hoped-for time of a “takeover”. Their plans include the displacement, expatriation, and deportation of migrants and Germans with migration background, together with supporters, and political opponents. We must and we want to protest against this! The AfD is a threat to all of us!”

Source: Call for the rally on January 17 on Instagram

Close to 4,000 people took part in the rally in wintry weather. Representatives of Pro Asyl, ver.di and LSVD, as well as members of the Green and Left parties in the House of Representatives held speeches about the danger posed to democratic society by right-wing extremist networks.

Foto: Berlin gegen Nazis, Rotes Rathaus, 17.01.24

January 21, 2024 – Huge crowd in the government district

On Sunday, January 21st, a demonstration took place in front of the Bundestag, organized by Fridays for Future Berlin and further initiatives as part of the nationwide protest days with the hashtag #ZusammengegenRechts. So many people responded to the call to remain visibly present against right-wing extremism and racism that public transport in the city center reached its limits. With well over 100,000 participants, this colorful and diverse protest by Berliners was one of the largest demonstrations by civil society in a long time and the first mass demonstration against right-wing extremism in the government district since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

Foto: Florian Boillot, Platz der Republik, 21.01.2024

Featured photo: Berlin gegen Nazis, Pariser Platz, January 14, 2024