Regular conspiracy ideological gatherings in Berlin

February 23 to 28, 2021, Berlin: In the winter of 2020, several minor conspiracy ideological gatherings have been taking root in Berlin, which will continue to take place on a regular or sporadic basis in 2021. In this continuously updated article we inform about the respective upcoming announcements or calls.

As stated in its annual review 2020, Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin – MBR assesses the local announcements as mostly very small gatherings often of only about five to twenty people at different locations in Berlin. Larger mobilizations mostly have a supra-regional or nationwide character:

It can be stated at the end of 2020 that the Berlin structures within the spectrum of people denying the pandemic were rarely capable of mobilizing a three-digit number of participants to their events without the support of outside actors. 

As with comparable right-wing and mobilization open to right-wing participants in recent years, it can also be observed in the course of the “Corona protests” that foreign actors with varying degrees of mobilization capacity deliberately choose Berlin as the venue due to its status as the capital and seat of government.

MBR Berlin / Belltower News 28.12.2020

Currently, the most regular gatherings are organized by the local conspiracy-ideological initiative “Querdenken Initiative”, which has also been responsible for the planning of the ultimately banned right-wing open demonstrations at the turn of the year in Berlin. 

MBR Berlin assessed this grouping in December 2020 as follows:

According to recent information from the founder of “Querdenken711”, Michael Ballweg, the local branch “Querdenken30 – Berlin” is responsible for the practical organization and implementation of the event. This grouping was noticed in the last weeks primarily by weekly gatherings on Alexanderplatz,  which were attended by less than one hundred participants respectively. This also applies to a “media march” held on December 2, with further small Berlin-based groups, during which many Berlin-based media outlets were visited and thus marked as adversaries.

MBR Berlin 29.12.2020
02.12.2020 – „Medienmarsch“ – Photo: Berlin gegen Nazis

The daily newspaper Tagesspiegel writes about another conspiracy ideological group that sporadically registers under the name “Freedom Parade”, but also calls for unannounced actions without MNS, e.g. in public transport or in shopping malls, harassing passengers or passers-by: 

The “Freedom Parade” is conspicuous not only by the mass spreading of conspiracy theories online and in the streets, but also by tolerating right-wing and extreme right-wing actors in its own ranks.

Der Tagesspiegel 18.12.2020

The circle around “Freedom Parade” participants also takes part in the nationwide performance rallies in white painter suits, which are carried out under the slogan “black truths or white truths”. In Berlin in 2020, such events took place in Lichtenrade (with participation of the right-wing extremists of the grouping “Der III. Weg”), on several S-Bahn trains and on Schlossstraße in Steglitz. The weekly newspaper jungle world has compiled some background information.

Students on 14.12. in Pankow – Photo: Berlin gegen Nazis

In the fall, micro-groups formed in some districts, holding more or less regularly conspiracy-ideological vigils on Mondays. In Treptow and Pankow in particular, regular gatherings took place, as well as in Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg and Mitte, where singular events took place. On December 14,.2020, there was a successful counter-protest mobilization by students in Pankow. The conspiracy ideological micro-groups try to bundle their activities under the slogan “Berlin steht auf”, which is a spin-off from the Berlin initiative “Querdenken Initiative”. 

In the summer months of 2020, there were several conspiracy ideological car parades through the inner city districts of Berlin with a closing rally at Lustgarten announced by an individual with a strong social media profile. After these rallies were banned, the at times very aggressive followers continued these corsos for some time under the slogan “Love Wins.” In December 2020, there was a second attempt to revive the motorcades. Several times, corsos would depart from the fair grounds at Messegelände through residential streets in Charlottenburg and the City West on Mondays. These were apparently organized by individuals from the spectrum of the vigils “Mahnwachen für den Frieden”, which are active since 2014, the last peak of conspiracy ideological gatherings in Berlin. Six years ago, these circles were described by apabiz – antifaschistische pressearchiv und bildungszentrum berlin and Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus (RIAS) under the heading “Not to be underestimated”:

The supporters of the peace vigils are united by a tendency towards conspiracy ideologies and the conviction that the bourgeois press is a ‘lie-producing instrument of rule’. (…) In our view, these collective revival experiences disguised under the flag of peace are an important factor for mobilizing

Berliner Zustände 2014 – Schattenbericht 
29.08.2020, Platz der Republik – Photo: Berlin gegen Nazis

The previous climax of conspiracy ideology rallies happened on August 29 in Berlin, where the closeness of 10,000 supporters to the “Reichsbürger” spectrum was palpable through the many black-white-red flags, the demand for sovereignty, and a peace treaty. The day ended with the so-called “storming of the Reichstag” from within a “Reichsbürger” rally that had been held there regularly for seven years. In advance of the event, MBR Berlin had assessed it as a “conspiracy ideological alliance demonstration with nationwide mobilization and large right-wing extremist participation”. Small rallies of “Reichsbürger” supporters continue to take place regularly in the government district.

Routes and locations of events

(as of 22.02.2021 / 9. Update)

Wednesday, 24.02.2021

  • 12.00-15.00 conspiracy ideological rally, Potsdamer Platz
  • 18.00-22.00 conspiracy ideological car-parade (south) 

possible starting point: parking at the train station Alt-Glienicke in Treptow-Köpenick

->Route: Not yet known

Thursday, 25.02.2021

  • 16.00-18.00 conspiracy ideological rally, Goethestr./Wilmersdorfer Str. – registered weekly until the end of March
  • 17.00-18.00 conspiracy ideological „Perfomance“, Start: Walther-Schreiber-Platz

-> Route on the sidewalk: Walther-Schreiber-Platz, Schlossstr. to „Das Schloss“(Nahe Grunewaldstr.) and back

Friday, 26.02.2021

  • 17.00-22.00 conspiracy ideological rally, Warschauer Str./Revaler Str. 
  • 18.00-22.00 conspiracy ideological car-parade (east) 

Possible starting point: U-Bhf. Hönow (car park)

->Route: Not yet known

Saturday, 27.02.2021

  • +++ CANCELED according to the organizer+++ 14.00-20.00 conspiracy ideological Querdenken-rally Alexanderplatz (Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft) – registered weekly until the end of February
  • 15.00-17.00 Reichsbürger-rally, Platz der Republik – registered by the end of the year

Sunday, 28.02.2021

  • 13.00-15.00 conspiracy ideological demonstration „multikultureller Frauenmarsch“

->Route: Pariser Platz, Unter den Linden, Karl-Liebknecht-Str., Spandauer Str., Rathausstr., Schlossplatz, Werderscher Markt, Französische Str., Gendarmenmarkt

  • 15.00-18.00 onspiracy ideological rally, Gendarmenmarkt

All information subject to change. Please also check for updates on twitter.

Please note: This overview article is about the local conspiracy ideological manifestations and mobilization calls in Berlin. It is intended to serve as information for residents, adjacent institutions, or passers-by in the various Berlin districts – with a focus on Berlin-Mitte – ,who are affected by the partly aggressive gatherings, and to provide some perspective regarding the confusing situation. It does not claim to be comprehensive. Further expected large conspiracy ideological mobilizations against the State measures to contain the pandemic in Berlin will be dealt with in individual reports.