The neighborhood initiative ( Anwohnerinitiative für Zivilcourage – Gegen Rechts) at Spandauer Vorstadt (Berlin-Mitte) registered three rallies to protest the upcoming right-wing extremist demonstration, as the two past demonstrations in the “Merkel muss weg”-series of March 2017 and November 2016 respectively, marched through Torstraße, Auguststraße, and Linienstaße. The right-wing extremist demonstration route will not directly pass through the counter protests of Berliner Bündnis gegen Rechts. Thus, this is a first success of all organizers of the counter protests and all people involved.
The residents of the neighborhood clearly position themselves against right-wing extremism, regardless of whether the right-wing extremist march will actually take place directly in the neighborhood or not.
The protests of the residents of Spandanuer Vorstadt will start simultaneously in three locations at 16:00:
In a current press statement, the initiative introduced their program at the three protest events:
We will get cosy on Ackerstraße, where couch potatoes will be provided with cake and music and their accustomed couches. On Gipsstraße, Özcan Mutlu (MdB, Bündnis90/Die Grünen) will welcome the audience, after which writers and authors based in Berlin will do a reading, Petra Pau (MdB, Die LINKE) will give a speech, and the band „Der singende Tresen“ will present their repertoire on Erich Mühsam. On Koppenplatz, Eva Högl (MdB, SPD), Maren Jasper-Winter (MdA, FDP), and Frank Buecheler von Freeartus – artists and refugees united for freedom will speak, accompanied by on-stage drum sessions and a choir performance.
About the motivation for this project , the call states:
During the latest demonstration on March 4, 2017, residents were personally assaulted and even spit at by Nazis. We formed this neighborhood initiative as we cannot passively watch right-wing demonstrations march though our neighborhood. We wish to take a stand and visibly act to foster democracy and peaceful coexistence in our neighborhood. Our Kiez has many colors, and that is how it should be.
To be able to quickly react against the right-wing extremist demonstration, the neighborhood initiative Anwohnerinitiative für Zivilcourage – Gegen Rechts and Berlin gegen Nazis call all Berliners to join their MitMach-Aktion event on July 1.
Following the glamorous demonstration of June 17, 2017, which took place against the right wing extremist “Die Identitären” movement under the slogan “Vorhang auf, Grenzen auf: Bühne frei. Die Vielen”, we wish to shine bright against right-wing extremism again on July 1, regardless of their demonstration route. Join us, bring anything shiny, or take it to the streets, for a democratic and diverse Berlin, in solidarity with all refugees, by hanging a shiny emergency or space blanket from your window. Show the marching right-wing extremists that Berliners reject anti-refugee and xenophobic racist agitation.
The initiative Berliner Bündnis gegen Rechts, an association of clubs, unions, as well as leftist and anti-fascist groups, registered a manifestation at the main station at 13:00, simultaneously to the right-wing extremist’s demonstration. It will also host a demonstration starting at 13:00 at Rosenthaler Platz, going through the neighborhood of Spandauer Vorstadt towards the right-wing extremist’s starting point at Washingtonplatz/Hauptbahnhof. Their call states:
Together, we wish to set a sign against their right-wing propaganda, anti-Semitism, against their disregard of basic human rights! We oppose and will lead a demonstration towards the starting point of the right-wing extremist’s demonstration. Berlin is so much better without Nazis. Let’s be many, let’s stand up together for solidarity in Berlin!
The initiative Berliner Bündnis für ein weltoffenes und tolerantes Berlin, an association of churches, trade unions, and further organizations of civic society, registered a further demonstration in Spandauer Vorstadt, starting from 15:30 at Monbijouplatz at Oranienburgerstraße. Their call states:
The Berliner Bündnis shares a decided commitment against xenophobic, racist, anti-Semitic, nationalist, and opinions denying basic human rights in our city. We invite everybody to join our struggle against intolerance. We wish to achieve a peaceful coexistence of diversity.
Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin (MBR) assesses the situation of the “Merkel muss weg” demonstration of July 1 as follows:
Concerning the demonstration on July 1, there are yet again likely several hundreds people to be expected to join the “Merkel muss weg” demonstration. The regular gatherings of right-wing extremists have established themselves to take place with comparable numbers of participants. However, there has been considerably less activity to mobilize for this demonstration on social media. As of now, only about 730 people joined the respective event on facebook. Also, within the scene, the topic has lost its relevance, compared to the past two years. It is thus likely that the number of followers will stagnate, if not diminish.
Regarding the spectrum of followers, the participants come from the same background as in the past five demonstrations:
The participants which are expected to join on Saturday, are likely to come from the same background as before; right-wing extremists organized in comradeships, NPD, the party “III. Weg”, the “Identitären” and “Reichsbürger” movements, right-wing extremist and hooligans of the football scene, members of “Patriotische Plattform”, AfD, as well as further sub groups and refugee-phobic initiatives. The potential to act violently will remain high.
Source of above quote: Assessment of Extreme Right Demo on 4th March
Overview map right-wing extremist demonstration “Merkel muss weg”, July 1, 2017, Berlin-Mitte (as of June 22, 2017, content subject to change)
view the map online via Smartphone-App „Gegen Nazis“ ,with optional service of display of your current location.
routes and locations of demonstrations and speeches
- 13:00 speeches Berliner Bündnis gegen Rechts Washingtonplatz (Rahel-Hirsch-Straße/Hugo-Preuß-Brücke)
- 13:00 demonstration Berliner Bündnis gegen Rechts Rosenthaler Platz, Torstraße, Friedrichtraße, Reinhardtstraße, Kapelle-Ufer, Hugo-Preuß-Brücke, final gathering point Washingtonplatz (Rahel-Hirsch-Straße/Hugo-Preuß-Brücke
- 15:00 starting point of right-wing extremist demonstration „Merkel muss weg“ of Wir für Deutschland (WfD)Washingtonplatz
- 15:30 speeches Berliner Bündnis für ein weltoffenes und tolerantes Berlin Monbijouplatz/Oranienburgerstraße
- 16:00 three demonstrations with speeches Anwohnerinitiative für Zivilcourage – Gegen Rechts on the following street corners respectively: Ackerstraße/Torstraße, Koppenplatz/Linienstraße, Gipstraße/Augustraße
- 16:00 supposed starting time for the right-wing extremist march „Merkel muss weg“-Wir für Deutschland (WfD) from Washingtonplatz, Rahel-Hirsch-Straße, Willy-Brandt-Straße, Paul-Löbe-Allee, Heinrich-von-Gagern-Straße, Scheidemannstraße, Dorotheenstraße, Friedrichstraße, Leipziger Straße, Axel-Springer-Straße, Zimmerstraße, Checkpoint Charlie (Zimmerstraße/Friedrichstraße)
Action map right-wing extremist demonstration “Merkel muss weg”, July 1, 2017, Berlin-Mitte (as of June 22, 2017, content subject to change)
Twitter hash tag for live information on July 1, 2017: #b0107