Thousands rallied in Berlin on Saturday against racism, xenophobia and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in one of the country’s biggest rallies of recent years.
Organisers put the turnout at 242,000 people, who came from across Germany. The demonstration followed neo-Nazi anti-immigration protests in several eastern cities during the summer.
The protests, organised by a broad alliance of associations, labour unions, parties and rights groups, hit the streets in support of Saturday’s ‘Indivisible’ protest against the growing surge of racism and xenophobia in Germany and across the EU.
The march, under the slogan “solidarity instead of exclusion – for an open and free society”, followed nearly a month of tensions of right-wing rallies and left-wing counter protests in cities and a rise in support for the AfD.
Far-right groups in the eastern city of Chemnitz clashed with police and chased people they believed to be foreign in August after the fatal stabbing of a German man that was blamed on two immigrants. Similar protests took place in Dresden, Köthen and other eastern cities.