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Monday 20 May 2019

Anti-racism protesters stage large rally in Berlin amid far-right advances

The extreme right is now represented in Germany’s parliament while there was recent anti-migrant violence in Chemnitz.

Thousands of people attended the demonstration (Markus Schreiber/PA)
Thousands of people attended the demonstration (Markus Schreiber/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

Tens of thousands of people have protested against racism and discrimination in Berlin, a demonstration that came amid rising concerns about Germany’s increasingly confident far right.

A wide range of groups, including pro-refugee, gay rights and Muslim organisations, backed the Indivisible protest on Saturday in the heart of the German capital under the slogan “solidarity instead of exclusion, for an open and free society”.

Last year’s German election saw the far-right Alternative for Germany party enter the national parliament.

The slogan Indivisible can be read on the sign (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Anti-migrant violence a few weeks ago in the eastern city of Chemnitz has added to concerns.

Organisers said at least 150,000 people turned out on Saturday.

There was no immediate crowd estimate from police.

Among backers was Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas, who told the Funke newspaper group that he welcomed “a great signal” that “the majority in our country stands for tolerance and openness”.

The local branch of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party did not back the protest, with senior official Stefan Evers arguing that its supporters included various “dubious organisations”.

Press Association

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