A post for Omnified by Caitlin Hardee and Sarah Schmidt
On Saturday, an estimated 242,000 people took to the streets of Berlin to protest against racism and xenophobia, making it one of the biggest marches in recent German history, according to organizers.
Brought together under the hashtag #Unteilbar (in English, “indivisible”), the alliance was formed during the summer to encourage solidarity and unity instead of hate and division. The alliance is supported by a number of human rights organizations, political parties and labor unions.
In Saturday’s march from Alexanderplatz to the Victory Column, KCRW Berlin spoke to participants aiming to set a sign against racism, gender discrimination, homophobia and far-right politics not only in Germany, but around the globe.
Fashion blogger Mary Scherpe, 36, and her friends Aida Baghernejad, 30, and Stefanie Gerke, 34, came with a group of people, some of whom are politically active and some aren’t, but who all believe it is important for individuals and citizens to stand up against the far right and set a sign for an open and liberal society.
Jonas Sippel, 24, a stage and film actor and cast member of the inclusive theater group RambaZamba, put his motivation to come to the protest in two words: “NO NAZIS!”
Jennifer Nielsen, chairperson of the green, left-wing V-Party said besides supporting veganism, it is a core goal of her party to fight for diversity instead of a German “Leitkultur.”
Wasem Jlelaty, 35, (left in photo) came to Berlin from Syria several years ago. He joined the demonstration to defy neo-Nazi rhetoric and to enjoy a day out with friends, live music and beer.
Christian Petermann, 38, is a member of the German left party, Die Linke, and views it as a moral imperative to speak out against policies allowing the drownings of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean to continue.
Jürgen Rösner, 56, is a longtime Berlin resident and came with his friends to stand for a Germany that is tolerant, diverse and open.
Laura Reiner, 28, was on the demonstration on behalf of the NGO InterEuropean Human Aid Association (IHA), which strives to provide fast, non-bureaucratic assistance to refugees on the borders of Europe. She advocated for access to asylum as a vital aspect of protecting human rights.
Felipe Gonçalves (right), 26, attended the march to protest against fascism and right-wing politics around the globe, and specifically to draw attention to the political situation in Brazil, Gonçalves’s homeland.
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