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Monday 15, January

“Ban the AfD”: Tens of thousands demonstrate against the right

25,000 people took to Berlin streets to protest against the AfD, while another 3,000 gathered to remember Rosa Luxemburg.

Photo: IMAGO / Achille Abboud

Monday 15, January

“Ban the AfD”: Ten of thousands on Berlin streets to demonstrate against the right

The weather might be cold, but German politics is clearly heating up. Separate demonstrations saw tens of thousands of people take to Berlin streets this weekend, with another noisy, large-scale farmer protest currently underway.

The largest demo took place on Sunday at the Brandenburg Gate, with around 25,000 people taking to the streets to express their outrage at last week’s news of a secret far-right meeting between AfD politicians, right-wing extremists and wealthy donors.

Similar protests were held across the country, including 10,000 gathering in nearby Potsdam, following the scandalous story broken by investigative news outlet Correctiv that the meeting had involved presenting plans for the mass deportation of foreigners, including those who were already German citizens. Among the large crowd were signs reading “Racism is no alternative” and “ban the AfD”. The turn-out was considered particularly impressive given that there were only two days of preparation time.

On the same day, another protest was being held across town in Berlin-Lichtenberg in honour of left-wing heroes Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg who were murdered 105 years ago in Berlin by right-wing Freikorps soldiers. This demonstration, consisting of around 3,000 people, seems to have been much more violently policed. Videos on X showed bloodied protestors, with police claiming the unrest had been caused by the organisers broadcasting prohibited slogans through a loudspeaker.