United Colors of Berlin – Love Against Right-Wing Populism

It seemed one of those beautiful early summer Sundays where you wake up with a little bit of hangover from a long Saturday night, lying around in bed a bit lazy but still sure you have to go out because the weather is too good to waste on a hangover.

But on this beautiful Sunday the so-called “Alternative for Germany” a party that gained popularity in a time of the refugee crisis and international instabilities had made big plans. This party wanted to march for the “future of Germany” all over Berlin and show how popular they have become. With an announced number of 10 000 marchers, it was supposed to become the biggest right-wing march since the end of the nazi-regime.

 

 

When I heard about it, I felt a bit dizzy. Was it possible that they could motivate so many to demonstrate? Would so many people really all march for an extreme right future? A future that to me personally sounded more like a deep step back into a dark past.

But what happened instead?

But Berlin and its lovely inhabitants proved once again that I should have nothing to worry about. Already when we arrived at the first demonstration that was all about bringing glitter and gold to the streets instead of nationalist symbols, I felt a strong feeling of togetherness. So many different human beings gathered all together dressed up in gold making the whole street shine like a piece of jewelry.

 

 

Old, young, children, grandmas – everybody came to the street to show the world that right-wing populism has no place here.

When we were walking towards the Brandenburg Gate you could really see and feel behind the strong walls of police forces how sinister and different it must feel to be on the other side. Of course, first I was shocked to see from far away many people holding up a German flag. But I just needed to look around and see the gold to feel that there is nothing to be afraid of. Because democracy is also about accepting that there are different opinions on a different side. But democracy is also about dialogue, confrontation, and compromise. And there is no way we as Berlin, but also we as free and egalitarian Germany can be open to a compromise to a worldview that is full of hate, racism, and fear.

 

 

Thirteen demonstrations had at least 25 000 participants protesting against the march of the AfD with 5000 participants.

These numbers are from the official police report. Having been there we have a feeling the protesters against the AfD were far more than that with so many counter events all over town.

To finish the day in glory and also because we were a bit curious we walked around Brandenburg Gate to see how the girls, guys, and gays from “AfD Wegbassen” where holding up. And even though the march of the AfD was already almost over we found a gigantic street party. The whole street until the Siegessäule was filled with joyful people holding up signs of protest who wanted to show that Berlin is really united. So many smiling faces, so many open hearts – we started dancing on the concrete with everybody else and the rest is history.

 

 

Berlin restored my faith in humanity.

I want to believe in a world that can see through lies and mischief. In a world that wants to be good today and better tomorrow. In a world without racism and violence against the misfits and minorities. Because we can be different, but we can still all be united if we agree together to choose love instead of hate.

 

Claudio by
on May 29th, 2018
updated on May 29th, 2018
in Stories
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