A wide range of different groups, including pro-refugee, Muslim organizations, backed the “Indivisible” participated in the massive rally in the heart of the German capital under the slogan “solidarity instead of exclusion — for an open and free society,” on Saturday.
According to organizers, at least 150,000 people tuned out for the march. The Berlin police, however, have yet to release their own estimated figure, Presstv Reported.
The demonstrators shouted anti-Nazi slogans and carried placards, banners and signs in favor of rescue missions on the Mediterranean Sea, while at the same chanting “More love, less hate” and “No room for Nazis.”
The marchers walked in warm and pleasant weather through the city centre of Berlin before convening at the Brandenburg gate, where a number of German groups performed.
The march was partly in reaction to the rise of the anti-refugee Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
At the end of August, a far-right demonstration in the eastern German city of Chemnitz was held following the murder of a German national that was blamed on a refugee. The incident degenerated into attacks on foreigners, triggering the fear of rising anti-refugee sentiments.
Early in October, German police detained six men on suspicion of having taken part in the attacks, branding them as members of a far-right “terrorist” outfit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 move to allow in over a million refugees — from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan — set off a rise in nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiments in Germany as well as in some neighboring counties, including Austria and Italy, where anti-establishment, far-right parties are now in power.