The major powers continue to fully support the Netanyahu regime and its murderous war against the Palestinians in Gaza. Millions of people around the world have been protesting against this for more than a month.
In Germany, too, many thousands are defying the pro-Israel stance of the Social Democrat-led Federal Government and Bundestag (parliament), to participate in pro-Palestine demonstrations.
Demonstration in Düsseldorf, Germany on November 4, 2023
In Berlin, a demonstration of more than 5,000, including whole families with children, moved from the main train station to the Großer Stern on Saturday afternoon. Slogans included “Freedom for Gaza,” “Freedom for Palestine,” and “Germany finances, Israel bombs.” Another chant was, “The German media is lying, don’t let them deceive you!” At 4:00 p.m., out of respect for the victims in Gaza, the entire demonstration was transformed into an impressive silent march for 15 minutes.
A large police force was present. The lead organiser of the demonstration stated at the outset to applause: “We are not here to show hatred, but peace. We are not here because we hate Jews—we are here because we stand up against injustice in Palestine. We have lived peacefully alongside the Jews in the Middle East for centuries.” Protests have been taking place each week in the German capital.
People also took to the streets in many other cities last weekend. There were about 1,000 in Leipzig, over 2,000 in Stuttgart and more 1,500 in Düsseldorf. In Hamburg, all protests against Israel’s ethnic cleansing have been banned for five weeks. “Pro-Palestinian” meetings are prohibited by general order of the police. This edict, first issued on October 16 for three days, has been extended nine times since.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, in addition to Düsseldorf, protests against the genocide took place in Cologne, Bielefeld, Paderborn, Herne and Münster. In Cologne, around 3,000 participants responded to the appeal from the Palestinians and Jews for Peace initiative and took part in a peace march on Sunday afternoon. The protest was registered for 1,000, but three times as many came.
In Münster, an originally permitted pro-Palestine demonstration was banned 45 minutes before the start and limited to a smaller rally without flags in the city centre under the most stringent restrictions. An earlier police ban had been lifted by the Administrative Court of Münster the day before.
Demonstration in Berlin, Germany on November 4, 2023