- A major force behind the protests are reports by news website Correctiv about a far-right wing meeting in Potsdam where mass deportations and other drastic migration policies were discussed.
- While the AfD, Germany’s second most popular party according to nationwide polls, denies that the proposed migration plans form part of their party’s policy, their stand remains a major talking point and the heart of public protests.
- Besides Berlin, Munich, and Cologne, rallies also took place in AfD’s traditional strongholds in eastern Germany including Leipzig and Dresden where the turnout exceeded expectations.
- High turnout also led to events like in Munich, ending prematurely because of overcrowding. Here, around 100,000 participants were reported by the police, a number disputed by protest organizers who stated that around 200,000 people were present.
- Numerous protests were staged in Bremen and Cologne with an estimated total of 300,000 people taking part in the nationwide demonstration on Saturday.
- Top officials, including Frankfurt’s Lord Mayor, Mike Josef, as well as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier commended the public’s stand against misanthropy and right-wing extremism, highlighting the need for unity among all democrats.
- This wave of protests has brought forth a resurgence of public sentiment opposing xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and political extremism, with many showing support for democracy.
The increased momentum of these demonstrations reported by Correctiv is a testament to people’s strong dissent against radical right-wing ideals including mass deportations of foreign-born individuals.
AfD, despite ranking second in nationwide surveys, staunchly denies that these controversial migration plans fit within their party’s agenda.
Rallies were not limited to major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Cologne, but also spread to AfD’s conventional stronghold areas like Leipzig and Dresden, with an impressive public turnout.
The demonstration in Munich, overflowing with nearly 100,000 participants as per police estimates, had to end early due to overcrowding. Organizers however claimed a turnout close to 200,000. In Cologne and Bremen, tens of thousands also marched, contributing to the estimated 300,000 protesting across Germany on Saturday.
Government officials, including Frankfurt’s Lord Mayor, Mike Josef and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have applauded the public’s proactive stand against misanthropy and right-wing extremism. Steinmeier’s video message called individuals to resist these forces, emphasizing the strength in unity of all democrats.
Saturday’s Boersen-Zeitung featured statements from companies listed on the stock market index condemning xenophobia, anti-semitism and political extremism of any kind from the far-right. Central Council of Jews in Germany credited these protests for restoring faith in Germany’s democratic conditions, terming the public’s reaction as a confidence booster.
This departure from investment in companies perceived to support extremist ideologies could potentially impact investment markets and lead to increased volatility in German stocks and the broader European market.