Thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in Berlin against racism and for greater equity, forming a human chain across the German capital, while respecting the measures of social distancing.
Hundreds of demonstrators also took to the streets in other German cities such as Leipzig and Hamburg, in spite of the torrential rains, the call of the progressive movement Unteilbar (Indivisible).
A spokesperson for the movement told the AFP that more than 20 000 people had taken part in the human chain in Berlin, while the police estimated their number at about 8,000.
The human chain in the capital was to extend the famous Brandenburg gate to the multi-ethnic district of Nuekoelln, passing by the tv tower is emblematic of the communist era on the Alexanderplatz, but it had to be elongated because of the massive participation.
Last weekend, more than 10,000 people had gathered in Berlin, under the banner of the movement Black Lives Matter, in response to the death of the 25 of may in Minneapolis, in the United States, George Floyd, a middle-aged black asphyxiated by a white policeman.
This slogan was emblazoned on T-shirts and banners Sunday, but the organisers of the event said on their website that they had broader demands.
They ask for better working conditions, that everyone is paid, the migrants included, affordable rents, the retention of the right of asylum, and a revival of the economy respectful of the environment.
“The coronavirus aggravates existing inequalities. Many people were threatened to be left behind. We will not allow this, ” said the spokesman for Unteilbar, Georg Wissmeier in a press release. “Human rights, social justice and climate justice are indivisible “.
“Now is the time that is decided who will bear the cost of the crisis, which will be stronger and after that will be weaker “, said the movement Unteilbar on its website.
Several groups framed the different sections of the event, the Greens, the movements of the civil society, by way of the “grandmothers against the extreme right” and the youth movement for climate.
And the appearances of musicians and activists along the human chain were broadcast live.
The organizers had asked participants in this action to respect a distance of three meters between them, to minimise the risk of transmission of the new coronavirus.
“We must firmly resist the racism, exclusion and discrimination. But in the course of the weekend and in the coming weeks, we must be attentive and take care of each other ” by reducing the spread of the Covid-19, said the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, the newspaper Tagesspiegel prior to the event.
The observance of precautionary measures has on this occasion been ” exemplary “, said a spokesman of the police to the AFP, stressing that the protesters had kept their distance and wearing a protective mask.