On Saturday afternoon, police in Berlin said nearly 13,000 people attended an event in central Berlin organized by controversial socialist politician Sahra Wagenknecht and writer and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer.
The organizers of the Rebellion for Peace march received heavy criticism from several politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said the demonstration could weaken popular support for Ukraine’s war against Russia.
Organizers had estimated a potential turnout in the region of 10,000 but police estimates exceeded those figures despite the freezing temperatures and frost.
Wagenknecht, a rebel politician from the Left Party, who has faced criticism from her party colleagues for her pro-Russian stances, told the crowd that “the peace movement needs to get back on the streets”.
Meanwhile, Schwarzer said the turnout is showing: “This is clearly the beginning of the citizen movement. One can only hope that the media and politics realize that.”
What is the Rally for Peace?
Police had earlier expressed fears that the event, which took place at the Brandenburg Gate, could be supported by far-right groups for their own ends.
Two weeks ago, Wagenknecht and Schwarzer published a “Manifesto for Peace,” backed by more than 620,000 signatures, according to change.org.
The couple say they want to see “negotiations and compromises” on both sides The conflict in Ukraine To prevent it from escalating into a possible nuclear war.
In an interview with German news agency DPA, he accused Schultz of not taking many people’s concerns seriously, saying, “This is about the survival of humanity.”
Schwarzer argued that arms sales to Ukraine should be accompanied by diplomacy.
“After a year of death and destruction, I ask: What’s stopping us from starting negotiations now instead of waiting three years?”
What is the reaction of the “peace” movement?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told ZDF this week that he did not share the conviction in the peace statement.
“The Russian president currently accepts only one form of negotiation, which is unconditional surrender, which allows him to advance all his goals,” he said.
Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck insisted that “every sane person wants peace”.
However, the Green Party politician told ARD’s Focal Point television program that the rally’s organizers were trying to promote something like peace imposed on Europe by an “imperialist dictator”, which would be a call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade other countries.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Socialist Left Party also refused to participate.
Russian writer Viktor Yerofeyev called the statement “not just naive, but stupid.”
“You have to understand something,” he said: “Putin’s regime is not far from Hitler’s. And let’s imagine that in the middle of World War II, someone proposed peace with Hitler.” tagespiegel Newspaper.
mm, msh / rc (AFP, dpa)
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