Against racism, in Berlin, a human chain respecting social distancing

For this weekend marked by anti-racist rallies around the world, thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday June 14 in Berlin against racism and for more fairness, forming a human chain through the German capital while respecting physical distancing measures.

Hundreds of protesters also took to the streets in other German cities, such as Leipzig and Hamburg, despite torrential rains, at the behest of the progressive Unteilbar movement (“indivisible”).

  • 20,000 demonstrators in Berlin

Human chain

According to a spokesperson for the movement, more than 20,000 people took part in the demonstration in the capital, while the police estimated their number at around 8,000. The human chain was to extend from the famous Brandenburg Gate to ‘in the multiethnic district of Nuekoelln, passing by the iconic communist-era television tower on Alexanderplatz, but it had to be lengthened due to the massive turnout.

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Last weekend, more than 10,000 people gathered in Berlin under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement, in reaction to the death, on May 25, in Minneapolis, in the United States, of George Floyd, a forties black asphyxiated by a white policeman.

Organizers of the protest have claimed on their website that they have broader demands than just the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. They demand in particular better working conditions, including for migrants, affordable rents, the maintenance of the right of asylum and a revival of the environment-friendly economy.

“The coronavirus aggravates existing inequalities. Many people are threatened with being left behind. We will not allow itUnteilbar spokesman Georg Wissmeier said in a statement. Human rights, social justice and climate justice are indivisible. “It is now decided who will bear the cost of the crisis, who will be stronger afterwards and who will be weaker”, said the Unteilbar movement on its website.

In the capital, Greens MP for the popular district of Kreuzberg, Canan Bayrama, said on Twitter that she hoped for the advent of“An anti-racist society, a society of social and climate justice”.

  • In Italy, the statue of a degraded journalist in Milan

A municipal employee cleans the statue of journalist Indro Montanelli, in Milan, in the garden of the same name, June 14, 2020.

From the United States to France via the United Kingdom, statues symbolizing a troubled and shared history are being debunked or degraded by activists. Sunday, in Italy, a statue representing a famous Italian journalist classified on the right, Indro Montanelli, was sprayed with red paint in the garden of the same name, in the center of Milan, raising an almost unanimous political condemnation. Registration “Racist, rapist” has also been tagged with black paint on its base.

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The Rete Studenti Milano e Lume group, presenting itself as a “University collective” from the Lombard capital, claimed the operation on social media on Sunday. “A colonialist who has made slavery an important part of his political activity cannot and should not be celebrated in the public square”, justified this organization, requesting the removal of the statue. Police are investigating, at the request of the prosecutor’s office, according to the news agency AGI.

Founder of the newspaper Il Giornale, Indro Montanelli (1909-2001) is an Italian journalist and essayist, notably passing through the Corriere della Sera. Man defined himself as “Anticommunist” and “Anarcho-conservative”, which earned him being labeled a fascist by the Italian left during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1935 he volunteered in the colonial war in Eritrea led by Mussolini.

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  • Twenty-one demonstrators placed in police custody in Paris

Twenty-one people were taken into police custody on Saturday after the rally in Paris against police violence, including for degrading and assaulting the police, the prosecution said on Sunday. In total, 39 people had been arrested on the sidelines of the rally organized on Place de la République, according to the Paris Police Prefecture, which counted some 15,000 demonstrators.

The demonstration was organized at the call of the Truth for Adama committee, named after this young black man who died in 2016 after his arrest, raised by his family as a symbol of police violence. The committee counted 120,000 demonstrators.

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  • London police deplore ‘blind hooliganism’

After a Saturday marked by violent counter-demonstrations by far-right activists in London in parallel with an anti-racist parade, the city police reported on Sunday of 113 arrests, notably for disturbing public order, attack on police and possession of weapons. Twenty-three police officers were injured, the metropolitan police said in a statement. Commander Bas Javid tried “Absolutely shocking” Saturday’s events. “Blind hooliganism like this is totally unacceptable and I am glad that arrests have been made. We will now work closely with the courts to obtain justice. ”, he said, quoted in the statement.

Read also Black Lives Matter: anti-racist and far right protesters march in tense atmosphere in London

Our selection of articles on the death of George Floyd

Find all our articles on the death of George Floyd in our heading

The World with AFP

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