Around two thousand Berliners took part in a ‘Black Lives Matter’ rally in the German capital on Saturday.
Demonstrators gathered next to Berlin’s Victory Column to listen to speeches by activists and organisers, where they could be seen observing social distancing requirements put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, in contrast to earlier protests.
Many of the activists stood with raised fists and chanted slogans such as “No Justice, no Peace” and “Black Lives Matter”, while others brought colourful posters and placards that condemned racism and urged action.
“All the generations afterwards will face racism, so at one point, we have to face racism and our own. We have to think about what is it I can do to change it. Like if I don’t choose to change it, it will still be only the black community speaking out, only the black community going out on the streets, so if we don’t do it,” said Malak, a protester.
Another commented that while the US history of slavery exacerbates the situation there, the issue also exists in Europe, saying “Whether it’s black people, or foreigners in general, there is a major racism problem in Germany, in Europe, and that has to be fought against.”
“We especially have a problem with structural racism”, added another demonstrator, stressing that she thought not all Germans yet recognised “that black and people of colour can be German.”
The number of demonstrators was significantly lower than both those who had registered their participation on social media prior to the event, and than the 15,000 who joined the June 6 anti-racism protest in the German capital’s Alexanderplatz, while ignoring social distancing rules.
Protests against racism and police brutality have been taking place for weeks across the world following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.