Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Berlin in Solidarity with Palestine

More than 5,000 people joined a demonstration in Berlin on Saturday in solidarity with Palestine.

Nathaniel Flakin

May 17, 2021
Facebook Twitter Share
German protesters hold signs that read "Liebe Germany. Stop arming Israel." In the background, people are waving Palestinian flags.

Saturday was the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, which is Arabic for “disaster” or “catastrophe.” In 1948, Zionist militias forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. This process of ethnic cleansing continues today. In recent days, almost 200 people in Gaza have been killed by Israeli bombs.

Saturday in Berlin, more than 5,000 people gathered for a demonstration to commemorate the Nakba and repudiate Israel’s war in Gaza. The demonstration started at Oranienplatz, which was a center of refugee protests in the city for many years.

In the last few days, the German ruling class has launched a nonstop campaign to defame anyone who opposes the Israeli massacre as an antisemite. In the last week, multiple pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been attacked by police. The title pages of big newspapers falsely claim that demonstrators have chanted slogans about killing Jews or that there is a danger of terrorist attacks at synagogues. The German president gave a speech calling for increased criminalization of solidarity protests.

But at all these demonstrations, Jewish people of different ages and nationalities are on the front line. Thus, black-uniformed thugs from German police are beating Jews in the street — but this is presented as a fight against antisemitism!

The demonstration in Berlin on Saturday was not only large, but diverse and colorful. Activists from the Black Lives Matter movement in Germany showed their support, and signs said “Palestinian Lives Matter” or “We can’t breathe since 1948.” Whereas many from the German Left capitulate to the bourgeois propaganda and refuse to support Palestine, Berlin’s multinational population seems at least partly immune to this kind of ideological pressure.

There have been examples of supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan joining demonstrations with Turkish flags. This is completely hypocritical, as the Turkish state maintains a brutal occupation regime in Kurdistan that is no less brutal than the Zionist occupation of Palestine. The organizers of the demonstration in Berlin today made clear statements rejecting any form of antisemitism and Turkish fascism.

In the past, anti-Palestinian racism has left Palestinian demonstrations in Germany isolated. Leaders of the left party DIE LINKE, which is in government in Berlin, are more likely to express their support for the Israeli occupation regime than for the Palestinian resistance against it. In fact, back in 2014, Israeli activists in Berlin had to organize a demonstration specifically calling on the German Left to raise their voices against the last war in Gaza. Today, an action like that would no longer be necessary. After powerful demonstrations on May 1, led by young people with immigrant backgrounds, Berlin today saw a very powerful internationalist demonstration — this is a hopeful sign for anyone seeking to build up a revolutionary and anti-imperialist Left in Germany.

Facebook Twitter Share

Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice and our German sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse. Nathaniel, also known by the nickname Wladek, has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which has appeared in German, in English, and in French, and in Spanish. He has also written an anticapitalist guide book called Revolutionary Berlin. He is on the autism spectrum.

Instagram

Europe

Thousands of Police Deployed to Shut Down Congress on Palestine in Berlin

This weekend, a Palestine Congress was supposed to take place in the German capital. But 2,500 police were mobilized and shut down the event before the first speech could be held. Multiple Jewish comrades were arrested.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 12, 2024

Fired by a German University for Solidarity with Palestine — Interview with Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne canceled a guest professorship with the philosophy professor from The New School. In this interview, she speaks about Germany dividing between "Good Jews" and "Bad Jews," her politicization in the civil rights movement, and her time in an Israeli kibbutz.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 10, 2024

Pro-Palestine Activists in France Get Summons from Anti-Terrorist Police

As part of a repressive campaign against the movement for Palestine in France activists have gotten summons from “anti-terrorist” police. The movement for Palestine in the United States must oppose all repression of our movement here and in Europe.

Samuel Karlin

April 9, 2024

Berlin’s Mayor Loves Antisemites

Kai Wegner denounces the “antisemitism” of left-wing Jews — while he embraces the most high-profile antisemitic conspiracy theorist in the world.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 22, 2024

MOST RECENT

Image: Joshua Briz/AP

All Eyes on Columbia: We Must Build a National Campaign to Defend the Right to Protest for Palestine

After suspending and evicting students and ordering the repression of a student occupation, Columbia University has become the ground zero for attacks against the pro-Palestine movement. What happens at Columbia in the coming days has implications for our basic democratic rights, such as the right to protest.

Maryam Alaniz

April 19, 2024
NYPD officers load Pro-Palestine protesters at Columbia onto police buses

Student Workers of Columbia Union Call for Solidarity Against Repression and in Defense of the Right to Protest

In response to the suspensions and arrests of students at Columbia, the Student Workers of Columbia is circulating a call for solidarity against the repression. We re-publish their statement here and urge organizations, unions, and intellectuals to sign.

The New Labor Movement and the Need for Anti-Imperialist and Class Independent Politics

The rise of labor in the US has put the working class at the center of national politics. It deserves class-independent politics free of the capitalist constraints of the Democratic Party.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

April 19, 2024

Palestinian Liberation and Permanent Revolution

The fight against Zionist oppression is at the center of international and domestic politics. The path forward is to fight for a free, socialist, workers’ Palestine, from the river to the sea, where Arabs and Jews can live in peace.

Jimena Vergara

April 19, 2024