Germany: Thousands march in solidarity with migrants
London, September 3, 2018 (AltAfrica)-About 20,000 people have marched through cities of Berlin and Hamburg, demanding that Germany government take in more migrants stranded at sea.
Sunday’s marches were organized in response to the violent anti-migrant protests in Chemnitz.
In a series of demonstrations organized by the “Seebrücke” (Sea Bridge) rights group, several pro-migrant protesters donned orange life jackets; a mark of solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing parts of Africa for Europe.
Thousands took to the streets of Hamburg to call on the city to open its ports up to stranded migrant rescue ships
Other demonstrators lofted signs reading “Human rights, not right-wing human,” and “Seebrücke instead of Seehofer,” a reference to Germany’s hardline interior minister.
Some 5,000 people kicked off the protests along Hamburg’s sea ports, with about 10,000 others joining as the crowd marched past the grounds of St Pauli, the local football club famous for its working-class left-wing support.
“We must not allow refugees to drown at sea, nor must we allow them to be mobbed and beaten up,” Hamburg’s Protestant bishop Kirsten Fehrs told the pro-migrant rally. “If we let this happen, we will be on our way to barbarity.”
Fehrs went on to say that Europe was obliged to establish safe and legal escape routes from Africa to the continent. “Politics must not be exempt of empathy.”
Also attending the rally was Claus-Peter Reisch, captain of the “Lifeline” rescue ship, which is currently being held by authorities in Malta.
In Berlin, some 2,500 people also took part in pro-migrant protests. The crowds marched from the city’s Molkenmarkt square to the Brandenburg Gate under the banner “Berlin: A safe haven for refugees.”