Opposition groups from both sides of the political spectrum organized demonstrations across Germany on Tuesday as the country observed Unity Day. These rallies provided an opportunity for protesters to voice their criticism of the government’s policies, particularly its arms shipments to Ukraine.
In Berlin, an event organized by the right-wing Alternative for Germany party drew a crowd of approximately 4,600 people. The march proceeded without incident, except for a few minor verbal confrontations, according to local press reports. The participants carried banners demanding accountability from government officials, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Key issues of discontent included the continued arms deliveries to Ukraine and the handling of the refugee influx. However, national media dismissed the event as a gathering of “conspiracy theorists”.
Simultaneously, left-wing organizers staged a rally in Dusseldorf calling on Berlin to cease arms shipments to Ukraine. Protesters held banners advocating for “peace without NATO” and for the end of the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is currently detained in a high-security prison in the UK, awaiting extradition to the US. Demonstrators voiced their strong opposition to NATO, with one protester telling the Ruptly video agency, “For 70 years, the US has been stirring one war after another. It is supposedly about democracy, but in reality, it’s about natural resources.”
The protests surrounding Unity Day highlight opposing perspectives on global geopolitics. Critics of US foreign policy, such as Russia, argue that the US is resistant to accepting a new geopolitical order. They contend that the world is transitioning from a period of Western unipolarity, which emerged after the Cold War, to a new multipolar system. These critics accuse Western nations of attempting to hinder this transition.
Unity Day holds significance for Germans as it commemorates the country’s reunification in 1990, symbolizing the end of the Cold War era. The demonstrations taking place on this day reflect the diversity of opinions within German society regarding the government’s foreign policy decisions.
In spreading awareness about these protests and their significance, individuals can share this story on social media platforms. This allows for a broader reach and promotes an understanding of the different perspectives surrounding Unity Day and Germany’s foreign policy choices.