icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Mar, 2016 04:00

‘Merkel must go’: Thousands of anti-migrant demonstrators protest pro-refugee policy in Berlin

Several thousand right-wing demonstrators marched through the streets of Berlin to protest Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy on Saturday, chanting “Merkel must go” and “We are the people.”

Nearly 3,000 protesters carrying German flags and banners took part in a demonstration against the German government’s migration policy. People gathered at Washingtonplatz next to the capital’s main train station and then moved in the direction of the Brandenburg Gate.

The event was organized by a group called “We for Berlin & We for Germany,” whose main aim is to force Merkel and her government to step down. Among other demands, the group wants an end put to the “dictatorship” of the EU and stricter border controls, while claiming that they are against radicalism, “whether religious or politically motivated.”

There were also members of PEGIDA, an anti-Islam and anti-migrant group, among the demonstrators, as well as a number of other nationalist groups and ordinary people who are unhappy with the current state of affairs in Germany.
“Merkel works against her own people. She underestimates the consequences of allowing so many people with such different backgrounds into our country,” one of the protesters told RT’s Peter Oliver.
“We are against Merkel’s policy because everyone can come here, even terrorists. You don’t even need documents and they can stay here without any control. We need to stop it,” said another demonstrator.

Oliver reported a heavy police presence in the city center.  Meanwhile, several anti-fascist groups promoting the rights of asylum seekers have promised to stage counter-demonstrations. Pro-refugee activists holding up banners reading “Nationalists must go” and “Asylum is basic right” marched along a neighboring street, which also leads to the Branderburg Gate.

#peace rally in #Berlin counter to a #nazi gathering. #loveoverhate #love #peaceoverviolence #antinazi #changetheworld

A photo posted by Matthew Dominguez (@matthew_t_dominguez) on

The demonstrations came just a day before a key local election dubbed “Super Sunday,” which is seen as a test of Merkel’s leadership. The Chancellor’s popularity has suffered a significant decline as of late, with some media sources suggesting that her migration policy has begun to turn against her.
PEGIDA’s anti-migrant demonstrations have not always been peaceful in the past, with some ending in violent scuffles with Antifa and police.

In February, tens of thousands of people supporting the PEGIDA movement marched through cities spanning 14 European countries, including Germany, France, the UK, and the Czech Republic, among others, to protest against the flood of migrants and refugees that have flooded into the EU from the Middle East. Counter-protests, clashes with police, and arrests took place, despite the ban on some of the rallies declared by the authorities beforehand.