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25 Feb, 2023 22:09

Berlin rally against arming Ukraine draws tens of thousands

An estimated 13,000 to 50,000 people attended the event calling for peace talks
Berlin rally against arming Ukraine draws tens of thousands

Tens of thousands of Germans braved the elements to attend the Uprising for Peace, a massive rally organized by Die Linke (Left Party) politician Sahra Wagenknecht and author Alice Schwarzer on Saturday. 

The demonstrators massed at the Brandenburg Gate, calling for peace talks to end the conflict in Ukraine and demanding Berlin cease supplying Kiev with weapons. 

Wagenknecht slammed the German government for trying to "ruin Russia," urging leaders to make Moscow an "offer" so that peace talks could begin. The rally, she said, represented the "start of a citizens’ initiative" and the launch of a "new, strong peace movement in Germany." 

The rally welcomed protesters from across the political spectrum, declaring anyone who wanted peace "with an honest heart" was welcome, though neo-Nazi provocateurs jostling for media attention were not. 

The organizers counted some 50,000 participants, while the police gave a lowball figure of 13,000. 

Wagenknecht and Schwarzer earlier this month published a Manifest for Peace urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz to "stop the escalation in weapons deliveries." It has since been signed by over half a million people, including well-known public intellectuals and political figures.

Scholz has repeatedly declared peace talks to be outside the realm of possibility, insisting that it is Russia that is unwilling to come to the table, despite Moscow’s many attempts since the start of the conflict to resolve things peacefully.