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Mass demo against war in the Bavarian capital. Screenshot from YouTube

Mass demo in Munich against war

While Annalena Baerbock and US VP Kamala Harris discussed the further escalation of the war in Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference convened in the Bayerischer Hof, thousands demonstrated peacefully against war on the Königsplatz.

Published: February 21, 2023, 9:48 am

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    Several demonstrations took place in Munich on Saturday on the fringes of the Security Conference directed against the meeting itself. The organizers of one group, Munich Stand Up! counted between 20 000 to 25 000 of their participants.

    Protesters followed the call by the Munich AfD on Saturday morning to the Old Botanical Garden, where they could be seen with peace signs and Russian flags.

    According to the police, there was a scuffle and verbal confrontations with a small group of left-wing counter-demonstrators. They shouted “Fascist pack” and “Nazi plague”. Around noon, many participants in the AfD demo joined the protest on the Königsplatz, the largest gathering.

    Right and left come together

    Regardless of whether they were right-wing or left-wing: in terms of symbolism, both groups held flags displaying peace signs and Russian colours.

    Slogans criticized NATO and the press as “warmongers” or drew parallels with the Corona pandemic, which many believe had been staged for nefarious purposes. The speakers included the left-wing politician Dieter Dehm and the former CDU politician Jürgen Todenhöfer.

    Dehm spoke of “Ukrainian killer gangs and Nazi fascists” while Todenhöfer said in his speech: “The West wanted this war.” He accused the federal government of “madness”.

    The final rally of the big “Anti-SiKo-Demo” took place on Marienplatz. As every year, the Munich “Action Alliance against the NATO Security Conference” had called for the demonstration. The opponents, who came mainly from the left-wing spectrum, had gathered at the Stachus shortly after noon.

    The demonstrators called to “Create peace without weapons” on posters. Rainbow flags with the words “Pace” (Italian for peace) were displayed next to the dove of peace.

    Confronting Ukraine supporters

    As in previous years, peace demonstrators walked through the city center, where they passed a gathering at Odeonsplatz  – a small band of supporters of Ukraine.

    On the stage in front of the Feldherrnhalle, the members of the Bundestag Anton Hofreiter (Greens) and Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) spoke, and again called for the escalation of the war in Ukraine. Jamila Schäfer (Greens) expressed her satisfaction that the government had now initiated the delivery of battle tanks.

    When the two protest camps met, it remained peaceful. However, it got a bit loud because both sides started chanting their slogans.

    Some Ukrainian supporters burst into tears when they saw the peace posters: “Negotiate instead of shooting” was written on them.

    Nazis for Ukraine

    At the Feldherrnhalle, the site of Hitler’s putsch in 1923, the war supporters demonstrated for the Zelensky regime.

    President Zelensky has banned all opposition media and parties in Ukraine and is openly cooperating with neo-Nazi militias and, according to recent photographs taken by die Associated Press, also with ISIS commanders.

    Before the conference, he had even demanded the delivery of banned cluster bombs.

    Thousands of police officers

    According to the police, around 4 500 officers from Bavaria and other federal states as well as 300 federal police officers were on duty around the conference. At the international meeting of experts from Friday to Sunday, the main focus was on arming Ukraine. In addition, there were also debates about other conflicts such as in the Middle East, Yemen or Iran.

    In support of the conference therefore, a few people demonstrated loudly for regime change in Iran in the morning on Odeonsplatz. The country’s green, white and red flag flew over the heads of people who want a pro-US regime and called on the European Union to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. The “National Council of Resistance of Iran” had called for the protest.

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