Thousands in Berlin attend ‘naive’ Ukraine peace rally – DW – 02/25/2023

On Saturday afternoon, police in Berlin said nearly 13,000 people attended an event in central Berlin organized by controversial socialist politician Sahra Wagenknecht and writer and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer.

The organizers of the Rebellion for Peace march received heavy criticism from several politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said the demonstration could weaken public support for Ukraine’s war against Russia.

Organizers had estimated a potential turnout in the region of 10,000 but police estimates exceeded those figures despite the freezing temperatures and frost.

Rebellious Left Party politician Wagenknecht, who faced criticism from party colleagues for her pro-Russian stances, welcomed Schwarzer with a great turnout and spoke frequently of a “citizens’ movement” or “peace movement”.

Some demonstrators carried innocuous banners or slogans such as “Make peace without arms”, but others were more controversial. One would seem like Schultz and Secretary of State Annalina Berbock sending arms to the government of Ukraine now with former dictators like Adolf Hitler, Kaiser Wilhelm and Napoleon conquering the region in history.

What is the Rally for Peace?

Saturday’s rally follows a Ukraine solidarity protest he attended About 10,000 people in Berlin Friday night – Anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Police had earlier expressed fears that the event, which took place at the Brandenburg Gate, could be supported by far-right groups for their own ends.

Two weeks ago, Wagenknecht and Schwarzer published a “Manifesto for Peace,” backed by more than 620,000 signatures, according to

Former Socialist Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht (R) and publicist Alice Schwarzer (L) have come under fire for publishing their peace manifestoPhoto: Christian Mange/Reuters

The couple say they want to see “negotiations and compromises” on both sides The conflict in Ukraine To prevent it from escalating into a possible nuclear war.

What was said at the assembly?

The crowd gathered at the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday afternoon to hear a series of podium speakers known for some very unconventional views in recent years.

Wagenknecht told the audience that their statement had sparked “genuine hysteria” in Germany, which he refuted.

She often referred to the “hysterical bellowing” in “Parts of Politics and Media” in Germany, saying “They are really afraid of us. They are afraid of a new peace movement.”

Wagenknecht said, “It’s about ending the terrible suffering and death of Ukrainians. It’s about making an offer of negotiations to Russia, rather than constantly supplying Russia with more weapons.”

Schwarzer singled out Barbock

Meanwhile, Schwarzer said it was a “real shame” that there was no place near the stage for everyone who attended.

“The word pacifist turned into an insult,” Schwarzer said, “and it’s left-handed to imagine that.”

She said that it was “a real criminal act to convince Ukraine that it is capable of defeating Russia,” considering that it could not, in the end.

Schwarzer also paused when the mention of Secretary of State Annalena Berbock drew boos from the audience, and said it looked like you could “count” on her name being dropped.

“The foreign minister is a diplomat by profession, in fact the country’s foremost diplomat. But what is this foreign minister doing? It appears she is not engaging in talks with Russia in this very serious situation, though one can only hope she is doing so in secret. , behind closed doors — but it just doesn’t feel like that,” Schwarzer said.

She said talks with Russia would prove the only way to end the war, even if Berbock opposed it, so why not start talks now?

A former German army officer and controversial economist

The first speaker to take the stage, US professor and economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, joined via video link and spoke English.

Known in recent years for his speculations that COVID was a US bioweapon, mirroring Chinese disinformation, Sachs has told the audience various questionable assertions he describes as “the truth” about the war. These included allegations that the United States obstructed peace talks early in the conflict, that “irrefutable evidence” indicated that the United States had blown up Nord Stream pipelines, and that Russia had invaded Ukraine as a result of the lack of guarantees that Ukraine would not join. NATO.

A former German military officer turned chancellor, Erich Wad, criticized the event as “naive”, arguing that this best described NATO’s position. Like most speakers, he said the conflict has become a “war of attrition”.

“What is clear is that we have been offering weapons for months, but we can’t think of anything else,” Fade said. He said that military assistance must be linked to political goals, and said that it is not easy to identify these goals in the current conflict.

What is the reaction of the “peace” movement?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told ZDF this week that he did not share the conviction in the peace statement.

“The Russian president currently accepts only one form of negotiation, which is unconditional surrender, which allows him to advance all his goals,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck insisted that “every sane person wants peace”.

However, the Green Party politician told ARD’s Focal Point television program that the rally’s organizers were trying to promote something like peace imposed on Europe by an “imperialist dictator”, which would be a call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade other countries.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Socialist Left Party also refused to participate.

Russian writer Viktor Yerofeyev called the statement “not just naive, but stupid.”

“You have to understand something,” he said: “Putin’s regime is not far from Hitler’s. And let’s imagine that in the middle of World War II, someone proposed peace with Hitler.” tagespiegel Newspaper.

mm, msh/rc (AFP, dpa, KNA)

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