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System is shaken by a storm of anti-racism

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Issue 2708
Around 7,000 people protested in Cologne - a city of around one million residents
Around 7,000 people protested in Cologne – a city of around one million residents (Pic: BAG Antifaschismus/Twitter)

The Black Lives Matter ­movement has sparked a wave of mass protests in countries across the world.

As many as 50,000 people ­protested in Vienna, Austria, on Friday of last week. Tens of thousands more joined a demonstration in Linz later that weekend.

Student Katharina Kohl, who joined the march in Vienna, said, “Systematic racism is everywhere in the world, also in Austria. We have to stop it.”

Tens of thousands of people protested in several German cities over the weekend—including some 20,000 in Munich. Some 14,000 protested in Hamburg, and up to 10,000 in Frankfurt

Cops in Berlin declared the city centre’s Alexanderplatz square “full” just 45 minutes after people began assembling on Saturday. 

They said there were at least 15,000 people, though the true figure was likely higher.

Left wing MP Christine Buchholz of the Die Linke party said, “Thousands, if not tens of thousands demonstrated today in Berlin against racism in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in the US.

“When police stopped more ­protesters coming to Alexanderplatz, people demonstrated in the side streets instead.

Germany also has a racism ­problem. There is racism against people with black skin, ­anti‑Muslim racism, anti-Roma racism and ­antisemitism. Solidarity with Black Lives Matter therefore means ­fighting racism in everyday life and institutions.” In Warsaw, Poland, thousands gathered outside the US embassy on Friday. 

And in the southern Polish city of Krakow an altar for George Floyd has been set up outside the US consulate.

Some 15,000 people protested in Norway’s capital Oslo, and another 4,000 in the city of Stavanger.

Several thousands in the Spanish state also protested in Barcelona and Madrid. One protest organiser, Thimbo Samb, said, “Here in Europe, in Spain, where we live, we work, we sleep and pay taxes, we also suffer racism.”


In Milan, Italy, a few thousand ­protesters gathered in a square outside the central train station on Sunday afternoon. Many in the crowd were migrants or children of migrants of African origin.

In Portugal there were marches in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra.

There were also protests in Tunisia, Lithuania, South Korea, Italy, South Africa, Pakistan, Japan, Brazil and India.

Jurate Juskaite from the Lithuanian Centre of Human Rights said, “Opinion surveys show year after year that those that could be considered of a different race, like Roma people, migrants, or refugees, are not welcome in our society.

“This shows that the problem exists here.”

Shim Ji-hoon, who organised the event in Seoul, South Korea, said, “We want to show solidarity with the US movement and remember Floyd who was sacrificed due to racism.”

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