Crowds in Berlin took to the streets on Saturday, 16 November to stand together with Palestinians in Gaza. The protest came at the call of Palästina Spricht Palestine Speaks, the coalition developed to respond to the suppression of Palestinian community and Palestine solidarity organizing in Berlin and throughout Germany.
Demonstrators gathered to stand with Palestinians in Gaza after a two-day onslaught by Israeli occupation forces killed 34 Palestinians, including eight members of one family, and injured 111.
They also emphasized the complicity of the German government, particularly its declarations in support of “Israeli security” while ignoring the painful toll extracted on Palestinian lives, rights and fundamental security.
As the organizers noted, “We stand with the Palestinian People, we stand with freedom and justice, and we are not silent and will never be!”
HIRAK, the Palestinian Youth Mobilization in Berlin, joined the rally and march, which gathered in Hermannplatz for speeches and candle-lighting before taking to the streets in a march for justice.
The march up Kottbusser Damm was led by young Palestinians who chanted in English, German and Arabic for justice, freedom and liberation in occupied Palestine.
The strong demonstration also comes amid ongoing attempts by the German government to suppress solidarity organizing for Palestine and illustrated the ongoing strength of the struggle for justice in Palestine despite multiple levels of repression targeting the movement.
In addition to the political ban imposed on Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat and the refusal to renew his residence visa, recent events in Germany have included the deportation of Rasmea Odeh, the passing of an anti-BDS resolution in the Bundestag, the criminal prosecution of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish activists for interrupting a speech by a member of the Knesset, the forced resignation of the director of the Jewish Museum, the closing of the bank account of Jewish Voices for a Just Peace and the disinvitation of international artists who have taken a stand to support Palestinian rights.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters gathered at Kottbusser Tor to stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, including those on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Several Palestinian and Arab community organizations in Berlin called for the demonstration. Protesters carried signs and banners calling for freedom for imprisoned Palestinian leftist, feminist leader Khalida Jarrar and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine jailed in France for 35 years.