News from Berlin and Germany, 7th February 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Berlinale under criticism for inviting AfD politicians

Despite of the last weekend protests in Berlin against the far-right in Germany, the Berlin International Film Festival has drawn criticism for extending invitations to members of the AfD. Berlin state chairwoman Kristin Brinker and her deputy, Roland Briller have been invited. Berlinale has not rescinded the invitations, but it has issued a statement opposing “any form of exclusion and discrimination.” This explanation did not satisfy signatories to an open letter published online on Friday, who claimed the invitations were another example of the hypocritical environment for art and culture in the German capital. Source: exberliner

Memorial plaque to “euthanasia” murders scratched

The faces shown at the memorial plaque for the victims of the National Socialist “euthanasia” murders in the neighborhood of Tiergarten were found scratched. Security staff found the damage on Friday, according to the Berlin police. The state security service is investigating “malicious damage to property”. The information board provides information about the “Aktion T4”, in which National Socialists murdered around 70,000 hospital patients between January 1940 and August 1941. Last Wednesday, there was an official service held at the memorial plaque, remembering those with disabilities killed by the Nazis. Source: rbb



Hundreds of thousands against the AfD

On Friday and Saturday, almost 500,000 people took to the streets against right-wing extremists. In Berlin alone, there were at least 150,000 people, with numerous other demonstrations across Germany attracting more than 340,000 people. These are the figures shared by the police and are a lower limit. The higher estimates provided by the organisers state almost 700,000 people taking part in protests on Friday and Saturday. In several cities, there were events with five-digit numbers of participants such as Freiburg, Dresden, and Saarbrücken, among others. Source: taz

Ver.di calls on ground staff to go on warning strike

The trade union ver.di has called on Lufthansa ground staff to go on an all-day warning strike. The strike is to begin at 4 a.m. on Wednesday and will affect the Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf airports. The action is to last until Thursday morning. The context of this latest strike call is the ongoing Group-wide collective bargaining for the approximately 25,000 ground staff. According to ver.di, an inadequate offer has been presented. “This strike would be unnecessary if Lufthansa were to grant ground staff the same increases as other groups of employees in the Group,” said ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky. Source: tagesschau

Climate protection group wants to act differently

Activists from the climate protection group “Last Generation” no longer want to stick themselves to streets. After a good two years of numerous blockades across Germany, the organisation said it wanted to protest in a different form in future. They will, literally, organise disobedient gatherings with many other people. The group did not say exactly what this meant. It speaks of protests at “places of fossil destruction” such as oil pipelines or airports. It also wants to increasingly confront those responsible for climate destruction. Source: deutschlandfunk

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