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“Ordinary Germans are paying”: anti-war protests stretch across central Europe

Demonstrations bring together unlikely hardline bedfellows from left and right over impact of Ukraine conflict. Dal Financial Times.

Were it not for the banners, it could have been a crowd gathering for an early opening of Leipzig’s Christmas market. Then came the speeches. “Please do not provoke the police and note that Russian flags or signs that show support for Russia’s armed forces are not welcome!” an organiser declared by loudspeaker at the event this month. “Germany is serving as a puppet exclusively for American interests and those of Nato,” the first orator warned to the hundreds-strong crowd, a mix of students, families and pensioners. Some carried banners for the German left, some peace flags and some homemade signs drawing complex parallels between the nine-month war in Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic. As the anti-American rhetoric soared, the crowd applauded, jeered and whistled. “The embargo policy against Russia has failed completely and is being directed catastrophically against ourselves,” the speaker continued, invoking the Holocaust and declaring the war in Ukraine a “paradise” for “warmongers, arms companies and profiteers”.

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