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German environmental activists protest at anti-war rallies

March 3, 2022

Demonstrators marched in solidarity with Ukraine in cities across Germany. Their message was clear — "Every Life Counts" and "Stop War."

Demonstrators supporting Fridays for Future protest in Berlin with signs against the war and the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Thousand of Fridays for Future protesters, mostly schoolchildren, demonstrated in front of the German parliamentImage: Michael Hanschke/dpa/picture alliance

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in several German cities on Thursday to demand an end to the war in Ukraine.

Protesters from Fridays for Future, which usually supports environmental causes, demonstrated in the capital, Berlin, and several other German cities to "stand with Ukraine."

Most of them were schoolchildren. Organizers in the northern port city of Hamburg said 120,000 people had gathered to protest. Police initially put the figure at 20,000.

They called for more decisive action against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Nothing and no one will stop us rising up, making our voices heard and showing solidarity — just the way autocrats hate," activist Luisa Neubauer told a Hamburg crowd.

Banners at the event read "Every Life Counts" and "Stop War," with many of the demonstrators criticizing Putin.

Some people wore blue and yellow clothes, the national colors of Ukraine.

Churches and cathedrals across the country rang bells for seven minutes at midday to reflect "a minute for each day of this senseless war."

Banners reading "No War. 4ever Peace" and "Stop War! Stop Putin!"
Schoolchildren in Hamburg held banners reading "No War. 4ever Peace" and "Stop War! Stop Putin!"Image: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa/picture alliance

Fridays for Future wants an end to Russian energy exports

They also called for Ukraine to join the EU and for an end to imports of oil, natural gas, and coal from Russia.

"The wars that are going on in the world are wars for resources. Fossil fuel capitalism creates the foundation for this war and for many other wars, conflicts, and crises," Fridays for Future wrote on Instagram.

Thousands join anti-war protest in Munich

German Economy Minister  Robert Habeck said Thursday he regrets the country is still dependent on energy imports from Moscow. However, he warned against a ban.

"I would not advocate an embargo on Russian imports of fossil fuels. I would even oppose it," he said after meeting German business leaders.

"We need these energy supplies to maintain the price stability and energy security in Germany," Habeck added.

A shortage in supply could threaten social cohesion in Germany, he warned.

lo/rt (AP, AFP, dpa)