Thousands took to the streets in Berlin Saturday to protest the German government’s continued arms deliveries to Ukraine.
The “Uprising for Peace” came just one day after the one-year-anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and followed renewed pledges of support and fresh sanctions by Western allies, Reuters reported. (RELATED: ‘It’s Time To Increase Support’: MSNBC Host Frets That Americans Are Tired Of Funding Ukraine)
Germany’s government only recently approved delivery of 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks, despite concerns the move could lead to escalation. Alongside the United States, Germany is one of Ukraine’s biggest suppliers of weapons in its fight against Russia, Reuters noted. The German government has so far approved $2.75 billion worth of weapons and armaments since the start of the war, according to Deutsche Welle.
Saturday’s protest, organized by left-wing German politician Sahra Wagenknecht, drew 10,000 demonstrators, a Berlin police spokesperson told Reuters. Protestors gathered around the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, calling on the German government to “stop the escalation of arms deliveries” and negotiate an end to the conflict, the protest’s organizers said on their website.
“Because every lost day costs up to 1,000 more lives – and brings us a 3. World War closer,” read a statement on the organization’s website.
Top government officials criticized the peaceful demonstration, and local police deployed 1,400 officials to enforce bans on military uniforms, Russian and Soviet flags, and Russian military songs or right-wing officials, Reuters reported.
According to Deutsche Welle, a new survey conducted on behalf of Germany’s DPA news agency shows a majority of Germans believe arming Ukraine implies direct German involvement in the war.