Easter marches in Germany: “No to war”

Against the Russian attack – but also against weapons for Ukraine. The peace movement is on the streets in dozens of cities today. She considers her demands to be highly topical – but the criticism of her is clear.

In almost 80 cities, people have come together for the Easter marches of the peace movement. The main themes of the Easter marches are the condemnation of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and criticism of the planned massive build-up of the German armed forces.

According to the organizers, around 1,100 people took part in the Easter march in Bremen. According to the police, around 400 participants gathered in Berlin at noon. According to the police, more than 500 demonstrators came together in Hanover. “End the Ukraine war” or “No to war” was on banners, but also “Those who deliver weapons will reap war”.

“Our demands are more topical than ever”

“Our demands for peace and disarmament are more topical than ever, also with a view to the danger of a possible nuclear escalation,” explained Kristian Golla from the Peace Cooperation Network in Bonn, which coordinates the regionally responsible nationwide actions.

Referring to Ukraine, Eberhard Przyrembel from the Rhein-Ruhr Easter March said that Russia’s “scandalous and uniquely cruel war” also revealed political failure in Germany, “because for 18 years all federal governments have pursued the same ‘defensive’ peace policy with the armaments industry”. The massive increase in armaments spending that has now been announced is “not a turning point, but the hopeless continuation of the same thing over and over again”.

Habeck: Pacifism “a distant dream”

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, on the other hand, warned against abuse of the demonstrations. “Peace can and will only come if Putin stops his war of aggression,” the Green politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group. So the Easter marches should make it clear that they are aimed against the Russian president’s war: “It’s clear who is the aggressor in this war and who is defending themselves in dire need and who we have to support – including with weapons.”

Pacifism is “a distant dream” at the moment, said Habeck. Putin threatens the freedom of Europe. “War crimes are obviously part of his warfare. Defenseless civilians are deliberately killed, prisoners of war executed, families murdered, hospitals shelled with rockets.” For him it is true that “watching is the bigger guilt”.

Right to weapons for self-defense

The FDP foreign politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff even called the participants “Vladimir Putin’s fifth column”.

Former Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse also emphasized Ukraine’s right to self-defense. The motto “Creating peace without weapons” is currently an arrogance towards the people in Ukraine, Thierse told Bayerischer Rundfunk. Pacifism at the expense of others is cynical.

Käßmann defends Easter marches

The former EKD chair Margot Käßmann, on the other hand, defended the critical attitude of the peace movement towards arms deliveries on NDR Info. In their view, more weapons will not end the war.

On the contrary: “The greatest danger at the moment is that this conflict will escalate to such an extent that NATO countries will actually become warring parties, and then I have to say that the fear is indeed justified. Because such a war will probably lead to the use of nuclear weapons would.” It is not fair to accuse people who have worked for peace for decades of siding with Russia.


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