People take to the streets ahead of EU elections

Peaceful Assembly

On 19th May 2019, ahead of the European Parliament elections, around 150.000 people took to the streets to raise their voices against nationalism and exclusion in Germany, including demostrations organised in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich, Stuttgart and Hamburg. The organisers called all voters to participate in the European elections:

“It is more important than ever to take a stand for European community that stands together, a Europe in which democracy and the rule of law is realised beyond our borders.”

The protests have also seen support from political parties. Germany’s Minister of foreign affairs tweeted: “Join in, be loud! We are the majority, not those stuck in the past and the nationalists”.

Additional protests were held in Austria, Poland France, the UK and Bulgaria to show support for human rights, democracy, social justice and climate action ahead of the elections. 

In a separate incident, in several German cities, in March 2019, thousands of people took to the streets to protest the new EU copyright legislation. In particular, they expressed concern about Article 13 which critics stated "could force online content platforms to adopt ‘upload filters’ to strongly vet user-uploaded content for copyright infringing material, and that this in turn would produce a number of issues, and will generally speaking lead to less freedom and more censorship of the internet." 

The legislation that passed in the European Parliament on 26th March has not only caused waves of protests in Germany but also in Prague, Paris, Amsterdam and Athens. According to the German television news service “Tagesschau” the biggest protest took place in Munich where 40.000 participants were counted, in Berlin 10.000 people joined the protest. The slogans for the manifestations were similar throughout the cities: “The internet must stay as it is”, “Don’t destroy our internet” or “Stop Article 13”.