A bright brown mix of hatred and happening

For a long time, being colorful was a trademark of the demonstrations for democratic diversity and multiculturalism. As a colorful contrast to dull brown marches. That no longer applies. The demonstration on Saturday was bright brown, a mix of hatred and happening. A look at the many signs, symbols and slogans shows how a new, garish protest culture in Germany is tearing down barriers and pain barriers.

Friedrichstrasse, at the confluence with Oranienburger Strasse. Behind the police cordon stands a woman, she has painted the word “love” on her forehead. What dangles from their ears seems less dear. On an elongated cardboard hanger emblazoned on the right “Vaccination No Thanks” and on the left “Don’t give gates a chance”.

The woman obviously belongs to the milieu of anti-vaccination opponents and conspiracy theorists who insinuate that Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to enslave humanity with global vaccinations. The woman speaks excitedly to the police. The officers, protected from wet pronunciation by a mouth mask, listen with steely patience.

The woman then gives up and turns away with fluttering earrings. Not far away a man is wearing an orange shirt. It looks like a profile: Bill Gates is shown, underneath it says “Wanted for Crime against Humanity”.

A protester in his mid-40s stands at the barrier on the Oranienburg side with his skateboard. A skater his age is rather rare, his views are not on this Saturday. The man lets his t-shirt speak for itself.

A man is led away by police officers during a protest against the Corona measures in front of the Victory Column.Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa

Merkel is placed on a par with brown genocides

Red color with a white disc in the middle. Reminiscent of a swastika flag, but the symbol in the circle is Merkel’s hand diamond in black. That the symbolism is intended to defame the Chancellor as a revenant of the Nazi dictatorship is also shown by the writing: “Merkel go”, in Gothic script as was once common with the Nazis.

The alleged partner of the old skater shows a Jewish star on her T-shirt with the inscription “Unvaccinated”. None of the demonstrators nearby, who look like normal citizens, are outraged that the murder of six million Jews is being played down and that is being put on a par with the brown genocides.

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The attempt to delegitimize the federal government as a Nazi dictatorship seems to be a consensus among many demonstrators. A man shows a sign that reads “Criminal Hitler let Germany go under. Merkel lets Germany go under ”. The neo-Nazis react surprisingly calmly in the crowd. Three young guys with black T-shirts saying “Division Erzgebirge” ignore the fact that their idol is called a criminal. Obviously, it is more important not to be excluded from the crowd as undesirable. Right-wing extremists are mainstream on Friedrichstrasse.

Participants in a rally against the Corona measures stand on the steps to the Reichstag building, numerous Reich flags are …Photo: Achille Abboud / NurPhoto / dpa

That doesn’t seem to be a purely German phenomenon. In March 2019, the Yellow vests in Paris to watch that black-clad nationalists, waving the tricolor, ran side by side with leftists, angry citizens and freaks in horror masks. And the attempt to demonize the government as a Nazi regime was also obvious. Slogans like “Sieg Heil Macron” were emblazoned on yellow vests, and the president was also depicted with a Hitler mustache. In Paris, as it is now in Berlin, the diffuse anger against the rulers knew no boundaries, either ideologically or in the culture of protest.

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In Friedrichstrasse, later reinforced by Unter den Linden in front of the Russian embassy, ​​right-wing parties and citizens who seem far removed from the scene are waving black-white-red flags. The colors of the empire, “rehabilitated” by the Nazis in the first years of their regime, are becoming hip as protest utensils.

This group carries photos of politicians in convict clothing and the words “Guilty”.Photo: imago images / Future Image

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At the Weidendammer Bridge, a casual-looking family man tied a black, white and red ribbon around his straw hat. The man is playing with his child, who is running across the road laughing. A young right-wing extremist is standing a few meters away, holding his black-white-red flag in the wind. “Treue um Treue” and “Germany” are written on the colors in old German letters. In between an iron cross.

Where all borders fall, the worldwide motive of the opponents of nuclear power, the laughing red sun with the slogan “nuclear power no thanks”, is no longer safe. A young man presents a sticker on his T-shirt that says “Health dictatorship no thanks”.

The sun in the yellow circle is green and doesn’t smile. She looks as if she’s sick. The young man also scowls.
Nothing is sacred anymore. The voice of a woman echoes from a loudspeaker truck, she prays the Our Father. In Italian. Soon the woman can be heard crying, but she finishes the prayer. The protesters clap.

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