Nationwide “Day of Action“ in Germany a Great Success
Coop Anti-War Cafe
BERLIN (December 5, 2020) — Reiner Braun and Willi van Ooyen from the initiative’s working committee explain the evaluation of the nationwide, decentralized Day of Action on December 5, 2020 of the initiative “Disarmament instead of Armament.”
With more than 100 events and several thousand participants, the nationwide Day of Action of the initiative “Disarmament instead of Armament” — under Corona conditions — was a great success.
Peace initiatives all over the country, together with trade unions and environmental associations, made this day their day and took to the streets with great ideas and imagination in view of the limited scope for action nationwide for peace and disarmament. Human chains, demonstrations, rallies, vigils, public events, collections of signatures, information stands shaped the image of the over 100 actions.
Further signatures for the petition “Disarmament instead of Armament” were collected in preparation and implementation of the day of action. So far, 180,000 people have signed the appeal.
The basis of all actions was the rejection of further arming the Federal Republic of Germany with new nuclear weapons and arming of drones. The defense budget has been inflated to 46.8 billion, and should thus be increased by almost 2%, according to NATO criteria. If one takes into account the military and armaments expenditure from other budget in which they are hidden, the budget is 51 billion.
The 2% GDP for armaments and military are still firmly part of the political agenda of the overwhelming majority in the Bundestag. That means at least 80 billion for war and arms industry profits.
Health instead of bombs, education instead of the military, the protesters clearly demanded social and environmental priority. A socio-ecological peace transformation was called for.
This day of action encourages further activities and campaigns. The Bundestag election campaign in particular is a challenge in which demands for peace, a policy of détente and disarmament should be interfered with.
Members of the working committee of the initiative “Disarmament instead of Armament”
Peter Brandt (Neue Entspannungspolitik Jetzt!), Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau), Barbara Dieckmann (Präsidentin der Welthungerhilfe a.D.), Thomas Fischer (DGB), Philipp Ingenleuf (Netzwerk Friedenskooperative, Christoph von Lieven (Greenpeace) | Michael Müller (Naturfreunde, Staatssekretär a. D.), Willi van Ooyen (Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag), Miriam Rapior (BUNDjugend, Fridays for Futures), Ulrich Schneider (Geschäftsführer Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband), Clara Wengert (Deutscher Bundesjugendring), Uwe Wötzel (ver.di), Thomas Würdinger (IG Metall), Olaf Zimmermann (Deutscher Kulturrat).
Thousands join Peace Marches on Easter Weekend Across Germany and Berlin Under the Motto ‘Disarmament Instead of Armament.’
Coop Anti-war Cafe
BERLIN (Easter March 2019) — Several thousand people participated in the traditional Easter marches for peace in Berlin and other cities throughout Germany.
Around 2000 peace activists took part in the march in Berlin on Saturday, demonstrating in favor of nuclear disarmament and against NATO.
Protesters carried banners and flags in support of Russia, Syria and Venezuela, amongst others, alongside peace symbols while marching under the motto ‘disarmament instead of armament.’
The Berlin Protest is traditionally organized by the Peace Coordination of Berlin (FriKo), the main branch of the german peacemovement in Berlin.
‘Easter march’ demonstrations have their origins in the Aldermaston Marches in England and were carried over to West Germany in the 1960s.
The marches were able to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people until the 1980s. In recent years numbers have faltered somewhat, but still the mood of the protesters was upbeat.
Speeches and Banners for Peace
Speakers criticized the policy of NATO, which looked for new enemies after the end of the Cold War in order not to dissolve. For the current militarisation Russia must serve as an enemy. Peace with Russia was the theme of many banners, as well as the ongoing campaign “Hands off Venezuela“.
Artists for Peace
The former singer-songwriter, and vice-minister of culture in the former East-Germany is active as a musician and as a publicist. He described the question of war and peace as today’s “question of fate“. He calls for peace and reconciliation with Russia and remembered the open and covert wars of the NATO and the West since 1990, against Yugoslavia, against Iraq, against Libya, against Syria and currently against Venezuela.
Other musicians that played at the protest were the singer Johanna Arndt and the Chilean guitarist Nicolás Miquea.