Demonstration against Racism

Trip Start May 01, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Monday, June 18, 2007

One of the things that are great about Cologne: it never gets boring. We just wanted to go window shopping when we were stopped by a blind woman who asked us: "Can you show me the way to the demonstration?"

Since the woman was blind, we helped her to find her way. While we were walking, she explained the situation. "There are some racist people around who want to demonstrate against the erection of a mosque. We are the other side. We want to show those racists that we don't want them here."

The Cologne suburb of Ehrenfeld is quite multi-cultural. People of all nations live together relatively peacefully. As one thing leads to another, the islamis community plans to build a huge mosque in Ehrenfeld. A small group of right-extremists are against the mosque. They have formed a political party called "Pro-Köln" (i.e. pro Cologne).

They use guerilla tactics to convince other people of their racist opinions. For example they go into schools and distribute propagande materials to the students.

Mari and I were quite amazed to meet a blind woman who wants to attend a demonstration. The blind woman said: "Are there many cops, yet? Surely, there must be more cops than demonstrators."

She was right. There were about one thousand policemen and -women. Their main tasks was to keep everyone and everything safe. There were two demonstrations. One demonstration against the mosque. A second demonstration against racism and the people who were demonstrating against the mosque.

Usually such left-right confrontations end with throwing stones, molotov cocktails or something alike. Fortunately, everybody stayed calm and peaceful. Although the leftist tried to directly confront the racists... both groups never met.

I captured some images for you. Racism is a problem in Germany, just as anywhere else. People are afraid of each others differences. I think it is very important to welcome foreigners, other cultures and everything/everyone who is different. We need to show fierce resistance to every kind of racism and discrimination. Let them build their mosque.

Enjoy the photos...

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