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Reportback #Seebruecke: Thousands took the streets across Germany to protest against drownings, border closures & criminalization of life savers

After the first wave of protests against drownings at the Mediterranean sea, border closures & criminalization of life savers on July 7, another wave of protests took the streets across Germany last night. A report back from Cologne.

Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

I arrived about 15 minutes before the opening gathering would start in Cologne. Around 600 people were already there and the square in front of the main train station (Hbf) was filling rapidly.  Shortly after 06:00pm (18:00) the square was overcrowded and somebody at the sound truck announced that the opening gathering was postponed.

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The demo now first marched to Neumarkt and the people who were supposed to speak at the opening gathering would now speak at Neumarkt. As we were marching about 30 minutes towards Neumarkt, a comrade of the Enough collective wrote us that there were still a lot of people at the starting point of the demo. 

Many antifa comrades marched with “civil society” groups, initiatives and individuals in downtown Cologne. There was also a small block of @umsganze activists.  At Neumarkt a member of the Sea Watch crew spoke about the drownings at the Mediterranean sea and the criminalization of life savers. An antifa activist spoke about the responsibility of EU member states and European corporations for causing the reasons why people are fleeing. 

Thomas from Sea Watch also recorded a video to greet the Sea Watch crew, who are currently forced to stay in Malta, because the rescue ships are not allowed to leave the harbour and to sace more people that are now drowning at the Mediterranean sea (Video in Tweet below).

After the gathering at Neumarkt the demo marched towards Rudolfsplatz. The square was too small for the closing gathering, so the demo stopped on a broad street in front of the square. 

About 6000 people took the streets in Cologne last night. Many of them took the streets for the first time in their life. The big question at the moment is how to bring the protests to another level; from protest to resistance.

Other cities and coming actions

The demonstration in Cologne, was one of many demonstrations across Germany. In Hamburg 4500 people took the streets, in Essen around 1500. In total about 14.000 people took the streets last night, with many demonstrations in other cities already announced for the coming days

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One of the upcoming actions will take place in Duesseldorf on Tuesday. On Tuesday German federal minister of interior Hosrt Seehofer will visit Duesseldorf, Germany. A coalition of several groups is calling people on their Facebook event page to bring a rubber dinghy and air mattresses for a blockade of ships. The call sounds of a first attempt in this new wave of protests to go from the “traditional” marches to civil disobedience. 

The action on July 17 in Duesseldorf starts at 09:30am. People will meet at Haroldstr.4 in Duesseldorf (Tram or trolley stop Poststraße – Tram 709 from the main train station, HBF).


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