Turnout doubles for the Easter pacifist marches, whose numbers had been decreasing since the end of the Cold War | Juventud Rebelde
FRANKFORT (March 29) — Nearly 20,000 people participated in the traditional Easter pacifist marches in Germany to demand an end to arms exports and military missions, which are mentioned as the cause of the massive flows of refugees in the world.
DPA reported that demonstrators gathered together in marches, events and parties held in nearly 80 cities across the country in spite of the rainy weather. The turnout was twice that expected.
On the last day of protest, the pacifists criticized the missions of the German Army in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Mali and Afghanistan, which they described as unconstitutional and in violation of international law.
Likewise, the citizens made a call to the authorities to put an end to the exports of arms, and expressing solidarity towards refugees. Germany is the fourth largest arms exporter after the United States, Russia and China.
The spokesman for the Office of Easter Marches, Willi van Ooyen said during an event in Frankfort that the strengthening of the Islamic State terrorist militia in Syria and Iraq is also a consequence of the wars of the West in the Near and Middle East, and the supply of German arms to these regions.
The pacifist movement also demanded that all nuclear weapons be removed from Germany, and drop plans to modernize the arsenal. A hundred demonstrators protested last Monday against Büchel airbase in the west of the country, where unconfirmed reports assure that nuclear weapons are stored.
Easter pacifist protests have been taking place in Germany since 1960, when its promoters took to the streets to reject the stationing of nuclear weapons and the arm race. The pulling power of the protests has declined since the end of the Cold War.
Translated by ESTI