Saturday, February 25, 2023

"Berlin readies for 'naive' Ukraine peace rally" The Left is totalitarian and imperialist

Berlin readies for 'naive' Ukraine peace rally

3 hours ago

Organizers of the Rebellion for Peace protest have been criticized for playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin's hands. Far-right groups have told their supporters to show up, prompting a strong police presence.DVERTISEMENT

Police in Berlin have stepped up their presence over fears that a peace protest in the German capital later Saturday could turn violent, local media reported.

Organizers of the Rebellion for Peace rally have received fierce criticism from many politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who say the demonstration could weaken public support for Ukraine's fightback against Russia.

Police are also concerned that the event, at the Brandenburg Gate, could be buttressed by far-right groups for their own ends.

One of the organizers, renegade former socialist Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht told public broadcaster ZDF that, "We have made clear that rightwing extremist symbols have no place at this rally," but added, "Of course, everyone is welcome who wants to demonstrate for peace with an open heart."

The rally follows a protest in solidarity with Ukraine, attended by some 10,000 people in Berlin on Friday night — the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion.

What is the Rebellion for Peace rally?

Saturday's protest has been organized by Wagenknecht and publicist Alice Schwarzer.

Former socialist Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht and publicist Alice Schwarzer pictured on February 9, 2023
Former socialist Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht and publicist Alice Schwarzer have been criticized for publishing their peace manifestoImage: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa/picture alliance

The pair have applied for permission for 10,000 people to attend.

Two weeks ago, the organizers published a "Manifesto for Peace," which has been backed by the signatures of more than 620,000 people, according to the website.

The pair say they want to see "negotiations and compromises" on both sides of the yearlong Ukraine conflict to prevent it from escalating into possible nuclear war.

In an interview with Germany's DPA news agency, Schwarzer said in view of the number of people who have signed the manifesto, she said it is "well on the way to becoming a real citizens' movement."

She also accused Scholz of not taking the concerns of so many people seriously, adding: "This is about the survival of mankind."

Schwarzer added that arms sales to Ukraine should be accompanied by diplomatic efforts.

"After a year of death and destruction, I ask: What is stopping us from starting negotiations now instead of waiting three years?"

Germany marks Ukraine anniversary with rallies and protests

What's the reaction to the 'peace' movement?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told ZDF this week that he did not share the conviction in the peace manifesto.

"The Russian president currently accepts only one form of negotiation, namely unconditional surrender, allowing him to push through all of his goals," he said.

Deputy Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck insisted "everyone who is sane wants peace."

However, the Greens Party politician told ARD's Focal Point TV show that the rally organizers were trying to sell something as peace that an "imperialist dictator" was imposing on Europe, which would be an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade other countries.

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the socialist Left Party have also refused to participate.

Russian writer Viktor Yerofeyev this week labeled the manifesto "not only naive but stupid."

"You have to understand something: The Putin regime is not far from Hitler's regime. And let's imagine that in the middle of the Second World War, someone had someone proposed peace with Hitler," he told Tagesspiegel newspaper.

mm/ar (AFP, dpa)

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