Silvio meier demo in berlin: the scene shows presence

After the trip to Marzahn, the memorial demonstration took place again in Friedrichshain. It was colorful, loud and largely undisturbed.

It was colorful: Bengalos at the edge of the Silvio Meier demo on Saturday Photo: dpa

Firework rockets burst above Silvio-Meier-Strasse, and on the roofs, autonomists set off bengalos to the cheers of the demonstrators. "Determined. Radical. Offensiv" – under this motto, this year’s demo in memory of Silvio Meier starts with several thousand demonstrators at the Samariterstrabe subway station, where the left-wing squatter was stabbed to death by neo-Nazis 24 years ago.

"Hail to international solidarity," chant the demo participants, and: "Solidarity means resistance." Ada sits on her father’s shoulders and watches the bengalos with shining eyes. The five-year-old is one of the youngest demonstrators. She doesn’t know what the protest is about, but she likes demos. Somewhat enviously, she looks after a little boy who, also sitting on his father’s shoulders, is waving a flag. "Next year, I want a flag, too," she tells her father.

It’s time for the anti-fascist movement to get back on the offensive, the demo call says. "You are many tonight," resounds from the Lauti float. "It is only up to us to keep an eye on the Nazis," the speaker reminds the demo participants.

Arson attacks on refugee shelters, attacks on political dissidents, Nazi slogans: 24 years after the death of Silvio Meier, racism is becoming more and more respectable. "Occupy houses, go to the neighborhoods, put a stop to the Nazis," he urges the crowd.

Sebastian, who does not want to read his last name in the newspaper, was also there last year. "That there is such a left-wing tradition is important," he says. How useful demonstrations through an alternative district like Friedrichshain are to fight racist structures is the question, he adds. Sebastian is convinced, "We have to mobilize against the racists on other levels, too." Charlotte, walking next to him, interjects, "Showing presence is important. Now more than ever."

After the Silvio Meier demo moved through Marzahn for the first time last year, the organizers have called for the traditional demo route through Friedrichshain again this year. In between are the hot weeks of the illegal partial eviction of Rigaer Strabe 94 and weeks of road closures last early summer.

Against this background, moving the traditional memorial demonstration back to Friedrichshain can also be understood as a clear signal from the left-wing scene to the Senate: Rigaer Strabe remains resistant. The police are keeping a low profile this evening.

"Occupy houses, go to the neighborhoods, put a stop to the Nazis," demands the speaker from the loudspeaker van.

On the facade of a house in Rigaer Strabe hangs a banner with the words "If Henkel is the center, I can only be left-wing extremist." On the roof of Rigaer Strabe 94, left-wingers ignite bengalos. Residents of the street watch the protest march from their windows.

Around eight o’clock, the organizers unexpectedly break up the demonstration at Boxhagener Platz. Some demonstrators spontaneously continue along Grunberger Strabe. They are pushed back by the police because they deviate from the original demo route. After about an hour, the demonstrators dispersed. According to police, the protest march was largely peaceful.