On Saturday February 25, tens of thousands of people rallied at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin demanding that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz take an active role in encouraging negotiations to end the ongoing war in Ukraine. The mobilization with the slogan ‘Uprising for Peace’ was called for by Left party MP Sahra Wagenknecht, journalist Alice Schwarzer, retired Brigadier General Erich Vad, economist Jeffrey Sachs and others. It called for negotiations, diplomacy and peace, instead of the ongoing escalation of the war by delivering sophisticated arms and ammunition to Ukraine.
Sahra Wagenknecht MP and Alice Schwarzer also initiated a petition titled ‘Manifesto For Peace’ demanding the German Chancellor to “make a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both the German and European levels.”
The anti-fascist groups who attended the rally in Berlin also protested the presence of far-right groups like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the rally.
A day prior, on February 24, anti-war groups including the Berlin Peace Coordination (FRIKO), German Communist Party (DKP), and others also rallied in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin calling for peace.
The eight year long Russia-Ukraine conflict escalated to a full-fledged war on February 24, 2022, when Russian armed forces crossed into Ukraine. According to the Manifesto for Peace, as of now over 200,000 soldiers and more than 50,000 civilians have been killed in the war. As all attempts at peace talks have been sabotaged, the death toll is likely to increase. Currently, there are millions of Ukrainians living as refugees in countries across Europe.
The heavy sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States against Russia and Russian energy companies have triggered a steep increase in energy prices across Europe, which was dependent on cheap Russian gas for years. This has sparked a broader cost of living crisis across the region. While under the instigation of US and NATO, the political leadership in EU countries continue war mongering, the crisis-hit working class sections across Europe have now strengthened their mobilizations demanding peace.
In their ‘Manifesto for Peace’, Sahra Wagenknecht MP and Alice Schwarzer have stated that “negotiating does not mean capitulating. Negotiating means making compromises, on both sides. With the aim of preventing hundreds of thousands more deaths and worse.”