Peace protesters gathered in Berlin’s government district on Saturday as part of a national demonstration calling for disarmament.
Holding ribbons to help maintain social distancing, hundreds of people formed a human chain that stretched from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office to the Bundestag, which houses the lower house of parliament.
Berlin police said 350 people took part in the protests in the German capital, while organizers said 500 people were there.
Smaller demonstrations were held in other German cities, including Bonn and Munich.
“Stop the bomb business” read a banner at the protests – which stretched from the Bundestag to chancellor Merkel
The military spending sparked outrage
The protests, held under the slogan “Peace, not arms,” came in the middle debate about military spending in Germany.
On Tuesday, German lawmakers will discuss the country’s budget proposals for 2021, which will see a huge spike in defense spending.
Reiner Hoffmann, head of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) said his association was demonstrating “against the global arms frenzy” and NATO spending targets.
“We have to break the downward spiral of weapon formation. Armament and violence do not solve any of the problems,” Hoffmann said.
US President Donald Trump and outgoing NATO have pushed Germany to increase its defense spending – which currently falls below the 2% target the military alliance has set for its members.
Trump has often taken issue with Germany’s military spending, announcing this summer that Washington plans to attract thousands of US troops from a military base in Germany.
US lawmakers took steps to block the plan in the defense spending bill finalized this week.
rs / rc (dpa, AP)
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