Demonstration in Cologne

More than 35 000 people gathered in Cologne at a colourful demonstration against the EU summit, in sunny weather and temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius. The participants came from many different European countries, e.g. France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, but also from Columbia, the Philippines and elsewhere.

A delegation of the Intercontinental Caravan (ICC) was also taking part, a tour of peasants, fisherfolk and representatives of social movements from India, Nepal and other states, as well as the bicycle caravan "Money or Life" which travelled from Prague, Berlin, and the Wendland to Cologne and drove a tractor during the demonstration.

The demonstration was led by Marchers of the European Marches against Unemployment, Precarious Work, Exclusion and Racism. A large march started on May 11th in Brussels and arrived in Cologne on Friday afternoon. The demonstration consisted of a large block of European radical left and anti-fascist groups with the slogan "Fight Fortress Europe", and an anarchist-syndicalist block, a womens' block for the worldwide women's march in the year 2000, a Kurdish block, a block of the Caravan for the Right of the Refugees and Migrants, etc.

The demonstration started walking at 2.30 p.m., slightly delayed because one marcher collapsed a the front of the demonstration. The police, walking around in full anti-riot gear despite the heat, accompanied the anti-fascist block right from the beginning with a tight escort. For no reason whatsoever, the police started beating up participants of the demonstration several times, tried to pull out people out of the demonstration and arrest them.

Four people were injured during the demostration. The police finally brutally enforced a split of the demonstration, the second half with the anti-fascist block was halted until the first half of the demonstration arrived at its destination. The tractor and waggon of the "Money or Life" caravan was stopped by the police, and the police noted their identity and made photographs of them after they left the demonstration. The police claimed that the participants of the caravan had been carrying small catapults and that they were distributing throwing items.

But at least the anti-fascist block was able to continue the demonstration until the end. An agit-prop theatre of the Antifa (M) from Goettingen (Germany) against the war was performed on the stage.

During the final manifestation there was also a report about the death of a Sudanese refugee who was murdered the previous night during deportation from Frankfurt airport. The border police put a motor bike helmet on him, his hands and feet were tied and he was dragged onto the plain and after some time he died from heart failure - a bitter metaphore of the aggressive non-asylum policy of the European Union and an additional reason to protest against migration policies. Unfortunately, this is not the first death through deportation from fortress Europe. Only recently an event in Cologne commemorated the death of Semira Adamu in Belgium, who was suffocated with a pillow in a plain to Togo. The Minister of the Interior had to resign due to this.

The particpants of the demonstration in Cologne protested against this murder and repeated their demand for a right to stay for everybody and demanded consequences for the murderers. At the end of the demonstration, a declaration of the European Marches was read in several languages.

At night, on the way back to the camp in Cologne-Ossendorf, a participant of the "Money or Life" caravan was attacked by a car of fascists. The fascist went to the police afterwards and claimed that they had been attacked by 30 people. The person who had been attacked had to go to hospital with several wounds on his head and a leg injury.