Thousands of people took the streets for the right to life. As in the years before, counter-protests tried to block the March For Life.
(Evangelical Focus/Pro Medien Magazin) On 16 September, thousands of people took the streets of Berlin (Germany) to protest against abortion and for the right to life of the unborn. These marches and counter-protests seem to be similar year after year - but there are also differences.
There is this one Saturday afternoon in September when Berlin - or rather the government district - follows what seems to be a consistent pattern. The reason is that pro-lifers gather for the annual “March for Life” in the capital city.
Even before the pro-lifers meet east of the Brandenburg Gate, a few hundred opponents gather on the other side of the monument to demonstrate for self-determination and “against paternalism”. They end just in time for the start of the pro-life march. Individuals remain on site to disrupt with shouting.
Against abortion and assisted suicide
The counter-protest on the fringes of the event is also the same, although this year it is somewhat larger in number. “My body, my choice, raise your voice”, “If Maria had had an abortion, we would have been spared you” or “Condoms, IUDs, left-wing radicals” are the preferred chants again this year.
At the rally, Alexandra Maria Linder, chairperson of the German Right to Life Association, calls for an end to “anti-women policies” in Germany. “When state-funded counselling organisations make money even from abortion and call children before birth the ‘content of the womb’, women are lied to and help is denied them”. One should stand by these women, she says.
In addition, Lindner demanded that participants create “oases of life” where death brought about intentionally has no access. This applies not only to abortion, but also to assisted suicide.
Afterwards, the director of the Dutch organisation Schreeuw om Leven (Cry for Life), Arthur Alderliesten, spoke about the situation of abortion in the Netherlands and the executive director of the Canadian Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, warned of the conditions in his country. Euthanasia has gotten out of hand there, he says. People who are homeless, lonely or depressed often choose death.
Unsuccessful sit-in blockades
Afterwards, everything follows almost the same pattern. According to the police, around 2,000 participants set off on their march through the government quarter. Similar to last year, the march was again not a silent march. This time, pop music is blaring from a loudspeaker of the counter-protesters. Some participants nevertheless unflinchingly sing Christian classics like Gross ist unser Gott (Great is our God).
There is much more protest along the march route than last year - with the same slogans. Several times, counter-demonstrators try to block the route with sit-in blockades - without success. The police marched a few hundred metres in front of the pro-lifers with dozens of police officers.
The same goes for the astonished tourists who want to know from the police what they are demonstrating for. “Something to do with abortion” is the answer several times.
Tweet This: Thousands of pro-life advocates marched for life in Berlin and Cologne Sept. 16 and were met with pro-abortion protesters.
No demonstration at the Holocaust Memorial
As the “March for Life” passes the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, counter-demonstrators again want to take a stand against the pro-lifers with placards and chants. Unlike last year, however, an employee of the memorial is on site and loudly expels them from the square. It is a monument and demonstrations are not allowed on its grounds.
For the first time, the “March for Life” took place in parallel in Cologne. There were also protests against the pro-lifers there.
Editor's note: This article was published by Evangelical Focus and is reprinted with permission. This article was first published in German by Pro Medien Magazin and translated for Evangelical Focus with permission.