Thousands in Berlin protest 'hate and racism' in parliament

AP , Sunday 22 Oct 2017

People attend a demonstration against "hate and racism in the Bundestag lower house of parliament" to protest against the far-right party "Alternative fuer Deutschland" AfD that will be in the parliament, in Berlin on October 22, 2017. (AFP)

Several thousand people have marched past Berlin's Reichstag building to protest "hate and racism in parliament" as newly elected lawmakers from the nationalist, anti-migration Alternative for Germany party prepare to take their seats.

The new parliament holds its first session Tuesday. Its 709 lawmakers include 92 from Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which won 12.6 percent of the vote in last month's election. The party is entering the national parliament for the first time.

Sunday's demonstration saw protesters march from the capital's Brandenburg Gate past the domed Reichstag building, home to the national parliament.

Participants carried signs reading "Humanity First," ''Stop AfD" and "My heart beats for diversity."

Ahead of the demonstration, senior AfD lawmaker Peter Felser described it as "an attack on democracy" — an accusation that organizers rejected.

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