BLACK GERMANS SAY IT’S TIME TO LOOK INWARD. The Black Lives Matter movement saw shows of solidarity around the world this summer. In Germany, some feel there is a reluctance to acknowledge more local problems.
BERLIN — In June, when Jelisa Delfeld joined a Telegram channel to help organize a silent demonstration against racism in Stuttgart, Germany, she was one of fewer than two dozen members. The next day, that number grew to 100, and the following, about 1,000 people had joined the channel where the protest was being planned.
“When the video of George Floyd being killed came out, it was also shocking in Germany,” said Ms. Delfeld, 24. “Even though it happened in the U.S., it’s a Black man, and we’re Black. If there’s pain in our community, you can feel that pain everywhere.”
Over five days of Zoom meetings, calls and texts, this group of young strangers, most of whom had little experience in activism, organized a demonstration that brought between 7,000 and 10,000 people into the streets of Stuttgart, a city of roughly 620,000, on June 6.
The same day, thousands more people across Germany protested against racism and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, with police estimates of crowds reaching as high as 15,000 in Berlin, 25,000 in Munich and 14,000 in Hamburg. The numbers reflected an international galvanizing of protesters after the death of George Floyd.