Germany's Easter marches for peace

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Stuttgart: 'Freedom needs movement'

So reads the banner held up by these marchers in southwest Germany. The protests over the Easter weekend take place all across Germany, but actually have their roots in a British anti-nuclear march that took place over Easter time in 1958. The trend spread to West Germany in the 1960s — and stuck. Now, they are a yearly occurrence for those advocating peace and nuclear nonproliferation.

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Berlin: No more war

Demonstrations in around 100 German cities have been planned for Easter weekend 2018. The marches can last through Easter Monday, which is a holiday in Germany. Peace, demilitarization, a ban on weapons export and nuclear disarmament are all common calls. Some are more specific in their messages, such as this protester in Berlin. According to activists, some 2,000 marched in the German capital.

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Gronau: costumes and masks

These Easter marchers in Gronau, on the border with Belgium, have used costumes to get their message across during the day's procession. In the 1980s, the number of participants was as high as 300,000. Then, protesters focused on the nuclear tension of the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union. Today, they hone in on contemporary politicians and policies.

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Munich: 'Ban nuclear weapons'

The 2018 rallying cry for marchers in Munich had a traditional tone: less militarization, no more nuclear weapons. The organizers in the Bavarian capital also criticized Germany for providing weapons to countries where systematic human rights abuse takes place. The Saturday march began with a church service before winding its way throughout the center of the city.

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Duisburg: Babies and balloons

The Easter marches are an event for people of all ages, as this young attendee at the Duisburg march illustrates. The city in the heart of Germany's Rhine-Ruhr industrial region saw hundreds gather to protest for peace. Politicians from some of Germany's political parties also attend or speak at the marches. The day's celebrations are colorful affairs.

Germany's Easter marches for peace

Bremen: Rainbow flags

The northern German maritime city had nearly twice as many marchers in 2018 as it did in 2017, according to march organizers. They estimated that around 1,000 people took to the streets, though police said turnout only hit some 300. At any rate, the marchers brightened the gray day with rainbow peace flags.

Germans of all ages have hit city streets across the country to participate in a protest tradition with roots in Britain. Marchers broadcast their messages using colorful flags, signs and even Donald Trump masks.