At least 150, 000 people marched in Berlin on Saturday in protest against a planned free trade deal between Europe and the United States that they say is anti-democratic and will lower food safety, labor and environmental standards.
Organizers – an alliance of environmental groups, charities and opposition parties – said 250, 000 people had taken part in the rally against free trade deals with both the United States and Canada, far more than they had anticipated.
“This is the biggest protest that this country has seen for many, many years, ” Christoph Bautz, director of citizens’ movement Campact told protesters in a speech.
Police said 150, 000 people had taken part in the demonstration which was trouble free. There were 1, 000 police officers on duty at the march.
Opposition to the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has risen over the past year in Germany, with critics fearing the pact will hand too much power to big multinationals at the expense of consumers and workers.
“What bothers me the most is that I don’t want all our consumer laws to be softened, ” Oliver Zloty told Reuters TV. “And I don’t want to have a dictatorship by any companies.”
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