Thousands dance through streets of Berlin in the name of tolerance

By Bjoern Graas and Gregor Fischer, dpa

Thousands of revellers danced through the streets of Berlin on Saturday, accompanied by 25 parade vehicles blasting music, as part of the “Love Train” march for tolerance and social inclusion, as well as to mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“Significantly more than 10,000 people took part in the Love Train today,” said police on Twitter. Organizers did not immediately provide their own estimate, though had earlier put the number at around 50,000. Police had expected 9,500 participants to show up.

Police said the Love Train (Zug der Liebe) was peaceful and had led only to some traffic delays.

Participants danced to electronic beats and dressed in ’90s raver style, with some holding signs reading “Will dance for beer.”

“A new wall has formed in many people’s minds. We want to break it down,” said Jens Schwan, a spokesman for the demonstration.

“Many especially younger people likely don’t know a thing about what happened back then, and how important the year 1989 was for the entire country,” organizers wrote on the march’s website.

In August 1961, the communist government of East Germany began the construction of the Berlin Wall. The structure divided the city and its residents for more than 28 years.

The division of the two Germanys ended after a series of peaceful protests in East Germany led to the fall of the wall on November 9, 1989.

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