The protest plans against the Berlin visit of Benedict XVI. on 22. September in Berlin become more concrete: Pope opponents have already registered a demonstration for this day. Protests had it also with the visit of John Paul II. given 15 years ago in Berlin.
The organizers, representatives of the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) Berlin-Brandenburg, expect up to 50.000 participants. However, the protest march has not yet been approved by the authorities, according to the second "network meeting" of Berlin critics of the Pope's visit.
According to the plan so far, the demonstration will lead from Schoneberg's Nollendorfplatz via Potsdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate. A closing rally is scheduled there. Activities of individual protest groups are to take place at "fixed points" such as the AIDS memorial "Against Forgetting" at the Urania education center and the "Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted under National Socialism" in the Tiergarten park. The proposal to include the Jesuit high school Canisius-Kolleg met with applause. The cases of abuse made public there a good year ago triggered the ongoing nationwide debate.
With a "Papamobile" and four "Popes", the LSVD wants to promote the demonstration at the annual parade of Berlin lesbians and gays on Christopher Street Day in June. Further "imaginative actions", panel discussions or readings are in preparation and are to take place primarily after the summer break.
The network meeting was again attended by about 50 members of, among others, the Green Party, the organization Pro Familia and the church-critical Giordano Bruno Foundation. They passed a resolution calling on Benedict XVI. accused of an "anti-human gender and sexual politics".
Protests also against Pope John Paul II.
Benedict XVI. begins his four-day official visit to Germany on 22. September in the German capital. On his arrival, he is first received by German President Christian Wulff. A meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and a speech in the Bundestag are planned. Also scheduled to meet with representatives of Judaism and Islam. A large public papal service is expected to take place on the forecourt of Charlottenburg Palace. Benedict XVI will stay overnight. at the Apostolic Nunciature. On 23. September Benedict XVI travels. continues to Thuringia and then also visits Baden-Wurttemberg.
Protests had also occurred during the visit of Pope John Paul II. 15 years ago in Berlin, for example at the gay and lesbian city festival in the Schoneberg district. In addition, a demonstration took place at the time with more than 2.000 participants took place, dressing up as nuns, monks or devils and proclaiming a "counter-papacy". They marched from Schoneberg's Winterfeldtplatz toward the Brandenburg Gate. Along the route of the pope through the city, there were sometimes loud protests with egg throwing at the "papamobile". Joining the trip at the time was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.