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"United against racism", Germans stage mass protest against far right

Build bridges not walls, activists insist

Protesters from across Germany marched through Berlin on Saturday against racism, xenophobia and the far right in one of the country's biggest rallies of recent years.

Marchers carried placards reading "Build bridges not walls", "United against racism" and "We are indivisible - for an open and free society". Some danced to pop music on a warm autumn day.

Organisers put the turnout at 242,000 people for the demonstration, which followed anti-immigration protests in several eastern cities over the summer and a rise in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party before Bavaria's state election on Sunday.

A police spokesman declined to estimate the size of the crowd at the march, which was organised by a broad alliance of associations, labour unions, parties and rights groups including Amnesty International.

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