Video of demonstration against far-right party in Berlin passed off as farmers' protests

By: Umme Kulsum
February 12 2024

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Video of demonstration against far-right party in Berlin passed off as farmers' protests

Screenshot of post claiming the video shows a farmers’ rally in Berlin. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The video captures a rally against AfD, a right-wing German party, held in January. It is unrelated to the ongoing protests by German farmers.

Claim ID ccfbd03a

What's the claim?

For the last few weeks, farmers in Germany have been up in arms against the government's plans to abolish tax breaks on diesel used in farming and to introduce an agricultural vehicle tax. In the wake of the protests, social media users have shared a video of a large demonstration, claiming it shows a farmers' protest in Berlin, Germany. A Facebook user shared the video (archived here) with the caption, "Farmers rebellion in Germany begins to domino into bigger revolt. Time to take down the CORRUPT SYSTEM WAKE UP WORLD (sic)."

Screenshot of claims made online (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the footage does not show a "farmers rebellion" but a protest against a far-right German party. 

What did we find?

Through reverse image search, we traced some scenes from the viral video to the official Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) accounts of the documentary production medium RED. RED had shared a montage of clips of rallies from different cities in Germany, and the accompanying captions stated that the visuals were captured during the demonstrations against the country's far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) party. The posts added that over the January 20-21 weekend, "at least 90 demonstrations were registered in Germany, with tens of thousands filling the streets of most major cities, including Frankfurt, Cologne, and Hanover." According to RED, the viral video is from Berlin.

Screenshot of Instagram post from RED (Source: Instagram/RED)

We also found that a Berlin House of Representatives member, Ferat Koçak, had also posted the now-viral video on X on January 22. The post was captioned, "350.000 show Solidarity against the far right Party AfD in Berlin." 

Germany's national public television network, ZFD, had also reported in a fact-check that the viral video was captured at a rally directed against the AfD party. However, the protestors did not raise the chants heard in the video; instead, audio from a different demonstration was superimposed on the clip in question.

We then came across an Instagram post sharing the viral video from the Berlin-based art collective Centre for Political Beauty. The post said the protest captured in the video targeted the AfD party. It further said the sound featured in the video was extracted from a protest against AfD held in Leipzig earlier. This audio segment can be heard around the 1:56 timestamp in a YouTube video released by Leipziger Zeitung, a local news outlet from the Leipzig region of Germany. The video report was about a demonstration held on January 15.

The AfD, a far-right populist party in Germany, is facing political backlash and criticism lately over reports of two of its members attending a meeting in Potsdam to discuss plans for mass deportation of migrants and citizens of foreign descent. Numerous protests against the AfD took place across Germany in January. According to Reuters, protesters had opposed these plans and called for the AfD to be banned.

Logical Facts debunked a similar claim linking protests against AfD to the farmer protests in Europe here. We also fact-checked another claim linking footage from anti-AfD protests to Palestine supporters.

The verdict

The video clip was captured in Berlin, Germany, and shows a huge demonstration against the right-wing AfD party. It is unrelated to the farmers’ protest. Therefore, we have marked this claim misleading.

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