Anticipation is growing in Berlin ahead of Monday’s 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.
At least 100,000 people are set to party around the Brandenburg Gate – Dmitry Medvedev, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy are among the guests of honour. On Sunday people turned out to admire the giant dominoes that will be sent tumbling in celebration and dwell on memories of the historic event. “We wrote to our friends in East Germany saying if it’s true what we are seeing on the television, we invite you to come and see us as soon as possible,” said one Berlin resident. “And a few weeks later they were there and they were surprised themselves that it had happened.” Others are attempting to use the occasion to inject a sense of historical importance into contemporary political debate. Greenpeace is using the occasion to argue that a similar wave of popular pressure is needed to prompt action on the issue of global warming. Anike Peters of Greenpeace said: “As happened at a moment in history 20 years ago, when the gap between East and West was overcome, so now the international community needs to unite together to fight against climate change.” Many activists are angry that the weekend’s G20 meeting of finance ministers failed to agree on policies to tackle the global warming issue.