- Women protest in Cologne city centre
- Follows 200 assault complaints
- “We want to move around freely”
Hundreds of women gathered on the steps of Cologne Cathedral in Germany on Saturday.
They came to protest against sexual violence and to push for women’s rights.
A string of robberies and sexual assaults in the city at New Year’s Eve have been blamed largely on foreigners.
What they said
“This is about making it clear that we will not stop moving around freely here in Cologne. We are protesting against victim-blaming and women being abused. We want to make sexism and sexual violence a topic in society, no matter who is thought responsible” said Ina Wolf from Cologne.
“I am here to take a stand for a peaceful society, where all people, women and men, can move around safely and joyfully. This did not happen at New Year so we need to take a stand. We should contribute to peace and understanding with courage and clarity, that is why I am here” said Anja Stiel, also from Cologne.
There were 200 complaints of sexual offences ranging from harassment to actual rape on New Year’s Eve.
32 suspects have been identified, of which 22 are seeking asylum.
The violence outside the city’s main railway station has sparked a debate about Germany’s open-door policy on migrants.