German protest against extremist party falsely linked to Israel-Hamas war | Fact check

The claim: Video shows pro-Palestinian march in Hamburg, Germany

A Feb. 16 Facebook video (direct link, archive link) shows an aerial view of crowds of people filling the streets of a city.

"Germany, Hamburg stand (sic) with Palestine," reads the on-screen text.

Similar versions of the claim were shared on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter.

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Our rating: False

The march shown in the video is unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. It shows a protest against an extremist conservative political party in Hamburg.

Political protest misidentified as pro-Palestinian march

Officials in Hamburg imposed a temporary ban on pro-Palestinian protests in October in response to a drastic increase in antisemitic activity, according to the Washington Post. An administrative court later overturned the ban, and police began allowing the demonstrations again in December.

The video doesn't show such a march in Hamburg, however.

On Feb. 1, an account called Deep Shallow Dive shared the same footage on Instagram with the "DSD" logo at the bottom, but no mention of the Israel-Hamas conflict was included. Nearly two weeks earlier, an online outlet shared several identical clips from the video on YouTube with a title labeling it an "anti-AfD protest."

The caption of the YouTube video said the rally attracted more than 80,000 people, making it the largest protest yet against the Alternative for Germany Party, also known as the AfD.

This matches the information shared in a Jan. 19 article by the German outlet Tagesschau, which included similar aerial footage of the protest as well. According to the article, the protest was in response to a report published by the German nonprofit Correctiv, which revealed details about a secret meeting of conservative extremists in Potsdam, Germany, in November 2023. The report said that members of the AfD party and well-known neo-Nazis had met to speak about the mass expulsion of migrants from Germany.

According to organizers of the protest, 10,000 people were expected to participate but the number ended up reaching about 80,000, resulting in the demonstration being prematurely shut down.

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Reuters, Getty Images and the German outlet Deutsche Welle captured similar photos of the protest.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

AFP and Reuters also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: German protest video falsely linked to Israel-Hamas war | Fact check