A few days ago, I posted a series of photos of the refugees who are hunger-striking at the Brandenburg Gate in protest of their living conditions. I took those photographs on Wednesday. In the brief moments that I was there, I found a member of parliment speaking with the protestors and watched an ambulance take away one of the protestors who had fainted. I photographed one man who was lying, huddled, the last image in this post. Rain was coming and going.
I returned Friday morning to find a situation, sombre if less dramatic. By then, there were more helpers – many of them students in Berlin – than protestors. These supporters are organizing blankets, umbrellas and first aid, and handling the constant flow politicians, press, supporters and tourists.
The protestors who are still there have an extraordinary strength to them. They have gone without water for days, food for more than a week. Everyone is speaking in soft voices, nobody has the energy for more than that. I asked about half of the people who are still there if I could take their portrait. Two men told me they were too weak, maybe later. Those who said yes did so in the hopes that their faces reach beyond their encampment in Pariser Platz.