Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

250,000 protesters against the far right in Germany

Open in full screen mode

Protesters united against the far right in Frankfurt on January 20, 2024 .

Agence France-Presse

About 250,000 people demonstrated across Germany on Saturday against the far-right AfD party, whose members recently discussed the mass expulsion of people of foreign origin during ;a gathering of ultra identitarians.

The largest rallies took place in Frankfurt, the country's financial capital, with 35,000 participants according to local police, gathered behind a Defend banner democracy – Frankfurt against the AfD.

A similar number of demonstrators converged in Hanover (north), some holding Nazis out signs. Some 30,000 people also marched in the streets of Dortmund (west), and 16,000 in Halle, according to the police.

Open in full screen mode

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Frankfurt against the German far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Saturday January 20, 2024.

Protests were reported in Braunschweig, Erfurt, Kassel and many other smaller towns, mirroring the daily mobilizations this week.

In total, around 250,000 people demonstrated on Saturday to denounce the German far right in the country, according to public television channel ARD.

LoadingNetanyahu opposes Palestinian sovereignty in Gaza

ELSEWHERE ON NEWS: Netanyahu opposes Palestinian sovereignty in Gaza

Other rallies are planned for Sunday, including in Berlin and Dresden in Saxony, a stronghold of the anti-migrant and anti-system Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Political leaders, religious representatives and coaches from the Bundesliga, the German football championship, have called on the population to mobilize against this party, currently at its highest in voting intentions.

The mobilization was triggered by the revelation on January 10 by the German investigative media Correctivof a meeting of extremists in Potsdam, near Berlin, where in November a plan for mass expulsion of foreigners or people of foreign origin was discussed.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser went so far as to say in the newspapers of the Funke press group that this meeting was reminiscent of the horrible Wannsee conference, where the Nazis planned in 1942 the extermination of European Jews.

Among the participants were a figure of the radical identity movement, the Austrian Martin Sellner , and members of the AfD.

Open in full screen mode

Martin Sellner, the leader of Mouvance identitaire , a far-right group based in Austria.

Martin Sellner presented a project to send back to North Africa up to two million people – asylum seekers, foreigners and German citizens who would not be assimilated -, asserts Correctiv.

This revelation shook Germany as the AfD soars in the polls, a few months before three important regional elections in the east of the country, where the party has the most supporters .

The anti-immigration movement confirmed the presence of its members at the meeting, but denied adhering to the remigration project led by Martin Sellner.

Many political leaders, including Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz who took part in a demonstration last weekend, have stressed that any plan to expel people of foreign origin is an attack on democracy.

Mr. Scholz called on everyone to take a stand for cohesion, for tolerance, for our democratic Germany.

Open in full screen mode

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (File photo)

Friedrich Merz, the leader of the conservative CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) party, said it was very encouraging that thousands of people are demonstrating peacefully against extremism.

But in addition to members of the AfD, two members of the CDU, belonging to the Werteunion (“Union of Values”), the right wing of the party, also participated in the meeting disclosed byCorrectiv .

The leader of the Werteunion, Hans-Georg Maassen, announced his split from the CDU on Saturday. The group claims 4,000 members.

By a large majority, Werteunion members voted for the creation of a party of the same name, who intends to run in the next elections, said Hans-Georg Maassen.

The party could already compete in the regional elections in the #x27;east of Germany and work with all parties […] who are ready for political change in Germany, he added, not excluding in particular cooperation with the x27;AfD.

By admin

Related Post