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Home / World / German city Braces for a night of anti-immigration protests

German city Braces for a night of anti-immigration protests



BERLIN – The eastern German city of Chemnitz, which witnessed violent right-wing extremist immigration protests this week, braced itself for a long night on Saturday when thousands of right-wing extremists and left-wing counter-demonstrators demonstrated against it for rival protests.

These demonstrations and scenes of right-wing activists outnumbering the police, publicizing the banned Hitler salute and chasing foreigners through the streets have shaken Germany and made international headlines. […] The police are expecting at least 10,000 demonstrators and have. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…=view&id=167 In the nearby city of Dresden, a popular football match was canceled and instead the police were diverted to Chemnitz

] "The situation is still very calm, but people are still gathering," a spokeswoman for the Chemnitz police said the Wall Street Journal. "Today, several demonstrations are planned."

The demonstrations broke out a week ago after a man on the spot was fatally beaten, which the police identified only as Daniel H., allegedly by two men, one from Syria and the other from Iraq. The protests have shown how deep the dividing lines in Germany have been since 201

5 after an influx of nearly two million refugees and job-seekers, many from Syria. Anger over the government's response to the refugee crisis catapulted a populist, right-wing party, the alternative for Germany, to parliament, to the largest opposition party

Frank Decker, Professor of Political Science at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn, said the German political elites have for years ignored the growing strength of right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis organizations in East Germany

"This is an escalation that was to be expected, it just needed a spark," he said. "We have a problem with right-wing extremism here since the German unification and the political establishment underestimates it."

The AfD and another loose rally of angry citizens called Pegida have organized protests this weekend calling for immigration opponents to march silently through the city. A handful of other right-wing groups, such as Pro Chemnitz, which even have three representatives on the city council, will hold separate demonstrations.

Several of the historically fragmented right-wing groups have called for unity and intend to unite. In a single demonstration later Saturday night, the organizers said:

They will face a counter-demonstration organized by left-wing parties and organizations to resume the narrative from the extreme right.

"We aim to show that there is also a Chemnitz," said Susanne Schaper, a representative of the left-wing party "The Left" in the Saxon state parliament.

A coalition of more than 70 associations, parties and individuals has organized the opposition. Demonstration, a march through the city under the motto "heart not hate."

The refugee crisis in the summer of 2015 brought the simmering anger against Chancellor Angel to make Merkel boil. The populist AfD accused Ms. Merkel of opening the gates and allowing refugees into the country. After the fatal stabbing last Sunday, AFD officials said that Frau Merkel has blood on her hands. Merkel condemned the incidents in Chemnitz this week and said that "people who persecute others" and "mobs that spread hatred on the streets", as seen in the city's video footage, are incompatible with the rule of law.

Write to William Boston at william.boston@wsj.com


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