German far right street mob alarms police in Chemnitz

27 08 18

Extra police have been sent to Chemnitz in eastern Germany after hundreds of far-right protesters marched through the city centre and scuffles broke out.

A far-right football fan group called Kaotic Chemnitz called supporters on to the streets after a German man aged 35 was fatally wounded in a fight. Police said several foreigners were involved.

Kaotic Chemnitz – banned from the local club’s stadium – said it wanted to “show who is in charge in the city!”

A city festival was ended abruptly.

The German government strongly condemned the far-right mobilisation.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said “ganging up like that, hunting down people who look different or have a different ethnicity, attempts to spread hatred on the streets – we won’t accept that”.

Chemnitz police estimated the mob to consist of about 800 protesters and said some were hostile towards the police and threw bottles. The spontaneous rally caught police by surprise.

Extra police were called in from Dresden and Leipzig to restore order in the city centre.

Chemnitz is in Saxony, a region where the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Pegida are particularly strong.

Chemnitz makeshift shrine in street, 26 Aug 18Candles and flowers mark the spot where a man was fatally wounded in a fight


It is not clear what the fight that triggered the protest was about. It took place at about 03:15 (01:15 GMT) on Sunday and two other German men were seriously hurt, police said.

Police denied rumours on social media that the fight was linked to the sexual harassment of a woman.

Video clips posted on Twitter showed protesters chanting far-right slogans “we are the people!” and “this is our city!”

Some reports also spoke of aggressive protesters chasing foreigners, though there were few details.

An AfD MP, Markus Frohnmaier, tweeted that “when the state can no longer protect its citizens they go into the streets and protect themselves”.

“Today it’s a citizen’s duty to stop the lethal ‘knife migration’!” he wrote, alluding to the influx of migrants in recent years. “It could have targeted your father, son or brother!” he added.

Chemnitz mayor Barbara Ludwig, a centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) politician, condemned the protest, saying “it was supposed to be a peaceful city party – we had a special occasion, the city’s birthday”.

“I’m incensed over what happened here on Sunday.”



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