The AfD and Pegida could not hold their funeral march for migrant murder victim Daniel Hillig in Chemnitz in the German state of Saxony. They were attacked by Black Bloc thugs.
Due to several blockades of violent left-wing extremists, the “March of Silence” had to be dissolved after a short time. Counter-demonstrators tried to break through to the march. The massive police presence, with forces from several other federal states were able to prevent that.
It is estimated that some 6000 people attended, MDR reported. Among them were also Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann and the AfD head of state of Thuringia, Björn Höcke.
Alternative für Deutschland, (AfD), the anti-immigrant party, has done better in Saxony than in any other region. According to recent polls, it has the support of a quarter of the population.
When the police announced that the meeting time had passed, the event was dissolved. Nevertheless, several hundred participants remained in the area and became more and more aggressive towards the police. This called for mounted colleagues and water cannons for reinforcement.
Protesters at the march chanted: “Wir sind das Volk [we are the people],” just as they did towards the final days of the communist regime. Repeated attempts by leftwing media including the Guardian to interview the marchers failed. “We don’t talk to the Lügenpresse [lying press],” they said. The also chanted Lügenpresse .
In the course of the evening, the police reported to Saxony state authorities that members of the warring political camps in the vicinity of the station were clashing.
The police remained present in the city center until late in the evening. They oversaw the departure of the demonstrators to prevent further skirmishes, but they could not cover all bases.
The route of the funeral march had been changed at short notice due to first provocations and scuffles by left-wing counter-demonstrators. At Neumarkt they even threw chairs and glasses at random people.
Some 300 people were arrested and eleven were hospitalized following the violence, the city authorities reported.
Some 25 offences were reported, including damage to property, inflicting injuries, resisting police and using banned insignia, according to police sources.
Further events have been planned in the coming days in the Saxon city. On Monday a concert “against the right” is planned, where left-extremist bands will take part.
The murder of Hillig re-ignited the tensions surrounding the immigration debate in Germany, which had been ongoing since 2015 with the European migrant crisis. In response, the 2018 Chemnitz protests began spontaneously on the same day as Hillig’s demise.
Some of Hillig’s friends have spoken to the media about his skin colour. Hillig was not white. They also said that the “neo-Nazis” would not be marching if they knew “what skin colour he had”. They also criticised the media for reporting on the attack and the riots, but not explaining that the victim was a person of colour, Deutsche Welle reported.
One of Hillig’s killers was named as Yousif Ibrahim Abdullah from Iraq, and the arrest warrant for him was leaked in multiple newspapers on August 28, which goes against German privacy regulations. Abdullah is accused of stabbing Hillig five times, including the fatal hits to his pericardium and lung.
Abdullah has a criminal record with six offences, which include fraud and drug possession. He was most recently sentenced in July 2018 to a suspended sentence of eight months for dangerous bodily harm, German daily Die Welt reported.
He came to Germany in 2015 via the Balkans and was going to be deported in 2016 to Bulgaria, where he had first applied for asylum, but a six month deadline for the deportation was missed by the German authorities, according to weekly Der Spiegel.
In his re-application for asylum, the suspect had used an alleged love affair as the justification, saying that the brother and uncle of a girl he was in love with had beaten him up and injured him with a knife.
Three days after committing the deadly crime, his application for asylum was rejected again. He has also used two different identities, and forged documents, during the asylum proceedings. He was known for always carrying a knife with him.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the bereaved on Tuesday. But she condemned the marchers who had tried to protect themselves from leftist thugs. “We have video footage that there were hunts, that there were riots, that there was hatred on the street, and that has nothing to do with our constitutional state.”
Merkel has not visited Chemnitz, using the excuse that she would have had to cancel her long-planned trip to Africa. Five days later, she sent a minister to the city to lay a wreath. In addition, in the troubled mood in Saxony Merkel would not have been welcome. The Saxon police have been overwhelmed with street violence, when the mood tipped at the weekend.
Inhabitants of the city are angry that Chemnitz has been labelled “Nazis” they told the Guardian. “People are just scared,” says one, referring to the negative publicity in the mainstream media. “I don’t want to stand next to someone giving the Nazi salute, but I have a right to demonstrate too.”
But leftwing politicians tarred all marchers with the same brush, calling them “far-right extremists”.