An AfD information booth in Schorndorf became a crime scene on Saturday. At around 9:45 am, Landtag candidate Stephan Schwarz was attacked by a mob from the left-wing extremist group Antifa. He was brought to the ground and beaten all over his body with sticks and kicked.
In addition to him, the attack by around 20 left-wing extremists was also directed against the other two information booth helpers, including the AfD member of the Bundestag Jürgen Braun. He was unharmed.
Another helper, who is almost 80 years old, was maltreated with sticks and thrown to the ground. As if by a miracle, he was unharmed. The information booth and material were completely destroyed.
Schwarz is currently in the hospital. It was not the first attack he has had to endure. In the 2019 local elections, he was also the victim of violent attacks by Antifa.
“It then happened very quickly,” Braun told Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit. “They came around the corner, shouted something and rushed towards our booth. That was a division of labour in the sense of organized crime.” The attackers had pulled up banners so that possible witnesses could not see the attack on the street.
“When the injured party, lying on the floor, tried to dial the emergency number with his smartphone, it was said to have been torn from his hands and stolen by a hitherto unknown person,” the police said. The 36-year-old had to be hospitalized with several injuries. “We hope there are no internal injuries. Mr. Schwarz is still in the hospital and will be examined for a longer period of time,” said an AfD member.
“The police were not on site at this time,” Braun said in a disgust. “Agreements were not kept, because the presence of the police was actually discussed.” This has “created a climate of hatred against the AfD” in the city. Schorndorf is “also not a random place” because the left-wing extremist scene, IG Metall and those who are politically responsible all have very close ties.
Officials later temporarily arrested five suspects, ages 18-25. The investigations of the Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office and the Waiblingen criminal police department are ongoing.
On the left-wing extremist platform Indymedia, the act was admitted and compared with a similar attack in Hanau a year ago. An AfD stand in Schorndorf had been “visited” according to the platform, “to make it clear one year after the right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau that right-wing agitation would not be tolerated and that they will be confronted by our protest”. The platform deemed it shocking “how much the nihilistic mantra of ‘free speech’ had etched itself onto the public discourse”. People had “no right to right-wing propaganda”.
There was also an anti-fascist attack on an AfD information booth in Reutlingen on Saturday. The Südwestpresse reported on the attack. Ingo Reetzke, the AfD state parliament candidate for the constituencies of Reutlingen and Tübingen, commented on the incident with a press release.
Numerous left-wing extremists tried on Saturday morning to surround an AfD information stand in downtown Reutlingen. Only through the rigorous intervention of the police could the mob be pushed back and thus was possible violence against the election campaigners prevented.
“It turns out that there are consequences when left-wing extremists are systematically played down by the established parties or even supported with taxpayers’ money. They then feel encouraged to use undemocratic means to disrupt the democratic competition between the parties and thus hinder the citizens’ decision-making process,” said Reetzke.
In this context, it is scandalous that the established parties are not distancing themselves from the criminal violence of the left-wing extremists, even though a corresponding application by the AfD municipal council group was introduced a few weeks ago after a similar attack on an AfD information booth. “If I am elected to the state parliament on March 14, the problem of growing left-wing extremism in the state will be at the top of my priority list,” said Reetzke in conclusion.
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