Germany: Far-right revelers attack police and reporters at rock festival

Crowds at a far-right rock concert in eastern Germany threw cups of beer at police and journalists and sprayed them with a fire extinguisher, police said on Sunday.

The journalists wanted to report on the event in the town of Ostritz and had initially been refused access. When they returned with a group of police officers, they were attacked by some of the concertgoers. 

The German constitution states that “representatives from the press cannot not be excluded” from such public gatherings.

Investigations were underway on Sunday following reports that some concertgoers displayed unspecified banned symbols and shouted “Sieg Heil” (Hail Victory), a Nazi-era victory slogan. German law forbids the use of any Nazi slogans or symbols in public.

Six people were being investigated for weapons offenses, property damage, verbal abuse and other crimes.

Around 2,000 people attended a parallel peace concert in Ostritz

A parallel peace concert against right-wing extremism was also being held in Ostritz by more than 2,000 locals.

The town is located on the border with Poland and has been the site of several far-right concerts in recent years.

Far-right surge 

Last April, hundreds of neo-Nazis gathered in the remote town for a festival timed to coincide with Hitler’s birthday.

Far-right groups in Germany have witnessed a rise in popularity since the start of a refugee crisis in 2015.

The fatal stabbing of a German man in the eastern city of Chemnitz, which is also in the state of Saxony, triggered large far-right street protests in August amid allegations the perpetrators were asylum seekers.

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

    Death sparks demonstrations

    The demonstrations were sparked by a deadly brawl that broke out in the German city of Chemnitz in the early hours of Sunday (August 26). What started out as a war of words resulted in a 35-year-old man being stabbed to death. Hours later, spontaneous, anti-migrant protests took over the streets of Chemnitz.

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

    German-Cuban killed

    A German-Cuban man was stabbed in an altercation involving 10 people, several of whom were of “various nationalities,” police sources said. The victim, named only as Daniel H., was apparently well-known among various political groups in the area. Two men in their 30s were also stabbed and seriously injured, and a 22-year-old Iraqi and 23-year-old Syrian are in custody over the killing.

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

    Police reinforcements called

    By Sunday afternoon, some 800 people had gathered to protest the man’s death, including far-right groups. Authorities said the crowd was largely uncooperative and threw bottles at police officers. Police reinforcements had to be called in from nearby cities. The mobilizations were spontaneous and are thought to have surfaced following calls to demonstrate on social media.

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded


    German authorities said that that far-right groups spread misinformation on the internet. Among the false claims was that the victim of the knife attack died protecting a woman.

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

    Protests and counterprotests

    Thousands of far-right and counterdemonstrators faced off in a second day of protest Monday. Several people were injured as objects and fireworks were hurled. Video footage showed the far-right “Pro Chemnitz” movement holding a banner with a quote from early 20th century poet Anton Günther reading “German and free we aim to be.”

  • How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

    ‘No place for Nazis’

    Counter-demonstrators denouncing right-wing extremism also took to the streets of Chemnitz. Among the protesters were Antifa, who clashed with right-wing demonstrators.

    Author: Louisa Wright

kw/amp (AFP, dpa, eda)

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