A day after a deadly stabbing provoked anti-immigration demonstrations, the German city of Chemnitz is at the center of opposing protests which brought thousands of people onto the streets. Several people were injured and had to be hospitalised for injuries.
The city of Chemnitz has been put on high alert as far-right protesters and far-left counter-protesters clashed on Monday, following a spontaneous anti-immigrant demonstration the day before.
Riot police was deployed to keep apart some 1,000 right-wing demonstrators from an equally large group of anti-fascist counter-protesters. But, the crowds grew increasingly rowdy and protesters resorted to throwing projectiles and fire bombs at each other.
“Merkel must go”
— Bart Claes (@claesbart) August 27, 2018
Monday's events continued from Sunday's protests, which were triggered by the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German in an overnight altercation. Police said the knifing occurred after an incident involving "several people of different nationalities." Two men, a 23-year-old Syrian and a 22-year-old Iraqi have been taken into custody. The men are suspected of having stabbed the victim several times "with no justifiable reason," the prosecutors said on Monday.
The German government has condemned the right-wing violence, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the far-right demonstrators were "hunting down" foreigners.
Footage circulating on social media showed demonstrators at the protests chanting "We are the people" — a phrase now used by the far-right scene. Some of the right-wing marchers were captured by TV news cameras giving the outlawed Hitler salute. Tensions in the region have smoldered for the last three years as more than 1.4 million refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East have migrated to Germany.
The pushback over the arriving immigrants has been most acute in the eastern state of Saxony, where the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party has far more support than elsewhere in the country. During the protests Monday in Chemnitz, those on the right shouted slogans such as, “The national resistance is here,” and, “This is our country.”