Socialist Worker

Fascists routed in Cologne

by Berit Kuennecke in Cologne
Issue No. 2120

Richard Barnbrook was one leading member of the BNP who did not join the Nazi rally in Stoke last Saturday.

Instead he joined fascists in Cologne, Germany, led by the Pro-Köln group, that had organised an “Anti-Islam congress” in the city. But a 50,000-strong protest sent the Nazis fleeing for safety.

Pro-Köln had invited speakers from fascist organisations such as the Austrian FPÖ, Belgian Vlaams Belang, as well as Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National.

The focus of their day was to campaign against the building of a mosque in Cologne and to incite hatred against immigrants from a Muslim background.

The protest against the Pro-Köln congress was organised by trade unions, Germany’s radical left Die Linke party, churches and anti-fascist groups.

On Friday the fascists got stranded on the banks of the Rhine after local bars and restaurants refused to serve them and taxi drivers refused them transport.

On Saturday protesters blockaded trains, roads and metro stations to prevent fascists from meeting on Cologne’s Heumarkt square.

Some 1,500 far right protesters were expected at the meeting. Only a few dozen made it – and had to ask for police protection to get there. The congress was abandoned after just 45 minutes.

The Nazis hoped to set up a Europe-wide anti-Muslim front. But the scale of opposition prevented them from doing so – a fantastic victory.

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Article information

Tue 23 Sep 2008, 18:04 BST
Issue No. 2120
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