Socialist Worker

German far right rides backlash but anti-racists outnumber them

Issue No. 2487

Far right group Legida marching last month

Far right group Legida marching last month (Pic: Flickr/Caruso Pinguin)

Around 7,000 people protested against racism in the German city of Stuttgart last Saturday, following a series of attacks on refugees.

Arson attacks on refugee shelters have been frequent, but anti-racists have taken a stand.

For example, the previous Saturday 700 people protested in the town of Dreieich where shots had been fired at a refugees’ hostel.

The violence escalated after a “protest” of over 200 supporters of far right groups in Leipzig on Monday of last week.

They ran amok with baseball bats and fireworks, attacking people and smashing windows of cafes and restaurants.

Historian Sasha Lange said it was the largest such incident in Germany since the “Kristallnacht” pogrom against Jewish businesses in 1938.

Racists have capitalised on the backlash after attacks on women by some refugees on New Year’s Eve, particularly in the city of Cologne.

Many mainstream politicans have called for harsh further restictions of refugees.

The nearby town of Bornheim even banned male refugees from a swimming pool last week.

But Syrian refugees in Cologne held their own protest against sexual violence last Saturday.

It was followed by a flash mob by anti-racists.

One victim of the attacks, US student Caitlin Duncan, revealed last week that a group of Syrian men had defended her.

They formed a protective cordon between her and the men trying to attack her.

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