The fascists and racists want to take to the streets to spread fear and hatred—it’s crucial we do not let them.
The racist and fascist mobilisation in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, just over a week ago was a shock to many people all over the country.
But 1,000 people came out in Chemnitz the day after to stand against them.
The far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and Pegida street movement called for a demonstration in Chemnitz last Saturday. Bjorn Hocke came—he’s one of the key fascist figures in the AfD.
Around 4-5,000 people demonstrated last Saturday against them. They blocked the route. The Nazis could only walk a quarter of it.
This was a broad counter mobilisation supported by Aufstehen Gegen Rassismus (Stand Against Racism), Die Linke, the Labour-type SPD, the Green Party and others, including refugees, migrants and Muslims.
On Monday 70,000 people went to a concert in Chemnitz, with many bands, including anti-racist punk band Die Toten Hosen.
We have an Aufstehen Gegen Rassismus group in Chemnitz that is busy organising people in its anti-racist campaign. Aufstehen Gegen Rassismus had its annual activist conference in Frankfurt last weekend. We showed solidarity with anti-fascists in Chemnitz.
On Saturday 15,000 took part in a Rock Against Racism concert organised by trade unions and others in Frankfurt.
The fact that the AfD entered the federal parliament in November encourages the violent Nazi scene.
There are many links between the AfD and the hardcore Nazi scene, and the Nazis within AfD have got stronger over the last four years.
We have seen an increase in racism against Muslims over the last few years.
The federal interior minister, Horst Seehofer of the conservative CSU party, has said that Islam does not belong in Germany. And now he’s attacking refugees and tried to put them into detention centres.
Politicians like him are also responsible for the growth of racist attacks. There is massive potential for anti-racist mobilisation.
We had attacks on refugee houses in the early 1990s, we had murders and pogroms.
There was broad anti-racist and anti-fascist activity, which isolated the Nazis and also pushed back the far right Republican party.
Ordinary people organised mass vigils and demonstrations with candles. Chains of lit candles illuminated many cities.
Important struggles against Nazi marches were organised. This changed the atmosphere in society.
It’s also quite hopeful that refugees and Muslims took part in the demonstration in Chemnitz last week.
We will stand in solidarity with refugees and Muslims and build the fights against racism. And we have to increase our mobilisations against racists, Nazis and the AfD all over the country.