Around 10,000 anti-racists marched on the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party conference in Hanover last Saturday.
Riot police had to clear the way for the 600 delegates after protesters blocked the road. The cops tore into the crowd using water cannons, batons and pepper spray.
This was the AfD’s first conference since its federal election breakthrough in September when it won 12.6 percent of the vote.
It was the first time that Nazis won seats in the German parliament since the end of the Second World War.
The AfD could become the official opposition if chancellor Angela Merkel’s Tory CDU/CSU and the Labour-type SPD form another “grand coalition”.
Around half of the AfD’s 94 MPs come from the Nazi wing of the party. They won key votes and positions at the Hanover conference.
Alexander Gauland was elected as joint party leader defeating the Berlin party boss Georg Pazderski.
Gauland has said that “we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.”
The other co-leader Jorg Meuthen is also more hardline than Pazderski.
The fascists’ growing influence has seen some prominent members resign.
Former co-leader Frauke Petry quit two days after the election and has set up the right wing conservative Blue Party.
Christians in the AfD leader Anette Schultner resigned in October.
The AfD is on a sharp rightward trajectory and has itself grown out of a general shift to the right in German politics. It will take opposition on the streets—and struggle to show that there is a left wing alternative—to push back the AfD.
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