Massive Protests Against Far Right in Germany


A protest against the far right in the German city of Munich took place on Sunday afternoon, attracting an impressive turnout of approximately 100,000 people, according to the police. This demonstration was just one of many that occurred across the country over the weekend, collectively drawing hundreds of thousands of people.

These protests were sparked by a recent report revealing that right-wing extremists had gathered to discuss the deportation of millions of immigrants, including those with German citizenship. Attendees at the meeting included members of the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).

In Cologne, tens of thousands of people showed up to protest on Sunday, with organizers estimating a crowd of around 70,000 individuals. In Berlin, a demonstration held on Sunday afternoon attracted a minimum of 60,000 participants and potentially up to 100,000, as reported by the German news agency dpa.

Similar protests occurred on Friday in Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, where an estimated 50,000 people gathered before the event had to be prematurely concluded due to safety concerns. Saturday also saw protests in other German cities like Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Hannover, drawing tens of thousands of individuals.

While Germany has experienced protests against the far right in the past, what makes this weekend’s events particularly noteworthy is the sheer size and widespread nature of the demonstrations. Not only did major cities witness significant turnouts, but dozens of smaller cities throughout the country also took part. Clearly, these protests are effectively mobilizing popular opposition to the AfD in a profound way.

Rise of AfD in Opinion Polls

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has seen a surge in support, according to recent opinion polls. Nationally, the party now stands in second place with approximately 23%, a significant increase from the 10.3% it earned in the last federal election in 2021.

In the eastern German states of Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia, the AfD is leading the polls ahead of upcoming elections this fall. This continued rise in popularity has sparked both concern and debate across the country.

Controversies Surrounding the AfD

One of the catalysts for recent protests against the AfD was a report released by media outlet Correctiv. The report highlighted an alleged far-right meeting that took place in November, attended by individuals associated with the extremist Identitarian Movement and members of the AfD. During the meeting, Austrian citizen Martin Sellner presented his “remigration” vision, advocating for deportation policies.

Although the AfD has attempted to distance itself from the extremist gathering, claiming no organizational or financial links and asserting that attendees participated in a personal capacity, the party has faced scrutiny and criticism. Alice Weidel, one of the AfD’s co-leaders, has even severed ties with an advisor who attended the event while condemning the news coverage.

Support for Protests

Prominent German politicians and elected officials have expressed their support for the ongoing protests against the rise of the AfD. Leaders from various major parties across the political spectrum have united in their opposition to the party’s growing influence.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasized the importance of defending democracy in a video statement, declaring, “The future of our democracy does not depend on the volume of its opponents, but on the strength of those who defend democracy.” He applauded those who have taken to the streets to voice their concerns, acknowledging their role in protecting the republic and its constitution from its enemies.

The political landscape in Germany remains dynamic and the upcoming elections will undoubtedly shape the future direction of the country.

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