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  • March against racism and xenophobia in Chemnitz, Aug. 31, 2018.

    March against racism and xenophobia in Chemnitz, Aug. 31, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 1 September 2018
Opinion

"This is not your country. These are not your streets. Here, Hitler's salute is not made and no one is persecuted for his appearance or for his origin."

Under the slogan of "Heart instead of Persecution" ("Herz statt Hetze" in German), dozens of organizations have come together in the eastern city of Chemnitz, Germany to demonstrate that the Saxon city is an open space that can accept immigrants and counter the anti-immigrant marches held by right-wing groups in the past week.

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Over 70 organizations have called on the German society to take to the streets at the same time that alt-right movements are planning to protest against immigrants. The anti-fascist demonstration aims to avoid the political "instrumentalization" of the murder of a German citizen, allegedly by two immigrants, for which the far-right is calling for the "hunt of foreign criminals" and the closing of borders.

Since last Sunday, protests sparked in the city of Chemnitz after the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German man, allegedly, at the hands of a Syrian and an Iraqi Saturday night. Several clashes between right-wing, anti-migrant groups and left-wing counterprotesters have resulted in the injury of several people.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Tuesday, condemned the violent far-right protests that are directing racist attacks against foreign-looking people, saying "hate in the streets" has no place in Germany. 

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Authorities anticipate that Saturday's protest could end in violence, so, the central government has sent police reinforcements to Chemnitz from Berlin and other regions in Germany.

Nazi salutes were reportedly seen at Monday's rally in the German eastern city.  A new poll for broadcaster ZDF showed 76 percent of Germans see far-right extremists as posing a danger to German democracy, Reuters reported.

An open letter has been circulating on social media, in which it is highlighted that the right-wing movements do not represent Germany.

"This is not your country. These are not your streets. Here, Hitler's salute is not made and no one is persecuted for his appearance or for his origin," could be read in the letter.

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