Neo-nazi violence in Finland

This video from Finland says about itself:


3 August 2015

A radical nazi youth movement, called SVL Youth Department took over the Pasila Railway Station in Finland’s capital city Helsinki. It’s supposed that the event was an objection to “We Have a Dream” or “Meillä on Unelmapro-multiculturalism concert, that took place last week.

Finnish politician Olli Immonen is the head of the Suomen Vastarintaliike or “Finnish Resistance Movement”.

Neo-nazi violence … not just in Germany … and in Ukraine.

By Jordan Shilton:

Neo-fascist rally exposes Finnish government’s ties to extreme right

1 September 2015

A rally of around 40 members of the neo-Nazi Finnish Resistance Movement took place last month in the town of Jyväskylä, resulting in over 30 arrests as the extreme right-wing demonstrators assaulted passers-by and clashed with police.

The group, which espouses white supremacism and a united Nordic nation, attacked three people at a department store, before the group sought to proceed towards the city centre. One of the victims was the plaintiff in a case involving Finnish Resistance movement members who carried out a stabbing in Jyväskylä in 2013, suggesting that the individual was deliberately targeted.

The government responded by calling for a general clampdown on “extremist” organisations, including through the expansion of surveillance programmes. “This is a sign that extremist movements are also rising in Finland. It is clear that we must enhance and increase the monitoring of these organisations,” commented Interior Minister Petteri Orpo.

Five members of the Finnish Resistance Movement have been detained pending charges of violent rioting and possession of firearms. This includes Juusu Tahvanainen, the leader of the group, who has a previous conviction for assaulting a politician during the 2011 election campaign. Two members of the Swedish Resistance Movement, a sister organisation in neighbouring Sweden, are also in custody.

Although the authorities sought to cast the incident as a surprise, the truth is that right-wing extremist sentiments have been stoked by the political establishment, above all the far-right Finns Party, which is currently the second largest party in government.

Just a week before the violent scenes in Jyväskylä, Finns Party MP Olli Immonen caused an uproar with a nationalist and racist online post calling for a struggle to secure Finland for the Finns. Immonen wrote that he was “dreaming of a strong, brave nation that will defeat this nightmare called multiculturalism. This ugly bubble that our enemies live in will soon enough burst into a million little pieces.” He continued, “These are the days that will forever leave a mark on our nation’s future. I have strong belief in my fellow fighters. We will fight until the end for our homeland and one true Finnish nation. The victory will be ours.”

Despite Immonen’s denial that the statement was pre-planned, it came only two days after the anniversary of fascist mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s shooting of 69 youth on the Norwegian island of Utøya on July 22, 2011. Police refused to launch a criminal investigation into Immonen’s comments and did not even consider any possible link between his rant and the violent riot that broke out the following Saturday. In a statement released by lead investigator Detective Chief Superintendent Tero Haapala, the police said that Immonen had not targeted a specific group and that he posted comments afterwards to “clarify the content and limit the interpretation” of his ultra-nationalist rant.

Immonen enjoys very public ties with the neo-Nazi group. In June, he posed for a photograph at a ceremony with Finnish Resistance Movement members. After he posted the pictures online, he received merely a verbal warning from the Finns Party parliamentary group leader.

After several days of silence following Immonen’s latest remarks, Finns leader Timo Soini refused to call for any disciplinary action against the MP. “The parliamentary group led by Sampo Terho will decide on that later,” he said. “I think they will go over him with a fine-toothed comb.” Soini dismissed the connection with the Utøya massacre as a “coincidence,” according to Yle, the Finnish public broadcasting company.

Immonen’s latest outburst drew widespread opposition from the population, with over 15,000 gathering in Helsinki for a rally for diversity. Up to a thousand people gathered to demonstrate against racism in Turku on August 8, to coincide with the Finns Party congress held the same day. Finns Party officials were forced to call off a planned rally in the city.

In his address to the party’s 20th anniversary congress, Soini claimed that there was no place for extremists in his organisation. In reality, the party’s ties to right-wing extremists are well known. In late 2013, the Finns were compelled to expel MP James Hirvisaari, who took a picture of a friend performing a Nazi salute at the parliament building and posted it online. In 2012, Hirvisaari defended a proposal by one of his parliamentary aides to mandate that non-Finns wear armbands, to make it easier for the police to identify them.

The Finns entered government for the first time after April’s elections, joining the Centre Party and conservative National Coalition Party (NCP). Soini’s party ran an explicitly xenophobic and nationalist campaign, while the party’s traditional anti-European Union message was toned down.

None of the mainstream parties have raised any criticism of the Finns’ extremist ties. In their reaction to Immonen’s comments, Centre Party leader and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and NCP leader and Finance Minister Alexander Stubb were careful to avoid associating their coalition partner with such reactionary positions.

The strengthening of the extreme right in Finland comes at a time of growing tensions in the region, as the United States seeks to integrate the Nordic countries into its drive to isolate and encircle Russia. Helsinki has taken a series of aggressive military moves over recent months, beginning with the signing of a Nordic defence agreement in April together with the other Scandinavian countries, aimed explicitly at Moscow. In May, the army wrote to reservists giving them instructions on their deployment in the event of war; and in late June it was revealed that rapid deployment units had quietly been established to patrol areas near the 1,300-kilometre border with Russia.

The political establishment views the encouragement of right-wing nationalist sentiments as a useful means of scapegoating immigrants for Finland’s deepening economic crisis. Economic output has contracted for three years in a row, and unemployment currently stands at over 11 percent.

Sipilä, a multi-millionaire and former businessman who is committed to devastating austerity measures and deepening the country’s ties with the Western NATO military alliance, justified bringing the Finns into government with the need to form a strong government to implement its programme. One of his headline policies is the slashing of labour costs, which he has vowed to reduce by 5 percent by 2019. He has threatened an additional €1.5 billion in budget cuts if the trade union bureaucracy does not reach a new labour relations agreement with business. Some measures already announced include the freezing of pensions, cuts to day care programmes, and a reduction in funding for education.

The Centre Party-led government was a staunch supporter of Germany’s hardline position in the negotiations over a deal with the Syriza government in Greece. Finland was one of the countries that backed German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s proposal to temporarily suspend Greece from the eurozone. A government policy document published on the web site of the Finnish parliament in late July declared that, “a sustainable solution for Greece’s financial problems can be found in the option where Greece is temporarily outside the European monetary union.”

While Soini previously opposed further bailouts, he shifted his position and gave his support last week to the final agreement with Athens. Indicating his determination to force through similarly devastating cuts domestically, he justified his about-face by saying that it was more important to keep the current Finnish government in office than to bring it down over the Greek deal.

The author also recommends:

Finland establishes rapid response units to patrol Russian border
[28 July 2015]

Ukrainian Svoboda neo-nazis kill three National Guardsmen

This video, by the (pro-present Kyiv government) Euromaidan PR says about itself:

Grenade Blasted Near Verkhovna Rada In Kiev Ukraine

31 August 2015

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Officer killed as far right clashes with Kiev police

Tuesday 1st September 2015

CLASHES erupted between Kiev police and members of the far-right Svoboda Party yesterday, with one officer being killed by a grenade.

Alongside the even more extreme neonazi Right Sector, Svoboda played a key role in overthrowing the elected Viktor Yanukovych government in 2014 and replacing it with the current regime.

It has also assisted Kiev in its war against anti-fascist resistance in Donbass — but has grown increasingly prone to turning on the authorities when it doesn’t get its way.

Parliament was discussing constitutional reforms that Svoboda opposes when masked thugs carrying sticks and truncheons attacked police outside the building.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said there was “fierce competition” between the “clans” of the far right and noted that they had had tactical disagreements in their joint “dirty war in the Donbass” already.

Perhaps Svoboda was inspired by the violence of their fellow nazis in Heidenau and elsewhere in Germany …

Translated from daily De Volkskrant in the Netherlands:

Third death after riots in Kiev

The violent protests in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday killed another two military men. Two members of the National Guard died on Tuesday at the hospital from injuries they had sustained a day earlier when a grenade exploded in clashes between protesters and riot police. On Monday also a soldier had died.

September 1, 2015, 12:03

About 130 people are still in hospital, five of them critically injured. Eighteen people arrested on Monday were still in custody on Tuesday.

The riots broke out after the parliament voted for a bill which provides more independence to the regions that are in the hands of the pro-Russian rebels.

Supporters of ultra-nationalist parties like Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) and Svoboda (Freedom) then tried to storm the parliament building, but encountered a hedge of members of the National Guard. They attacked the guards with bottles and stones and beat them with clubs. The leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tjahnibok, also took part in the fighting. Earlier, he had vainly tried to sabotage the vote in parliament, along with the ultra-nationalist deputy Oleh Lyashko.

Refugees, the German government and neo-nazis

This video is about the big demonstration on 29 August 2015 in Dresden, Germany; against nazi anti-refugee violence and governmental anti-refugee policies helping xenophobia.

By Marianne Arens in Germany:

German interior minister plans further attacks on refugees

31 August 2015

After a number of fires at refugee camps over recent weeks, and the intimidation of asylum seekers by neo-Nazis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck belatedly issued an official statement last Wednesday.

Merkel visited the refugee camp in Heidenau, Saxony, where right-wing extremists ran riot over recent days, and declared her commitment to the humane treatment of refugees. Gauck also made an appearance in front of a refugee camp in Berlin and praised volunteers who were carrying out official tasks in their free time.

But these official media appearances as well as the condemnation of anti-immigrant chauvinism by the Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel—who described the neo-Nazi rioters as a “mob”—are aimed above all at diverting attention away from the government’s responsibility for the miserable conditions confronting refugees.

Not only does the German government bear joint responsibility for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, and the intolerable conditions in many regions from which millions are fleeing for their lives, but they are also consciously promoting anti-immigrant sentiments and placing as many hurdles as possible in the way of refugees.

Just a day before Merkel and Gauck publicly shed crocodile tears over the refugees, interior minister Thomas de Maizière sent a catalogue of wide-ranging legislative reforms to reduce levels of immigration to the other ministries for approval.

On Sunday both Merkel and de Maizière both stressed that deportation procedures against so-called “economic refugees,” i.e. those forced to flee their countries due to extreme poverty and destitution, would be intensified.

Refugees from so-called secure states of origin, including Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, will practically be imprisoned and immediately be deported. They will have to stay in refugee camps twice as long, i.e. six instead of three months and accept residency legislation, which means they can be deported at any time. Welfare for refugees is to be cut drastically, with what remains being provided mainly in the form of material aid rather than cash.

“In the view of the interior minister, accelerated legal proceedings for people who have little hope of asylum in Germany should send a signal to their countries—and thus restrict the flow [of refugees],” commented Spiegel Online, which had early access to the text of the proposals.

In another remarkable response to the developing crisis, the chairman of the Social Democrats (SPD) in Thuringia, Andreas Bausewein, went public with a major attack on the refugees. In an “open letter” to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Thuringia’s state premier Bodo Ramelow (Left Party), he demanded that the children of refugees be removed from the schools.

Bausewein demanded that children of refugees not be sent to school until their residency status, and that of their family, had been decided. In his own words, he called for a “suspension of the requirement to attend school until the determination of the residency status of the children/family, and no requirement to attend school during ongoing application, at least for asylum seekers from secure countries of origin.”

The number of children attending school without residency status was very high, the SPD politician complained. All children between six and sixteen years of age are sent to school after three months in Germany, but “the capacity of the schools has been overstretched.”

Bausewein’s demand undoubtedly violates the law. The obligation to attend school goes back to the Reformation and Martin Luther (1483-1546) and has been law in many parts of Germany for centuries.

Bausewein’s choice of an “open letter,” which he signed in his capacity as mayor of Erfurt, is, to put it mildly, remarkable. The SPD forms the government in Thuringia with the Left Party, so Bausewein could have spoken directly with Ramelow at any time. However, he is obviously concerned with the promotion of anti-immigrant sentiment and the encouragement of right-wing prejudices.

Bausewein also used his open letter to call for better surveillance of the refugees by expanding the financial resources for state security services. He wrote that the “recognition of the scale of surveillance deemed necessary by municipalities and the covering in full of the costs arising from this” was necessary.

In addition, Bausewein, like de Maizière, aims to arbitrarily strengthen asylum laws and make the laws, which are already extremely restrictive, as strict as possible. He demanded, “The existing list of secure countries of origin must be urgently reviewed and adjusted to the current situation…the departure of asylum seekers who have not been recognised as refugees, whose asylum applications have been rejected and who have no right to appeal, should proceed quickly and, if necessary, be enforced by deportations.”

Such language is hardly distinguishable from the crude “foreigners out!” cries of the radical right-wing agitators. Bausewein cynically adds that the reason for his initiative was that he “does not want to see another ‘Heidenau’—whether in Erfurt or any other city.” But in his letter, he is promoting precisely the sentiments that will encourage further racist attacks.

Bausewein is a leading Social Democrat. The 42-year-old mayor of Erfurt, who is an electrician by training with a diploma in social pedagogy, has been described as the “rising star of the SPD” (taz) or a “dyed-in-the-wool SPD” politician (MDR). He was formerly state leader of the young Social Democrats (Jusos) and an employee of the German confederation of trade unions (DGB). Since October 2014, he has served as state chairman of the SPD in Thuringia.

His latest intervention underscores once again the source of anti-immigrant acts: the establishment politicians who promote and facilitate them. They greet exhausted refugees upon arrival with bullying, repressive measures and intimidation, providing encouragement to the neo-Nazis. They attempt to divide the population and smother widespread sympathy for the refugees.

The measures being deployed against refugees today will confront the entire working class tomorrow: unprecedented attacks on basic democratic rights, such as the right to education. In Greece, democratic rights have already been trampled underfoot by the German government.

At the same time, under the pretext of combatting the causes for the growing number of refugees, the German government is preparing new imperialist wars and military interventions in the Middle East and Africa.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is using the refugee crisis to prepare a major deployment of the army within Germany. The armed forces will participate in the accommodation of refugees nationwide. Barracks are being revamped into refugee camps and soldiers brought in to carry out tasks normally assigned to civil authorities, such as registering refugees: here.

Syrian refugees welcome in Iceland: here.

Big anti-nazi march in Germany

A demonstrator in Dresden, Germany holds a sign that reads ‘refugees welcome’ on Saturday. Photograph: Oliver Killig/dpa/Corbis

From AFP news agency:

German pro-immigrant protest welcomes asylum seekers to Dresden

Anti-Nazi Alliance organisers estimate 5,000 people took part in march through Pegida stronghold in response to rightwing protests against migrants

Sunday 30 August 2015 01.05 BST

Thousands of people took to the streets of the German city of Dresden on Saturday to send a message of welcome to refugees after a string of violent anti-migrant protests in the region.

Led by protesters holding a huge banner that read “Prevent the pogroms of tomorrow today”, the crowds marched peacefully through the eastern city under the watch of police in riot gear.

“Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” they chanted.

Police said 1,000 people took part in the protest, which was called by the Anti-Nazi Alliance, while organisers put the numbers at 5,000.

Dresden is the stronghold of the anti-Islam Pegida movement, whose demonstrations drew up to 25,000 people at the start of the year.

The eastern state of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital, has suffered a series of ugly anti-migrant protests, with the government saying on Friday it was sending police reinforcements to the state.

“We’re here because what is happening in Germany, particularly in Saxony, is unbearable,” said Eva Mendl, a teacher who was among the demonstrators.

“Hating refugees, who live here because they can no longer live at home, because they have been through a war … that shouldn’t happen in a rich country,” she added.

Afterwards, several hundred participants in the rally gathered in the nearby town of Heidenau, which has been the theatre of protests over the opening of a new refugee centre.

Local authorities had initially banned all outdoor public gatherings in the town of 16,000 this weekend, fearing a repeat of last weekend’s clashes between police and far-right protesters in which several dozen people were injured.

But the federal constitutional court on Saturday struck down the ban, paving the way for the pro-refugee rally, which passed off peacefully, with refugees and their supporters dancing together in the street.

Germany is struggling to absorb a vast wave of asylum seekers that is expected to reach a record 800,000 this year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was booed by far-right activists during a visit to Heidenau’s new refugee centre this week, with about 200 people shouting “traitor, traitor” at her.

Nazi violence, anti-nazi pro refugee demonstration in Germany

Welcome party for refugees in Heidenau, Germany

This video is about the welcome party for refugees from wars in Heidenau, Germany, yesterday. The caption of the photo says (translated):

The deputy leader of the Left Party, Caren Lay, takes part in the welcoming party in Heidenau. She said: “I am delighted that the festival can take place thanks to the court decision, the Saxon CDU [‘center right’ governing party] has once again demonstrated their complete failure in the asylum policy. And because they have been doing nothing for years when one needs to combat the right-wing mob, it bears partial responsibility for the situation!”

Translated from weekly stern in Germany today:

Pirna – In Pirna in Saxony an office of the Left Party has been attacked in the night. Unknown attackers destroyed in the district office five window panes and damaged the front door, as police in Dresden said. Whether there is a connection with the xenophobic protests in neighboring Heidenau, the police could not say. Heidenau itself has remained calm after protests by the far right. Left-wing groups in Dresden have called for a demonstration today for the protection of refugees and against the government’s asylum policy in Germany.

See also here.

German neo-nazis, the political establishment and anti-refugee violence

This video says about itself:

Germany: Protesters march for refugee rights as Interior Minister arrives in Magdeburg

25 August 2015

Refugees and pro-refugee activists took part in a “March against racist asylum laws” in Magdeburg, Tuesday, marching from the city centre to the Regiocom GmbH headquarters where German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere made an appearance.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

Attacks on refugee camp encouraged by German government’s right-wing policies

26 August 2015

Right-wing extremists attacked refugee accommodations over the weekend in the small town of Heidenau near Dresden. Over three successive nights they repeatedly attacked police and left-wing counter-demonstrators with fireworks and stones, all while chanting Nazi slogans.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU) Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrats, SPD) and other politicians released official statements in which they condemned the violence against refugees. But the crocodile tears being shed cannot disguise the fact that the state apparatus and the German government’s right-wing policies contributed considerably to the violence.

The attacks came as no surprise; the fascist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) registered a demonstration to pass through Heidenau on Friday. On social media and in forums, right-wing extremists urged “blockades” and “civil war” to stop the plan to open the housing for refugees over the weekend.

Despite this, only 135 police officers were present. Encouraged by this balance of forces, between 600 and 1,000 right-wing extremist demonstrators entered the empty warehouse, which was due to begin accommodating asylum seekers on Saturday. They attacked police with stones and fireworks, injuring 31 officers. Nazi and anti-immigrant slogans were repeatedly chanted, such as “We are the people,” “Foreigners Out!” and “national resistance.” “Sieg Heil!” calls were also heard.

Even after this experience, the contingent of police was strengthened by 40 to 175 officers for the opening of the accommodation on Saturday. In addition, 150 people gathered in front of the building to demonstrate their solidarity with the refugees.

After right-wing extremists once again gathered at the warehouse on Saturday evening, throwing stones and fireworks, the police called on the supporters of the refugees to end their demonstration on the grounds that their security could not be guaranteed. In subsequent clashes, more police were injured. The first refugees were brought into the accommodation under police escort.

On Sunday, a large contingent of officers was deployed, two water cannons were set up and a so-called control zone was established in a 500-metre radius around the camp, within which police could search individuals merely on suspicion, issue expulsions, and ban people from the area.

But the state power was ultimately deployed more against counter-demonstrators who had travelled to the town from Leipzig and Dresden, rather than the right-wing vandals. As the protesters clashed with right-wing extremists at a petrol station, the police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets, and according to eyewitnesses forced the left-wing demonstrators to the train station and onto trains. There were no further attacks on the refugee centre on Sunday.

Confronted with this chronology of events, the question is posed: to what extent were the attacks encouraged by the Saxony state government, or at least tolerated by it? Shaghayegh, a 30-year-old activist from the Asylum Seekers Movement who was in the area on Friday and Saturday, said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung that even the choice of accommodation had been dubious.

“The question we are asking ourselves is why accommodate refugees in a town like this,” Shaghayegh said. Heidenau has a strong right-wing scene. At the most recent town council elections, the NPD secured 7.5 percent of the vote. In addition, the warehouse, left unoccupied for two years, is not a fit place for people to live in. A total of 600 refugees are to be housed in one large room.

Similar scenes played out 15 kilometres away in the state capital, Dresden. According to doctors, at a tent camp for 800 refugees that was established earlier this year, human rights were trampled underfoot. There were insufficient sanitary facilities and inadequate medical care.

The NPD organised demonstrations in July against the refugees in Dresden. Left-wing counter-demonstrators were attacked by right-wing extremists, and several counter-demonstrators were seriously injured.

These are not isolated cases. According to official government figures, there were 200 attacks on refugee centres during the first six months of the year. Remarkably, 42 of them took place in Saxony. However, the state takes in only around 5 percent of all refugees.

The reason for this is that the connections between the government and the right-wing extremist milieu are particularly close in Saxony. The judiciary, police and domestic intelligence agency have been targeting Nazi elements for years, while the right-wing extremists continue with their activities unhindered.

Last year, the right-wing Pegida movement was systematically built up. The anti-Islamic group, which had its centre in Dresden, immediately won the support of the state office for political education. Along with SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel, several members of the state government spoke out in favour of a “dialogue” with the right-wing radicals.

In addition, the government of Saxony has adopted the programme of the far right in recent years. Two weeks ago, Saxony CDU General Secretary Michael Kretschmer welcomed the Hungarian plan to build a 175-kilometre long fence along its border with Serbia.

The state spokesman for interior affairs in the CDU, Christian Hartmann, even called for the reintroduction of border controls within the European Union. Last year, Saxony’s interior minister Markus Ulbig urged the creation of a special police unit to target asylum seekers committing criminal offences.

The ability of the neo-Nazi mob to run riot again in Germany is the direct product of these right-wing politics, not only at state level but also throughout the country. Right-wing extremist forces have been encouraged by a refugee policy that is openly based on deterrence.

The unrest involving ultra right-wing elements has in turn been exploited by politicians and the media to justify renewed attacks on refugees. Even as the violence in Heidenau continued, Peter Karstens published a comment in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung headlined “The downside of the open culture.” In it he criticised the fact that, “in a climate of misunderstood tolerance and laziness,” politicians for years had avoided “deporting rejected asylum seekers.”

Then he cited the interior spokesman for the CDU/Christian Social Union parliamentary faction, Stefan Mayer, who said, “The inadequate level of deportations of rejected asylum seekers is one of the main problems in overcoming the tense asylum seeker situation.”

The foul propaganda against refugees and immigrants can only be understood in a broader political context. A policy is being carried out against refugees, in collaboration with right-wing forces, which is in reality aimed against all workers. The basic social and democratic rights denied to refugees today will be called into question in general tomorrow. A policy like that being imposed by the German government in Greece, and the preparation of new wars, are not compatible with democratic rights for the working class.

It is thus all the more cynical when representatives of all the establishment political parties respond to attacks on refugees by calling for the further strengthening of the state apparatus, which is itself responsible for organising the misery faced by refugees.

Saxony’s representative for external affairs, Geert Mackenroth (CDU), has already announced the deployment of “professional security services”, as well as video surveillance and bans on demonstrations. Such security services have been in the headlines many times over the past year for torturing and severely abusing refugees.

FOLLOWING THE SEA OF EUROPEAN MIGRANTS Documenting the mass exodus from the Middle East and Afghanistan. [NYT]

Around 50 refugees and asylum seekers were found dead in the hold of a boat off the coast of Libya Wednesday morning. While rescuers were able to save 439 other people on board, the latest reports indicated that 51 people had died: here.

Up To 50 Refugees Suffocate In Back Of Truck In Austria, Local Media Says: here.

AUSTRIAN MIGRANT TRUCK HORROR WORSENS Investigators say more than 70 bodies have been found in an truck abandoned on the Austrian autobahn. The refugees most likely suffocated to death. [Reuters]

Neo-nazis attack pro-refugee Germans

Pro-refugee demonstrators in Heidenau, Germany, with 'Stop nazis' sign, photo by Florian Boillot

Translated from daily Junge Welt in Germany today, about yesterday evening 23 August 2015, in Heidenau town near Dresden, where neo-nazis had earlier violently attacked refugees from the war in Syria and police:

Again, only 170 police officers were deployed. With little preparation there were about 250 anti-fascists in the town to demonstrate against the right-wing violence. Every now and then, refugees dared to come out of the shelter and to thank the demonstrators for their solidarity. Police concentrated their attention on the leftist demonstrators while meanwhile in the background violent hooligans and neo-Nazis prepared a new attack.

Repeated shouting of “Sieg Heil” [Third Reich slogan, illegal in Germany] and other provocations were not punished by police. Instead, the police announced they were no longer able to guarantee security. By nightfall, the situation had become more threatening, said photojournalist Christian Ditsch against jW. … Shortly before 23 o’clock up to 150 neo-Nazis attacked in a coordinated way anti-fascists and police. Stones, bottles and dangerous fireworks flew. “The police took no action against that, they were afraid”, Ditsch continued. At least this time one violent perpetrator was arrested [which had not happened during earlier nazi anti-refugee violence in Heidenau].

Pro-refugee demonstrators in Heidenau