In recent days, tens of thousands of people have demonstrated against the AfD in major German cities. The demonstrations are a reflection of “Correctiv's” research into a right-wing extremist gathering in Potsdam, in which AfD politicians were also involved. Among other things, it concerns plans for mass deportations of people with a migrant background. Classification by SRF Germany correspondent Simone Fatzer.
Simone Fatser has worked for Radio SRF since 1998, as host of the program “Ekko der Zeit” and as Document Manager for Germany. He has been a correspondent in Berlin since September 2021.
Why are anti-AfD protests so popular?
This issue is of great concern to people in Germany – it is pushing civil society, from young people to the elderly, into tens of thousands of streets in various cities. It shows the growing political pressure against the right wing and people's desire to defend democracy. The thought of the threat to Germany if right-wing extremists come to power obviously worries them greatly. The meeting at Potsdam, which was made public by the “Corrective”, led many to feel compelled to publicly set an example in the spirit of “defending the beginning”.
Right-wing extremist gathering in Potsdam
As stated therein Search for “Edit”. Last November, AfD politicians met with neo-Nazis and big business owners to talk about “immigration” plans. It was about the deportation and expulsion of millions of people from Germany. These plans are not secret in themselves; The AfD is using them to advertise for European parliamentary elections in the spring. Nevertheless, media reports have now led to the right-wing and tens of thousands of demonstrators mobilizing in various German cities.
What about a possible ban on the AfD?
An online petition has now been launched demanding that right-wing Thuringian AfD politician Björn Höcke be stripped of his basic political rights. Over 1.2 million signatures Collected. However, it is not easy to deprive a person of these rights. It has been attempted four times in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, but has failed legally each time. Opponents of the idea fear it will make martyrs of Höcke and the AfD. Additionally, opponents of the ban say the AfD should be challenged on its content. But it has so far been more difficult for other parties, especially when it comes to the issue of migration.
What impact can we expect on the election?
A “super election year” is coming up in Germany: EU elections in June, and elections in the eastern German states of Thuringia, Saxony and Brandenburg in the fall. According to polls, the AfD currently has 40 percent of the vote there. That is why the protests against the AfD are unlikely to end so soon – and they will influence the content and tone of other parties. Would be interesting: Are the nodes getting harder? What impact do protests have on electoral mobilization? Does this make some voters more anxious about voting for the AfD and will Sahra Wagenknecht's new party benefit from this? The only thing that seems certain is that there will be a title.
The government supports anti-rights struggles
Chancellor Olaf Schalz welcomed the demonstrations across Germany against “racism and hate speech”. “I am grateful that today tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Germany – against racism, hate speech and our free democracy” X wrote the chancellor on stage. That gives courage and shows: “Many of us are democrats – more than separatists,” he added.
More rallies are planned in the coming days, including in Frankfurt. Scholz himself took part in one such rally in Potsdam last Saturday – along with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach. (Reuters)
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”