PEGIDA Munich – photographer handcuffed

Once again I visited PEGIDA Munich to cover neo-nazi participants and capture footage for my long-term documentary about the Munich branch of the the movement founded a little more than a year ago in Dresden.
[Cover picture:]


As I entered the PEGIDA cage for the first five minutes I was able to just walk around, count participants take some wide-angle shots of the (shrinking) mass of -as they call themselves-“Spaziergänger” [roughly: hikers].  Only minutes later Rolf H. spotted me. Famous from my recently published video “Ich hab eine Fahne!” – “I have a flag”:

Rolf H. first started bothering me, walked around for minutes and then spotted a colleague and me. As we were both filming – here is the video of him bothering us and getting close-up to our cameras:

As this happened a Munich Police Departement press official approached and explained to Rolf H. that his actions were unlawful. Mr H. reaction was to block me from taking pictures few meters further away and explain loudly to the press official that I am an opponent and have to leave. In the end I stayed.

PEGIDA March Blocked 3 Times

As the last two weeks Munich citizens decided to try to block PEGIDA Munich. All three roadblocks were pushed to one side of the street. Only at the first roadblock Munich riot police officers showed their usual behavior of just brutally pulling and/or beating counter protest off the streets. At the second roadblock a Police Chief asked people to remove themselves off the street in a almost funny way – telling them that they might catch a cold sitting on the streets when the weather is this bad. Wen the third roadblock happened coordination by Munich Police Departement did not work at all. An officer was constantly telling demonstrators to remove themselves to their right side. At the same time on the counter protests right side USK riot police lined up and pushed everybody back as they tried to actually leave the roadblock. As PEGIDA passed by the third roadblock I witnessed Petra K. – known from Hooligan structures and neo-nazi marches, attacked counter-protest before – how she was openly speaking about her wish to violently attack antifacist activists:

“…einen Tritt in die Fresse … batz”
[roughly: “… kick them in the face … batz …”

Alongside with that she moved her leg as if she was kicking someone.

No violent neo-nazis at PEGIDA?

Photographer Handcuffed

As PEGIDA re-entered the “cage” a group of photographers tried to follow – police officers instructed us that it has to be enough to document the situation from outside the PEGIDA cage. As all photographers in the group have been documenting PEGIDA on a long-term basis and this has happened before we tried to discuss with the police officers and get them to call the press official. Shortly after asking for this the officers stopped reacting to anything asked and started closing the cage. I tried to document the situation. One official then ran after me tried to grab my camera shouting something like:

“… jetzt nehma dem alles weg…”
[roughly: “…now we will take all his stuff away…”

After catching up with me he explained to me that taking pictures of police officers at all is illegal. At the same time a colleague was taken into custody. Supposedly he offended police officers. He was then handcuffed which is not usual treatment for somebody offending someone else on a demonstration. As I documented the situation riot police officers issued an expulsion against me. This is also the reason why I was not able to document neo-nazis gathering in front of the Feldherrnhalle once again.


My Videoreport from Monday Evening