On September 24th Germany will elect its federal government. The players in the race for the parliament are mostly well known. The candidates for the chancellorship have been touring throughout Germany to gather their followers. It is the first time that the far-right AfD has a realistic chance of getting more than 5% of the votes – necessary to become member of the german parliament. Mischief, anger and resignation have led to people following far-right populism, searching for easy answers to complex problems, fueling racism and far-right hate-crimes. During the campaign followers of the AfD as well as of the non-parliamentary far-right have repetitively disturbed chancellor Merkel’s rallies. Our team followed through on the rallies in the region around Munich to show the always same schema and tactics used. The same activists show up, whistle, scream and attack press.
Festzelt Trudering – Saturday May 27th
The beginning of Angela Merkel’s campaign was held in Trudering. On site a group of at the most 50 disturbers gathered, holding up signs and whistling at Merkel. The Identitarian Movement failed epical trying to hold up a banner during Merkel’s speech – CSU followers ripped away the far-rights groups cloth. See some impressions from Trudering below.
Klostergarten Passau – Monday September 18th
The CSU held a rally in the beautiful city of Passau located close to the Austrian border. In 2015 Passau was one of the first places for refugees to arrive in Germany. Far-right AfD called their followers for a rally under the motto “Merkel muss weg!”. Some 20 appeared. Two women wearing Burka held up signs and were holding “mute protest”. One of them was local AfD politician Katrin Ebner-Steiner. Posting a selfie in Burka on her Instagram gave away her identity during the rally. We tried to talk to her and other protestors about politics, their protest and trying to unmask the far-right rethorics and motives behind their rallies. We were not answered, but just ignored. Local police are now filing an investigation against Ebner-Steiner for hiding her face on a political rally. She was arrested on site.
Watch our short clip on the situation on site:
Marienplatz Munich – Friday September 22nd
The last rally of Merkel before the elections on Sunday took place in Munich. Several thousand gathered on Munich Marienplatz. A variety of groups protested during the visit of chancellor Merkel. Other than in Passau and several other cities, Greenpeace and left activists gathered as well as the far-right group. Greenpeace was drawing attention to the problem with cars fueled by Diesel. Peaceful the group held up signs and had a balloon. Left activists were drawing a focus on migration politics – stating support with refugees – and politics in the context of the Syrian war. Shortly before Merkel arrived followers of AfD, Identitarian Movement, PEGIDA, Der III. Weg and other far-right groups gathered on Marienplatz. Our team was not able to interview people this time. We were spit- and cussed-at. The group was whistling very loudly, holding up signs. The aggression by the group – amongst them PEGIDA leader Heinz Meyer – under investigation in terror cases – was very tense.
To get an impression about the very tense situation on Marienplatz – watch our short no comment clip:
All in all, after the events one thing can be noticed: The AfD calls its followers for protest and the who-is-who of the far-right scene shows up. As one interview partner in Passau said:
“Hinter der AfD vereint sich die gesamte patriotische Bewegung!”
(Behind the AfD the whole patriotic movement is united)
On Sunday AfD – therefore racist politics, islamophobia, homophobia, etc. – will probably get into the German parliament. A prospect for the next four years is hard to imagine.