Yesterday local newspaper Münchner Merkur published an article – with picture taken by me – reporting PEGIDA board-member and co-founder of PEGIDA Munich e.V. Heinz M. is suspect in a counter-terrorism investigation. Last night between 200 and 300 had come to demonstrate against the “islamisation” of Munich and refugees. Amongst PEGIDA demonstrators once again was the convicted neo-nazi terrorist Thomas Schatt, with him Ramazan S. – known from the turkish ultranationalist demonstration – and Petra K. that has attacked counter demonstrators before.
As the demonstration started police tried to keep pressphotographers out of the PEGIDA cage – to “not provoke” PEGIDA members. After some discussion and 15 minutes later colleagues and me were guided in, accompanied by police. Due to this fact I was not able to document the terror suspect Heinz M. that held a speech first also commenting on the investigations against him. As colleagues and I were standing by the crowd of racists, Thomas Schatt, Ramazan S. and Petra K. followed by some eager PEGIDA members kept walking up to us, getting very close, shouting at us and trying to convince police to kick us out of the PEGIDA cage. After some argueing police pushed back the pesterers. PEGIDA then started its march through the inner city of Munich – chanting: “Wir sind das Volk!”
— 24mmjournalism (@24mmjournalism) 5. Oktober 2015
The march through the city stayed relatively calm.
Back at Odeonsplatz absurd things happened:
As twittered by local politician Dominik Krause, a colleague got reported to police for supposedly hurting terror suspect Heinz M. by triggering his flash.
Polizei nimmt gerade allen Ernstes Personalien eines Fotografen auf. Wegen Körperverletzung: der Blitz hat Pegida-Teilnehmer geblendet.
— Dominik Krause (@dominik_krause) 5. Oktober 2015
For weeks the situation for photographers at PEGIDA has been getting worse. Not being able to document from inside the cage how convicted neonazis stand in front of the historically charged Feldhernnhalle. Being attacked by PEGIDA members with flags and police telling to “not provoke” by taking pictures. Is this the end to freedom of press in Munich? Is it not possible for photographers to take pictures without being harassed and reported to police for triggering a flash due to the darkness?
My small set of pictures for last night:
Available as usual on Demotix – http://www.demotix.com/news/8726714/pegida-rally-munich-board-member-under-scrutiny