Germany: Antifa Blocks AfD Conference

The far right anti- immigration Alternative for Germany  (AfD) party conference was delayed for several hours on Saturday due to protests in the city of Hanover. One of the antifascist call-outs for protest stated:

Driven by the grand coalition of CDU and SPD, open authoritarianism has become acceptable again in recent years. The racist negotiation of migration movements in Europe (…), abolition of the right to strike by the Collective Bargaining Act passed under the applause of the unions are just some examples of it. The illegal undermining of fundamental rights during the G20 summit in Hamburg under the supervision of a red-green Senate, as well as the subsequent staging of a closed “popular front” against “left-wing extremism”  was used to legitimize state repression. The increasingly repressive nation-state policy with its particularly violent claim to domination and exploitation, and the deadly force of German foreign policy between border regimes and expansion are, in addition to many others, an expression of the current authoritarian escalation. The AfD and its party congress are a symbol and symptom, but their success is also the product of those majority-capable conditions that are responsible for this state and its fans and are currently still managed by the Union and the SPD. We therefore take the party convention of the AfD as an opportunity to protest against this situation. (Source: Antifa Infamous)

The actions in Hanover began on Friday evening, a day ahead of the AfD party conference. On Saturday, about 6,500 participants took part in protests, amongst them Antifa and trade unions. Despite the freezing temperatures, the protests, largely peaceful, carried on throughout the day. Demonstrators, bearing banners with slogans such as “Hanover against the nazis”, “Say No to Racism”, and “Our Hanover: Colorful and in Solidarity”, successfully blocked the Hanover Conference Center, where the AfD was meeting, for seven hours.

The police resorted to using water cannons, batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. Several protestors were injured, and one person, who was chained to a barrier, had their leg broken while being dragged away by the cops.

Launched as a populist anti-euro party in 2013, the AfD  achieved a remarkable success in German elections in September. With slogans such as “Bikinis Not Burkas”, “Stop Islamization”, and “Merkel must go”, it managed to bring 94 MPs to German Parliament, and was supported by 13% of the electorate. It also is represented in 14 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments, but has been shunned as a potential partner at the national level by the mainstream parties. It is however the first far-right party which entered Germany’s parliament in almost six decades.

Pics: Fast Forward Hannover

 

 

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