PEGIDA Munich March 6th – Spraypainted Swastika & Thirteen Arrests

On March 6th the Munich branch of the racist PEGIDA movement gathered for a rally on Karlsplatz, Status in the city-center of Munich. Only 40 participants had come to join the protest. PEGIDA Munich has already shown in the past that they have no problem with confessing neo-nazis amongst them. A swastika was freshly spray-painted only a few meters off the demonstration. Opponents were arrested for approaching a group of neo-nazis standing a little off the rally.

Thirteen Arrests

Minutes after the PEGIDA rally began a group of neo-nazis that attend the demonstrations on a very regular basis showed up. Instead of joining the rally surrounded by a cage the group stood a little off. Soon the neo-nazis were discovered by counter-protestors. Those then approached with banners and shouted slogans. As the groups got into contact three of the neo-nazis pushed into the banners. Police forces intervened. Thirteen opponents were arrested and charged with breach of the peace. The neo-nazis were accompanied to the PEGIDA rally. This is especially precarious because members of exact this group have run into counter-protests of PEGIDA with banners several time. This led to clashes.

Freshly Spraypainted Swastika

Just minutes later two journalists discovered a freshly spray-painted swastika near were the neo-nazi group stood earlier. The paint was still wet. After reporting this to police officers standing by the two journalists were searched for spray cans. In a later given statement by press officer Markus Da Gloria Martins this lead to a discharge of the two. The swastika was later-on removed. During the same time the group of neo-nazis participated in the rally. Only one hour later two of them were controlled. If this search and interrogation is in connection to the clash or the spray-painting is unknown.

Short reportage about March 6th at PEGIDA Munich

All in all a freshly spray-painted symbol of hatred close to a PEGIDA rally seems very revealing.

PEGIDA Munich – Tatjana Festerling visits Munich [Picture Gallery]

PEGIDA Munich marches once again on August 1st 2016. Tatjana Festerling that made it to newspapers recently for travelling to European borders and going after refugees visited the Munich branch of the racist movement. Her speech in Munich was deeply filled with hatred e.g. she demanded that “…the autochtonal inhabitants of Germany should weaponize themselves as much as possible…” and also said refugees are conducting a genocide of the german “Volk”. Dan Eising affiliated with “Die Rechte” was in charge as PEGIDA marshall during the march. On Monday night this article was published in local newspaper Münchner Merkur. The Bavarian minister of the interior warns that right wing extremists aew taking the lead at PEGIDA. Festerling speaking and Dan Eising as marshall are just two more examples that neo-nazis, racists and antisemits are warmly welcome at PEGIDA Munich.
During the small march through old-town Munich the route was blocked by more than 50 antifascists near Isartor. After police violence errupting two weeks ago today Munich police departement guided PEGIDA by the roadblock. Some activists tried to set up a second roadblock. Riot police officers violently pushed against the group from all sides shouting and screaming “calm down”. The racists march by then already passed for a while.

Last-minute cancelled PEGIDA causes chaos in Munich

PEGIDA announced the break of not marching is over last week as they gathered again after months of inactivity. The following week – Monday the 25th – the group wanted to start their rally at Karlsplatz, Stachus and “have a walk” through the city. Just half an hour before the rally was supposed to begin the Facebook page announced:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-26 um 11.56.54
PEGIDA Munich cancelled last-minute.

“PEGIDA Munich cancels the event today because the space assigned by the city is unsuitable under aspects of security. The distance to violent counter protestors is not given according to the responsible person at PEGIDA Munich.”

PEGIDA Munich post neglected by participants

The message of PEGIDA being cancelled seemed not to reach the participants. Everything and everybody was there: The group’s van, the organizers and the participants. Counter-protestors that were the reason for the event being canceled were sitting and standing where PEGIDA was supposed to hold their rally. Munich police department did not separate the groups and was only carrying away fences that are usually used to separate two politically opposing groups. The situation then escalated. Members of the racist movement started insulting counter protestors. One person was holding up a printed picture of a colleague with his address on the back. Chaos broke out when to young PEGIDA participants got into the counter-protestors. Police arrested one person of the antifascist counter-protestors with force. Riot-police was on-site soon. This did not help the situation. PEGIDA participants, known for violence such as hooligan Petra K. were roaming around and at least verbally attacking bystanders. Police officers trying to separate the two groups had problems identifying members of the racist group. So repetitively PEGIDA participants were standing in the middle of counter-protestors causing chaos on Karlsplatz, Stachus. After one hour of chaos, the group was led to the subway station and a day of chaos due to the last-minute cancelling ended. After all it can be concluded that there had to be other reasons for PEGIDA to cancel the march then the “missing distance to counter protest” as the group showed no fear to get close to counter-protestors.

Picture gallery

PEGIDA starts marching again – police violence errupts

After a longer break due to legal issues with the city of Munich PEGIDA marched again on Monday July 18th. The rally started with speaks at Odeonsplatz. At the most 150 participants had come to join the ‘new beginning’. Heinz Meyer opened the rally with the words:

“Der Islam gehört nicht zu Deutschland!” – Heinz Meyer, PEGIDA July 18th
(“Islam does not belong to Germany!”)

Stephano Simon preaches hatred

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A “highlight” of the rally was speaker Stephane Simon that had the opportunity to insult, scream and spread his hate twice during the rally. He kept repeating that he is homosexual and that he found some of the counter-protestors quite sweet and would not have touched them as hard as police officers did. Especially delicate: Stephane Simon used to be a federal police officer. More information on his person and former statements in this article: http://de.wikimannia.org/Stephane_Simon (sorry for the anti-feminist link, but they enlist information about Stephane Simon)
A very remarkable statement by Simon in his first speach was that as soon as “people like him reign” all the people demonstrating against PEGIDA will become refugees.

 In his second speech Simon tried to analyze the attempted coup in Turkey. This ended in screaming, shouting at counter-protestors via microphone and insulting people such as chancellor Angela Merkel and counter-protestors standing near the fence around Odeonsplatz

Dynamo Dresden Hool, III. Weg, BIA and Die Rechte

As usual neo-nazis were on site. Petra K. affiliated with neo-nazi party III.Weg showed up in company of Dan Eising that recently took pictures of counter-protestors in Fürth with a self-printed press ID. Other participants were wearing far right symbols such as a button of the “Europäische Aktion” and the “BIA”. Along with the group was a very aggressive hool from Dresden shouting at journalists and insulting counter-protestors. Munich police departement allowed the group to leave the PEGIDA cage and wander around counter-protest. In the past this has lead to violent attacks.

March and police violence

As the racist mob started walking antifascist activists set up a roadblock. Riot police forces immediately started pulling people off the streets. After one group was thrown onto the sidewalk a policeman punched a girl in the face. According to reports her nose is broken and she had to be treated by an ambulance. A riot force paramedic participated in the eviction. Instead of helping hurt people he dragged antifascists off the streets and pushed them into a backyard.

Video of the probably unlawful eviction:

Two more small roadblocks were set up on the route. PEGIDA was able to march with hardly any stops. Up until  11:30 PM PEGIDA was showing videos on Odeonsplatz, but not really rallying. According to reports only few participants stayed that long and were just eating popcorn.

Full picture gallery

PEGIDA Fuerth fails – counter-protest outnumbers demonstration by far

On Thursday July 7th the Nuremberg branch of the racist PEGIDA movement gathered in Fürth. Only a little more then 50 people came to take part in the rally – the counter-demonstration attracted more then 600 people. Neonazi Dan Eising, “Die Rechte” showed up in company of local neonazi comrades with a self-printed “press ID”. Surprisingly police let Dan Eising pass at first without problems, even though the “Press ID” was clearly self-made. After colleagues talked to the press official on site, Dan Eising was first taken into custody and the fake ID was scanned. Then minutes later Eising could continue his “work”. This is especially delicate because Eising has tried to sneak into antifascist structures in Nuremberg before to investigate: https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/137080

Picture Gallery

Clashes erupt as Turkish nationalists rally for Peace through Munich

All over Germany turkish nationalist mobilized for Peace demonstrations against the PKK and ISIS. Approximately 500 joined the rally in Munich. Clashes erupted as Kurdish activists and antifacists got onto the route and tried to block the street. Turkish demonstrators attacked people standing by and Police intervened. After the event was finished activists of both sides got into smaller fights. At least one person was wounded.

Picture Gallery:

PEGIDA Munich marches – board-member suspect in terror investigation – freedom of press restricted

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!”

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.

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

Protests against 25 Years of German Unity Ceremony – “Freedom” in Frankfurt

On the 3rd of October 2015 the unification of Eastern- and Western-Germany had 25th anniversary. This year the city of Frankfurt hosted a “citizens’ fair” at the riversides of the Main and in the inner city. A ceremony was held many politicians – as for example chancellor Merkel – attended. The motto of the day was “Grenzen überwinden!” [“Overcome borders!”]. Leftwing political groups mobilized against the citizens’ fair, as in their opinion there is no reason to celebrate Germany – especially as long as refugees are dying on their way to Europe and border fences exist. Equally their motto was “Grenzen Überwinden – Deutschland abschaffen!” [Overcome borders – abolish Germany!] – but talking about European borders:  http://grenzenueberwinden.de/

As announced protest on the 3rd of October was de-central and colorful.
(On the 2nd of October there was a demonstration in Frankfurt colleagues covered: http://www.beobachternews.de/2015/10/03/lautstarke-vorabenddemo/)

The citizens’ fair started off with speeches by politicians, inhabitants and members of the church. Then politicians arrived at the Alte Oper where the first protest action therefore took place. My colleagues and I wanted to cover the arriving politicians – so we had to go through a security check. As twittered we got bracelets saying “Freiheit” [“Freedom”] after we had to throw away our water and got scanned.

Inside the “Freedom-bracelet” area police would not let us pass after 30 meters. A very unfriendly press representative then came up to us, shouted at us for not being accredited and being ten minutes late for the on-site accreditation. So the day of “Freedom” started. We got kicked out of the “High-security-area”.

ffmtdde15_10032015_2

At the same time single groups of people where controlled for “looking like lefties” and from the video data of the demonstration the night before. Police forces had portrait pictures of every participant of the demonstration on their smartphones and banned those from the citizens’ fair. This continued all day.

Just then first creative protestors arrived. A group clothed in fur coat and military uniforms holding up signs asking for an expansion of Germany, higher border fences and less taxes for the rich marched towards the “high-security-area” playing “The Internationale” in german. Riot police forces immediately walked up to them and kept them from getting closer. Impressions of the group:

Minutes later protestors with pink umbrellas, a transparent saying “Nie wieder Deutschland!” arrived at the Alte Oper and threw confetti and flyers at people trying to get to the security area closer to the politicians. Riot police immediately stepped up to keep them from getting closer:

The next protest action was supposed to take place at the river Main. Protestors spilled bad smelling fluid in front of the information booth of the police Frankfurt and handed out flyers explaining the reasons for protest against the citizens’ fair. Riot police surrounded about 40 activists and took them in custody after one hour of standing around.

Meanwhile at the Rossmarkt police kept controlling people that “look like lefties”. My colleagues and me got held back and checked on. Right next to the area the government set up tents  explaining their work and also hosting a ceremony – that was later loudly disturbed – two young men of whom one was only sixteen years old were handcuffed by police forces and got searched:

I talked to the men, the reason was once again they looked suspicious and were not happy about police controlling them.

Minutes later in the tent of the Bundesrat a loud, colorful and creative action started. Activists entered a tent – a ceremony was held in – and got pushed out just minutes later by riot police forces. Impressions:

Amongst the “BFE” – Hesse riot police – officers was one carrying a “less lethal” weapon: http://www.heckler-koch.com/de/produkte/militaer/40-mm-systeme/hk169/hk169/produktbeschreibung.html
I have seen officers of the BFE Hesse carrying this for several times – officers got very aggressive as soon as I tried to document the weapon before. At the G7 I was told for example: “If you take a picture now your freedom of press ends here.” [roughly translated]. At W-OW in Frankfurt a colleague was pushed over by officers as he was taking a picture of the multifunctional weapon.

Just half an hour later protestors wrapped themselves in plastic and attached posters to themselves. As police pushed them away they used duck tape that was printed on to show their protest:

During the late after noon two more “attacks” with smelly fluid were conducted. One on the information booth of the police Frankfurt again and one on the tent of the federal government. The tent had to be closed for an hour and the carpet had to be exchanged.

Parallel to all of this the party “Die Partei” held a demonstration that stayed completely calm and two concerts.

All in all protest was peaceful – just Frankfurt police forces showed how “Freedom” looks like: Scanning demonstrators and supplying all officers with portraits and banning them from a fair for intentionally all citizens, filming journalists just because they missed to accredit, officers with body cameras and snipers on roofs.

All pictures available for licensure as usual.

800 Turkish nationalists rally through Munich & Turkos MC holds a bike/car corso

Today Turkish nationalists showed full force in downtown Munich. Two different rallies of overlapping groups where held. One was a bike and car corso into the city center by the Turkish nationalist biker gang “Turkos MC”, the other was a nationalist rally from Munich Goetheplatz to Odeonsplatz.

To start of with the bikers:

Everything stayed very calm here – almost unspectacular – but members of this corso showed up later at the second rally so here are some of the best pictures:

At Odeonsplatz Turkish nationalists started gathering at around 3:30 PM. From the beginning on to me everything seemed quite tense – people where showing the “grey wolve” sign and screaming “Allahu Akbar”. As people were gathering also biker from the corso showed up as to see on this small video I twittered:

The march started off after one hour of gathering. A reporter that later on took pictures of my colleagues and me as we where walking by the demonstration started talking in front of the demonstrators as they began marching. Later on when counter demonstrators arrived he shouted: “Dreckige Autonome!” – [roughly translated: “Dirty Lefties!”] His microphone had the logo “a HBR” on it – a Turkish News channel founded by a former member of parliament and member of Erdogan’s party. [Turkish Wikipedia article about the TV-station: https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Haber]
The way this reporter acted towards colleagues, counter-protest and me suggests that he reported very positively about the rally through Munich.
Official Website of the TV station: http://www.ahaber.com.tr/
[I am going to look for the report about last night and include it here as soon as it is published]

As soon as the demonstration started walking down the first street people started screaming “Allahu Akbar!”.

Shortly after that I had a quit unexpected meeting with Ramazan S.. He has been visiting BAGIDA/PEGIDA Munich for the last weeks with neonazi terrorists. What was surprising about meeting him: He was with people in Turkish flags. He walked right up to a colleague of mine and started cussing at him. Telling people we where PKK photographers to justify his attack. Then he joined the demonstration that kept shouting “Allahu Akbar!”. I am really unsure how this complies with PEGIDA Munich’s protest against islamization. Some pictures of Ramazan S. amongst the Turkish nationalists and shortly after he attacked my colleague.

The demonstration then continued up to Odeonsplatz where a stage was prepared. This was the first time the Turkish nationalists where confronted to counter protestors and showed how dangerous their movement and demonstration really are. Ramazan S. kept shouting over the fence and shortly after the conflict got tense. Turkish demonstrators where trying to get close to counter protest. Just then Kurdish demonstrators showed up – and where pushed back by Police. Many “grey wolves” tried breaking out and reaching the Kurds. I witnessed at least two arrests of people also attacking police forces.

For more small videos visit my Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/24mmjournalism

My collection of pictures from the nationalist’s march:

As usual you can purchase my pictures on Demotix: http://www.demotix.com/news/8571580/800-turkish-nationalists-grey-wolves-rally-against-kurds-munich

Free Paul demonstration in Munich – demanding anti PEGIDA activists release

More then 350 people gathered today in Munich to demand the release of counter-PEGIDA activist Paul – held in custody up today for carrying a small flag with him when Lutz Bachmann visited Munich. Some impressions from today in Munich: