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.

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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

PEGIDA-police-violence_20160718_100

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