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.

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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 Marches through Stormy Munich as Citizens Block Road

As almost every Monday for the past year the racist PEGIDA Munich  movement (ca 100 people) gathered on Odeonsplatz once again November 30th. In general the march was equal to everything seen in the past year. Rolf H. annoying photographers with his flag – getting dangerously close to peoples faces – “besorgte Bürger” [roughly: worried citizens] and convicted neo-nazi terrorists with their followers rallying through the city – new was the ability for a group of neo-nazis to sit down in a big Munich restaurant to have a drink.

PEGIDA board-member tries to gather personal information of journalists
Heinz M. – suspect of anti-terror investigations and PEGIDA board member – tried to gather private information of journalists on site. When colleagues walked into the cage Heinz M. walked up to the entrance and requested to see press ID cards. As neo-nazis are outing “left-wing photographers” on a recently popped up Facebook page the question arises how far Heinz M. is involved in this process. The Munich Police Department press spokesman intervened and pushed back the shouting PEGIDA board member.

Grey wolves/PEGIDA/Die Rechte activist takes pictures of counter protest
Ramazan S. has newly developed the habit not only to take pictures of counter-protest with his smartphone, but to systematically search the mass of counter protest and take portrait pictures of what he suspects to be neo-nazi opponents.
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Munich citizens block Schellingstrasse

Shortly after the PEGIDA route turned away from Ludwigsstrasse into the smaller streets of the Maxvorstadt quarter approximately 30 Munich citizens sat down to block the road. Police carried two persons from one side of the roadblock to the other and PEGIDA was able to pass. One PEGIDA marshall could not hold back his anger about counter-protest. Instead of guiding the PEGIDA mob past the roadblock and preventing tensions, he insulted citizens blocking the road and showed them his middlefinger.

Little gallery of the situation at the roadblock:

Neo-nazis hang around in inner city after PEGIDA and get to drink beer at one of Munich’s biggest Augustiner restaurants

As Neonazis such as Petra K., convicted neo-nazi terrorist Thomas Schatt, Ramazan S. and company left the PEGIDA site, the group tried to get close to Feldherrnhalle once more. Munich riot police then accompanied the group away from Odeonsplatz – learning from the events of the past few weeks.

Activists that were later on on-site reported:

The group entered the “Bratwurst Glöckl” restaurant. Riot police was still watching the group. The neo-nazis started throwing things out of the first floor window. Rumors have it that somebody informed the landlord of the small restaurant – the group got kicked out just minutes later. Riot police accompanied the group a little further around and then left telling people on site that there is a bank robbery going on and their presence is needed there more importantly. A group of violent neo-nazis – people amongst them kicking in road blocks & escalating the situation on November 9th- was left straying through the inner city of Munich in a mood as they were not able to drink a beer in their chosen restaurant. Just minutes later the neo-nazis found a place to have food and drink beer:
One of Munich biggest Augustiner restaurants.
http://www.augustiner-restaurant.com/html/bierhalle_.html
The restaurants seems not to support the movement by Munich landlords and restaurant owners “Kein Bier für Nazis“. The landlord was – according to a source on site – told more then once that convicted neo-nazi terrorists were drinking beer in his restaurant. According to the source on site his answer was only that as long as the group does not misbehave he can not do anything about it. No reaction whatsoever – the group was able to have a drink in this world-famous “Bierhalle”.

Some gathered impressions:

PEGIDA Munich – numbers persist after Paris Attacks

Only at the most 200 have come to join this weeks anti-islam rally in Munich. After PEGIDA was blocked on the historically charged date of November 9th by 3000 citizens, the “concerned citizens” assembled again to march through Inner-city Munich. Already in the beginning the numbers of counter protestors were far outnumbering the racist rally. As every week the same ones have come:

  • “concerned citizens” holding up flags for France reminding us that this is all about islam trying to infiltrate us
  • people suffering from paranoia (walking by as I take a picture of a banner and as soon as I am done they start following me around and bugging me whom I work for – usually I sarcastically answer “Mossad” or something similar)
  • Rolf H. known for attacking photographers and blocking camera lenses with his flag (it broke this time whilst using it as a weapon against an “enemy”)
  • Karl Heinz Statzberger – public figure of the far right party “Der III. Weg”, convicted neonazi terrorist
  • Thomas S. – also convicted neonazi terrorist (last time shouted at counter protestors “Fotze” [“cunt”] trying to provoke a conflict and this time constantly taking pictures of counter-protest
  • Activists from the old party “Die Freiheit” – anti-islam activists that used to make politics with Michael Stürzenberger
  • Activists from “Die Rechte”, “NPD and other far right parties

All in all it can still be concluded neo-nazis are warmly welcomed at PEGIDA Munich (“PEGIDA marshals” welcomede them once again with hugs and handshakes)

PEGIDA March

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After some speeches in the beginning – focusing a lot on being blocked a week ago and marching today  – PEGIDA started at Odeonsplatz onto the little round trip around the “Hofgarten”. The participants of the march were constantly shouting: “Es gibt kein Recht auf Volksverrat!”; “Merkel muss weg!” & “Gestern Paris, morgen Berlin!”

Video from my Twitter-Timeline, also whilst passing the american consulate.

The anger of PEGIDA members not able to march last week could be felt.
Especially when getting in contact with …

Counter Protest

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Counter protestors hand bananas over into the PEGIDA “cage”. One participant of the PEGIDA rally takes three and smashes them onto the concrete.

From the beginning on Munich citizens gathered around the PEGIDA cage and loudly displayed their mischief with PEGIDA trying to march again. Some counter protestors handed bananas over the cage. One PEGIDA member took three bananas and smashed them on the floor. Only minutes later Stefan S. “PEGIDA marshal” wanted to file charges against the counter protestors for throwing bananas.
Members of PEGIDA handed out spreadsheets asking people to participate in the racist marches. A counter demonstrator burned one of those.

Very small gallery of some counter protest:

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After PEGIDA started marching counter protestors organised two…

Roadblocks

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PEGIDA Munich blocked for the first time.

After 3/4 of the PEGIDA route the first roadblock was set up by citizens. Approximately 25 people sat down to show their mischief with PEGIDA. Route was blocked for 45 minutes. While riot police forces immediately were on site to film participants of the action of civil unrest and shout at them, PEGIDA had almost no police company. Taking the lead Karl Heinz Statzberger and other neo-nazis keep walking up to the block shouting “Wir sind das Volk!”.  Only 10m away from the road-block the Munich police department ist able to stop the mob. But still single PEGIDA participants are able to leave the demonstration. For example Thomas S.:pegidamuc_151115_8

The riot police forces – not realizing to have a neo-nazi terrorist standing right next to them – pushed him into counter-protest. Only one week ago in the exact same situation Thomas S. started a fight with bystanders.

Just hours after PEGIDA pictures of the roadblock appear on a neonazi Facebook-page:

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Screenshot of Facebook Fanpage “Gegen Linksradikalismus München”

After police threatens to remove the roadblock with immediate enforcement Munich citizens stand up and let the racist march pass.

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Tensions rise after the first road block. Convicted neo-nazi terrorists take the lead shouting: “Wir sind das Volk!”

But just around the next corner in front of Feldherrnhalle the rest of the counter-protestors have formed blocks by showing civil unrest and sitting down.

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Second roadblock. Approximately 400 protestors sit down and block the road for PEGIDA. PEGIDA is guided over the sidewalk into their cage. Police shows full force and brutality against counter protestors.

Police started to act unlawful – opposing what happened earlier (with talking to the blockers for three times over speakers and giving them the chance to remove themselves) riot police forces just started pushing and punching the opposing protest. I witnessed a girl with a bike being brutally pushed into the mass of counter protest – her bike was thrown over by riot police forces. As PEGIDA came closer police started to get more and more violent.
How were any of these actions lawful?

As I tried to document the unlawful situation at Odeonsplatz the interference of police with press work reached a new level.

Freedom of Press at PEGIDA Marches

A photographer was choked by riot police group leader pulling on his press ID badge. The officer then pretended the ID was faked and tried to use immediate force against the journalist and push him into the mass of counter protest. After grabbing and pushing the journalist he then took the ID out of the badge and had it filmed by colleagues. Criminal files against this group leader are to be charged in the coming days.

Also riot police forces kept telling photographers to walk at least 20 meters away from PEGIDA. As I asked them to please call the press speaker – that I could not spot in any situation I would have needed support – a USK group leader just told me [roughly translated]:

“… as I told you before keep away 20 meters from the march, and I don’t care what the press speaker told you … “

As usual also PEGIDA members blocking cameras with flags came up very close. The situation with polic officers  got even worse, compared to last week.

Collected in the following video: PEGIDA not being stopped by police marching towards road-block & oppression of freedom of press.

All in all it can still be concluded PEGIDA Munich has been shown once again that Munich citizens do not like the racist mob marching through Munich and will use civil unrest to stop them.

Heinz Meyer PEGIDA Vorstand announced at the end of the march that PEGIDA is going to march every single day from January 1st on. It will be interesting how my concerned citizens will join a daily hike through Munich.

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

PEGIDA Munich marches up and down Ludwigstrasse – amongst them Turkish ultra-nationalist

Once again PEGIDA Munich rallied against refugees, asylum seekers and the “Islamization of Germany”. This weeks PEGIDA rally took place on a new route – displayed on the map below:


The route was quite unspectacular but seemed to be hard to handle for the Munich Police department. PEGIDA had to march surrounded by riot police officers, banners where hardly possible to see from the sidewalk and counter protestors were constantly shouting louder than the PEGIDA members. A video I tweeted on site displays this quite well (counter protestors are shouting roughly translated: “There is no right for nazis to display there propaganda”)

Several times counter protestors attempted to block the route, leading to stops of the march and redirections from the originally planned route (onto the other side of the street).

Still some interesting developments took place that i will enlist below:

First off I will start with a rather funny getting in contact to a PEGIDA member. He – an old man at the age of approximately 70 years – was photographing colleagues and me as we were doing our job. He then started handing out flyers with the name and the face of a colleague and the words: “GOOGLE HIM!” I asked him if I could have one he then handed the flyer to me. Five minutes later he walked up to me asking how many pictures of PEGIDA I have taken so far – I ironically answered: “Between 5000 and 6000 – the Mossad pays per picture” With a kind of shocked look he walked away. Another five to ten minutes later he walked back up to me telling me: “Now I know – you needed my fingerprints” I could not hold back and started laughing quite hard. I can not understand how important he thinks he is – he later handed over some flyers to me for “my intelligence service”.

Something rather confusing happened today at PEGIDA. Ramazan S. – the hooligan that attacked my colleague on sunday at the Turkish nationalists rally showed up at PEGIDA again. Accompanying Thomas Schatt – convicted neonazi terrorists – and other neonazis known from “Die Rechte” rallies and “Der III. Weg”. For comparison pictures from PEGIDA on the Odeonsplatz and him amongst the Turkish nationalists at almost exactly the same spot one day before:

Almost at the Siegestor one PEGIDA marshall started loudly confronting a counter protestor walking next to the demonstration. He was shouting at him that they should meet without police and as the counter protestor walked up to him to talk to him he pushed him away and started acting even more aggressively.

As usual the Munich riot police force pulled and pushed people trying to block the march route violently of the street. Several times I was pushed into counter protestors and police officers ignored my press ID.

All in all PEGIDA was still quite unspectacular and with less then 100 members the numbers are shrinking again. A collection of my pictures – that are available on Demotix – below:

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