On Saturday July 15th a group around Thommy Frenck called Turonen / Garde 20 organized a neonazi rockconcert in a small village in Thüringen. More then 6000 neo-nazis came to listen to bands like: Sleipnir, Die Lunikoff Verschwörung, Stahlgewitter and several others. The event was announced as a political rally and the local admission failed to get the event prohibited in front of court. Journalists were insulted, spit at and physically attacked by participants of the event. Police did not see a chance to enter the public political rally with joutnalists and therefore reporting was only possible from outside. Neonazis were shouting “Ruldof Heß” after a speech in commemorance of Hitlers deputy.
On March 18th a little more than one year after heavy riots erupted in Leipzig-Connewitz, Neo-nazis once again gathered to hold a demonstration close to the alternative district of the Saxon city. Even less participated in the far-right rally. Thousands followed calls by different political groups and joined counter-protest. Protest mostly stayed peaceful. Eighteen counter-protestors were arrested. Amongst Neo-nazis were followers wearing signs of Greek far-right organization Golden Dawn, others clothed in uniform ‘Aryans – Protect your race’ shirts and a participant wore a backpack with ‘Combat18’ – the forbidden terror organization – written on it.
Color- and Mostly Peaceful Protest
Already at 10AM the first counter-demonstration was held. Antifascists marched from Leipzig city center towards the alternative district Südvorstadt and Connewitz located South. A flare was lit half-way. Demonstrators then tried to get close to the route of the fascist gathering and block it. The high number of police forces, water-cannons and fences set-up prevented this. Alongside of the Neo-nazi demonstration approximately one thousand displayed their opinion on fascism and racism. Some pieces of wood and plastic bottles were thrown into the group of fascists marching by. At Bayerischer Platz young and old got together to join in protest. Still eighteen people were arrested on a vast variety of charges.
Gallery of Counter-Protest
Low Neo-nazi Numbers – But Openly Shown support for ‘Combat 18’
Announcing protest with more then 400 people, March 18th must have been depressing for Neo-nazi leader and organizer Christian Worch. Only very few members of his party and some ‘Autonome Nationalisten’ made their way to Leipzig. The official slogan of the demonstration was ‘Heimat – Familie Zukunft’ – translated: ‘Home-Family-Future’. The situation in Connewitz has been tense during the past year. So the true reason and idea of this rally were probably differing a lot from the officially announced motto. After the heavy riots on December 12th, 2015 a group of 200 right-wing hooligans destroyed a whole street of Leipzig-Connewitz in the middle of the night. Retaliation by Antifa groups were: Destroyed apartments of some nazi-hooligans and a list with more than 200 names and addresses of people supposedly involved in the attack. Those events show that the alternative district is in focus of the militant far-right scene in Germany. Speakers from the states of Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Bayern were invited. The demonstration quite well showed the close connection of party ‘Die Rechte’ to international fascist organizations and it’s followers love for terrorism. A group of approximately eight joining the demonstration was wearing shirts that called to ‘Save your race’ with ‘Aryans’ imprinted on the front. At least one participant was wearing a beanie of Greek fascist organization with international connections Golden Dawn. Another participant had a beanie with two machine guns and ‘Misanthropic Division’ written between those. Very openly one participant was also able to wear a backpack with ‘Combat18’ written on. The international terror-organization is forbidden in Germany. His ID was checked and he could then leave after the rally. At the very end one Neo-nazi attacked a 24mmjournalism photographer on site – as tweeted:
— 24mmjournalism (@24mmjournalism) 18. März 2017
Gallery of Neo-Nazis marching:
All in all police and city-council expected vandalism and rioting to erupt. The protest stayed mostly peaceful. The Neo-nazis were not able to reach citizens of the city. March 18th seem to have been a successful day for the city of Leipzig.
A lot has happened in the past year. International politics, with Donald Trump being president-elect in the United States, are shifting towards a so called post-factual approach. All over Germany the amount of hate-crimes related to the right-extremist scene rose as newspaper ZEIT reports in this article. Neo-nazis rally against refugees and riot. Barracks and buildings supposed to give shelter to people newly arriving in Germany are lit. The far-right party ‘AfD’ is able to collect votes in the first elections since being founded in 2013. Europe fortifies itself. Just off Europe’s borders desperate people from e.g. Syria needing shelter sit and wait. Erdogan keeps installing an autocracy in Turkey. Freedom of press is not granted anymore in the country shaken by an attempted coup this summer that led to mass arrests. The 24mmjournalism team covering social issues, protests and general news, documented incidents during the past year displaying anger, mischief, despair and pure hate. The following small excerpts of our work do not raise the claim of completeness at all. We tried to sort kind of chronologically.
To sum up everything that happened at the Munich local PEGIDA branch in some sentences is hardly possible. The Munich branch of the racist movement has slowly revealed to the broad public its open acceptance and friendship with Neo-nazi terrorists. All-in-all PEGIDA Munich rallies almost everyday and marches once a week. Neo-nazis now openly speaking at the microphone at the demonstrations were warmly welcomed participants during the past years.Openly positive referring to historical national-socialism is new – and finally leads in subsequence to PEGIDA Munich being undoubtely a Neo-nazi march. Some Munich newspapers have long drawn a picture of only some Neo-nazis participating and the rest being ‘normal citizens’.
With Erdogan installing an autocracy in Turkey, bombing Kurdish autonomous regions, plenty suicide bomb attacks and an attempted coup Turkish fascists held several rallies over the past year. In Munich this lead to violence several times. Also the followers of the so called Grey Wolves gathered together with other conservatives from the Turkish community after the attempted coup in Turkey.
As an answer to a shift in politics further to far-right antifascists mobilized to demonstrate against far-right AfD’s federal party congress in Stuttgart. More than four hundred people were arrested during the protest.
Neo-nazis riot on Mayday in Plauen, Saxonia
The Neo-nazi party Der III. Weg held their yearly mayday rally 2016 in the town of Plauen in Saxonia. After half of the demonstration route Neo-nazis declared there demonstration to be ended and attacked police violently. After a short riot the situation calmed down and the Neo-nazis were allowed to march back to the train-station of the small town.
NOBORDERS demonstration at Brenner
Austria announced to reintroduce border controls at the Brenner passage to Italy one of the main routes connecting Germany to Italy. To prevent this from being built activists from Italy, Austria and Germany gathered in front of the train-station at Brenner. After lighting pyro-technics and putting on gas-masks and helmets activists started marching towards the Italian-Austrian border. Riot police prevented this. Heavy riots on the train-tracks and also highway followed.
Situation for refugees in Athens and Greece
The whole year of 2016 the horrible situation for refugees fleeing war to Europe being stuck at the Greek-Macedonian border has been a topic in media. In June 24mmjournalism travelled to Greece to document the situation for refugees living in Greece and especially in the capital of Athens. After shooting some aerial footage and a photo-reportage about City Plaza Hotel, 24mmjournalism met people living in the port of Athens, people supporting refugees, refugees living in squats in Exarchia. Together with the Reflektierter Bengel media collective 24mmjournalism witnessed the eviction of the last leftovers of the refugee camp Idomeni in Northern Greece.
Shooting spree at OEZ shopping mall in Munich
On June 23rd Ali David S. went on a shooting spree at shopping mall OEZ in Munich. Hell broke lose. Rumors about shootings and killings all over Munich were spread via social media. At OEZ special forces took on a manhunt to find the shooter that executed himself some blocks off the mall complexe. The city of Munich was in a state of shock. Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the condolence ceremony.
Violence breaks out at an AfD election party
In September 2016 the far-right party AfD managed for the first time to become part of a state government. Members of the party met in a restaurant. Antifascists gathered to protest. Neo-nazi rapper ‘Chris Ares’ attending the elections celebrations took on the counter protestors. After trying to kick a photographer of 24mmjournalism a fight started in front of the restaurant near Munich East. After several minutes antifascists left the site seeming shocked of the violence.Colleague Anne Wild documented the incident as the photographer was attacked:
— Anne Wild (@annewild_muc) 4. September 2016
TdDE 2016 – German Unification Day in Dresden
On October 3rd the celebrations for the German Unification Day were held in Dresden. Neonazis disturbed the festivities and cussed at politicians attending. Antifascists rallied against the festivities and drew attention to situation at the European borders where thousands have drowned.
Refugee struggle protests
Desperate refugees from across the country gathered in Munich to hold a protest camp. After being ignored by politicians they did a protest march to the center of migration and refugees in Nuremberg. As a reaction was still missing they decided to return to the protest camp and hold a hunger strike. The strike was evicted on November. Some managed to flee police and climb on trees. Special police arrested the activists in the tree.
The crimes against humanity have come to a sad new point in the end of 2016. Bombed and killed civilians could be seen in media across the world. To support those people and ask the german government to intervene people all over German gathered. In front of the german federal government’s building -Reichstag- in Berlin a rally was held under the motto ‘Safe Aleppo’
Even though not being in Berlin the terror attack probably conducted by an ISIS follower in the capital of Germany left 24mmjournalism shocked. All over Germany security forces were strengthened after the attacks. 24mmjournalism witnessed this in the end of December in Nuremberg. At the Christmas market police forces set up street blocks with cars and were stationed around the Hauptmarkt with machine pistols.
This little look back on the year past of course only reflects the year for the 24mmjournalism team. In hope our followers savor our work.
Michi -24mmjournalism administrator
PEGIDA Munich gathers once again on Odeonsplatz. Approximately 70 participated in the far-right rally. With the date of PEGIDA Munich’s second birthday approaching the movement has once more shown its far-right neonazi believes. Karl-Heinz Statzberger, ‘Der III. Weg’ and Karl Richter, ‘BIA’ held speeches. Flyers of the neonazi party ‘III. Weg’ were thrown.
On the gloomy night of December fifth once again PEGIDA participants gather to rally. The same people as every week join. Amongst participants as usually violent neonazis like Dan Eising, Petra K., Tirza M., Karl-Heinz Statzberger, Karl Richter and many more. The only premiere on this Monday night: Karl-Heinz Statzberger, convicted neonazi terrorist and local leader of the neonazi party ‘Der III. Weg’, steps up front and is handed a microphone. Content of the speech: The neonazi party ‘Der III. Weg’, their ‘mission’ of aiding refugees in Syria to keep them from fleeing to Europe and in the end he salutes with the parties greetings:
Fürs Vaterland? Bereit! Fürs Volk? Bereit! Für die Heimat? Bereit!
PEGIDA answers his speech with applause and salutes back. Heinz Meyer, under investigation by the Federal German Bar, thanks the neonazi functionary and declares that all patriotic forces have to join the fight. He also announces that he will be participating in ‘Der III. weg’ rallies in the future.
After returning from the march through inner-city Munich, that was attempted to be blocked by antifascists, another neonazi functionary held a speech. Karl Richter, a by know well approved speaker at the local PEGIDA rallies, talks about the awful government of the city of Munich and also declares that the system will be overthrown, as it can be seen in the United States and the barely lost election of Hofer in Austria.
Heinz Meyer then finishes off with the ambiguous sentence that ‘Adolf’ should have held a speech after Statzberger and Richter, but that he will do that in a video next week. This clearly shows the direction PEGIDA Munich is heading for in the upcoming year. Even the last bystander must have realized by now: PEGIDA Munich is a weekly neonazi march through inner-city Munich.
Just as every Monday PEGIDA Munich gathered once again on September 31st. Only a little less then 70 had come to listen to talks by Heinz Meyer, Lukas Bals and Dan Eising. The route up and down Lindwurmstrasse was quite unspectacular – speeches held were deeply racist and slandering.
At the beginning of the rally Heinz Meyer projected a slate above the heads of the participants showing two pictures with the headline:
“Drahtzieher im Hintergrund” / “Masterminds behind the scenes”
The picture below “Munich” displayed a supposing activist. According to Heinz Meyer this activist orders attacks and violent offences behind the scenes. Lukas Bals continued with the defamation holding up different politicians’ faces and colleague Robert Andreasch’s face as a halloween disguise.
Constraint of Freedom of Press
Once again Rolf H., known for brutally attacking a colleague in Nuremberg, kept trying to prevent journalists from documenting the demonstration. Either with flags, banners or his bare hand he tried to block lenses. Dan Eising that later spoke and predicted that Angela Merkel (german chancellor), Dieter Reiter (Munich mayor) and Tobias Bezler (journalist) will equally be punished by the anger of ‚the people‘ attacked two colleagues as he left the PEGIDA area supposedly to go to the bathroom. He also encouraged the agitation of PEGIDA Munich with neonazi party ‚Der III. Weg‘.
Lukas Bals, known in Munich for trying to disturb a talk about the right-wing scene and attacking journalists at an AfD election party and nationally known for actions in NRW, is PEGIDA Munich’s new moderator since last week. Bals has repetively appeared at PEGIDA Munich first just participating, then serving as a marshall. His connections to the militant neonazi scene in Dortmund and reappereance accross far right events in Munich seem to make him a good candidate for the ‚job‘.
On Tuesday night (November 1st) Lukas Bals and Chris Ares appeared at the refugee’s hunger strike to shoot a vlog according to Lukas Bals Twitter profile. Accompanied by police they left Sendlinger Tor after one hour.
As every Monday PEGIDA gathered once again on October 10th in Munich. Less then one hundred participated came together. Speeches were a mixture of openly displayed racism, confused attempts to explain that Ukrainian Church architecture is more beautiful than protestant and islamic and a relativization of Donald Trumps sexism. Furthermore a small group of neonazis was able to get into the Feldherrnhalle. Rolf H. – known for violent attacks on journalists – prevented a video-documentation of the scene. Convicted neonazi terrorist Karl-Heinz Statzberger led anti-foreign slogans. Alderman Karl Richter marched – after speaking – at the front banner.
Neonazis once again climb Feldherrnhalle
Almost exactly one year ago, a group of neonazis managed to enter the historically charged Feldhernhalle during a PEGIDA rally and shouted: ‘Hasta la vista, Antifascista’. 24mmjournalism documented the incident. The video was shown in the evening news on BR. What happened was even topic in Munich’s city council.
— 24mmjournalism (@24mmjournalism) 12. Oktober 2015
Almost one year later some of the same neonazis tried to stage a similar situation. Dan Eising, that has also spoken at PEGIDA Munich, Petra K. and a comrade entered the building during the rally on October 10th. Police did not prevent this even though the group’s plans were more than obvious just minutes after their arrival. Civil police arrived relatively soon on site and guided the group off the building before they had a chance to pose. Whilst this was happening photo- and videojournalists were blocked from documenting the situation. Not by police, but by a a very well known violent PEGIDA participant. A long list of violent acts against press photographers, but as well against counter protest draws a red line through Rolf H.’s actions during rallies. Recently he was convicted in Nuremberg for giving a colleague a headbutt. He has also a journalist and is well known for preventing documentary and journalistic work during rallies with a flag. Today he pushed over a colleague and well documented in this picture blocked journalists from reaching the site of action:
Police did not intervene, but watched.
Racism and Neonazi Lead at PEGIDA Munich
This weeks speaker at PEGIDA Munich – also once again – alderman Karl Richter, that is part of the city council for the racist ‘BIA’. This so called ‘citizen’s initiative’ is run by neonazi party NPD and has preached hatred against foreigners and people seeking asylum for the past years. After his rather short speech he joined the march at the front-banner. The demonstration led to the place where Non-Citizens had held a protest camp for four weeks, before starting a protest march to Nuremberg. PEGIDA held a rally mid-way at Sendlinger Tor before marching back to Odeonsplatz. Speakers were not set up, but 24mmjournalism was still able to hear what Heinz Meyer and Karl Richter said.
Richter undermined how important it is to him that nationalist resistance ist organized, as well as the fact that the turn PEGIDA Munich has taken makes him feel very comfortable amongst the group. Heinz Meyer that earlier spoke about Ukranian church-architecture surpassing protestant or muslimic church architecture by far – which seems very confused – displayed his racism openly as rarely heard. This statement was made by Meyer, regarding refugees protesting:
‘… Ich weiß nicht, was diese Neger (sic!) hier wollen, es hat sie keiner eingeladen! …’
‘… I don’t know what these niggers (sic!) are looking for here, nobody invited them! …’
This completes a picture of a PEGIDA Munich leader filled with hatred and racism once again. This also perfectly in the picture that could be witnessed during the march – as tweeted by 24mmjournalism convicted neonazi terrorist Karl-Heinz Statzberger once again took the lead today.
Counter protest repeatedly was blocked from getting close to the PEGIDA rally. All in all Munich does not leave a nice impression on this cold Monday October 10th.
Small Videoreport by Colleague SPICY
After the racist PEGIDA movement started their weekly demonstration last week just across the street from the non-citizen’s protest camp at Sendlinger Tor, this week the group gathered at Stachus. With less than one hundred participants the group seems to keep losing followers. They announced to march towards Sendlinger Tor, hold a rally there and march back to Stachus.
Speeches at PEGIDA Munich
This week speaker‚Tobi‘, Heinz Meyer and another person held a speech. So called ‘Tobi’s’ talk was lacking information, but was filled with slogans such as ‚Merkel muss weg‘ and similar theses shouted during the weekly PEGIDA marches. He also declared
‘… Der Islam kommt aus der Wüste und dahin gehört er auch zurück …’
‘… Islam comes from the desert, that’s where Islam should go back to. …’
Tobi stated also his positive feelings about the Identitarean movement and their actions in and around Munich. Head of the local PEGIDA movement Heinz Meyer and recent participant in a rally against non-citizens of neonazi party ‚Der. III. Weg‘ at Sendlinger Tor, also had a short talk. He stated –as tweeted by 24mmjournalism :
‚… Ich mag einfach keine Muslime … besonders Afghanen mag ich nicht … ‚
roughly translated: … I simply do not like muslims … I especially dislike Afghanes … ‚
Police violence at half-way rally
As the demonstration marched towards Sendlinger Tor and the refugee protest camp, some people tried to get onto the route. At Sendlinger Tor a cage of fences was set up for the PEGIDA movement to rally – just across the street from the non-citizen’s protest camp. Minutes before the demonstration reached the cage antifascists counter-protestors approached to state their mischief about the rally. Police immediately put on helmets and violently pushed counter-protestors away from the cage. People were neither mummed nor in any kind violent. Then a police officer commanded to push the people further back. Some persons tried to leave the scene due to the high aggression shown by police officers – with helmets and beating sticks pulled out. Two officers grabbed one person. He immediately lifted his hands stating: ‚ I surrender.‘ – probably hoping to be treated normally. Not letting him get up the riot police officers pulled him away from the group at the head. Then he fell to the ground next to a small shop. The person was coughing and desperately gasping for air. Police officers on-site told 24mmjournalism that the ‚suspect‘ did not wish an ambulance to be called. 24mmjournalism later talked to a surgeon that pointed out that pulling away a person at the throat can lead to throwing up and aspirating if the patient is not treated in the right way. Twenty minutes later an ambulance arrived. The person was then taken into custody according to reports by colleagues.
All of this draws an ugly picture of police force used against peaceful demonstrators – especially as media is focused on Munich due to the annual held Oktoberfest. PEGIDA returned to it’s starting point during that time.