Yesterday approximately 100 neonazis marched through the small Hesse town of Büdingen near Frankfurt. Melanie Dittmer – neonazi multifunctionary – called for the demonstration to supposively help the town against the ‘uncontrolled influx of asylum seekers‘. Heavy rain was kicking in as the nazis started their march through the city. At least 800 counter protestors showed their mischief about the march. Alongside of the route antifacist activists trying to prevent the nazis from marching ended up in smaller clashes with Hesse riot police forces. The self claimed ‚nationalist front‘ marched through the small town preaching antisemistism, racism and neonazism. Speakers were Dan Eising (Die Rechte Nuremberg) and regional Hesse as well as NRW NPD functionaries.
Antifacists arriving in Büdingen.
Antifacists arriving in Büdingen.
Police blocking street.
Riot police rushing towards counter protestors forming block.
Block escorted by riot police.
Police clashes with counter protestors.
Police clashes with counter protestors.
Neonazis start marching.
Policeman pushes over single counter-protestor
Counte protest gets close to neonazi route.
Police pushes back antifacists with orce
Meanie Dittmer leading march
Meanie Dittmer leading march
Counter protestors get removed off street by police.
Neonazi front transparent.
Planned refugee housing
Water cannon driving in front of neonazis to scare off antifacist protestors
The screening of the sexist and racist video “Schlampen Barbie” (translated: Barbie-slut) – that I am not going to link in this blog. Roughly described the video corroborated racist resentments regarding refugees and people arriving in Germany.
Photo-report about the march last night:
PEGIDA gathers. A man carries a sign entiteling counter-protestors as facists.
Speaker opens PEGIDA march on January 25th.
Prussian War Flag
PEGIDA participant approaches to take portrait.
PEGIDA and Identitarian front transparents.
Identitarians march up front with PEGIDA Munich and shout: “Festung Europa – macht die Grenzen dicht!” (“Fortress Europe – close down all borders!”)
PEGIDA march in front of the opera of Munich
A single activist manages to reach PEGIDA route and tries to block police front vehicle from driving. Riot police carries him off the road.
Antifacist counter protestors get closer to the PEGIDA route.
Identitarian & racist banners/flags.
Sign demanding to close down all bordes.
NPD activists posing for camera – as usual PEGIDA has no problem at all to march with various neo-nazis amongst their rows.
As every Monday the racist PEGIDA movement gathered once again last night. Approximately 300 came to join the “constant, minimal protest” as PEGIDA Munich called it itself – amongst the mass: Neo-nazis and people openly displaying their hatred against refugees.
New were even more openly far-right radical shouts by the demonstrators and counter-protestors on site reported a woman was showing a hitler salute for minutes and nobody stepped in.
My photo-report of last night:
The inner city of Munich is blocked for the racist PEGIDA movement.
A sign stating “Cologne is colorful” – linking the sexual harrasements that happened on New Year’s Eve in Cologne to an open, democratic society.
Amongst PEGIDA warmly welcomed: A group, led by convicted neo-nazi terrorists.
A PEGIDA activist holds up a flag stating “Refugees not Welcome” – right next to him neo-nazi party functionary and convicted terrorist Karl Heinz Statzberger.
Also Tobias Roidl – leader of the regional far right party “Die Rechte” – that recently made it to newspapers with his job as a banker is amongst the PEGIDA mass.
An old lady poses screaming for cameras and shouts at counter protestors.
“No limit for deportations” states this sign.
PEGIDA starts marching through innercity Munich.
“Do you believe in everything you read?”-sign carried by Birgit Weißmann – whilst cussing at photographers to be “Zecken”
PEGIDA re-arrives at Odeonsplatz.
Stefan Werner – PEGIDA organisation board member blocks camera lenses.
Neo-nazis depart early from PEGIDA to move towards the historically very charged Feldherrnhalle. Munich police departement intervenes their thrive to pose – once again – on the building where Hitler made SS-soldiers pledge allegiance.
On December 12th neonazis wanted to march through the alternative neighborhood of Leipzig Connewitz. The city of Leipzig denied the desired route. Instead the neonazis were moved a little more north into the Südvorstadt. All in all the neonazi route was 575m long. Antifacist activists announced to “Keep Connewitz red!”.
Just before the far right demonstration started marching a group of approximately 40 left activists tried to block the route. Saxonian police forces removed the road block. Only minutes later violent clashes between police forces and left activists broke out some blocks away from the neonazi marching route. Police tried to block a road leading to the neonazi route. Stones were flying just seconds later. Police fired first huge amount of tear gas – this basically continued for the whole day.
Unbelievable was the police violence yesterday. After the first clashes police ran into the mass of left activists and beat up a person until he fainted and was laying on the floor. As he laid there fainted a riot police officer kneed on his back and handcuffed him with cable ties. As colleagues and I witnessed the situation we asked police officers to call an ambulance – the harsh answer was: “We take care of this – mind your own business!”. My colleague then dialed the emergency hotline and ordered an ambulance. While he was doing that riot police officers tried to push us away. As the beaten up person was laying on the floor with epileptic seizures still in cable ties my colleague rushed through and gave first aid until the ambulance arrived.
Violent beatings by police officers also on peaceful anti-nazi demonstrators continued the whole day. Police write in their report about 69 hurt officers – how many activists were hurt remains unclear.
In an unbelievable mass riot police forces started firing tear gas from the first violent riots on. Some of the officers were even launching the tear gas at face value. Police officers themselves were coughing the whole day – since they did not wear gas masks. How many of police officers were hurt by their own tear gas also remains unclear.
All in all the neonazis marched their route – with the road trying to be blocked twice – police violence and riots erupted just two blocks down the road. Rocks were flying, tear gas was launched, glas was brocken and water cannons were fired – this all also on peaceful demonstrators.
The tactic by the Saxonian police to calm down the riots can not be concluded
My impressions from #le1212:
Polive vehicles parked next to nazi route.
Nazi route is blocked by counter protestors
Road block- activists clapping.
Road block gets evicted.
Police fires tear gas on left activists
Left activists throw stones at approaching riot police blocking the road to the nazi route.
Tear gas and smoke bombs cover the area.
Left activists throw stones at approaching riot police blocking the road to the nazi route. Tear gas is fired.
Police officers fire tear gas running after activists
Left activist gets beaten by riot police forces, faints, is handcuffed and suffers from an epileptic seizure – press photographer calls ambulance..
150 neonazis gather – amongst them supporters of the Hells Angels.
Neonazis line up to march.
Riot police forces break window of house door to attack antifa activists standing behind a fence.
After spraying activists trying to forma second roadblock police officers can not stand their own weapons anymore..
An activist gets beaten with a pepper spray can.
Police officer cries because of pepperspray impact.
After severe clashes Leipzig streets are covered with thrown rocks and tear gas shells.
Water cannon fires on left activists.
Police backs up in panic of attacks.
Water cannon fires on left activists.
Left activists light up trash can and push it towards approaching water cannons.
Riot police forces watch burning barricades.
Barricades all over Eipzig Südstadt are lit.
A resident lady tries to extinguish a lit barricade with a street sign.
A resident uses fire extinguisher to stop barricades from burning.
Smoke covers Leipzig Südstadt as barricades are burning.
A water cannon fires into a local store on the street corner.
A man with his son on his shoulders watches a water cannon extinguish barricades. The boy has a miniature fire extinguisher.
Barricades are removed from Connewith streets.
Neonazis already left the site as water cannons are fired on a peaceful crowd of demonstrators.
Riot police pepper sprays left demonstrators.
A huge amount of tear gas was launched during the day by saxonian police forces.
A riot police force officer punches a man that was sprayed by a water cannon only seconds earlier.
The tensions in Connewitz settle as neonazis leave.
Once again I visited PEGIDA Munich to cover neo-nazi participants and capture footage for my long-term documentary about the Munich branch of the the movement founded a little more than a year ago in Dresden.
[Cover picture: http://www.preiselbauer.de/]
As I entered the PEGIDA cage for the first five minutes I was able to just walk around, count participants take some wide-angle shots of the (shrinking) mass of -as they call themselves-“Spaziergänger” [roughly: hikers]. Only minutes later Rolf H. spotted me. Famous from my recently published video “Ich hab eine Fahne!” – “I have a flag”:
Rolf H. first started bothering me, walked around for minutes and then spotted a colleague and me. As we were both filming – here is the video of him bothering us and getting close-up to our cameras:
As this happened a Munich Police Departement press official approached and explained to Rolf H. that his actions were unlawful. Mr H. reaction was to block me from taking pictures few meters further away and explain loudly to the press official that I am an opponent and have to leave. In the end I stayed.
PEGIDA March Blocked 3 Times
As the last two weeks Munich citizens decided to try to block PEGIDA Munich. All three roadblocks were pushed to one side of the street. Only at the first roadblock Munich riot police officers showed their usual behavior of just brutally pulling and/or beating counter protest off the streets. At the second roadblock a Police Chief asked people to remove themselves off the street in a almost funny way – telling them that they might catch a cold sitting on the streets when the weather is this bad. Wen the third roadblock happened coordination by Munich Police Departement did not work at all. An officer was constantly telling demonstrators to remove themselves to their right side. At the same time on the counter protests right side USK riot police lined up and pushed everybody back as they tried to actually leave the roadblock. As PEGIDA passed by the third roadblock I witnessed Petra K. – known from Hooligan structures and neo-nazi marches, attacked counter-protest before – how she was openly speaking about her wish to violently attack antifacist activists:
“…einen Tritt in die Fresse … batz” [roughly: “… kick them in the face … batz …”
Alongside with that she moved her leg as if she was kicking someone.
No violent neo-nazis at PEGIDA?
As PEGIDA re-entered the “cage” a group of photographers tried to follow – police officers instructed us that it has to be enough to document the situation from outside the PEGIDA cage. As all photographers in the group have been documenting PEGIDA on a long-term basis and this has happened before we tried to discuss with the police officers and get them to call the press official. Shortly after asking for this the officers stopped reacting to anything asked and started closing the cage. I tried to document the situation. One official then ran after me tried to grab my camera shouting something like:
“… jetzt nehma dem alles weg…”
[roughly: “…now we will take all his stuff away…”
After catching up with me he explained to me that taking pictures of police officers at all is illegal. At the same time a colleague was taken into custody. Supposedly he offended police officers. He was then handcuffed which is not usual treatment for somebody offending someone else on a demonstration. As I documented the situation riot police officers issued an expulsion against me. This is also the reason why I was not able to document neo-nazis gathering in front of the Feldherrnhalle once again.
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)
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 …
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:
After PEGIDA started marching counter protestors organised two…
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.:
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:
After police threatens to remove the roadblock with immediate enforcement Munich citizens stand up and let the racist march pass.
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.
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.
As two weeks ago the far right neonazi party “Die Rechte” rallied against refugees arriving in Munich. Amongst the far right protestors were plenty PEGIDA members.
The rally itself was quite unspectacular. After Victoria Grasser – member of “Die Rechte” – showed force against counter protestors two weeks ago and got taken in custody, this week Police kept showing brutal force against counter neonazi demonstrators. At least 400 citizens gathered to show the 36 neonazis that they are not, but refugees are welcome in Munich. More then once police officers ripped away banners and pushed antifacists brutally back. Some pictures collected:
Full story on Demotix:
Police brutally pushes counter protestors
Man in traditional Bavarian clothing waving flag on street
Counter protestor waving flag
Counter protestor sign and middlefinger.
Police removing transparent.
Police pushing counter protest back
Neonazi shows his butt to express his mischief about photographers,