Like many leftists in America, leftists in Germany want their country to take in more refugees despite the social and economic issues the country has been dealing with for months.
A German right wing party, Alternative for Germany (“AfD”), which opposes increased immigration, is holding a conference this weekend and leftists turned out to protest.
The Huffington Post reports:
Left-Wing Protesters Disrupt Anti-Immigration Party Conference In Germany
STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) – German left-wing demonstrators burned tires and hurled fireworks and stones on Saturday in clashes with police and AfD supporters as the right-wing party gathered for its congress near the south-western city of Stuttgart, police said.
Some 400 protesters were detained, a police spokesman said.
The demonstrators temporarily blocked access roads to the site of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party’s annual conference, by setting car tires on fire and forming human chains, police spokesman Lambert Maute said.
The clashes underlined growing social tensions in Germany after a record-influx of more than 1 million migrants arrived here last year alone.
The violence began at around 6 a.m. and clashes continued for four hours, forcing the AfD’s two-day congress – which was expected to draw up a party platform encompassing its immigrations views – to open late.
“Police detained around 400 violent protesters who threw stones at officers and attacked them with fireworks,” Maute said, adding there were more than 1,000 security forces and about the same number of demonstrators overall.
The police used pepper spray and a water cannon to stop protesters, some of whom were masked, from getting onto the grounds of the conference, but said that some demonstrators still managed to assault several party members.
Here’s a video report from Euronews:
As the BBC points out, much of the anti-immigrant sentiment on the right is due to opposition to Islam:
Germany AfD conference: Hundreds of protesters detained outside venue
About 1,000 police were deployed to keep supporters apart from left-wing protesters, who blocked roads, burned tyres and threw firecrackers.
About 400 protesters were temporarily detained as the conference began.
Delegates are due to vote on Sunday on a manifesto which some members want to endorse an openly anti-Islamic stance.
The party wants to ban the burka and outlaw minarets in Germany.
A police spokesman said protesters threw stones at officers and let off fireworks in their direction.
Riot police used tear gas, pepper spray and a water cannon to keep the protesters back.
One demonstrator, Dominik Schmeiser, said: “We are united by our conviction that we cannot let the AfD go unchallenged, and that it is a party which is not only racist, but which is engaged in the politics of exclusion and social division.
“We will not allow ourselves to be divided and we stand together for a compassionate society.”
Despite the protest, the conference began as planned.
The party’s leader Frauke Petry attacked the German chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the “silent majority” thought she was “nothing but naked”.
She said the AfD wanted to make a big impact in German politics.
“In the future we do not want to remain sitting in parliament as a junior partner, a small opposition party,” Ms Petry said.
Other countries in the region are dealing with the same division over refugees.
Austria is already building a barrier fence along its southern border.
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