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Bavarian interior minister wants Left party watched

DDP/DPA/The Local · 1 Jan 2010, 14:01

Published: 01 Jan 2010 14:01 GMT+01:00

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Herrmann, of Bavaria's ruling Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told news agency DDP that he believed the socialist Left party to be "partly anti-constitutional."

Among other points, Herrmann said the Left party leadership supported "the cooperation with violent left-wing extremists." He added that there had been no development in the party which "offers a reason to stop observation by the constitutional protection office."

Herrmann expressed concern over the rising wave of left-wing violence in Germany, directed primarily at police officers as representatives of the state.

"It is a shame that left-wing violence is not condemned in public life with the same force as right-wing violence," Herrmann said. "Sometimes it is even trivialised." He added that fighting neo-Nazi violence did not justify supporting potentially violent people.

He called for government programmes aimed at combatting right-wing extremism to be implemented for left-wing extremism as well.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, chairman of the CSU's national committee in the German parliament, accused Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit of not doing enough against the recent spate of car-burnings in the capital. "The city should not trivialise this politically motivated criminality," he said in parliament. "The borders with terrorism are fluid when it comes to car-burning."

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Herrmann also repeated his call for a ban on the far-right nationalist party the NPD. The NPD "must disappear from the political map," Herrmann said, "Any legal means for achieving this are justified."

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:34 January 1, 2010 by frankiep
"It is a shame that left-wing violence is not condemned in public life with the same force as right-wing violence," Herrmann said.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Finally someone has said this.

I am so sick and disgusted of hearing people (especially the media) whip everyone into a frenzy about evil right wingers and demand that any right wing ideas be banned, while at the same time completely ignoring blatantly extremist ideas that are just as, if not more, destructive as the former simply because it is coming from the left. The hypocrisy is staggering, and it's about time that it is starting to be realized.
18:53 January 3, 2010 by wenddiver
Yes Virginia there is at least one sane politician in Europe and if Germany doesn't listen to him the extreme right and left will destroy German Democracy as surely as they did in the 1930s.
12:19 January 4, 2010 by Frenemy
I am truly relieved that there is some semblance of normalcy remaining here in Germany. (sometimes I feel downright suffocated by the leftwing extremists and the rightwing nutjobs...its called the middle-road folks, plz get with the program!!)
16:57 January 11, 2010 by Hibernicus
Hermann is following the usual tack of of CSU in promoting paranoia about so-called "left-wing violence" and using it to slander the Left Party in public without supplying a shred of evidence to back up his hysterical claims.

What I witnessed in Strasbourg in April of last year was police provocation on a mass scale against a legitimate ant-war protest which was already agreed with the police, although on very restricted terms as to route and movements. I witnessed police throwing tear gas bombs at a very peaceful gathering of people at the Pont Vauban who were not part of any demonstration. I was surprised to see German police vehicles as part of French convoys in the City of Strasbourg as part of a completely oppressive action against a popular protest. 14,000 German police blocked off the border crossing at the Rhine Bridge and other crossings into Strasbourg, contrary to EU laws allowing free movement of citizens between member states.

Protest, civil disobedience, direct action, is part of democracy even if some smug middle class bourgoisie find it inconvenient or alarming. In 1906, in a house in Manchester, England, a group of women came together and formed the Women's Social and Political Union. The organisers were Emiline Pankhurst and her daughters, Christabel, Sylvia and Adelle. Shortly afterwards, Christabel Pankhurst and a friend, Annie Reilly, attended a crowded meeting at Manchester Free Trade Hall and challenged one of the speakers, Liberal Party MP, Winston Churchill, on his party's policy on votes for women. When Churchill failed to answer they unfurled a large banner with their slogan VOTES FOR WOMEN!. Police were called and they were removed from the hall. Christabel Pankhurst spat at and assaulted the Police officer who was manhandling her out of the hall and repeated the assault in the street outside. Both were arrested and jailed. Protests began immediately and the two were released a week later. At the same venue, Manchester Free Trade Hall, thousands gathered to welcome the two women and demonstrate support. Thus began the English Suffragette movement which eventually led to the greatest advance in European democracy for centuries; Votes for Women!

Those who enjoy those rights now should remember the sacrifices made to obtain them from intransigient and reluctant Governments and think of the need now to defend those rights against abridgement by Governments of the same mentality as Mr Hermann.
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