Chemnitz concert to take stand against xenophobia

AFP/DPA/The Local
AFP/DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Chemnitz concert to take stand against xenophobia

Following a series of vitriolic attacks against foreigners in the east German city, prominent German bands on Monday are aiming to fight against racism, xenophobia and violence through music.


Groups such as the Toten Hosen, Kraftklub or Feinesahne Fischfilet will be giving a free concert in the east German town under the motto "#wirsindmehr", or "we are more."

Several thousand spectators from across Germany are expected at the event, which starts at 5pm. It is being held to retaliate against a string of daily demonstrations by right-wingers, neo-Nazis and opponents of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.

The trigger was the death of a 35-year-old German, who had been victim of a knife attack in the city just over a week ago. Two of his companions were injured. The two suspects, an Iraqi and a Syrian, currently sit in custody.

Since the incident, scenes of men chasing down foreigners in Chemnitz and chanting "foreigners out" have rattled the country.

SEE ALSO: Thousands protests for and against migrants in Chemnitz

Calls for political action

Federal Minister of Family Affairs Franziska Giffey called on her cabinet colleagues to follow her example, and also drive to Chemnitz for the concert.

"It would be good if other members of the Federal Government there would face [the situation] and vote on the spot," said the SPD politician on Monday in the ARD "Morgenmagazin".

Giffey visited Chemnitz last Friday, where she planted flowers on the site where the 35-year-old had been killed.

SEE ALSO: Families Minister Franziska Giffey becomes first government official to visit site of Chemnitz stabbing

"It's just that there are moments when the government just has to be there [to show support], and that's why I went there too," she said in the "Morgenmagazin".

This Saturday, several demonstrations seized the streets of Chemnitz again. According to the police, the 8,000 participants from the right-wing protests faced 3,000 counter-demonstrators.

According to police, 18 people were injured, including three officials.

About 1800 civil servants were on duty, as Saxony’s policemen received support from officials from other federal states and the federal police. They were understaffed in previous missions.

In the demonstration of the right-wing scene, politicians from the AfD and supporters of the Islamophobic Pegida Alliance and the right-wing populist civic movement Pro Chemnitz marched through the city together.

'Ideology and propaganda'

Martin Dulig, Saxony's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, told the Welt that, with their so-called funeral march on Saturday in Chemnitz, the AfD is aiming to express its "ideology and propaganda".

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had previously called for more action against racism. "Unfortunately, in our society there has been a comfort that we have to overcome, so we have to leave the sofa and open our mouths,” the SDP politician told the Bild am Sonntag.

Even Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) expected the citizens clear opposition to xenophobic and right-wing positions. "The majority must be louder," he warned on Sunday at a rally of the Protestant church in front of the city hall, which had come to around 1,000 people.


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