Hundreds of protesters demonstrate against the AfD in Frankfurt
Around 800 people marched through the centre of Frankfurt in a protest against Alternative for Germany (AfD), as the party prepares to enter the Hesse state parliament for the first time.
With chants of: “The whole of Frankfurt hates the AfD” and “Get nationalism out of the mind”, the group were demonstrating on Sunday against the right-wing anti-immigration party’s arrival into the Hessian state parliament, local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reported.
The party managed to secure around 13% of the vote in the state elections, tripling its result from 2013, meaning it is now represented in all 16 German state parliaments.
Various left wing groups and anti-fascist organizations had called for the demonstration. There had also been a previous protest against the AfD in the city on October 13th.
The march started around 8.30pm in the city centre. Several anti-fascist flags could be seen, while one demonstrator waved an IG Metall union flag.
"Nationalism is no alternative" was written on the banner carried at the front of the marching group.
The newspaper reported that there was a heavy police presence.
As participants gathered before the start of the demonstration, the mood was low. "It was foreseeable that something like this would happen," said a protester, discussing the right wing party's entry into Hesse state parliament.
"But when I read that, it was like a blow to the head."
Another participant in the demonstration was also outraged by the result of the AfD. "It's cold, the AfD is sitting in parliament, my mood is very low," he said.
Party members in a better mood
The mood was understandably better among the AfD representatives in Frankfurt as the first estimated results rolled in at 6pm.
"I am more than satisfied," said Markus Fuchs, Frankfurt AfD city councillor and a candidate for his party in Hesse.
The AfD has tripled its result of 4.1 percent, which the party achieved during the last state election in 2013. "I find that more than remarkable," said Fuchs.
Fuchs told FR that the party is looking forward to being in opposition.
"We won't make it easy for the government, whatever it looks like,” he said.