CHEMNITZ: German far-right demonstrators gathered in the eastern city of Chemnitz to protest Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, but there was no new outburst of the violence that followed a weekend knife killing.
A crowd estimated at around 1,000 people by news agency DPA waved German flags and listened to speakers attack Chancellor Merkel and the news media over their handling of crimes committed by migrants and refugees.
“When we see everything asylum seekers get compared with old people, poor young people, Germans, it’s not surprising that people explode,” said Tobias, a local man in his 50s who asked not to be named in full.
The group planted itself outside a town hall-style meeting where Saxony state president and Merkel party colleague Michael Kretschmer faced a grilling of his own from angry voters, who accused him of not doing enough for the region. Sunday and Monday evenings saw outbreaks of street violence, triggered by the arrest of one Iraqi protester and one Syrian.
The two are suspected of stabbing 35-year-old carpenter Daniel H. to death after what police called an “altercation” in which three other men were wounded less seriously.
Following the arrests, mobs launched random street attacks against people they took to be foreigners, including an Afghan, a Syrian and a Bulgarian man.
After being heavily outnumbered by thousands of neo-Nazis, football hooligans and other extremists, police called in reinforcements from other states and federal police Thursday.