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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


At least 15 000 people distributed themselves throughout the streets of Dresden today to protest neo-Nazi efforts to hold demonstrations commemorating the 1945 bombing of the city by the western members of the Allied Forces. Police did their best to prevent contact between the two camps and essentially protected the extreme right commemoration, which had been permitted by the courts, from attack by counter-demonstrators who turned out in superior numbers. 

Followers of the Green Party and the Left Party formed the core of the counter-demonstration and were joined by small groups of anarchists and left-wing extremists. Czech citizens participated both on the side of the neo-Nazis and on the side of their opponents. Despite police efforts to maintain order, the number of neo-Nazi opponents continued to increase during the afternoon, as did their aggressiveness. Clashes gradually occurred in several places between left-wing extremists and police and kept escalating in terms of intensity. Demonstrators set garbage cans on fire, created barricades out of wood and tires which they soaked in fuel and set alight, and even started tearing up paving stones and raining them down on the police, who responded by using tear gas and water cannon. According to the Green Party website, the demonstrators could not stay on the streets in sub-zero temperatures for long in wet clothing, but their supporters continued to proliferate nonetheless.

The most dramatic situation occurred at around 5:30 CET near Weiskopf-Platz, where about 1 000 neo-Nazis were surrounded by their opponents and police found it very difficult to maintain order. About 50 neo-Nazis attacked police officers and a fight broke out there. German anti-fascist websites had been warning all demonstrators to be on the lookout for aggressive neo-Nazis. In the early evening, police announced they would be providing protection for the extreme-right commemoration in the nearby town of Leipzig instead. After waiting several hours, the neo-Nazis agreed to be transported to Leipzig by train under police protection and to hold their commemorative demonstration there instead. DPA reported that the Leipzig Police were preparing to take over security for the event. Shortly after 18:00 CET the neo-Nazis were assisted by police in getting back onto their buses to head to the train station. Just like last year, the neo-Nazis have been prevented from marching through Dresden. People there have started celebrating in the streets, dancing and lighting candles. About 150 neo-Nazis, however, still do not want to leave and are attempting to march through Dresden anyway. By noon CET, police had already blocked small groups of demonstrators at various sites throughout the city and did their best to prevent them from coming into contact with the neo-Nazis. Bridges across the Elbe were closed so the demonstrators could not relocate freely, according to the news server of the daily Sächsische Zeitung.

The city did its best to ban the neo-Nazi event, but an administrative court overturned the municipality's ban of the march and permitted commemorations to be held by three extreme-right groups at three different places in the city. Two of the events were registered by private individuals, while a third was registered by the Young Compatriots' Association of East Germany (the JLO). The first neo-Nazi gathering took place at noon CET on Nuremberg Square. About 100 neo-Nazis participated and were given police protection. In order to prevent violence, police kept a group of about 1 000 counter-demonstrators from accessing the square. Students living in nearby dormitories and left-wing activists repeatedly tried to breach the police barricades. Most of the blockades did not result in violence. 

The organization Dresden Without Neo-Nazis held a permitted counter-demonstration in the center of the city in which participants marched from the river to the main train station. The organizers repeatedly called on demonstrators to protest peacefully, and some performers gave short concerts in the streets for the demonstrators. Silent protests against the neo-Nazis also took place in many churches throughout Dresden today. Police originally expected up to 20 000 people to gradually join the demonstrations against the neo-Nazis over the course of the day, as many of 3 000 of whom were expected to be left-wing extremists. About 4 000 neo-Nazis were expected to participate, but by the late afternoon it seemed their numbers had totaled approximately 1 000, while the number of counter-demonstrators was around 15 000.

German media reported that police stopped buses bringing counter-demonstrators into Dresden on the highway before they reached the city limits. Activists had to walk to the center "on foot for more than an hour" in order to participate in the protest. Anti-fascists and neo-Nazis traveling on the same train to Dresden also engaged in a knife fight that sent four anti-fascists to the hospital.