Anti-AfD protests break out in Germany

People protest against the Alternative for Germany party near a night club where right-wing populist party AfD holds their election event in Berlin on Sunday. Photo by Thorsten Wagner/EPA

Sept. 25 (UPI) — Protesters in Germany took to the streets of Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg to make their views known after the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party won more than 13 percent of the vote in Sunday’s federal election.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was relected to a fourth term, but her election victory was also marked by a relatively strong performance of the national AfD in the polls, Al Jazeera reported.

According to Deutsche Welle, about 700 protesters assembled on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz on Sunday evening, carrying umbrellas and anti-AfD signs while chanting, “Racism is not an alternative,” “AfD is a bunch of racists,” and “Nazis out!”

The gathered crowd also shouted, “The whole of Berlin hates AfD,” the German news service reported.

AfD now holds 23 out of 160 seats in the Berlin city parliament.

The party with far-right nationalist views was founded in 2013 and holds an anti-immigration stance.

AfD also has called for a “review” of how Germany should publicly memorialize the Nazi period.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s anti-immigration National Front, congratulated her “allies” on Twitter, and said, “This is a new symbol of the awakening of the European people.”

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said Nazis are back in Germany.

“Seventy years after the end of the war, neo-Nazis are again sitting in the Bundestag,” Asselborn told DPA.

Merkel has allowed nearly a million refugees, many from the Middle East, to resettle in Germany.


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