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.

Chemnitz concert to take stand against xenophobia
Die Toten Hosen in concert in Munich. Photo: DPA

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.

Member comments

  1. “Following a series of vitriolic attacks against foreigners in the east German city,” the article begins and then later laments the horrible attacks on migrants in Germany.

    Let’s see, how many German men, women, children have been assaulted, robbed, raped, murdered by migrants? And how many migrants have been assaulted, robbed, raped, murdered by Germans? I know that if the figures were released, one would find that far, far more Germans have been made victims by the (what 10% now) relatively small number of migrants, than migrants have been made victims of Germans. Yet, typical of the Presse, all the sympathy goes to the migrants and not to our own citizens, our own people.

    The migrants need to go back to where they came from. They do not belong in Germany nor in Europe. They are not and never will be Germans. They are from cultures that are incompatible with German culture and they refuse to assimilate to our culture. Quite the contrary, now our government is telling us we need to accept their cultures, we need to change our lives, our culture to make room for theirs – the so-called “multiculturalism” that is claimed to be so good. NO! it is not “good.” When Germans are being made into second class citizens in their own nation in order for savages to be brought in and replace them, it is not good.
    Merkel must go and take the migrants with her.

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Danish MPs agree to send asylum seekers outside Europe

Denmark's parliament on Thursday adopted a law enabling it to open asylum reception centres outside Europe where applicants would live while their case is processed, with the host country also taking them in if granted asylum.

Danish MPs agree to send asylum seekers outside Europe
An Eritrean refugee child stands under an umbrella at Mai Aini Refugee camp, in Ethiopia, on January 30, 2021. Danish media have mentioned Ethiopia as a possible site for the camp. Photo: Eduardo Soteras / AFP

Known for having one of Europe’s harshest stances on immigration, the wealthy Scandinavian country aims to deter migrants from coming to Denmark at all.

Despite criticism from humanitarian organisations and some leftwing parties, the bill, proposed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democrats, was adopted by 70 votes to 24.

Under the law, asylum seekers would have to submit an application in person at the Danish border and then be flown to an asylum centre outside Europe while their application is being processed by the host country.

If the application is approved and the person is granted refugee status, he or she would be given the right to live in the host country, but not in Denmark.

If it is rejected, the migrant would have to leave the host country. No country has agreed to collaborate with Denmark yet, but the government says it is in talks with five to 10 countries, without identifying them.

Danish media have mentioned Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia as possibilities. Denmark is meanwhile known to be in talks with Rwanda.

The two have signed a memorandum of understanding on asylum and migration cooperation, though the document doesn’t specifically cover external asylum processing.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, criticised the law as “contrary to the principles of international refugee cooperation.”

“By initiating such a drastic and restrictive change in Danish refugee legislation, Denmark risks starting a domino effect, where other countries in Europe and in neighbouring regions will also explore the possibility of limiting the protection of refugees on their soil,” UNHCR’s representative in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Henrik Nordentoft, told news agency Ritzau.

Denmark has repeatedly made headlines in recent years with its anti-immigration policies, including its official “zero refugees” target, its withdrawal of residence permits from Syrians now that it deems parts of the war-torn country safe, and its crackdown on Danish “ghettos” in a bid to reduce the number of “non-Western” residents.