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Great response to demonstration against right-wing extremism

View from the balcony of the Semperoper onto the large demonstration of the Dresden action alliance "Wir sind die Brandmauer Dresden" on Theaterplatz / Photo: Daniel Schäfer/dpa
View from the balcony of the Semperoper onto the large demonstration of the Dresden action alliance "Wir sind die Brandmauer Dresden" on Theaterplatz / Photo: Daniel Schäfer/dpa

The wave of demonstrations against right-wing extremist activities shows no signs of abating in Germany. A large rally is to take place in Dresden on Sunday for the third time in just a few weeks.

It's about a firewall against the right: The organizers of the Dresden rally for democracy and against right-wing extremist activities are expecting a lively turnout this Sunday. The response has already been great, a spokeswoman for the "We are the firewall" campaign alliance told the German Press Agency (dpa) on Friday. There will also be musical support for the demonstration on Neumarkt in front of the Frauenkirche, including singer-songwriter Dota Kehr, the band Jeremias and Dresden musician Ezé Wendtoin.

Climate activist Luisa Neubauer from Fridays for Future Germany is expected to speak, among others. "Week after week, hundreds of thousands of people in this country are demystifying the far-right narrative of a society of hatred and exclusion. We are all showing democracy at its best - and that is open, tolerant, supportive and loving," Neubauer told dpa. None of the major crises, including the climate crisis, could be effectively combated if the democratic foundations were crumbling.

Neubauer called for the "language of right-wing hatred" to be consistently countered. "We do not look away when right-wing extremist phrases are used by politicians from the democratic center and name it as a shift to the right, which creates a piece of reality the moment it is formed with words."

Neubauer will be joined on stage by Nora Goldenbogen, Chairwoman of the Saxony State Association of Jewish Communities. "We must not allow right-wing extremism to gain further strength. That is why it is important that many different people take to the streets together to stand up for democracy." But anti-Semitism and other misanthropic attitudes must not go unchallenged in everyday life either. "We must take 'Never again!' very seriously. Now is not the time to stand up so that history does not repeat itself."

The background to this is research by Correctiv. The media outlet recently made public a meeting between right-wing extremists and politicians from the AfD and CDU in a Potsdam villa in November 2023. There, Martin Sellner, former head of the far-right Identitarian movement in Austria, spoke about "remigration". When right-wing extremists use the term, they usually mean that a large number of people of foreign origin should leave the country - even under duress. This triggered protests across Germany. In Dresden, it is already the third major demonstration in just a few weeks.

After the opening rally on Neumarkt square, a procession is to move through the old town via Schlossplatz square and Augustusbrücke bridge to the State Chancellery and back to the starting point. At the end, a sea of lights is to be created, as was recently the case in Munich.

Co-organizer Tim Schumann said: "As a society, we must not allow people to be marginalized and persecuted in our country. We are fighting back against the shift to the right and will not accept right-wing extremism and disgusting deportation fantasies in silence! That's why we're taking to the streets in Dresden and across Germany on Sunday." A large rally to strengthen democracy is also planned for Sunday in Bautzen.

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

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