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Thousands of Neo-Nazis, opponents mass in Dresden | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 13.02.2010

Thousands of neo-Nazis and their opponents gathered in Dresden on Saturday on the 65th anniversary of the Allied firebombing of the city.

 

Police spokesman Thomas Geithner said up to 7,000 far-right supporters from around Europe are expected at what organizers have called a "mourning march." By noon, about 1,000 had already turned up.

 

Twice as many left-wing opponents have organized rallies of their own in an attempt to block the rightist march.

 

"This year we are going to stop the Nazis," said Katja Kipping, deputy leader of the Left Party, at an anti-fascist protest in the city center.

 

Around 4,000 police, armed with water cannons and backed by five helicopters circling overheard, are in place to prevent clashes between the two groups.

 

Failed attempt to ban the march

 

The right-wing march is organized by a group known as the Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland (Young National Association of East Germany), or JLO, which is supported by Germany's right-wing party, the NPD.

 

German neo-Nazis claim the carpet bombing of Dresden at the end of World War II was a war crime and have been holding rallies since the 1990s to protest what they call the "bombing Holocaust."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 11:27:01 AM EST
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German protesters stop neo-Nazi march in Dresden | Reuters

DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) - At least 10,000 Germans formed a human chain in Dresden on Saturday and stopped neo-Nazis staging a funeral march to remember victims of the Allied air raid that flattened the city 65 years ago.

World

About 5,000 neo-Nazis, clad in black, had gathered at Dresden's Neustadt station -- where Nazis once packed trains with Jews bound for the Auschwitz concentration camp -- hoping to stage Germany's biggest far-right march since 1945.

In the past few years, the February 13 anniversary of the destruction of Dresden, in which 25,000 people were killed, has become a focus for neo-Nazis who describe the blanket bombardment as a "bombing Holocaust."

But large numbers of anti-neo-Nazi protesters, who turned out despite freezing temperatures, stopped the far-right sympathizers from getting into the town center.

"Stopping the Nazi march was a great success for the Nazi Free Alliance Dresden," said Alliance spokeswoman Lena Roth.

"It wasn't easy -- there were people injured in Nazi attacks and it was horribly cold, but it was worth it," she said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 12:47:33 PM EST
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At least 10,000 Germans formed a human chain in Dresden on Saturday and stopped neo-Nazis

That's wrong. 10,000 people formed a human chain to hold a commemoration instead of the Nazis, while another 10,000 staged a blockade around the railway station where the Neo-Nazis gathered.

Such actions would be commonplace in West Germany, but less so in East Germany. The annual Dresden march was the last remaining regular big gathering of the Nazis, this was the first time it was prevented. Reading the long report in taz, most of the blockaders came from all around Germany.

When civil resistance wants to block a legal march of the far-right, police usually has no choice but to dissolve the blokades. But, while there were plenty of scuffles, this time the peaceful ones were dominant enough for police to not find a reason to dissolve the blockades.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 14th, 2010 at 01:14:54 PM EST
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