The Lions' Pride

Peaceful Protests Turned to Riot

Ally N.

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As the Middle East crisis continues to worsen, citizens of several countries are worried about what will happen to their citizens and rights as their immigration levels continue to rise. On August 28, 2018, citizens posed a peaceful anti-immigration protest in Chemnitz, Germany quickly rose to a violent and abrasive riot. Far-rights and Neo-Nazis took to the streets sporting violent gestures, such as the Hitler salute and chasing away any bystanders that did not appear to be German. These protests, fueled by anger over a murder of a German man by, supposedly, two immigrants, highlighted the concerns as to how the different cultures seem to clash as immigration levels continue to rise.


These remarks and actions against immigrants, or even German-born citizens that seemed to be immigrants, were condemned by the government. According to BBC News, Steffen Seibert, a spokesperson for  Angela Merkel, an ex-Chancellor, stated that “it has no place in [their] cities and streets,” and that “there is no place in Germany for vigilante justice, for groups that want to spread hatred on the streets, for intolerance and extremism.” The actions committed by the participating protesters were also labeled as unfounded in that the murder that ignited the outcry had an “unclear” background and “is being instrumentalized in the most repugnant way” by Martina Renner, a representative for the radical Left party. As the government called upon both the Polizei and the citizens to take a stand against the racist and discriminatory riots, a counter protest of far-left and more centralized met the offenders.


These counter protesters outnumber those that stood on the side of anti-immigration as their crowd quickly gathered tens-of-thousands. The demands of “foreigners out” were drowned by the chanting of “refugees welcome” as they quickly countered the seemingly far-fetched allegations for the support of the initial protest. As these two sides clashed, however, violence between the groups rose and the police force required reinforcement from other states to help control the rising tensions.


Although the government seems to mostly condemn the events of this riot, the far-right supporters are not without government representation and approval. The AfD, the third-largest represented party openly supported the actions taken to protest immigration. With support for this party rising as more and more immigrants enter the German borders, the issue of potential risks and speculations and citizens’ responses only becomes more and more concerning.

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Peaceful Protests Turned to Riot