Angela Merkel smears ordinary people as xenophobes and Nazis

What's the best way to blunt the effectiveness of the political opposition?

In the case of German chancellor Angela Merkel, it's smearing ordinary people for protesting the murder of an innocent German by two Afghan refugees.

It happened in the city of Chemnitz as two Afghan refugees murdered a German citizen in a knife attack two weeks ago.  The resulting demonstration against the chancellor's immigration policies brought thousands into the street – including some far-right Nazi sympathizers.

Merkel saw an opportunity to smear the entire Alliance for Germany political party when she condemned the entire demonstration.

Reuters:

"There is no excuse or reason for hunting people down, using violence and Nazi slogans, showing hostility to people who look different, who have a Jewish restaurant, for attacks on police officers," Merkel told the Bundestag.

"We will not allow whole groups in our society to be quietly excluded," she said, adding that Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists all belong in German society, and stressing that human dignity was paramount.

Before Merkel took the podium, the head of the AfD group in the Bundestag said Germany's "domestic peace" was at risk.

"As disgusting as Hitler salutes are, I would like to remind you that the really serious event in Chemnitz was the bloody deed (committed) by two asylum seekers," said Alexander Gauland.

Funny how that slipped Merkel's mind when she was calling ordinary people demonstrating against her flawed policies "Nazis."

The AfD, some of whose members joined right-wing militants in the Chemnitz marches, is the third biggest party in Germany.  Its lawmakers' presence in parliament, which they entered after the 2017 election, has generated a more confrontational climate.

Senior Social Democrat Johannes Kahrs launched a verbal attack on the AfD: "Right wing radicals in parliament are unsavory.  Hate makes you ugly – look in the mirror!"

At that, all AfD deputies stood up and left the chamber.  In a statement, the party said Kahrs had compared them to Nazis and described his insults as "unacceptable".

There is no doubt that some far-right "militants," as Reuters calls them, took part in that demonstration in Chemnitz.  But the portrayal of mobs of neo-Nazis attacking foreigners was questioned by Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV).  He made the comment that a video that appears to show a few right-wing idiots accosting a single man of Middle Eastern descent might have been faked.

Deutsche Welle looked into that charge:

What does the video show?  In the video, a group of protesters can be seen ganging up on a man with black hair, shouting xenophobic remarks, such as "You're not welcome here!" and "What's the matter, you Kanaks?"  (A German derogatory term for people with a supposedly southern or Middle Eastern appearance).  Just before the video ends, one of the mob members attempts to swing a kick before the victim runs away.

Another person in the mob then turns toward the camera, revealing his t-shirt with the right-wing slogan "Tradition, not Invasion," emblazoned on it.

That's a "Nazi slogan"?  Sheesh. 

The newspaper concluded that the attacks were real, not faked.  But here's a description of the protest that suggests that both sides were engaged in violence.

The first protest was an Alternative for Germany demonstration in the afternoon, a small rally of about 100 people, to encourage the government to be stricter on immigration, which finished without any violence.

In the evening, another protest began, this one organised by football hooligans belonging to the right-wing "Kaotic Chemnitz" over social media.  This protest became violent, and the group also incited individuals to attack and harass foreign people and people who looked non-German. The rioters attacked police officers who were deployed to calm the protests. There were also more demonstrations announced by both leftist and right-wing groups.

The riots and protests continued into the next day, with the right-wing populist group "Pro Chemnitz" organising a large protest.  This was initially 800 people gathered at the city's iconic Karl Marx monument, Deutsche Welle reports that this group quickly became thousands, and grew less peaceful, police counted up to 6,000 protesters.  As this group grew, the counter-protest began on the other side of the square, with about 1,500 people.  Initially, the two main protesting groups were a short distance from each other facing off, with a riot police line of 600 officers between them.

The protests became violent at around 9pm local time on Monday 27 August, when the far-right protesters began to actively demonstrate and move.  Masked protesters from both sides began to throw solid objects and fireworks, with some right-wing protesters also performing the Nazi salute.  At least twenty people were injured.  An extensive police force equipped with water cannons was deployed and a second set of demonstrators belonging to the far left were kept at a distance by police.  The rioters had reportedly simmered down by Tuesday morning, but far-right groups encouraged people to continue protesting.

So the initial protest by AfD members was peaceful and orderly.  It wasn't until "soccer hooligans" and neo-Nazis began to demonstrate that there was a violent confrontation with counter-protesters – probably Antifa or its allies.

Merkel smeared thousands of ordinary Germans and an entire political party to defend her indefensible immigration policies and attack the opposition as Nazis.

This is what passes for politics in Germany under Merkel.

What's the best way to blunt the effectiveness of the political opposition?

In the case of German chancellor Angela Merkel, it's smearing ordinary people for protesting the murder of an innocent German by two Afghan refugees.

It happened in the city of Chemnitz as two Afghan refugees murdered a German citizen in a knife attack two weeks ago.  The resulting demonstration against the chancellor's immigration policies brought thousands into the street – including some far-right Nazi sympathizers.

Merkel saw an opportunity to smear the entire Alliance for Germany political party when she condemned the entire demonstration.

Reuters:

"There is no excuse or reason for hunting people down, using violence and Nazi slogans, showing hostility to people who look different, who have a Jewish restaurant, for attacks on police officers," Merkel told the Bundestag.

"We will not allow whole groups in our society to be quietly excluded," she said, adding that Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists all belong in German society, and stressing that human dignity was paramount.

Before Merkel took the podium, the head of the AfD group in the Bundestag said Germany's "domestic peace" was at risk.

"As disgusting as Hitler salutes are, I would like to remind you that the really serious event in Chemnitz was the bloody deed (committed) by two asylum seekers," said Alexander Gauland.

Funny how that slipped Merkel's mind when she was calling ordinary people demonstrating against her flawed policies "Nazis."

The AfD, some of whose members joined right-wing militants in the Chemnitz marches, is the third biggest party in Germany.  Its lawmakers' presence in parliament, which they entered after the 2017 election, has generated a more confrontational climate.

Senior Social Democrat Johannes Kahrs launched a verbal attack on the AfD: "Right wing radicals in parliament are unsavory.  Hate makes you ugly – look in the mirror!"

At that, all AfD deputies stood up and left the chamber.  In a statement, the party said Kahrs had compared them to Nazis and described his insults as "unacceptable".

There is no doubt that some far-right "militants," as Reuters calls them, took part in that demonstration in Chemnitz.  But the portrayal of mobs of neo-Nazis attacking foreigners was questioned by Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV).  He made the comment that a video that appears to show a few right-wing idiots accosting a single man of Middle Eastern descent might have been faked.

Deutsche Welle looked into that charge:

What does the video show?  In the video, a group of protesters can be seen ganging up on a man with black hair, shouting xenophobic remarks, such as "You're not welcome here!" and "What's the matter, you Kanaks?"  (A German derogatory term for people with a supposedly southern or Middle Eastern appearance).  Just before the video ends, one of the mob members attempts to swing a kick before the victim runs away.

Another person in the mob then turns toward the camera, revealing his t-shirt with the right-wing slogan "Tradition, not Invasion," emblazoned on it.

That's a "Nazi slogan"?  Sheesh. 

The newspaper concluded that the attacks were real, not faked.  But here's a description of the protest that suggests that both sides were engaged in violence.

The first protest was an Alternative for Germany demonstration in the afternoon, a small rally of about 100 people, to encourage the government to be stricter on immigration, which finished without any violence.

In the evening, another protest began, this one organised by football hooligans belonging to the right-wing "Kaotic Chemnitz" over social media.  This protest became violent, and the group also incited individuals to attack and harass foreign people and people who looked non-German. The rioters attacked police officers who were deployed to calm the protests. There were also more demonstrations announced by both leftist and right-wing groups.

The riots and protests continued into the next day, with the right-wing populist group "Pro Chemnitz" organising a large protest.  This was initially 800 people gathered at the city's iconic Karl Marx monument, Deutsche Welle reports that this group quickly became thousands, and grew less peaceful, police counted up to 6,000 protesters.  As this group grew, the counter-protest began on the other side of the square, with about 1,500 people.  Initially, the two main protesting groups were a short distance from each other facing off, with a riot police line of 600 officers between them.

The protests became violent at around 9pm local time on Monday 27 August, when the far-right protesters began to actively demonstrate and move.  Masked protesters from both sides began to throw solid objects and fireworks, with some right-wing protesters also performing the Nazi salute.  At least twenty people were injured.  An extensive police force equipped with water cannons was deployed and a second set of demonstrators belonging to the far left were kept at a distance by police.  The rioters had reportedly simmered down by Tuesday morning, but far-right groups encouraged people to continue protesting.

So the initial protest by AfD members was peaceful and orderly.  It wasn't until "soccer hooligans" and neo-Nazis began to demonstrate that there was a violent confrontation with counter-protesters – probably Antifa or its allies.

Merkel smeared thousands of ordinary Germans and an entire political party to defend her indefensible immigration policies and attack the opposition as Nazis.

This is what passes for politics in Germany under Merkel.