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May 29, 2024

Massive Protests Across Germany Denounce Far-Right AfD’s “Deportation Masterplan”

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Jan 21, 2024

Over 100,000 people took to the streets across Germany over the weekend in a show of force against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The protests were sparked by reports last week that the AfD had met with extremist groups to discuss plans to mass deport immigrants and their German-born children.

AfD Meeting with Extremists Sparks Outrage

On January 16th, German media reported that senior AfD leaders had met in early January with prominent figures from Germany’s neo-Nazi scene to coordinate their activities. According to news reports, the meeting’s agenda included discussing an AfD “deportation masterplan” that would expel millions of immigrants and German citizens with migrant backgrounds:

“Leading AfD politicians spoke at a closed meeting … about a ‘re-emigration project’ that would see millions of people of immigrant descent expelled from Germany, along with their German-born children.” (The Guardian)

This extreme proposal, along with the AfD’s coordination with extremist groups, set off a wave of public outrage. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck strongly condemned the AfD, saying their authoritarian plans aim “to undermine the free democratic order of Germany.” (The Guardian)

Mass Demonstrations Across Germany

In response, massive demonstrations were organized across Germany over the weekend to protest the AfD and oppose the rise of the far-right.

  • Berlin saw the largest single rally, with over 50,000 protestors marching to the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday. Prominent politicians also joined the protests, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. (DW)

  • An estimated 250,000 people took part in over 70 protests across the country throughout the weekend, according to news reports. (The Guardian)

  • Major demonstrations were also held in cities like Cologne, Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt, and Nuremberg. (Al Jazeera)

Estimated Protest Attendance Across Germany

City Estimated Attendance
Berlin 50,000+
Cologne 25,000
Munich 20,000
Hamburg 15,000
Leipzig 10,000

Calls to Ban the Far-Right AfD

The protests have increased pressure on politicians to take action against the rise of far-right extremism. Many demonstrators carried signs calling for the AfD to be banned and accusing the party of being “Nazis”. (Reuters)

In response, leading German politicians and public figures have endorsed banning the AfD:

  • Vice Chancellor Habeck said the AfD’s meeting with extremists shows it is clearly “working towards the systematic destruction of democracy” and that a ban should be “seriously considered”. (The Guardian)

  • Prominent football figures Uli Hoeneß and Oliver Kahn also called for the AfD to be banned, with Hoeneß saying “there is no place in Germany for an anti-democratic party”. (Bavarian Football Works)

  • Siemens Energy Chairman Christian Bruch said politicians need to “use all legal means to resist right-wing extremists”. (Reuters)

What’s Next: Can the AfD be Banned?

The AfD is now the largest opposition party in Germany’s parliament, holding 83 out of 736 seats after gaining electoral support over the last decade. (Politico)

However, German law allows for banning political parties found to be “seeking to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order”. With evidence now linking the AfD to extremist groups and anti-democratic plans, experts say there is a real possibility of the party being banned.

  • Chancellor Scholz said his government will examine “all legal means” to confront the AfD’s extremism. (Bloomberg)

  • Leading constitutional lawyers argue there are sufficient legal grounds to initiate prohibition proceedings against the AfD. (Politico)

  • However, the process could take years and faces significant legal hurdles. Germany’s Supreme Court would have to approve any ban. (Politico)

The coming weeks will determine if German politicians decide to pursue the arduous process of attempting to ban the increasingly popular but extremist AfD party. For now, the massive weekend protests show German society united against the rise of the far-right threat.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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