Germany’s Far-Right Begins with Clashes and Arrests Congress of AfD

Germany’s Far-Right Begins with Clashes and Arrests Congress of AfD

The far-right AfD in Germany began its party convention on Saturday amid skirmishes between police and hooded protestors, just weeks after the party achieved historic results in the EU election in spite of several scandals.

As over 600 delegates started a two-day meeting with authorities anticipating up to 80,000 people to participate in demonstrations, about 1,000 police officers were stationed in the western city of Essen.

There were multiple violent and disruptive incidents in the Ruettenscheld quarter. Some of the hooded demonstrators attacked the security personnel. The police in Essen’s home state of North Westphalia reported on X that several arrests had been made.

Protesters may include “potentially violent far-left troublemakers,” a top regional official warned.

As she opened the congress with a resounding round of applause, AfD co-president Alice Weidel declared, “We are here and we will stay.”
“Like all political parties, we have the right to hold a congress,” she continued.

The football event Euro 2024 is making things more difficult for the security forces. Germany, the hosts, will play Denmark in the round of 16 on Saturday in Dortmund, which is not far from Essen.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) achieved its highest result in the European Union election since its founding in 2013, taking second place with 16 percent of the vote in early June.

It trailed the largest opposition group, the conservative CDU-CSU, but was ahead of the Social Democrats (SPD), led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and in charge of a strained three-party coalition.

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