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Mass Protests Against Far-Right AfD Party Draw 250,000 Germans

250,000 Germans turn out in mass protests of far-right AfD party

Over the weekend, extensive protests unfolded across Germany, drawing an estimated 250,000 participants who voiced their opposition to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The catalyst for these demonstrations was a report released on January 10 by investigative outlet Correctiv, revealing that AfD representatives engaged in discussions with extremist groups in Potsdam in November. The focal point of these talks included the contentious issue of mass expulsion or “remigration” of individuals with migrant backgrounds, sparking widespread outrage.

This development comes at a time when tensions in Germany are escalating due to the increasing popularity of the AfD, which has capitalized on public discontent with the government. The nation witnessed a 0.3% economic decline and a 5.9% inflation rate last year, the second-highest since German reunification.

Mass Protests Against Far-Right AfD Party Draw 250,000 Germans

Mass Protests Against Far-Right AfD Party Draw 250,000 Germans (Credits: 8 News Now)

Nationally, the AfD is polling at 22% support, surpassing Chancellor Olaf Sholz’s Socialist Democratic Party, which currently holds only 13% support. Despite this, the demonstrators on Saturday were unequivocal in their rejection of AfD’s “remigration” vision. Notably, one of the largest rallies occurred in Hanover, where an estimated 35,000 participants gathered, along with 35,000 protesters in Frankfurt and 30,000 in Dortmund.

In Hamburg, authorities had to interrupt a rally due to safety concerns, as the turnout exceeded expectations, with estimates ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 attendees. Chancellor Sholz, welcoming the protests, denounced “remigration” as “an attack on our democracy,” emphasizing the severe threat posed by right-wing extremists to the democratic fabric of the country.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser drew parallels between the Potsdam meeting and the infamous 1942 Wannsee Conference, where Nazis planned the extermination of European Jews. While the AfD acknowledged the presence of its members at the Potsdam meeting, it has denied incorporating “remigration” into its official agenda.

Additional anti-AfD demonstrations, including a significant one in Berlin’s capital city, are scheduled for Sunday.

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