German bands hold concert against racism in Chemnitz

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-03 22:07:37|Editor: Li Xia
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BERLIN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Several German bands are scheduled to hold a joint concert in Chemnitz on Monday to commemorate the recent murder of a 35-year-old man in the eastern German town while protesting a series of far-right mobilizations which were inspired by the incident.

The event, mainly known by its "we are more", was organized in response to the ongoing political instrumentalization of the murder case by right-wing groups such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the PEGIDA movement and the local "Pro Chemnitz" initiative. Around 30,000 guests have announced that they will attend the concerts which will feature a range of popular musicians in Germany including Die Toten Hosen, K.I.Z., and Chemnitz-based Kraftklub.

The organizers of the concert explained the purpose thereof on its Facebook page as being to "express disgust" that people were taking the alleged stabbing of a Chemnitz resident by an Iraqi and a Syrian national as an opportunity to "let their racism run wild". The event will commence with a minute of silent contemplation for the 35-year-old murder victim.

The incident which took place at the recent Chemnitz "City Festival" has led to spontaneous "Pro Chemnitz"-led marches which were joined by up to 6,000 protestors at a time. Local police struggled to regain control of the situation, as violent protestors threatened and chased civilians with foreign appearances, and clashed with a separate anti-Nazi demonstration.

Ernst Walter, president of the Federation of German Police Officers (BDK) subsequently issued a public warning that German police faced a dramatic situation in which they could no longer guarantee security and order across all parts of the country. The situation has since calmed down again after Chemnitz police were reinforced with personnel from other German states. Both murder suspects have been reprimanded in custody by police as they await the commencement of formal court proceedings.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) emphasized earlier that her government would not tolerate citizens resorting to lynch justice rather than turning to the responsible security authorities to resolve crimes. "We have video material of angry mobs chasing down civilians and of open hatred on the street, neither of which is compatible with the rule of law," Merkel said.

Nevertheless, AfD deputy leader Alexander Gauland has rejected growing criticism that his party is stoking violence and seeking to undermine Germany's constitutional order. Gauland argued that it was understandable that the murder case had witnessed public displays of anger which he described as "legitimate after this kind of crime." Several leading AfD politicians are expected in Chemnitz for a further "Pro Chemnitz" rally which will take place in parallel to the "we are more" concert.

In a statement published online, Feine Sahne Fischfilet, one of the participating bands, argued that it was all the more important for artists and concert-goers to send a signal on Monday that far-right protestors did not enjoy the backing of the broader population. "It would be fantastic if 10,000 people come together on Monday and manage to show the racist mob for just a day that there are still others who challenge them on the streets."