*This is a developing story.
Germany, ever struggling with their historical demons, has just seen two days of clashes between far-right wing protesters, neo-Nazis, counter-protesters, anti-fascists, and the police. The clashes have taken place in the town of Chemnitz, a town in Saxony in Eastern Germany. Having started after an alleged lethal stabbing by Iraqi and Syrian refugees at a popular street festival, far-right wing protesters took to the streets on Sunday.
According to the BBC, about 100 protesters initially gathered without incident, yet a short time later an additional 1,000 protesters joined their ranks in the city center. The demonstration of far-right protesters was further aided by calls from groups like Pegida, known in English as the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, while another far-right politician was quoted as saying, “If the state is no longer to protect citizens then people take to the streets and protect themselves. It’s as simple as that!”
Protesters have been filmed giving Nazi salutes and yelling for “foreigners” to leave the country, while German police have said they are now investigating alleged assaults against an Afghan, Bulgarian, and Syrian due to the protests. Yet as the night wore on and the ranks of protesters grew, so did the ranks of the counter-protesters and anti-fascists, who have also massed in the city chanting “refugees welcome.”
Monday was the second night of clashes which left several people wounded as police attempt to contain the situation. The New York Times just reported that after a break in the clashes mid-day on Monday, they resumed towards the evening with thousands of protesters marching with German flags “Chemnitz is ours — foreigners out.” They were also joined by groups of neo-Nazis, who eventually broke through the police barricades. Usage of projectiles: bottles, fireworks, and other items have been reportedly used by both protesters and counter-protesters.
The spokesman for the Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, told journalists. “We don’t tolerate such unlawful assemblies and the hounding of people who look different or have different origins and attempts to spread hatred on the streets.”