Yesterday, Friday, October 30th, more than 200 people responded to the alliance’s appeal “Heilbronn is standing across” and protested against the start of the election campaign for the “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) with its federal chairwoman, Frauke Petry, in the Heilbronn shooting range.
Protests against right-wing agitation
At the opening rally, representatives of the “Organized Left Heilbronn” (OL), the Heilbronn-Unterland district of the party “Die LINKE”, the Heilbronn district association of “Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen”, the “open anti-fascist” Meet Heilbronn “(OAT) and a Heilbronn support group for refugees on the causes of flight and displacement and on the right-wing populist and racist character of the AfD. The speakers emphasized the need to stand together in solidarity against right-wing agitation and to declare war on the Germany-wide shift to the right.
Finally, the speaker of the “Jusos Heilbronn” called on the participants of the rally to stand in the way of the racists and to give Frauke Petry’s right-wing agitation a clear rejection.
Despite the sometimes very aggressive attempts by the police to shield the area in front of the shooting range, a large part of the rally participants pulled up to shortly before the entrance of the building to confront the racists with loud protests.
City administration enables AfD event
The police present repeatedly used dogs in a completely disproportionate manner against anti-fascists. At least two activists were bite wounds. The Heilbronn city administration had already followed up on old traditions beforehand. While she chauffeured fascists to their rally site in chauffeured city buses in March 2014, this time she rented a city-owned event hall to right-wing populists.
The event started more than an hour late because Frauke Petry was stuck in a traffic jam. After she was smuggled into the shooting house under the protection of several police officers equipped with signs, her lecture finally began in front of an audience of over 100. This was also visited by local celebrities from Heilbronn. Among other things, the federal chairman of the Islamophobic “Citizens’ Movement Pax Europe” (BPE) Conny Axel Meier visited the AfD district association.
Anti-fascist spontaneous demonstration
After the start of the event, the police asked the participants in the counter-protests to leave the square several times by megaphone. More than 50 activists followed the request a little later in their own way and marched in a spontaneous demonstration against racism and right-wing agitation undisturbed by the police past the main train station to Kiliansplatz in Heilbronn city center.
We see the protests against the AfD’s election campaign as a success. In contrast to the rally against the right-wing populists’ event with Alexander Gauland in May of this year, a direct anti-racist protest against the racist agitation was enforced this time. Even if the blockade of the event did not succeed, the willingness of the various rally participants to participate in the blockade attempt through civil disobedience gives hope that the Heilbronn district association of the “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) will find it difficult in the future.