Germany: Berlin wants to ban planned demonstration against Islamists
Germany's capital is doing its best to ban a planned demonstration against Islamists that has been organized by neo-Nazis and a group that has been labeled one of football hooligans. A similar demonstration in Cologne on Sunday 26 October resulted in clashes with police during which 49 officers were injured.
The demonstrations are being convened at a time when uneasiness is growing over the idea that military actions by Western countries against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria may have caused the radicalization of some youth with Muslim roots in Germany and other countries. German Interior Minister Tomas de Maiziére warned last week that the number of German citizens who have joined the Islamists is alarmingly high.
Reuters reported that the Cologne demonstration was attended by roughly 4 000 hooligans and neo-Nazis, most of them drunk. Demonstrators threw objects at police, who used pepper spray and water cannon in return.
The hooligans now want to hold a protest against ultra-conservative Islamic Salafists at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on 15 November. The date is one week prior to the capital celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Frank Henkel, head of the State of Berlin's Senate Department for the Interior and Sports, told the ARD television channel he had heard 10 000 people want to participate in the protests. "We will do everything in our power to ban this demonstration," he said.
"We are encountering a new dimension, a new vein of radicalism and street violence. [In Cologne] it was clear from the beginning that it was not about political expression, but that they were seeking physical clashes, especially with police," Henkel said.
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