German Vice-Chancellor and Social Democratic chair gives neo-Nazis the finger
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who chairs the Social Democratic Party (SPD), raised his middle finger last week in the direction of neo-Nazi demonstrators protesting him during an election campaign appearance in Lower Saxony. Video footage of the incident, which happened last Friday, has been posted online (see below).
Ultra-right extremists dressed in black can be seen in the video carrying a banner that reads "Traitor" and shouting at the SPD head that he is "destroying Germany". Gabriel first waves his hand dismissively at them with what is apparently a tired smile, then raises his middle finger in their direction before turning his back on them.
Video footage of the incident was posted to the Facebook page of the ultra-left organization Antifa Kampfausbildung. Footage was also posted to the Facebook page of the Young National Democrats of Braunschweig, which is the youth organization of the ultra-right NPD (National Democratic Party).
Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that the SPD has confirmed the incident did indeed take place. Gabriel has been targeted by the ultra-right as a consequence of his positions in the debate on immigration.
In August 2015 the Vice-Chancellor sharply condemned the neo-Nazi attacks committed against a refugee center in Heidenau, Saxony and the rioting there, using the term "pack" to refer those who engineered the unrest. He has publicly distanced himself more than once from his father, who was a convinced National Socialist.
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