On August 24, more than 40,000 people gathered for a massive anti-fascist demonstration in Dresden, Germany. The rally, held under the banner Unteilbar (indivisible), was called by a platform of 400 organizations to counter ultra-right manoeuvres and hate campaigns ahead of regional elections scheduled for the first week of September. Ultra-right neo-nazi political groups, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the European Patriots against Western Islamization (PEGIDA), have gained a strong presence in the east German state of Saxony and its capital Dresden.
According to reports, the rally was attended by trade unions, anti-fascist groups, human rights groups, environmentalists, LGBTQ groups as well as center and left political parties. The rally called for “solidarity rather than exclusion”, for “an open and free society”, and vowed to resist the rise of neo-nazi and fascist forces in the country. The organizers of the rally claimed that it was the largest demonstration in the city since the reunification of Germany in 1990.
Ahead of the Unteilbar demonstration, the organizers called on people to rise up against discrimination, poverty, racism, sexism, disenfranchisement, and nationalism in all forms. “Before regional elections take place in Saxony, Thuringia, and Brandenburg, we are standing up to renew our commitment to protecting a unified and vibrant society bounded by the ideals of freedom and social justice,” the organizers said in a statement.
“Democracy, human rights, and participation in society cannot be taken for granted. For them to live on, we must actively nourish and defend them on a daily basis. Gross social injustice and irresponsible environmental destruction is the result of policies that put profits and growth before human lives. These very policies are slowly legitimizing exclusion and separation – with deadly consequences not only at the borders of the EU, but far beyond. This is our fight and #unteilbar, as a civil alliance, will continue to use our progressive platform to fight all forms of hate, bigotry, and marginalization,” they added.
The Junge Welt reported that the rally was attended by federal politicians, including Olaf Scholz, Ralf Stegner and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), as well as Bernd Riexinger from Die Linke (The Left) party.
In the 2014 state elections to Saxony, the Christain Democartic Union (CDU) had got 59 seats and formed a coalition with the SPD, which had 18 seats, to get a majority in the 126-seat state assembly. The Left had received 27 seats and the Afd 14 seats. But later on, the AfD emerged as the major party in Saxony, achieving the highest percentage of the state’s votes in both the 2017 federal elections and the 2019 EU elections. The AfD has initiated several racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant campaigns in the country to gain support and popularity.