On February 15, Saturday, 18,000 people marched in Erfurt, the capital of the State of Thuringia, protesting the political agreement between the German liberals, center-right and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The agreement was struck ahead of the vote to elect the state premier on February 5. The call for the march was given by anti-fascist group, Unteilbar, trade unions, youth and Fridays for Future.
On Feb 5, Thomas Kemmerich from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) was elected the State’s premier with the support of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and the far-right AfD. The collusion between the German liberals and CDU and the far-right AfD that has hitherto been ostracized, sparked widespread outrage in the country. Kemmerich was forced to step down on February 8.
Ahead of the mobilization, Interventionistische Linke has said that the “right-wing conservative experiment in Erfurt has failed for the moment. The polarizing dispute between those who openly build the bridge to the right and those who defend an anti-fascist attitude and social and human rights, that is, those who want to be indivisible, has finally begun. This is no longer a question that is decided solely in parliaments and parties, but it is a social question and that is how we want to answer it”.
Herbert Leonhardt from the Thuringian committee of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), told Peoples Dispatch, “We are horrified by what we saw in the process of choosing the PM in Thuringia. It is bad that the fascists are trying to come to power. It should not happen again in Thuringia. So people have become vigilant and there have been large demonstrations in Erfurt.”
On the same day, an anti-fascist mobilization in Dresden countered a far-right mobilization called on the 75th anniversary of the Allied air raids on the city. According to reports, around 2,000 people joined the anti-fascist march in the city. The far-right in the city has been trying to manipulate the commemoration of the victims of the Dresden bombing by the allied forces (Feb 13-15, 1945) to stir up hyper-nationalist sentiments.
At Hamburg, on Saturday, at the call of the alliance Grannies against Right, 2,500 people gathered in front of the town hall and formed a human chain protesting the vicious and divisive campaigns of the far-right.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) , which was formed in April 2013, has emerged as a major political force by cashing in on the people’s disenchantment with the CDU-led government of Angela Merkel. AfD has entered both the federal parliament and the regional parliaments by running a divisive anti-immigrant, hyper nationalistic campaign.