About 1000 people demonstrated on friday in front of the kulmbach town hall against an election campaign appearance of the thuringian afd faction leader bjorn hocke.
It is a moment of moving symbolic power: at 19.33 o'clock the bells of spitalkirche, petrikirche, nikolaikirche, the city parish church unsere liebe frau and the churches in mangersreuth and ziegelhutten ring out. Twelve long minutes they read – until 19.45 o'clock.
Squat in kulmbach: almost 1000 people demonstrate for democracy
1933 to 1945 – a dark period in german history, memories of which are awakened when demagogues of the caliber of bjorn hocke take the floor. The afd-right-wing pigeon speaks on friday evening in the dr.-stammberger hall in kulmbach. Drauben, on the eku square, nearly 1000 people have gathered, silent as long as the bells are ringing, spontaneously forming a rough circle: protesting against the afd and its popular-nationalist slogans. "Never again war, never again fascism" says evangelical dean thomas kretschmar as the bells fall silent.
From 5 p.M. Onwards, the eku square began to fill with participants of the colorful festival, to which the SPD, grune, FDP, CSU, WGK, freie wahler, left-wing, mut party, trade unions, churches and artists had appealed.
The protest was organized by matthias hahn and michael otte. They are active in different political parties, one in the SPD, the other in the FDP. But party affiliation is not supposed to play a role this evening, nor is religion or nationality. What alone decides: the commitment to democracy, tolerance and humanity.
"We have been able to live in peace and freedom in germany for 70 years, thanks to the state system of democracy", said the most prominent speaker of the evening, FDP local politician karl schenk graf von stauffenberg. Parts of the afd had set out to undermine this system. Co-organizer and FDP district chairman otte said: "i call on all responsible politicians of the democratic center to pull together more and to treat each other with more respect"."
Many others are expressing similar sentiments. At the open microphone, but also in video statements projected on a house wall. Representatives of parties, churches, artists, trade unionists, amnesty international workers – many joined the protest. There are music contributions, poetry slam and many statements. The turkish community of kulmbach also participates in the event and serves tea.
He is welcome by the people who sometimes hold out for hours on the eku square. Others do not stay so long. It is a coming and going.
Not everyone complies with the request to demonstrate peacefully and quietly and to refrain from rioting. At the sutte, facing the city hall, a group has formed that articulates its protest with loud slogans.
Hocke appearance: strong police presence around the town hall in kulmbach
A strong police presence had already formed around the city hall early in the evening.
Many who wanted to listen to the hocke speech, including nonafd supporters, were greeted with loud slogans such as "down with the nazi plague" or "fascist pack, we are sick and tired of you" mobbed on the way to the hall.
Answer with the "stinky finger
Many an afd supporter showed the "pinky", all those who have nothing to do with right-wing ideas and just wanted to get an idea of the party's right-wing piety accepted the insults with a laugh. The demonstrators who joined the alliance under the motto "kulmbach for democracy, tolerance and humanity" were not the ones who made the protest but mainly from members of antifa who had come to kulmbach. They had positioned themselves behind the barrier that separated the eku square from the city hall. A clash with afd supporters was prevented by police forces, who showed a strong presence in the street.
During the evening, in addition to keynote speaker bjorn hocke, other speakers from the afd will speak, including the candidate for mayor of kulmbach, hagen hartmann. Hocke is considered a right-wing pagan even within the afd and is highly controversial. As faction leader in the thuringian state parliament, he had played a key role in the election of FDP politician thomas kemmerich as thuringian minister president.
Town hall filled to capacity: district chairman hock mocks demonstrators
At 18.50 o'clock the capacity limit of the hall is reached, the 338 seats are occupied. This is announced by district chairman georg hock via microphone. Visitors are no longer admitted. But many no longer wait anyway.
Against 19.3 p.M. Hock, who describes himself as an afd veteran, buries the visitors.
He also addresses a pit to the demonstrators "who hopefully will freeze". He knows about the publicity effect of the event with squatting. And it is he who responds to OB schramm's land deals. "You don't do business with your city when you're lord mayor. This is deeply immoral."
Mayoral candidate hagen hartmann initially holds back on local politics and rants about asylum policy, among other things, when an incident occurs. A young woman shouts in between and is expelled from the hall. And her friend at the same time. District chairman hock warns: "anyone who interferes will be mercilessly banned from the premises." He advises afd sympathizers: "don't let them provoke you."
Hocke is not there yet
There was also a change in the program: christiane christen, who had been announced as a speaker, fell ill and was replaced by linda amon, both of whom are among the co-founders of the controversial movement kandel is everywhere. Keynote speaker bjorn hocke was announced for 9 p.M.