Germany: Racist Mob Hinders Fire Fighters & Celebrates as Refugee Shelter Burns Down

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In Bautzen, Germany a racist mob celebrated as a planned refugee center burned down on Sunday. The mob also hindered firefighters from extinguishing the blaze.
Police spokesperson Thomas Knaut said: “Some people reacted to the arson with derogatory comments and undisguised joy.” Two men were detained as they refused to leave the area around the burning building and repeatedly obstructed police work. The two men were released a few hours later, and according to police, questioned as witnesses about the fire. Police suspect an arson attack caused the fire.

The racist mob that blocked a bus with refugees in Clausnitz, Germany on Thursday, and the cheering crowd in Bautzen are not the only signs that fascism is on the rise again in Germany and other European countries. On top of that, the conduct of the police and reactionary politicians are part of the problem.

On German public TV, Prime minister of the German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich (CDU), compared the racist mobs of Clausnitz and Bautzen in his state to protests against a new train station in Stuttgart today. Hannes Rockenbauch, a local politician from Stuttgart was disgusted by Tillich’s comparison. Rockenbauch said: “With all due respect Mr. Tillich, but by a failure like you we will not be pulled through your brown dirt in Stuttgart.” Matthias Gastel, a member of German parliament for the Green Party said in reaction: “You (PM Tillich) trivialize a serious problem of racism in your state and at the same time criminalize a citizens’ movement with a legitimate goal.”

This is not the first time people have questioned or become upset about Tillich’s racist views in Saxony. The xenophobic Pegida movement was  invited by Tillich to take part in a “citizens forum for dialogue”. At the end, even a regional chairman of the fascist NPD party in Erzgebirge took part in these talks between the state government of Saxony and Pegida activists. The active NPD neo-nazis organised fascist marches against local refugee shelters. In an interview, Tillich also stated that Islam doesn’t belong in Saxony. Last week, Tillich’s state chancellery invited a member of the Pegida organising committee, Siegfried Däbritz, to the official state “Thank you” party for those who support refugees in Saxony. Däbritz was disinvited again after a shitstorm on social media, but people are still asking themselves why he was invited in the first place.

Tillich is not the only politician who helped Pegida become mainstream and normalized in Germany. In January 2015, the interior minister of Saxony Markus Ulbig met with Kathrin Oertel, who was part of the Pegida organising committee at that time. The state interior ministry refused to inform the media about the details of the meeting. Oertel was also invited to appear on German talkshows, and used this platform to spread her xenophobic ideas. Oertel later left Pegida, after internal arguments between members of the Pegida organising committee.

On January 23, 2015 the federal minister of economic affairs, Siegmar Gabriel (SPD) took part in a discussion with Pegida followers. Gabriel later distanced himself from Pegida, but the damage was done. Politicians like Tillich, Ulbig, Gabriel and many other politicians sanitised the public image of the Pegida movement and xenophobic views in Germany.

There are also many questions about the role of the police in Clausnitz on February 18. Were the police unwilling or unable to act against the racist mob that blocked the bus with refugees on Thursday? The racist mob was cheering as a police officer used violence against a refugee child to remove him from the bus. According to the police, the racist mob laughed at them as police offers asked them to leave, but during a police press conference on Saturday, a police spokesperson said the police are investigating refugees who were in the bus. In some German media outlets journalists were stunned and asked wether the police are blind on their right eye.

Tomorrow we will publish a story about the far right and the role of the police in Germany.

You can follow the racist attacks in Germany by using the hashtag #Kaltland on Twitter


Video of the racist mob in Clausnitz:

Police violence against refugee child in Clausnitz:






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About Author

Born near the city of Amsterdam I started filming, taking photos and writing for autonomous and other magazines in the 1980's in Amsterdam. Nowadays I write for Revolution News and several blogs in Germany. Sometimes I live in Germany, sometimes on Tenerife, Canary Islands.