Suspected right-wing extremists disrupted the Christopher Street Day (CSD) in the town of Weißenfels in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, not far from the city of Leipzig.
CSD is Germany’s version of the LGBTQ Pride event that is celebrated around the world.
Far-right extremist suspects
According to a police spokeswoman in Halle, officers identified 23 participants causing a disruption during the event on Saturday and therefore filed charges.
The police filed a complaint for the use of unconstitutional symbols — that’s to say symbols such as the swastika with connection to Germany’s Nazi past.
Investigations into the incident were underway, which, according to the spokesperson, began with the assumption that those involved had aright-wing extremist background.
According to the organizers and police, the neo-Nazi and right-wing extremist party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) had already made threats against the demonstration in the run-up to the CSD. Prior to the event, there had been hate mail on the internet as well as calls to throw eggs at participants of the parade.
Police criticized for lack of preparation
According to the police, about 600 people took part in the CSD in Weißenfels. After the disturbances at the beginning, the event proceeded “without major incidents”.
The regional Left Party, of which the two main organizers were members, also described the atmosphere on the online service Twitter, which has since been renamed X, as “pleasant, friendly and exuberant”. According to their own count, 800 people took part.
At the same time, the Left Party referred to “problems” and criticized the police for lack of preparation. “Unfortunately, the authorities were (once again) inadequately prepared for the right-wing extremist threat situation,” the party explained.
The District Administrator Götz Ulrich, a member of the center-right party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), thanked the organizers and participants. He had taken over the patronage of the Weißenfels CSD. He believed it was his task to be “standing by the side of people whose rights are threatened”, he explained on Twitter.
“This is even more true when Nazis try to disrupt the #CSDBLK and intimidate participants,” he said referring to the event.
los/ab (EPD, AFP)