BERLIN, Germany: An estimated 6,000 people came to Berlin to attend a rally of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) Sunday and were met with counter-protests from an estimated 25,000 leftist activists.
The rally, which took place between noon and 4pm, saw an estimated 6,000 supports of the populist party which sits in the German parliament as the official opposition to the grand coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).
The AfD event began at Berlin’s central train station and saw the rally goers march to the Brandenburg gate where several AfD leaders, including Alexander Gauland, gave speeches on various topics including the Islamisation of Germany.
Several counter-protests were organised around the AfD rally, including the “Bass instead of Hate” event which took place on the opposite side of the Brandenburg Gate with loud music in an attempt to “drown out” the AfD speakers.
Another protest, largely consisting of supporters of the far-left Die Linke and, Jusos, the youth wing of the Social Democrats (SPD) shouted various slogans at the AfD rally including “Nazis Out!”
Among the counter-protestors were individuals waving the flag of the far-left extremist Antifa movement which recently published a “riot tourist” terror-handbook encouraging supporters to attack AfD offices, war memorials, and shut down the party’s upcoming conference in Augsburg at the end of June.
The pamphlet also included links to a blog which linked to the terrorist manual “Prisma” which instructs Antifa members how to make remote-detonated firebombs and how to sabotage infrastructure by cutting down power lines.
While there were some arrests of counter-protestors, including well-known 73-year-old activist Irmela Mensah-Schramm, the AfD event and the counter-protests were relatively peaceful with no major incidents of violence.