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Anti-Far-Right Protests Erupt Following Attack on European Parliament Member

Berlin, May 05, 2024, The Europe Today: In the wake of the violent assault on Social Democrat (SPD) lawmaker Matthias Ecke, a member of the European Parliament, calls for anti-far-right protests have reverberated across Berlin and Dresden on Sunday.

Ecke fell victim to an attack in Dresden while engaged in campaign activities ahead of June’s European parliamentary elections. The assailants, identified as a group of young males, allegedly affiliated with the far-right scene, targeted Ecke and another Green Party member who was also campaigning in the vicinity.

The incident left Ecke requiring urgent medical attention, underscoring the severity of the assault and the growing threat posed by far-right extremism in Germany.

Responding to the attack, activist groups including “Zusammen gegen Rechts” (Together against the right) and “Wir sind die Brandmauer Dresden” (We are the firewall Dresden) swiftly organized spontaneous protests in Berlin and Dresden, denouncing far-right violence and advocating for tolerance and solidarity.

The resurgence of far-right and extremist groups, notably exemplified by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has raised concerns across Germany, particularly in eastern states such as Saxony, where such ideologies have gained traction. The AfD’s surge in popularity has sparked heated debates over its far-right policies and prompted calls for its potential ban.

Recent revelations, including AfD members’ attendance at meetings with neo-Nazi extremists discussing radical agendas, have intensified scrutiny on the party. Germany’s domestic intelligence service is reportedly considering designating the AfD as a “definite extremist endeavor.”

In response to the escalating political violence, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has called for a coordinated response from federal and state authorities to safeguard democratic institutions and combat extremism.

The attacks on politicians like Ecke and Kai Gehring, as well as the suspension of campaign activities by the Greens in response to escalating threats, underscore the gravity of the situation. Fabian Funke, a Social Democrat member, warned of the rising hostility towards political figures, emphasizing the threat to democracy posed by such acts of violence.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the attack as a direct assault on democracy, urging unity in combating far-right extremism. Similarly, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell denounced the violence, calling for concerted efforts to confront growing extremism reminiscent of dark periods in history.

As Germany grapples with the resurgence of far-right ideologies and the threat they pose to democratic values, the collective response from political leaders and civil society remains pivotal in safeguarding the nation’s democratic fabric.