International

Did drivers deliberately drive in a demo ?: Three injured in protests against AfD politics

Less than 15 kilometers north of Hamburg is the municipality of Henstedt-Ulzburg, which became the scene of a chaotic demonstration on Saturday that ended with several injuries and a warning shot from the police.

In the town, the Bad Segeberg neighborhood association had invited the AfD to a lecture on the “economic consequences of the corona crisis”. AfD spokesperson Jörg Meuthen was invited as a speaker in the community center. The AfD discussion event started around 3:30 pm in response to the protest of residents and supporters of the “No AfD in Henstedt-Ulzburg” alliance.

Police reported “up to 200 people from the civilian spectrum” to the counter-demonstration, which was further attended in the afternoon by 50-60 people from the leftist scene.

The protesters from the left scene appeared separate from the actual counter-protest and had recorded a spontaneous meeting in the direct access zone of the AfD event. Police said there should also have been bullying and fights against police officers and AfD supporters.

Bad Segeberg police speak of a dispute outside the actual demonstration, in which “a person from the left scene” was so badly injured in a traffic accident that she was taken to hospital.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver deliberately ran into the protesters

The “aggressive crimes” against those involved and officials following the incident allegedly required the firing of a police warning shot, according to the authority. According to the press release, an investigation was initially launched against the cause of the accident due to dangerous interference in road traffic.

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The Tagesspiegel was given the opportunity to speak to three eyewitnesses of the situation. According to her, the driver of the car intentionally sent his car into a crowd.

First, four men are said to have appeared at the counter-demonstration, who could be identified as adherents of the right-wing scene by means of stage clothing and anti-constitutional symbols and tattoos. They clearly had nothing to do with the AfD event. The group of men were driven from the square by the police.

But shortly afterwards, the right-wing parties would have returned. The four people would have deliberately provoked and only appeared on the fringes of the left-wing counter-protest to “make a fuss,” describes a demonstrator.

When the four men were expelled for the second time, they are said to have put stickers from the so-called “One Percent” initiative, which is close to the Identitarian Movement, on several lamp posts. The group is classified as right-wing extremist and is under the observation of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

When several leftists removed the stickers, at least one person from the right group of men got into his car. “However, the driver of the silver VW pick-up does not send his car into the street from the parking lot, but sends it to several people on the sidewalk,” said a witness to the situation in a telephone conversation.

Four people were hit and three of them injured before the car stopped. The eyewitnesses speak of the fact that the driver “went full throttle” and with “clear intention” followed and hit protesters.

According to an observer, the so-called “Antifa” has finally “taken” the driver out of the car. In this situation, a policeman from the State Police of Schleswig-Holstein would have picked up a gun without prior notice to fire a warning shot.

The registrants of the counter-demonstration for the AfD event also largely follow these descriptions. A press release from the alliance says, “It is terrible that a car was apparently used as a weapon against protesters.”

The firing of the police warning shot has also been criticized. In its communication, the alliance relies on the descriptions of those present, according to which “at that time no immediate threat or danger situation was recognizable”, which would justify a warning shot.

What the AfD says about the incidents

Meanwhile, the AfD mainly criticizes “left-wing extremist violence” near their event. The party spokesman for the Bad Segeberg district association, Julian Flak, complains that there are “left-wing extremist disorders that the police can barely control”.

In a press release, the party criticized “excessive demands on the police” and reported “physical attacks on participants” of the lecture. It goes on to say, “The new dimension of left-wing extremist violence is frightening when a police officer even has to fire a warning shot on the sidelines of the counter-meeting.” Emergency services apparently misjudged the situation before the event occurred, Flak told Tagesspiegel.

The public prosecutor in Kiel has now taken over the investigation. An expert was hired to examine the accident car. The purpose is, among other things, to find out at what speed the suspect approached the people.

On Monday, the public prosecutor’s office informed the Tagesspiegel that the 19-year-old driver of the car is now also under investigation on suspicion of dangerous physical injury. So far there is no evidence that this is an attack scenario, but a possible intention to kill is also under investigation, according to a representative of the authority. At first, Kiel declined to comment on the suspect’s possible political beliefs.

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