Stabbing sparks massive refugee policy protests in Germany

Protesters march along the streets of Chemnitz. (YouTube)

By Anandita Mehta
Staff Writer

Protesters for and against Germany’s refugee policies clashed in the streets in the German city of Chemnitz on Sept. 1, following the stabbing of a 35-year-old German carpenter, according to Al Jazeera.

The victim of the stabbing, identified by the police as Daniel H., was killed the previous week on Aug. 27, according to CNN. 

An Iraqi man, 21, and a Syrian man, 22, were arrested in connection with the stabbing, according to Reuters.

Al Jazeera estimates that 4,500 right wing supporters and 3,500 left wing protesters took to the streets of the eastern German city in the wake of the stabbing, while 1,800 police officers were stationed at the protests to maintain order between both sides.

Due to a larger than expected turnout, an extra 200 police officers were deployed to Chemnitz during the course of the protests.

There were 18 reported injuries and 37 crimes under investigation as a result of the protests, according to CNN.

Both the right wing anti-immigration protesters and the opposition used fireworks that resulted in injuries.

This led the police to respond with water cannons, according to Reuters.

“If the state is no longer to protect citizens then people take to the streets and protect themselves,” Alternative for Germany politician Markus Frohnmaier tweeted in response to the killing, according to Reuters.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas stated that Germany has become “too comfortable,” and he urges the “silent majority” to stand up to the far right, anti-immigration protesters, according to CNN.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel conveyed a message through her spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, denouncing the far-right protesters. She stated the German government condemns such “vigilante justice” and the hounding of people who look different and come from different backgrounds, according to Reuters.