German Far Rights Gain Spark Protest

by Felicity Collier

ANTI-RACISM campaigners took to the streets of London last night to protest at the German far right’s recent electoral success.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), an anti-EU party with a large fascist wing, attracted a shock 12.6 per cent share of the vote in Sunday’s parliamentary election, winning seats in the lower house Bundestag for the first time.

Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU party saw its vote share shrink from 41.5 per cent to 33 per cent, meaning she will have to form a new coalition.

Talks are reported to have started with the Christian Social Union, the pro-business Free Democratic Party and the Greens.

Gathering outside the German embassy in Belgravia, the groups Stand up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism called on political leaders across Europe and the US to stop fuelling racism and Islamophobia.

Stand Up to Racism described Germany’s election outcome as a “chilling example of the right-wing racist populism that has won electoral success from France and Germany to Trump’s victory in the US.”

It pointed out that France’s fascist National Front leader Marine Le Pen had celebrated the result.

Interim Ukip leader Steve Crowther also congratulated the AfD, calling the election result a “brave move” and crowing that “people were no longer prepared to be ignored and coerced by the left.”

A senior AfD member is due to speak at Ukip’s conference in Torquay at the end of the week.

Sabby Dhalu, co-convener of Stand up to Racism and joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, insisted: “Mobilising internationally against the growth of the far-right AfD is crucial, particularly given Ukip’s decision to invite the AfD to Britain.”

She said the AfD’s growth showed that concessions to racism and Islamophobia only benefit the far right, and urged the labour movement and all anti-racists to unite against fascism.

A Hope Not Hate spokesman told the Star: “It’s little surprise that radical right parties are seeking closer ties.

“Ukip’s youth wing, for example, has developed ties with the Sweden Democrats, a party with a long history on the extreme right.”

He added, however, that with Ukip’s former financer Arron Banks and ex-party leader Nigel Farage likely to launch a rival movement, Ukip’s drift ever rightwards — with the potential for anti-Muslim extremist Anne Marie Waters to become leader — “looks set to further consign it to irrelevancy.” (Source:  Morning Star)

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