In the state of Saxony, far right protesters take over the streets of Chemnitz and we don’t want to be silent about it.
While we don’t consider FvF a magazine that delivers timely commentary on current affairs, in light of the recent events in Saxony we feel the urge to share our standpoint with our readership at home and abroad. We pride ourselves on being a positive creative platform, and with a growing reach and global audience comes a responsibility to look at the situation at hand.
What happened? On Saturday, August 25, a 35-year-old German (according to broadcaster Deutsche Welle of Cuban origin) was stabbed during an argument with two other men, leaving another three people injured. An Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested, suspected to have committed the stabbing. With this hitting the news, groups of right-wing extremists took over the streets of Chemnitz on the following Monday, August 27, using the death of a person for their own agenda—a person who, according to those who knew him, didn’t adopt any political stance.
Monday’s events have been called a “predictable fiasco” by Deutsche Welle: the deployed authorities were unable (some say unwilling) to prevent the clash of 6,000 protestors and 1,500 counter-protestors as well as a number of violent attacks of foreign or seemingly foreign people. While the German government condemns the violent events in Chemnitz, accusations are being raised that politicians have been turning a blind eye and tolerating far-right ideology for far too long—with the NSU trials being a prime example of repeated state failures. A leaked arrest warrant even caused further speculations about a possible connection between xenophobic groups and the German police.
We felt it was important to acknowledge this deeply-rooted problem in our own country and to raise awareness among our readers here in Germany and internationally. With our office based in the capital of Germany and a growing international team, we neither tolerate any kind of xenophobia, nor do we want to shy away from what is happening around us—and we ask every one of our readers to do the same. If this week’s events are good for one thing, they are a reminder for us to strive for more inclusivity and diversity within our team along with the stories we tell online.
Photography: Claire Cotrell