Wednesday 13 December 2017

Refugees weep as German protesters shout 'go home'

Protesters in Germany chanting for refugees to go home Credit: janboehm
Protesters in Germany chanting for refugees to go home Credit: janboehm

David Kearns

A video has emerged showing a hundreds of men blocking a bus full of visibly shaken refugees in Germany, chanting “we are the people” and demanding that those on-board “go home”.

German officials have condemned the incident, with many saying they are “ashamed” of the behaviour of the 100 strong anti-refugee protesters.

The mob began chanting slogans as the bus loaded with refugees arrived in the town of Clausnitz in Saxony.

Women and children can be seen in the bus, and one young boy appears to be crying as he looks out at the crowd.

According to the Freie Presse newspaper, witnesses described seeing a number of protesters making “cut-throat gestures” at those inside the bus.

Read More: Austria vows to press ahead with plans to cap the number of asylum seekers entering the country

It is understood that some 100 anti-refugee protesters gathered on Thursday evening outside the asylum seekers’ accommodation in the village of Clausnitz, 19 miles south of Dresden.

A number of vehicles were used to block access to the building, forcing those inside the bus to get off and walk through the crowd of protesters.

Police in Saxony said on Facebook that they had deployed 30 officers to keep the mob clear of those getting off the bus.

Read More: Opposition to migrant policy grows in Germany

“We were able to prevent it coming to physical confrontations or injuries," they wrote.

"The terrible images and video reached us this morning via social media. As the police we have to remain neutral during our deployments.

"That is difficult for us in this situation. We are all people in blue uniforms, who feel just the same as you when we watch the video."

As the video circulated online, many in Germany condemned the footage. 

Read More: Austria and EU on collision course over asylum applications cap

Well known German TV comedian Jan Böhmermann brought the video to light, writing on Twitter: "Clausnitz (Saxony) yesterday. The German fear mob greets those who escaped the jaws of death."

Markus Ulbig, the interior minister of Saxony, said: "I find it utterly disgraceful... As much need for a discussion there may be over the refugee question, I find it deeply shameful to see how people are being treated here.”

“This was about politics, not the people themselves,” said Michael Funke, the mayor of Rechenberg-Bienenmühle, the municipality where the incident took place.

Read More: Pegida leader faces trial over Facebook comments 'incitement'

The slogan “we are the people” was used during protests calling for the reunification of West and East Germany in the 1980s and 1990s.

The phase however has been recently picked up by anti-refugee movements in Germany and by the group PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West).

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