Organizers deny that they were responsible for the escalation of violence on Saturday. But at the demonstration in Leipzig, neo-Nazis fought the police at the very front. Probably even non-political participants agree with it.

Gisela M. is the president of a children’s relief association, an animal rights activist – and a critic of the corona measures. On Sunday, she posted a photo of the “lateral thinker” demonstration in Leipzig on Instagram with the hashtags “#Freiheit #Frieden #Liebe”. In a Telegram group she wrote, “The people in black made it possible for us to run.” By “people in black” she means: hooligans and neo-Nazis.

“Zijdenkers” praise the right-wing extremists

The animal rights activist’s name is not Gisela M. Her real name doesn’t matter, she should just be an example that it doesn’t have to be wrong for the “silks” to reject the accusation that they are right-wing extremists. Founder Michael Ballweg is even outraged that “a peaceful movement from the center of society is unjustly criminalized and stigmatized”. This is in line with the self-image of many protesters, who come across as peacemakers with henna in their hair and balloons or candles in their hands.

Photo series with 18 photos

However, many participants apparently gladly accepted that hooligans and right-wing extremists would do the dirty work for them. For example, in the Telegram group, in which Gisela M. also posted, a nurse wrote, “Without our hooligans, our youth, the walk would not have happened.” The demonstration across the Leipzig ring road, which the “silk cherry” longed for, was only possible because the police cleared the way under increasing pressure. Although – unlike the previous big meeting – the lift was banned by the Bautzen Higher Administrative Court.

Party officials were warmed up

In the first row in the confrontation with the police, neo-Nazis were known all over Germany. There, video footage shows officials of the party “The Rights”, whose constitutional defense testifies to an “ideological affinity with historic National Socialism”. The executives Sven Skoda and Michael Brück stood with microphones in front of the police barriers and warmed their masked companions.

Forbidden comrades are organized in the party. Many of the officers have criminal records and are known to be violent. Nationally, the micro party repeatedly caused a sensation: in the Dortmund city council they asked to know how many people of Jewish faith live in the city. There she was represented by the old neo-Nazi squad Siegfried Borchardt, known as “SS-Siggi” because of his tattoos.

Fists, bottles, fireworks

They were usually such right-wing extremists allowing the “lateral thinkers” to march on. Because not only “Dierechte” was mobilized to Leipzig. The NPD and “Third Way” also promoted and attended the event. A similar attraction to the violent far-right scene, aside from the Berlin “Querdenker” demonstration in August, was only the AfD’s so-called “silent march” in Chemnitz.

The ban on the Leipzig demonstration did not prevent “lateral thinking” from leading the protesters of the recently dissolved assembly in the right direction. You have “heard that many meeting participants walk to the inner city ring”, “think laterally” in its channels. And Erfurt’s spokesperson, “lateral thinking”, Arno Niederländer, was invited across the ring “at your own risk” by megaphone. “We don’t need endless chatter on any stage.”

The man had already noticed: at a meeting in Schmalkalden, the Dutch had called for “not to demonstrate in front of town halls and district offices, but to finally go in and get the criminals out”. Ballweg stated at the same time, “lateral thinking” will “always be peaceful, free and nonviolent”.

Neo-Nazis, with whom the alliance supposedly wants nothing to do with, were largely responsible for the march. Because when the police barriers to the march actually came to an end, not only, but above all, attacked the police officers in the front row with their fists, bottles and fireworks – while behind them pushed people like child welfare activist Gisela M. After hours in which the now almost typical spectrum of esotericists and conspiracy theories dominated the picture in Leipzig and groups from the NPD, for example, were not particularly noticeable, the organized extremist groups had now made their entrance. They had lost their temper.

NPD in the thick of it: Former federal president and MEP Udo Voigt on the edge of the Leipzig “lateral thinking” rally. The photo was distributed in a Telegram channel “against the corona madness”. “Think outside the box” lawyer Ralf Ludwig thought participation in the NPD was good: you bring it back to the middle of society, “he claimed on Sunday.

Perhaps this is most evident in the video summary of a neo-Nazi party official “The Right”: “Peace dances and pictures of hearts certainly don’t stop the BRD regime and the Corona regulations,” he said. Events on Saturday are heading in the right direction. “But the esoteric touch and the pacifist are nothing that will change anything in this system.” Neo-Nazi violence is apparently acceptable to Gisela M. and her colleagues.

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