Police on alert
“Day X” demo banned, Leipzig’s mayor worried about security
6/2/2023, 7:18 p.m
The left scene is not allowed to demonstrate in Leipzig on Saturday. According to the administrative court, the event organized by supporters of a group of suspected left-wing extremists is “highly likely to be unsettled”.
The left-wing autonomous demonstration on “Day X” in Leipzig after the verdict against student Lina E. remains prohibited. The administrative court in Leipzig rejected an urgent application against the ban by the city. It is possible to lodge a complaint with the Saxon Higher Administrative Court in Bautzen. The police continue to prepare a major operation for Saturday. Leipzig’s Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung (SPD) was concerned about security in the trade fair city in view of numerous calls for violence on social media.
The city had the “Day X” demo planned for Saturday with the motto “United we stand – despite everything, defend autonomous anti-fascism!” forbidden because an unpeaceful course was to be feared. The basis for this were risk forecasts by the police and situation assessments by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In left circles had been mobilized nationwide. Police said there were also threats of violence and calls for militancy. In connection with the “Day X” ban, Friday evening in Leipzig also came into focus. In the Connewitz district, a “mass corner” was called for in the evening. Various antifa and anarchy accounts promoted “taking the streets”. Solidarity cannot be forbidden, it said in the appeals.
Court upholds city’s hazard forecast
The “Day X” is a reaction to the conviction of the student Lina E. and three co-defendants for assaults on alleged or actual neo-Nazis. The quartet was sentenced to several years in prison by the Dresden Higher Regional Court on Wednesday for assault and membership or support of a criminal organization. Lina E., who had been in custody for two and a half years, was provisionally released after the verdict was pronounced.
The administrative court stated that there was a high probability that the meeting would not go peacefully. In this respect, the city’s risk forecast proves to be correct. In particular, it should be noted that the mobilization on the Internet, including the call for demonstrations, was also aimed at an autonomous left-wing extremist scene prepared to use violence. Even if calls for violence have been distanced in the meantime and a peaceful demonstration was recently called for, there is still a fear that acts of violence would be committed from the registered assembly. In addition, the registered number of participants of 400 to 500 does not seem remotely realistic. According to the administrative court, a much higher number of participants is to be expected.
Police have special powers
Since Friday, 6 p.m., a so-called control area has been in place in Leipzig, which includes large parts of the city in the east, south and west. There, the police can stop people and check their identity for no particular reason. The police had announced that arrival traffic on the streets and at the main train station should also be controlled. According to the Leipzig police department, it is supported by hundreds of people including technology from twelve federal states and the federal police.
“We see with great concern the open, sometimes hateful calls for violence from the anarchist left-wing extremist milieu in the social media. But violence must never be a means of political debate,” said Leipzig’s city manager Jung. In the city of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, violence taken to the streets is completely unacceptable. “I appeal to everyone not to join the calls and to unequivocally distance themselves from any form of violence.”
Impromptu demo escalates for a short time
There was a solidarity demonstration for Lina E. on Wednesday evening. It was stopped right at the beginning due to violations of conditions and the clearly excessive number of participants. The situation then briefly escalated. Stones and firecrackers were thrown at police officers.
On Thursday evening, the left-wing member of the state parliament, Juliane Nagel, was arrested by the police for registering a youth demonstration on Children’s Day. Video images of the police action triggered heavy criticism. In the social networks, the police, the Ministry of the Interior and the city of Leipzig were accused of escalating the situation around “Day X”. A police spokesman pointed out that numerous anti-police slogans had been shouted at the youth demonstration.
According to the police, Nagel met with the Leipzig police chief René Demmler and the Saxon interior minister Armin Schuster (CDU) on Friday. In doing so, the police operation on Thursday and the meeting were objectively and critically dealt with. Those involved agreed that before “Day X” there was uncertainty and fears of riots and that de-escalation had to be the order of the day. Nagel also called for “de-escalation on all sides”.
In addition to “Day X”, there are a number of other major events in Leipzig this weekend. It’s a city festival, Herbert Grönemeyer is giving a concert in front of tens of thousands of visitors and on Saturday Lok Leipzig and Chemnitzer FC are playing for the Saxony Cup. A cancellation of this football game was considered, but then discarded.