Chemnitz, a city in the eastern German state of Saxony, has seen a series of violent anti-immigrant protests.
The demonstrations began last Sunday after the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German man of Cuban origin and the subsequent arrest of two suspects – asylum seekers from Iraq and Syria.
Chanting slogans such as “Germany for Germans”, the far-right protesters took to the streets to protest against the stabbing and reportedly gave Nazi salutes.
Police struggled to maintain control as fights broke out between right- and left-wing demonstrators who threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at each other.
The events have raised concerns that Chemnitz is becoming a stronghold for those with far-right views, exposing divisions in German society when it comes to the question of immigration.
In 2015, at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed more than a million people into the country.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, seizing on concerns over what it saw as Merkel’s open-door policy, became the country’s main opposition political force, winning 92 parliamentary seats in last year’s elections.
Is anti-immigrant sentiment growing in Germany?
Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra
Philipp Sauter – student activist and anti-fascism campaigner
Cynthia Miller-Idriss – professor of education at the American University
Mona El Omari – political activist and community educator
Source: Al Jazeera News