Nazis prevented from marching in Dresden
Every year thousands of nazis march to commemorate the bombing of Dresden in Southeast Germany on February 13th. Every year antifascists have mobilised against this massive national and international gathering of the far right with moderate success, however this year for the first time, they actually prevented the 6000 or so fascists from marching at all.
February 13th is the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden during World War 2, in which 25,000 people were killed. It has become a focus for German neo-Nazi groups who label the event as a “bombing Holocaust.”
After a day of blockades and barricades all over the city, nazi attempts to re-mobilise, scuffles in the snow between antifascists and fascists and police, nazi attacks and antifascist attacks, and a whole bunch of criminal damage, the police forbid the nazi march and they gave up. Over 10,000 antifascists were mobilised by a wide coalition of antifascist networks, despite police confiscating posters and deploying 5000+ officers to keep order on the day.
At some blockades nazis attempting to get to their meeting point clashed directly with protesters. A few hundred nazis also attacked the autonomous social centre ‘Conni’ en route, while antifascists managed to damage a number of nazi buses and cars.
Blockading tactics ranged from sit down blockades to burning barricades and physical confrontation, and although there were some injuries, only 27 arrests were made.
Afterwards departing nazis gathered in Pirna near Dresden and attacked the offices of the German Labour Party (SPD) and flats of “known antifascists”.
The day is being considered a success for the German antifascists that had previously been seriously outnumbered in protests against this annual march. There are a lot of links and more photos at http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/02/446162.html and photos at http://www.demotix.com/news/248366/protesters-stop-neo-nazi-march-dresden
Re-Post from Last Hours
The Alliance „Dresden Nazifrei“ (Dresden without Nazis) is trilled: For the first time 12.000 people prevented the annual nazi-march in the capital of Saxonia. For several hours they occupied streets and plazas close to Dresden-Neustadt train station. Around 17:00 o`clock the message of success came: die police cancelled the nazi-march because of the protests.
“Stopping the Nazi march was a great success for the Alliance „Dresden Nazifrei“. 12.000 people from Dresden and the whole nation surrounded the gathering point of the nazis, thanks to everybody who participated in our mass-blockades without fearing repression“, said spokeswoman Lena Roth. “It wasn’t easy — there were people injured in Nazi attacks and it was horribly cold, but it was worth it,” she said. Roth stresses the fact that for the first time the biggest nazi-march in europe was stopped. Crucial for this success were the diversity and determination of the Alliance „Dresden Nazifrei“ and the clear blocade-concept.
„The previously followed strategy of intimidation by the Dresden authorities did not work. On the contrary: After the human chain, organized by Helma Orosz [konservative major of Dresden] ended thousands of people were pouring into Dresden-Neustadt to support the blocades“ declared Roth. The human chain far away from nazi-gathering point critized Roth as „symbolical and ineffective show“. Orosz alsways wants to send just „signals“ but nazis are laughing about this. It was our blockades in Dresden-Neustadt which really prevented the nazi-march.
After the attempted but blocked nazi-march departing nazis gathered in Pirna, near Dresden and attacked a bureau of the Socialdemocratic Party (SPD) and flats of „known antifascists“.
The mass-blocades were organized on the initiative of the antifascist alliance „No Pasaran“ a german-wide network of antifascist groups and were supported by civil society groups, [left/liberal] parties and unions. In the run-up more than 600 organizations and more than 2000 individuals signed a list of support, declaring that they would come to Dresden to block the nazis. Some weeks before Dresden Authorities confiscated posters of the Alliance, which mobilized for the mass-blockades and forbid rallies, nazis attacked supporters of the Alliance and the police proudly announced the acquisition of american pepperball-guns
All in all there were five mass-blockades surrounding the gathering point of the nazis in front of Dresden-Neustadt train station. Police tried several times to break the blockades but did not succeed. Additionally for short time even the railroad tracks were blocked by antifascists causing massive delay of trains filled with nazis. Because of the blocades a lot of nazis did not manage to reach their gathering point in time. It was not untill around 14/15 o`clock when all the 5000 nazis reached their gathering point.
While the action-consent of the blockades was „We do civil disobedience against the nazi-march. We do not escalate the situation. Our mass-blockades are human blockades. We are showing solidarity with all people, who share our goal to prevent the nazi-march.“, groups of militant autonomous antifascists moved through Dresden-Neustadt nearby the blocades building several „material blockades“/barricades, set some on fire and clashed with arriving nazis who tried to reach their blocked gathering point. During this confrontation literally no police was present. Several nazis, but also antifascists got hurt. Nazis attacked a alternative/left center/squatt in Dresden-Neustadt, the „AZ-Conni“ while they tried to reach their gathering point. Several nazi-busses were smashed (attacked with stones causing brocken windows), some nazi-cars were overturned. The more than 4000 policemen and -women partly lost control over the situation and did not allow the nazis to start their march because they could not guarantee for their safety. „Only“ 27 people were arrested, this appears to be a little number compared to the actions going on.
„They did not come through“ stated the antifascist „No-Pasaran“ network. And further „Antifascism is a do-it-yourself thing, you cannot count on the state“ (source: http://nopasaran.mobi/)
To sum up: The peacefull blocades were the key to succes, the surrounding direct action of little militant antifascist additionally confused the situation for the police. This can be a first step to fight the growing neo-nazism in Saxonia which was in the last years a stronghold of the nazis. The years before up to 7000 nazis marched without any interruption – protest was not strong enough then to stop them.
After the nazi-march was cancelled all protesters gathered at Albertplatz – a plaza in Dresden-Neustadt to celebrate their victory in a final rallye. After the rallye with different speeches a spontanious antifascist demonstration marched through the city.
To celebrate their victory, antifascists created a little song, dedicated to the stopping of the nazis march on saturday:
Pictures can be found here:
pictures of the nazis: