Afd Parteitag In Köln

Germany’s right-wing AfD has obtained off kommen sie a rough anfang at its national convention in Cologne. Zum protesters, though, die day was as viel a street splitterpartei as about die political party.’S elisabeth Schumacher reports.

Du schaust: Afd parteitag in köln


It bring away some kind of determination to get trost before the sun on a Saturday to take part in a protest, however that ist exactly what hundreds, then thousands,of demonstrators did an the western German stadt of Cologne. With events beginning punkt 7 am local time (0500 UTC) and set to carry top top into die night, protesters make it clear that the nationalist Alternative weil das Germany (AfD) would notfall find in easy welcome in their city.

"The slide to ns far best happens step by step;we have to take a gestanden before that begins," januar Sperling, a spokesman for the organizers, told

Some 70 organizations carried together approximately 10,000 demonstrators, Sperling said. Far below die predicted 50,000 - perhaps the rain and gray preserved them away - however enough, activists hoped, kommen sie "show ns AfD that Cologne is, und will stay, colorful," together one protester put it.

"Colorful" (or "bunt" an German), was die word von the day together protesters marched downtown, decked out bei costumes, blowing bubbles und making music. Confetti littered ns cobblestones von the alt town, storage more des Cologne"s famous Carnival than von a right-wing splitter linterparty convention, though ns AfD was meeting right following door.

After few minor violent incidents previously on die day, in which 2 police offizier and in AfD member were easy injured and suspects duly arrested, ns protests stayed peaceful throughout. Die "hundreds von potentially violent far-left radicals" feared by authorities failed kommen sie materialize. Die ominous mood des the previous night und early evening, make palpable über 4,000 on-duty polizei officers, armored polizei vehicles und helicopter overhead, provided way to celebration, concerts und rousing speeches.


Protests bei Cologne turned right into a straße festival

Cologne mayor, state auszeichnungen join protests

"First come the slogans, then comes ns knife. Ich would recognize something around that," said Cologne"s mayor Henriette Reker, alluding to the way she was stabbed on the campaign trail an October 2015 over produziert pro-refugee stance. "Together we are sending out a common signal zum our democracy, weil das human rights, for tolerance."


Reker has mitarbeiter experience des far-right violence

Tolerance was another native happily recurring amongst die protesters. Angry hinweisen what they observed as ns AfD"s crusade versus Islam, LGBT acceptance and the european Union, demonstrators called over und over again the this was "Cologne speak no to intolerance." Indeed, zum many, thatseemed to be the most galling factor von all: that a splitterpartei that trumpets a single "German identity" would descend on their progressive stadt -a location where public pride ist usually an ext important 보다 being German.

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Hannelore Kraft, the Social Democrat (SPD) premier of the state von North Rhine-Westphalia, where Cologne is located und where elections will be held bei three weeks"time (a poll that zu sein crucial zum AfD inert looking ahead to federal elections bei September), join Reker on stage. "It zu sein right to stand up early und show what you"re made of," macht told the cheering crowd.


Kraft: "Stand trost early"

Major setback zum Petry

Inside the Maritim Hotel, just across the straße from where Kraft and Reker to be speaking at ns city"s Heumarkt square, die AfD convention was a completely different world. A tense, divided party had little they to be able to decide ~ above - other than what they wouldn"t decision on:namely, the fate des alleged neo-Nazi Björn Höcke,and co-chair Frauke Petry"s strategy zum the future.

Read: Petry will not stand as lead candidate an 2017 elections

The latter dealt a crushing blow to Petry, who of late has tried subtly to make die AfD a much more "realistic choice for German voters." die majority decision notfall to debateher strategy was a rejection des Petry und a clean choice kommen sie follow the more far-right voices in the party. Also as she opened ns conference, to both claps and boos, bei exhausted-looking Petry already had tears in her eyes.

She timeless made good on her promise zu step zurück from die forefront des the AfD, in spite of being its most recognizable face ahead von key elections. Calling ns decision to deny produziert plan weil das the party"s future a "mistake," she said it was time that "others need to lead" but that she would remain in active splitter linterparty member.


Petry has many opponents within herstellung party

It might be a strategie on produziert part, kommen sie wait out decreasing polls numbers und her appropriately stumbling popularity, or it might be, together she claimed in bei interview a few weeks ago, time zum her zu return zu "regular life," as she awaits die birth of her fifth child.

Or it could be, as her co-chair jörg Meuthen scathingly put it, that die AfD members don"t want to be "a minority an their own country," or a palatable small coalition splitterpartei like the Free democrats (FPD).

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The AfD was set zu continue its broken convention - the took an ext than three hours just to decide on the day"s agenda-artikel - top top Sunday. As des Saturday afternoon, the was blieb very viel up for grabs who would command the splitterpartei through its erste federal election.