Bonn The Identitarian Movement held a protest against migration policies at United Nations Square in Bonn on Sunday. Several hundred people took to the streets.
At the United Nations Square in the former government quarter on Sunday afternoon, around 200 supporters of the right-wing Identitarian Movement (IM) demonstrated against the UN Migration Pact. Police said they were confronted by a counter-demonstration by around 300 opponents from left-wing and citizens’ groups. This had been called by the “Bonn stellt sich quer” alliance. Large numbers of police kept both groups at a distance. Police said there was no violence, only verbal provocation.
It was mainly people from outside Bonn who responded to the call to “Stop the Migration Pact” made by the IM, which has been classified as right-wing extremist by intelligence services. The keynote speaker, Edwin Hinterleitner from Vienna, described himself as “active in political resistance.” Referring to the current demand by the Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) for a vote on the Migration Pact by the German parliament, Hinterleitner said that the ideas of Identitarians, who are expressly demanding a “Fortress Europe”, had “arrived at the centre of society.”
The counter-demonstrators loudly contradicted this view. “Banish Nazis, refugees to stay” they chanted in unison and leftist battle songs such as “Belle ciao” blared from loudspeakers. A representative of the Bonn Anti-Fascists spoke about the Identitarian Movement, which attracts young members through electronic music and is hardly distinguishable from left-wing demonstrators in appearance.
The UN Migration Pact and its binding powers are currently causing political controversy. A number of countries, including the United States and Austria, have already announced that they will not sign the agreement; others are calling for improvements. As things stand at present, the German government wants to sign. There has been criticism from the ranks of the AfD as well as the CDU and CSU.
Original text: Martin Wein. Translation: kc