Erbendorf. The counter-protest was as simple as it was effective. The assembly "Solidarisches Erbendorf" blocked the meeting point for the people who gather unannounced every Sunday in Erbendorf. The demonstrators do not want their city to be instrumentalized by right-wingers.
The square where the "walkers" which has been gathering for 2 months, reserved a counter-demo on Sunday. Since the event was registered, the police also checked that no one entered the demonstration area without permission. One person who resisted was taken into custody. Picture: Beate Luber
Since 1. Advent usually goes like this every Sunday in Erbendorf: Several hundred people who claim to simply "go for a walk", meet supposedly purely by chance on the fenced city park in front of the town hall in Erbendorf. Then they march through the town, past old people’s homes and hospitals, through residential areas, shouting, whistling, trumpeting in vuvuzelas. At the end they meet again in the park in the middle of the city, applaud and go apart. It had been going on for almost two months – last Sunday was different.
According to police reports, 450 people are once again arriving in Erbendorf. But to their ancestral meeting place in the city park they are not allowed to go. Because about 50 Erbendorfers meet there for a counter-demo under the motto "Solidarisches Erbendorf". Police officers post themselves at the entrances to the park. "Want to participate in a registered meeting?", a policeman asks a man dressed in black, who wants to go to the city park. "I just want to take a walk here", answers the. The policeman turns him away. A participant who, according to police, tries to disrupt the registered meeting is taken into custody. resisted the police officers, according to the police report.
Counter-demo smacked and booed
Lisa Bregler from Erbendorf has registered the counter-demo quite spontaneously. She is a nurse. The reason for their counter-protest she explains succinctly: "We have let the people long enough allow. They say they are normal concerned people, but they babble something about dictatorship. This is absolute nonsense." The alleged "walkers are visibly angry that they are not allowed on their ancestral place. A few hundred stand around the fence, whistling and insulting the people from the counter-protest.
The demo also explicitly opposed the involvement of right-wingers and far-right extremists at the illegal gatherings. Image: Beate Luber
450 "walkers" against 50 demonstrators, the proportions are somewhat skewed. But according to Erbendorf’s mayor Johannes Reger only a small part of the "walkers" is from the catchment area of Erbendorf. He has been observing the unannounced crowds for some time now. The week before there were about 460 on the road, according to Reger, only about 20 of them came from the Erbendorf/Krummennaab/Wildenreuth area. That’s another reason why the CSU man is at the counter-demo.
I don’t want so many out-of-towners using us as a platform for their activities.
According to the license plates, people come from as far away as Schwandorf, Wunsiedel, Bayreuth, Cham. With the small part of people, who are present from Erbendorf, Reger seeks the conversation. "We invite them to discussion groups to take their concerns and needs seriously." A general injunction against the unannounced mass gatherings would be legally difficult to enforce.
Advertised in right-wing networks
The locals who have come to the counter-protest are appalled by the huge crowds moving through the 5.000 inhabitant community. "The people in their houses are afraid when they pass by with their vuvuzelas", tells a woman. They find it especially bad that the route passes by the old people’s homes that suffered many deaths in the first Corona wave.
Another participant reports that more and more right-wing extremists are joining the illegal walks. Also the well-known neo-Nazi Patrick Schroder from Mantel have already been there. Mayor Reger emphasizes, however, that not all "walkers" are against 50 demonstrators are right-wingers or radicals. However, the right-wing scene used the Corona protests as a platform. In right-wing networks, especially on Telegram, the illegal mass run-up is widely advertised.
Counter-demo still planned
"You are not the resistance. You walk hand in hand with Nazis" and "You are not welcome here" Is written on large banners of the counter-demo. The people of Erbendorf have the feeling that their town is being instrumentalized for purposes that have a lot to do with a lot, but certainly nothing to do with "freedom" and "Democracy. The counter-event "Solidarisches Erbendorf" want to continue them on the coming Sunday evening in the city park.