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Meeting in front of the Hamburg town hall on January 12th

Photo: BREUEL-BILD / picture alliance

Across Germany, tens of thousands of people are taking a stand against right-wing extremism - in Cologne alone, around 30,000 people recently took to the streets.

A large demonstration with many participants is also planned for Friday in Hamburg.

However, due to an AfD parliamentary group meeting that was scheduled at short notice, this cannot take place at the Hamburg town hall market.

The meeting in the town hall brings into effect the Hamburg ban district law, which prohibits meetings and demonstrations within a radius of 350 meters from the town hall, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg citizens told the dpa news agency.

According to the organizers, the demonstration will therefore be moved to the nearby Jungfernstieg.

Several associations, including Entrepreneurs Without Borders, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany and the DGB Hamburg, called for the rally “Hamburg stands up – together against right-wing extremism and neo-Nazi networks,” which is scheduled to start on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Tens of thousands of participants are expected.

The Banned District Act serves to protect the citizens' ability to work and independence.

The President of the Citizenship, Carola Veit, could allow exceptions to a ban on rallies, but not in the case of parliamentary group meetings and meetings of the Council of Elders.

The same applies to citizens' meetings and meetings of the citizens' committee, as stated in paragraph 2 of the Hamburg Ban District Act.

Organizers see themselves as vindicated by the AfD's actions

The organizers said that the AfD's actions would only strengthen the resolve of civil society.

They see the meeting, which was scheduled at short notice, as a deliberate maneuver: “The AfD is using democratic instruments to undermine basic rights.

She shows once again that she despises democracy.

Last week, the media company Correctiv reported on the previously unknown meeting between right-wing extremists and politicians from the AfD and CDU in a Potsdam villa on November 25th.

The former head of the right-wing extremist “Identitarian Movement” in Austria, Martin Sellner, said he spoke about “remigration” there.

When right-wing extremists use the term, they usually mean that large numbers of people of foreign origin should leave the country - even under duress.